GM offers $1,400 to Bolt owners for dealing with software-limited, fire-prone batteries

Chevy Bolt owners might have the option to receive a $1,400 payout from GM as compensation for dealing with the cars’ defective EV batteries that required a software range limiter to prevent them from catching fire.

To qualify for the offer, owners must install a “final remedy” software update on their Bolt through a Chevy dealership by December 31st, 2023. Owners will get a letter that grants them access to a web form to accept the money in the form of a Visa e-gift card.

However, it’s not without strings attached. According to the terms and conditions of the offer, owners have to agree to “forever waive” rights to sue or join a future class action lawsuit regarding battery issues “known or unknown.” Should the upcoming class action settlement amount exceed the $1,400 payout from GM, owners can get the difference on top of the initial agreement.

Older Chevy Bolt models that were made from 2017 to 2019 were initially provided “fixes” in 2021 to keep the vehicles from catching fire, but it did not work. An entirely different battery issue cropped up in 2020, during which time at least 19 Bolts caught fire with full batteries.

GM issued software updates that limited charging to 80 percent and brought the drivable range down to about 207 miles from 259 miles. Older models, as the class action lawsuit states, reduced effective range by 40 percent, or from 238 miles down to a measly 144 miles max.