— A Chevrolet Bolt class action lawsuit alleges battery problems can cause the electric vehicles to catch fire, making the vehicles unreasonably dangerous to drive.
The Chevrolet Bolt class action lawsuit was filed following a federal investigation opened by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The government investigation was triggered by three Chevy Bolt fires that originated under the rear seats, the same location as the batteries. All three fires occurred when the cars were parked, and owners claimed the batteries were either nearly or fully charged.
NHTSA opened the investigation by saying the "root cause of these fires is unknown," but a recall later issued by General Motors suggests there may be problems with the batteries.
NHTSA announced the Chevrolet Bolt recall in November warning drivers to park their electric vehicles away from anything that could burn. Nearly 51,000 model year 2017-2019 Bolts were recalled in the U.S., but the only repair announced by the automaker was a software update to limit the charging capacity of the Bolt batteries.
GM says it's investigating the cause of the fires but considering owners mentioned the fires occurred when the batteries were fully or nearly charged, the recall repair is considered an interim measure. The software update will limit the battery charge to 90% and no more.
Model year 2017-2018 Bolt owners were also told to change the battery charge settings to the "Hill Top Reserve" option, and 2019 Bolt owners should change the charge setting to "Target Charge Level" at 90%.
According to the GM class action, the automaker actively concealed battery defects and continued to market and sell the electric vehicles without fixing the fire risk.
The plaintiff also says when he complained about the battery system, GM told him to never charge the battery above 90% capacity. The plaintiff claims other Bolt owners are at the same risk of losing their cars because GM doesn't know how to properly repair the vehicles.
The plaintiff says GM's engineers are trying to identify a permanent repair instead of placing customers in safer cars.
The Chevrolet Bolt class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California: Zahariudakis, et al., v. General Motors LLC.
The plaintiff is represented by the Law Offices of Todd M. Friedman, P.C.