GM's Rebate of up to $6,000 on the Bolt EV and EUV Has a Big Stipulation

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【Summary】Consumers that are looking to take advantage of Chevrolet’s retroactive discount on its affordable electric vehicles will do so with a huge catch – waiving their right to sue General Motors.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Sep 13, 2022 7:30 AM PT
GM's Rebate of up to $6,000 on the Bolt EV and EUV Has a Big Stipulation

General Motors has been hard at work on trying to put its issues surrounding the Chevrolet Bolt EV and EUV behind it. The automaker issued a massive recall involving every Bolt EV and EUV ever made because of possible issues with its battery pack that could result in a fire. Once the recall was finished, Chevy slashed the price of the Bolt EV and EUV by as much as $6,000 to entice buyers to purchase the vehicle. In a surprising move, Chevrolet announced that it would offer the price cut to current owners. Now, we're learning that current owners that want to take advantage of the price cut will have to deal with a huge catch. 

Strings Attached To The Rebate

As Jalopnik reports, Bolt owners that are eligible for the retroactive discount can begin the process of claiming the rebate. One owner, who sent screenshots of the process to the outlet, noticed something alarming in the fine print. To receive the rebate, owners must sign a release that has some choice words on waiving and releasing all damages, causes of action, and claims that arise from their EV. 

The specific portion of the agreement that's alarming reads: 

"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. This release is in favor of and includes General Motors Company, General Motors LLC, General Motors Holdings LLC, LG Chem, Ltd., LG Energy Solution, Ltd., LG Energy Solution Michigan Inc., LG Electronics, Inc., and LG Electronics USA, Inc. as well as all of their respective officers, directors, agents, employees, servants, subsidiaries, affiliated companies, subsidiaries, parent companies, insurers, authorized dealers, suppliers, divisions, predecessors, successors, heirs, and assigns."

Why The Agreement Is Troubling

The wording in the agreement is troubling, because it forces owners to choose the rebate over their right to sue General Motors over any issues that may arise with their Bolt, Jalopnik points out. For owners that may be afraid of their vehicles catching on fire, which could hurt someone or burn down a building/property, this is a huge deal. 

Jalopnik reached out to Steve Lehto, a lawyer that specializes in automobile warranty law, who stated that the rebate feels more along the lines of a legal release. Additionally, he told Bolt owners to really think about accepting the rebate. "But a Bolt still under warranty and being parked in an attached garage? I'd give them a lot of pushback on it – keeping in mind all that they are giving up for the rebate," said Lehto. 

It's odd to see General Motors issue an agreement with such an odd section. Unfortunately, strange agreements have become commonplace for the American automaker. The automaker recently offered a $5,500 discount to Cadillac Lyriq buyers that aggreged to sign a non-disclosure agreement. The agreement prevents Lyriq owners from discussing any issues with the vehicle or discussing how the vehicle performs with people that don't work for GM. 

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