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.

Adam Garfield tells KSL’s Matt Gephardt that his warranty claim for failed battery on his EV has been denied multiple times Garfield says he believes the automaker should replace the failed EV battery under its warranty. The out-of-pocket cost, he says, is $30,000. Federal law requires automakers to warranty EV batteries for at least eight years for 100,000 miles – whichever comes first. However, missteps by the car owner can void the warranty.

“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.

KSL 5 TV Live

Get Gephardt

Matt Gephardt reviewing the letter sent to Robert Bohman. (KSL TV)...

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

Get Gephardt helps man stuck with an out-of-network bill for a test his insurance pre-authorized

After a Morgan man went for a medical test pre-authorized by his insurance, he was surprised with an out-of-network bill he thought he was covered for. Get Gephardt helped him to sort everything out.

1 day ago

When Daniel Reeder moved into his Bountiful home, he quickly realized its synthetic, membrane roofi...

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage

Get Gephardt helps Bountiful homeowner who says he can’t get roofing company to make warranty repair

When Daniel Reeder moved into his Bountiful home, he quickly realized its synthetic, membrane roofing had a problem. Some of its adhesive began peeling.

2 days ago

(KSL TV)...

Matt Gephardt & Cimaron Neugebauer

Bountiful woman left without phone service or answers days after her husband dies

When you pay for a phone service, you expect it to work. But after being unable to make or receive calls despite reaching out to the provider multiple times to fix it – a Utah woman decided it was time to Get Gephardt.

7 days ago

Debra Gamero teaches a student...

Matt Gephardt

The insurance you didn’t know you needed to protect your side hustle

Having a side hustle to bring in extra cash requires determination and hard work. But if you do it without the right insurance policy, you might find an unexpected event could blow up your side hustle along with your finances.

16 days ago

If you drive your car for work and you're in a crash, can your insurance company refuse to pay? Tha...

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage

Get Gephardt: Rideshare driver says company’s insurance refuses to cover her wrecked car

If you drive your car for work and you're in a crash, can your insurance company refuse to pay? That's the exact issue currently afflicting a Cedar City woman who decided it was time to Get Gephardt, and our Matt Gephardt began investigating.

17 days ago

A Holladay woman received a water bill for over $7,000. After contacting the provider, it wasn't mu...

Matt Gephardt

Get Gephardt: Homeowner gets $7K water bill for water she says she didn’t use

Imagine opening your mailbox to find a water bill demanding several thousand dollars for just one month’s use of water. It happened to a Holladay woman, she decided to Get Gephardt.

22 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

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