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Lawsuit claims Chevy Bolt not hardy enough for South Dakota winters

Auto manufacturer General Motors is asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit brought by a South Dakota man who claimed the car giant misled consumers about the effectiveness of an electric car model.

Jason Haas originally filed his lawsuit in state court in Turner County, South Dakota, but GM has filed a motion to remove the action to federal court.

Haas says he bought a Chevy Bolt, an electric vehicle, on Nov. 21, 2017 from Billion Auto in Iowa City, Iowa. The car’s literature indicated it had a range of 238 miles.

But the range proved to be considerably less – by 100 miles – during the cold winter months.

“At no time during his purchase did GMC make him aware that the project [sic] mileage was not accurate, and as a purchaser living in South Dakota – where the lower temperature average is below 30 degrees Fahrenheit for six out of the 12 calendar months,” the lawsuit says.

Haas’ lawsuit is seeking class-action status to represent consumers who bought Bolts in the Dakotas, Iowa, Minnesota and Montana. The lawsuit accuses GM of breaching warranties, fraudulent misrepresentation and selling a vehicle with manufacturing and design defects.

In its motion to dismiss, GM calls the allegation “nonsensical,” because GM didn’t sell the vehicle to Haas.

GM’s literature for the Bolt “repeatedly discloses that the vehicle’s ‘actual range may vary based on several factors including temperature, terrain and driving conditions,’” the motion says. “For example, on the Chevy Bolt’s website, the language appears as a disclaimer that appears when a visitor clicks on any reference to charge or vehicle range.”

GM’s motion says Haas’ allegations are “vague, conclusory, and inadequately pled under the pleading standards of the Federal Rules.”

A ruling on GM’s motion is pending.

https://www.argusleader.com/story/n...hardy-enough-south-dakota-winters/3633035002/
 

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I’m not hardy enough for South Dakota winters either. I’m going to sue myself.
For true. It's a mystery how they keep anyone in that place without an electrified fence around it.

This guy is just making a nuisance and hoping GM will pay him to go away. Anyone living up there in the frozen ass-end of nowhere deals with the climate every day. Living there requires evaluating every purchase; housing, clothing, transportation, as to suitability for that extreme condition. That he didn't do the homework is on him, not GM. Imagine him buying a Corvette and claiming GM didn't warn him it's only rear drive and has only 3" of ground clearance, so not suitable for daily transportation in blizzard conditions.

jack vines
 

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For true. It's a mystery how they keep anyone in that place without an electrified fence around it.

This guy is just making a nuisance and hoping GM will pay him to go away. Anyone living up there in the frozen ass-end of nowhere deals with the climate every day. Living there requires evaluating every purchase; housing, clothing, transportation, as to suitability for that extreme condition. That he didn't do the homework is on him, not GM. Imagine him buying a Corvette and claiming GM didn't warn him it's only rear drive and has only 3" of ground clearance, so not suitable for daily transportation in blizzard conditions.

jack vines
Pretty much any car’s mileage will take a hit in really cold weather, maybe not as big a drop as in an EV, but if this lawsuit succeeds every vehicle owner in SD can sue every manufacturer over their lousy mileage when it’s 0 outside.
 

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I tend to agree with the litigant. Our society is definitely "caveat emptor". Chevy did little to nothing in preparing the public for the electric driving experience. The government could care less also. So their response to a disappointed or poorly informed customer is "Too bad". "You should have known better." Sorry folks. With that attitude, the electric cars are going to go over with the public like a lead balloon.
 

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What about all the happy Bolt buyers/drivers in Canada? This is a nonsense lawsuit. Anyone who buys any EV and does not know that the range is temperature dependent is a foolish consumer!
Canada doesn't have a lot of the bullshit issues and the percentage of idiots based on my singular personal experience is much less up there than what we have in 'Merica. Lawsuits 'like' this are just embarrassing.
 

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I tend to agree with the litigant. Our society is definitely "caveat emptor". Chevy did little to nothing in preparing the public for the electric driving experience. The government could care less also. So their response to a disappointed or poorly informed customer is "Too bad". "You should have known better." Sorry folks. With that attitude, the electric cars are going to go over with the public like a lead balloon.
Sorry, psyflyjohn. You and I are going to profoundly disagree on this issue. The idea one can go through life making random, uninformed decisions and then expecting there to be no consequences and that he be made whole financially or even bonused for being a dumbshit is not a concept I can comprehend.

jack vines
 

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Jack, I'm sure that you went into buying an EV very informed, as was I. We probably could have enlightened the salespeople with our knowledge of their own product. We are the "first adopters" and are intensely interested in the subject. Unfortunately, the car buying public in general will not be.

My friends wife in Minnesota is interested in an EV to the extent that "Anything is ok as long as it's red". Now, this may be close to the uninformed decision as you describe, and I guess she's going to be severely disappointed when she can't get close to 234 miles as described on the sticker during the winter. She's going to tell her friends not to buy one because "They lie" or "It's a piece of crap". Don't you think at least the sticker could indicate some expected mileage capacity under several conditions? At least provide enough information to the public to give them a reasonable basis for a judgement.
 

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FWIW: I leased a 2013 Leaf, then went to a 2016 when that lease expired. The dealer had me sign a paper (on the '16) acknowledging the range drop in cold weather. Dunno who if anyone got sued, but they were definitely warning new owners by December of 2015.
 

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Jack, I'm sure that you went into buying an EV very informed, as was I. We probably could have enlightened the salespeople with our knowledge of their own product. We are the "first adopters" and are intensely interested in the subject. Unfortunately, the car buying public in general will not be.

My friends wife in Minnesota is interested in an EV to the extent that "Anything is ok as long as it's red". Now, this may be close to the uninformed decision as you describe, and I guess she's going to be severely disappointed when she can't get close to 234 miles as described on the sticker during the winter. She's going to tell her friends not to buy one because "They lie" or "It's a piece of crap". Don't you think at least the sticker could indicate some expected mileage capacity under several conditions? At least provide enough information to the public to give them a reasonable basis for a judgement.
Rumor has it all that cold weather in MN comes with snow and ice on the roads. Those who live there know it's going to happen next winter. Should the sticker warn the unconscious buyer the Bolt is only two-wheel drive and has low ground clearance, so it's really not a very good buck-the-snowdrift car? The buyer has to take some responsibility for due diligence and asking the questions as to suitability for his intended use. "But it was red".

jack vines
 

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Jack, I'm not sure why we're debating this. Both of us despise uninformed, "dumb ass" people. As a matter of fact, I'm not going to say anything to my Minnesota friend. Just let her get the red Bolt and have a self-satisfied feeling when she starts complaining. I'll just say, "I just heard that the red ones have mileage problems". "Maybe if you buy the blue Bolt it would work better." But then I would be in the class of people who are car salesmen....
 

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Jack, I'm sure that you went into buying an EV very informed, as was I. We probably could have enlightened the salespeople with our knowledge of their own product. We are the "first adopters" and are intensely interested in the subject. Unfortunately, the car buying public in general will not be.

My friends wife in Minnesota is interested in an EV to the extent that "Anything is ok as long as it's red". Now, this may be close to the uninformed decision as you describe, and I guess she's going to be severely disappointed when she can't get close to 234 miles as described on the sticker during the winter. She's going to tell her friends not to buy one because "They lie" or "It's a piece of crap". Don't you think at least the sticker could indicate some expected mileage capacity under several conditions? At least provide enough information to the public to give them a reasonable basis for a judgement.
Setting expectations is very important. This is especially true when you are trying to attract and retain happy customers. For example, in scenario one if I tell you your car will be ready to pick up at 3 pm and then call you at 2 pm and tell you it is done early and you can pick it up anytime, you will be happy. But if in scenario two I tell you the car will be ready at noon and then when you show up at noon to pick it up I inform you it will not be ready until 1 pm you will be unhappy even though it was ready 1 hour earlier than in scenario one.

The sales people should be well informed about the effects of temperature on the range of the EV and inform the potential customer to help them decide if this is the correct car for them. Of course to make this happen GM would have to provide them with information and training.
 

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The sales people should be well informed about the effects of temperature on the range of the EV and inform the potential customer to help them decide if this is the correct car for them. Of course to make this happen GM would have to provide them with information and training.
There is a vast difference between "should" and "required".

The individual salesperson (or "advisor" in the case of Tesla) should take the time to discuss the impacts of things like weather and driving style on range. It is good business practice and makes for happy customers, repeat business, referals, etc.

But they should no more be required to go into every detail of the Monroney label with the EPA range (test cycles used, how they numbers are obtained, what factors will influence different numbers, etc) for an EV than for an ICE.

It would be a much different story if GM stated that you will get the 238 under all conditions, but the following is in the Bolt FAQ on Chevy's site:
When operating traditional gas vehicles, certain driving behaviors or weather conditions may impact your fuel efficiency. The same realities apply to electric vehicles. Depending on how you drive or how you adjust the climate settings, you may get more or fewer miles of range. But, with an EPA-estimated 238 miles of pure electric range per full charge†, there’s plenty to go around.

When it comes to weather and range variation, here are a few things to consider:

Outside temperature: Unfortunately we can’t control the elements, but it’s important to remember that outside temperature may affect range. Luckily the Bolt EV battery pack has an active thermal management system and liquid-cooling loop to allow the vehicle to operate in extreme hot and cold climates.

Your driving technique: Being a little heavy-footed on the accelerator can impact range efficiency, just like with a gas vehicle.

The terrain: Living in a hilly or flat area could impact your range. Regenerative braking features such as Regen on Demand™ and One Pedal Driving help restore more energy into the battery. And by enabling Hill Top Reserve – which allows you to stop the charge before the battery is full – you can leave space for “free” regenerative energy when driving downhill from a higher elevation immediately after charging.

Climate settings: Some like it warm. Some like it cold. Whatever your preference, when the heat or air conditioning is in use, energy is pulled from the battery. But there are ways you can reduce energy usage and improve range. If equipped, be sure to use the heated seat feature, because heating the seat uses less energy than heating the vehicle interior. And you can precondition your car while it’s still plugged in to reach just the right temperature before you step inside. This way, power is pulled from your electrical source rather than from your battery.​

Plus:
Getting the most from your Bolt EV and Volt in cold weather

As temperatures fall, it’s important to know that your vehicle’s electric range can be affected. Most Bolt EV and Volt owners will see variances in their electric range compared to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates published for new models depending on outside temperature, terrain and driving technique.

Here are a few tips that may help maximize electric range as the thermometer dips:
Smart Cabin Heating – Precondition While Plugged In: using energy from the grid to warm the cabin allows you to reserve stored battery energy for driving. Using a 240-volt charger provides the maximum benefit.

Tire Pressure Makes a Difference: properly inflated tires can help improve electric range and fuel economy.†
Keeping Warm on the Road: if equipped, use the heated seats and heated steering wheel to keep warm. Engineers say that it takes less energy to heat your body through the seat than heating the entire cabin.

This, or substantially similar, information has always been on GM's (and other manufacturers) websites.

Yep, GM is definitely intentionally deceiving it's customers about winter range :confused:
 
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