Fire Risk Class Action Files Against GM for Fire Hazard Bolt Batteries

On Tuesday, CSK&D (Chimicles, Schwartz, Kriner & Donalson-Smith)  and its co-counsel filed an action against General Motors LLC (“GM”) in the Northern District of Illinois for defects in the Chevrolet Bolt EV manufactured by GM. The complaint alleges that the Chevy Bolt is defective because its battery is prone to burst into flames unless and until the owner installs a software patch that results in a severe loss of potential battery power. Specifically, when the high voltage batteries in the Chevy EV are charged to full, or very close to full, they pose a risk of fire. GM’s only purported “fix” to reduce the risk of fire is a software update that limits the maximum state of charge to approximately 90% battery capacity, thereby reducing the amount of mileage that these vehicles can otherwise travel on a full charge. Further, the complaint alleges, upon information and belief, that GM overstates the battery capacity of the Chevy Bolt to have a 60kWh capacity, when the battery label itself states that the battery is only 57kWh capacity.

Plaintiff Andres Torres asserts these claims on behalf of himself and a nationwide class of similarly situated consumers, and also on behalf of an Illinois state class. The complaint accuses GM of violating the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Practices Act, Illinois Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act, Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, fraudulent concealment/fraud by omission, and that GM breached its express and implied warranties. The complaint seeks actual damages, restitution, and equitable relief, as well as punitive damages as a result of GM knowingly introducing defective vehicles into the marketplace and defrauding consumers across the country, and also an award for costs and fees and other relief.

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