GET GEPHARDT

Get Gephardt helps Lehi man to get help from electric carmaker’s warranty after battery fails

Oct 3, 2023, 11:49 PM | Updated: Oct 4, 2023, 12:00 am

LEHI — Adam Garfield bought his 2016 Fiat 500e used in 2019 for around $9,000.

“I love the car,” he said. “It’s a great A to B car. It gets us where we want to go. It’s great for around town.”

But when it hit 49,960 miles this past spring, it went kaput.

“I came out one morning to start it and the battery was dead,” Garfield said. “And I couldn’t get a response from it.”

He says he did what he could to resuscitate it.

“I tried a number of different ways to troubleshoot it and to get it started. And that entailed putting the charger on it for a great a good period of time,” Garfield said.

After several failed attempts, nothing worked. So, he turned his Fiat over to an authorized dealer. He says they confirmed the battery had failed. But no sweat, there’s a warranty.

In fact, Federal law says carmakers must warranty EV batteries for at least eight years or a hundred thousand miles. Whichever comes first. The clock starts at the date and mileage when the car is first sold. Garfield’s Fiat was still under the limits on both counts.

The thing is, Fiat Chrysler shot down his claim. The reason given? Neglect.

“Chrysler said I did not charge it. That I didn’t charge it for more than 30 days, which is not at all true.”

Garfield says even the dealership told him to try his warranty claim again. He did and his claim was denied – two more times. He says Fiat told him he had no further recourse. He was on his own to replace the battery. The cost? Staggering.

“Chrysler’s replacement battery for that Fiat is about $30,000,” he said. “So, I understand why maybe they’re hesitant to fulfill their warranty obligations.”

Garfield refuses to spend $30,000 to fix a car worth less than a third of that. Worried he would be stuck with a one-and-a-half-ton paperweight, he contacted us.

We spoke to Brian Moody of Kelley Blue Book about EV batteries.

“The concern comes for people who buy the car used,” Moody said.

Fiat isn’t the only car with a pricy fix. The owner of any EV should expect to pay $5,000 to $20,000 to replace a battery. Sometimes more.

“For most cars, it’s going to be prohibitively expensive,” said Moody. “Worth more than the actual value of the entire car.”

And while battery warranties are long, lots of things can void them such as: using a nonstandard charger, weather, towing someone, a collision, using aftermarket parks and missing software updates.

“I wouldn’t want to be in the position of having to replace an electric only car battery,” said Moody.

So, we reached out to Stellantis, the automaker that now owns Fiat Chrysler, and asked what proof they have that Garfield neglected his battery. While we didn’t get an answer to that, after nearly three months of back and forth with us and Garfield, we got this in an email:

“Customers have been at the core of the FIAT brand for 124 years, and we are pleased to have resolved this matter to the owner’s satisfaction.”

And Garfield confirmed with us that Stellantis has agreed to buy back his car.

“I’ve done everything I can,” he said. “I haven’t done anything that was wrong.”

Just like your cell phone’s battery, an EV battery will slowly lose the amount of energy it can store over time. That degradation isn’t always covered though many automakers say they’ll replace the battery if its max falls below 70% capacity while under warranty. And those warranties often can be transferred to new owners but not always. So, if you are going to buy an EV used, it is crucial you have the battery tested before buying. And that you contact the automaker first to see what sort of warranty that specific car has left.

Get Gephardt

Matt Gephardt speaking to Thelissa Mead about Hyundai not responding to her claims and getting her ...

Matt Gephardt

Get Gephardt helps Utah Hyundai owner seeking reimbursement for overestimated fuel economy

A major automaker was accused of saying their cars get better mileage than they really do, And they promised to pay their customers back. But when one Utah customer wasn't, she decided to Get Gephardt.

2 hours ago

(FILE) A test dummy getting hit by an air bag during a crash test....

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

Thousands of cars equipped with faulty airbags on Utah roads as automakers issues ‘Do Not Drive’ warnings

Auto manufacturers have recalled over millions of Takata airbags because of their potential to explode and shoot out sharp metal fragments. And there are still thousands of those in cars across Utah.

9 days ago

sprinkler sprays on green grass...

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage

Get Gephardt: Layton man demands refund for decades of charges for water he can’t access

Imagine finding out you've been paying nearly 40 years for rights to water you're not only not getting, but that you can't get, because the pipes for it don’t exist.

10 days ago

Danielle Addicott showing KSL's Matt Gephardt the fraud charges that were on her Wells Fargo accoun...

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

Get Gephardt helps Utah woman who says her bank refused to refund stolen money

A Park City woman says thousands of dollars were stolen from her bank account, but the bank refused to cover her loss. She decided to Get Gephardt.

14 days ago

Credit cards...

Matt Gephardt

Household debt reaches record high but inflation is masking debt progress

Personal finance experts say American household debt is at a record high, but considering the circumstances, it could be much worse.

15 days ago

FILE - This combination of 2017-2022 photos shows the logos of Facebook, YouTube, TikTok and Snapch...

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage

Scammers offer to help regain control of hacked social media accounts for a fee

People are advertising they can help you get back into your hacked social media accounts. It is a lie.

22 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Get Gephardt helps Lehi man to get help from electric carmaker’s warranty after battery fails