Give and Take: Chevrolet Bolt drivers must waive rights to sue in order to receive ‘goodwill reimbursement’

Michigan, United States — In life you have to give if you want to get—if you’re a Chevrolet Bolt EV owner in the U.S., you may be eligible to get a cash rebate for the purchase of your 2020-2022 model year Bolt, as long as you give away your right to sue General Motors for any issues that may arise.

This news came to light Wednesday when Jalopnik reported that a user on the site said they were told that in order to be eligible for GM’s “goodwill reimbursement program,” launched following a slew of fires linked to the Bolt’s battery, drivers would be required to waive all rights to sue the automaker for any issues related to the vehicle, including any potential battery fire in the future.

The user, upon sifting through the fine print of the reimbursement program, stumbled upon the following excerpt:

“By nonetheless agreeing to this release, I—both on my own behalf and on behalf of my heirs, agents, servants, beneficiaries, legal representatives, assigns, wards, executors, successors and administrators—forever waive and release all claims, damages or causes of action, either known or unknown, regardless of the legal or equitable theory, that I may have now or in the future arising out of or in any way relating to my Bolt vehicle(s), the battery defect or the battery recalls, and including any claims or rights that I may have in connection with the class action, including any right to participate as a class member.”

GM has since confirmed Jalopnik’s reports and claimed that such stipulations are “common practice” in these instances, but assured that the agreement does not cover “any potential recalls in the future.”

“The agreement for the reimbursement program does contain language that waives claims against GM and identifies existing litigation. This is a common practice when it comes to programs like this. It does not waive claims involving any potential recalls in the future,” GM wrote in a statement.

As such, the agreement does not exempt the 2020-2022 Chevrolet Bolt from being affected by national recalls but restricts the individual customer’s ability to sue GM or join a larger class action case.

The Chevrolet Bolt was subject to three separate safety recalls stemming from battery fires that affected more than 141,000 vehicles in the United States and Canada.


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