Chevy has started offering some Bolt owners rebates of up to $6,000 as a “goodwill reimbursement” for anyone who bought one of the battery-powered EVs shortly before the company made them significantly cheaper. However, as Jalopnik points out, taking the rebate means agreeing to never sue the company for any present or future issues with the car or its battery or join any class action suits related to the Bolt.
Given that Bolt had to be recalled twice following several battery fires (and the fact that the recall was expanded to include pretty much every model of the car), it may be an uncomfortable agreement for some. However, most people who were actually affected by the battery problems won’t be the ones having to decide whether to take the money or not.
According to Chevy spokesperson Kevin Kelly, the rebate is “limited to customers who purchased a 2020-2022 Bolt EV/EUV in the 2022 calendar year.” Kelly also specified that the rebate is only being offered to people who bought “new retail” vehicles at a Chevy dealer. In theory, those cars should all have gotten the replacement batteries before being put on sale.
Still, it’d be understandable if Bolt owners are leery of taking the money, even if they wouldn’t normally be put off by the strong language in the agreement. (Not only is the owner not allowed to sue — neither are their “heirs, agents, servants, beneficiaries, legal representatives, assigns, wards, executors, successors, [or] administrators.”) One lawyer told Jalopnik that he would caution clients against taking the deal if they had a Bolt that they kept in an attached garage in case the historically hard-to-squash battery issues returned.
One would hope that Chevy’s been extra careful this time around — the recalls are estimated to have cost around $2 billion, which its battery supplier, LG Electronics, has agreed to pay for. If new Bolts have similar issues, it’ll be a PR (and very likely financial) catastrophe for both companies. With that said, I don’t envy new Bolt owners in having to decide whether they think the car will be problem-free enough that it’s okay to take a sizable chunk of change.