Same as every electronic device that has such ratings. The rating only tells you about the pressure the seals are supposed to withstand right out of the factory and not a second longer, not actual conditions.
Once water seeps in, it is water damage and “could have been caused by dust that compromised the seals” or whatever or “harsher conditions” than expected. I do ride in the rain, when going home or so, but it is not longer than 15 minutes anyways in such cases and so far, i have the battery in the stem and put some tape to seal it a little bit. so far, the motor worked through puddles and quite fine.
I, however, would not ride on purpose for joy through rain. I have no idea if it makes a difference if the batter is in the stem away from puddles or if the battery is unsealed in the deck…
e:/ to the topic:
The gotrax elite has 3 months warranty, no? Also, 16 miles range in the best case scenario. I would usually get around 12 miles and that without wind. Close call, if you cannot charge at your destination.