Last month, General Motors revealed plans to compensate customers who paid more for the Chevrolet Bolt EV and EUV this year before the $6,000 price cut was introduced.
The automaker said that all US customers who bought a 2020-2022 Bolt EV or 2022 Bolt EUV this year are eligible for cash rebates of about $5,000 on average. That's obviously great news for customers who put their trust into the Chevrolet Bolt EV and EUV even after the three battery fire recalls that affected some 141,000 vehicles.
But GM's so-called "goodwill reimbursement program" does not come without strings attached, Jalopnik has found. A Bolt EV owner who's eligible for the rebate told the website that in order to receive the reimbursement, Bolt owners have to waive all rights to sue GM over the vehicle, including instances where the battery catches fire.
In the process of claiming their $5,400 rebate, the owner discovered some unsettling fine print they had to agree with in order to proceed (see the entire document at the source link listed at the bottom of this page).
"b. 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."
The language is pretty clear: GM conditions the rebate with Bolt owners waiving their right to sue for damages, even if the EV's battery caught fire due to the defect that's been affecting the Chevrolet Bolt EV and EUV for more than a year.
General Motors reached out to Jalopnik and confirmed the report, calling the agreement for the reimbursement program "common practice" in these cases. However, the automaker stressed 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 statement to Jalopnik
It's also worth noting that signing the agreement does not exonerate GM from issuing future recalls of Bolt EV and Bolt EUV vehicles whose owners claimed the retroactive rebates. Still, taking the money means that owners waive their right to sue GM over potential future damages, injuries or other issues, or join class-action lawsuits against the automaker over the battery defect.
Over to you now Chevrolet Bolt EV and EUV owners who are eligible for the retroactive discounts, will you take the deal?