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The Chevy Bolt is a popular vehicle model known for its acceleration and environmentally friendly features. But it has also become associated with a serious defect that can cause these vehicles to be prone to fire risk. As a result, the manufacturer has issued a Chevy Bolt recall on nearly 70,000 vehicles, model years 2017 through 2022.
If you own a Chevy Bolt that has been subject to a recall, you might be wondering if you purchased a lemon. Although some recalled vehicles may be lemons, there are specific legal criteria in California that must be met in order to qualify for a refund or replacement car under the lemon law.
After receiving reports from owners that the vehicle could spontaneously catch on fire, General Motors recalled thousands of Chevy Bolt EVs. In an attempt to remedy the issue, General Motors issued a temporary software update that would reduce the capacity of the battery pack to 90 percent while investigating the cause of the fires. According to the manufacturer’s investigation, the defect in the Chevy Bolt could be traced to a problem with the battery modules. General Motors found that the issue could cause a short in a cell, resulting in a fire.
In April, General Motors provided dealers with instructions to use diagnostics to test affected vehicles for battery issues — and replace the battery packs if necessary. It also agreed to buy back certain recalled models. General Motors issued another recall in July after receiving two reports of fires in vehicles that had allegedly been repaired as part of the first recall.
A Chevy Bolt recall does not necessarily mean a vehicle is a lemon under California’s lemon law. In many cases involving recalls, the defect can be repaired on the first attempt. However, if the issue persists and cannot be repaired after several “reasonable” repair attempts, you may be able to assert your rights under the lemon law.
While four attempts are usually sufficient under the lemon law, only two are typically required when the defect could cause serious injury or fatality. Your vehicle might also qualify as a lemon if it was in the repair shop for 30 days or more. Importantly, to invoke the lemon law, the vehicle must still be under the original manufacturer’s warranty.
The law presumes that your vehicle is a lemon if the defect was discovered within the first 18 months of delivery or the first 18,000 miles are driven. If you think your vehicle might be a lemon, it’s critical to understand that you only have four years to file a lawsuit from the date you learned about the defect. If you prevail in a lemon law lawsuit, you may be entitled to a refund or replacement vehicle from the manufacturer.
If your car was part of the Chevy Bolt recall, you should have received a notice in the mail. Otherwise, you can also find out if your vehicle is part of the Chevy Bolt recall by checking the National Highway Traffic and Administration website by entering the VIN. The website search function doesn’t only reveal vehicles affected by active recalls, but it also discloses unrepaired vehicles affected by recalls that have occurred within the last fifteen years.
In the event that you own and have experienced a Chevy Bolt recall, it’s critical that you take every possible precaution. General Motors has advised owners not to park these vehicles in garages or near buildings, and avoid fully charging the battery packs until replacements are available. The NHTSA also recommends setting your vehicle to the 90% state of charge limitation using either the Hilltop Reserve mode or the Target Charge Level mode, depending on your vehicle model year. In addition, the NHTSA has instructed owners that they should recharge the battery after each use and not wait until it is in “deep discharge mode” before recharging it.
If you purchased a Chevy Bolt that turned out to be a lemon, you might be eligible to file a lawsuit under California’s lemon law. A skilled lemon law attorney can help you navigate the legal process and help ensure you receive the maximum compensation you deserve. The Ledbetter Law Firm provides competent counsel and experienced advocacy for consumers who have suffered the inconvenience and financial burden associated with purchasing a lemon.
The Ledbetter Law Firm assists people in Southern California who have experienced lemon law issues with their vehicles in obtaining favorable outcomes in their cases. With offices conveniently located in Torrance and San Diego, California, telephone and video conferencing options are also available. Call (424) 407-3745 to schedule a consultation with a California Lemon Law attorney today.