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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The 2014-2015 Volts have a safety feature if the car was left on in Park that alerts the driver (a horn triple honk) when they may have accidentally left the car on, plus the car will automatically shut down after 150 minutes. A recall adds this safety feature to 2011-2013 Volts. It reprograms the K9 BCM to retroactively add the auto-off and horn honk alert that now comes standard on newer Volts.

Some find one or both safety feature annoying or inconvenient in some circumstances.


Index and Quick Answers*
2011-2013 Owners
  1. What are the recall specifics? GM Recall #: N140617, UNINTENTIONAL ENGINE RUNNING
  2. Why did GM install this “car left on” horn honks and auto-shutoff? Safety/liability concerns after a few drivers left their cars turned on
  3. Am I required to have this upgrade installed? No, not even if you are leasing.

    All Owners
  4. How is the warning and auto-shutdown activated? Exiting a parked running car with the key and closing the door.
  5. Can I disable the “car left on” horn honks in the Volt's config menu? No
  6. Can I install a switch to disable “car left on” horn honks? Yes
  7. Are there other workarounds to silence the horn honks? Yes
  8. Can activating any car systems (fans, radio, etc.) prevent the horn triple honk or auto-shutdown of a parked car that is on? No
  9. Can any driver actions prevent the horn triple honk or auto-shutdown of a parked car that is on? Yes, depress and hold the gear shift lever.
  10. Why not just turn off the car to prevent the triple horn honk? There are a variety of common circumstances where people leave the car running
  11. Any way to turn off the 150 minute auto-shutdown for camping, running an inverter for house power during electrical outages, etc? Yes, there are 7 options


*Detailed Answers (below)

  1. What are the recall specifics?

    GM Recall #: N140617
    NHTSA Recall #: 15V145
    Date Issued: Dec 12, 2014
    Recall Title: UNINTENTIONAL ENGINE RUNNING

    Recall Description:
    General Motors has decided that a defect which relates to motor vehicle safety exists in all 2011-2013 Volt vehicles. If a driver exits his/her vehicle and inadvertently leaves the vehicle “on” (because the driver fails to react to the cues and warning chimes emitted by the vehicle to alert the driver that the vehicle has not been turned off), after a period of time, the vehicle’s battery will drain and the vehicle’s gas engine will begin to run.

    Safety Risk Description:
    If the gas engine runs for long periods of time within an enclosed space, such as a garage, carbon monoxide could build up in the enclosed space and potentially cause injury.

    Repair Description:
    The vehicle’s software will be updated to limit the time that an idle vehicle can be left in the ON position free of charge.


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  2. Why did GM install this “car left on” horn honks and auto-shutoff? Safety/liability concerns after a few drivers left their cars turned on in the garage rather than turning them off. Eventually, the ICE turned on, leading to carbon monoxide concerns. So GM issued a recall to install a software update that alerts you with three horn honks if you leave the car running and shuts the car off after 150 minutes.


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  3. Am I required to have this upgrade installed? No, you can refuse. But you'll need to specifically make this known to the dealer each time you take the car in for service. Otherwise they WILL install it as a matter of policy. Also, if GM builds this into some larger update, all bets are off.

    For those leasing, check your contract but members report whether a recall was performed or not is not part of the return criteria. http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread....42#post2532442


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  4. How is the warning and auto-shutdown activated? If the Volt is 1) parked and 2) on, and you 3) open the driver's door, and 4) take the key with you, and 5) close the door the horn will honk three times and 150 minutes later the car will automatically shut down. All five must occur. For example, leaving the key in the car, or not closing the door will prevent the horn honk and auto-shutdown timer.


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  5. Can I disable the “car left on” horn honks in the Volt's config menu? No.


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  6. Can I install a switch to disable the horn honks? Yes, the “Somms Horn-No-More” work-around may interest you depending on your electrical skills. One of our members (Somms) drilled a hole in his lower left dash and installed a latching push-button switch that he wired into the circuitry of the car. This temporarily disables the triple-honk. By pressing and engaging this push-button, it effectively OPENS the momentary ground horn signal path sent from the K9 Body Control Module X15 pin19 going back to the KR3 Horn Relay located in the X53 Fuse Block - Rear Body.

    Less than $20 in materials (push-button switch+wiring) and about an hour of time. See http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread....uto-Off-recall

    also http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread....02#post2029802


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  7. Are there other workarounds to silence the horn honks? Yes, leaving the key in the car, or not closing the door will prevent the horn honk.
    your keys in hand, open you driver door window, get out, close the door, reach in to break the plane of the window with the key fob, pull you hand back out, auto close the window and then you can lock the doors while keeping you car running, when you walk away it won't beep. But if you go to the trunk, open it, close it, then wal away, it will beep even after you did the previous theatrics.
    To lock the car while it is left running and avoid the three horn honks, canehdian shared this method:
    1. roll down your driver's side window
    2. get out leaving your key on the seat
      llninja Alternative. take the key with you
    3. close the door
    4. reach in the open window, grab the key and hit the express up window button. Careful! That window comes up fast and you need to get your arm out fast. I'm sure this method is not OSHA approved for safety. You have been warned.
      llninja Alternative: break the plane of the window with the key in hand, pull you hand back out, auto close the window

    Note: If you open the trunk, close it, then walk away, the car will triple-beep even after you did the above.

    See his YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E66_...ature=youtu.be


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  8. Can activating any car systems (fans, radio, etc.) prevent the horn triple honk or auto-shutdown of a parked car that is on?
    -Keeping the radio or fan running? No
    -Plugging in and charging?No.


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  9. Can any driver actions prevent the horn triple honk or auto-shutdown of a parked car that is on?
    -Continually pressing the brake pedal? Yes, for a max of 3.5 or so hours.
    -Continually pressing the gear shift lever? Yes
    -Sitting in the driver's or passenger's seat? No
    -Continually pressing the accelerator? No


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  10. Why not just turn off the car to prevent the triple horn honk? There are a variety of common circumstances where people leave the car running such as getting out at the airport drop-off or pick-up area, in their driveway when getting out to get mail or a newspaper, unloading groceries, leaving a passenger in the car with radio & climate control running, brushing snow off the car while it runs, etc. Passengers or not, some like to leave the car on with the A/C or heat while they get out and grab something.


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  11. Any way to turn off the 150 minute auto-shutdown for camping, running an inverter for house power during electrical outages, etc? Yes, there are 7 options of varying ease, cost, effectiveness and safety:

    Option 1. The Saltsman Death Grip. Clamping the shift lever button closed (as if you were going to shift out of park) defeats the time-out and will keep the car powered up. ~$6
    Step-by-step instructions:
    1. Turn the Volt Off.
    2. Plug in the EVSE (the charger) and wait for the acknowledgement honk and solid green charge light.
    3. Press the brake petal and push the Power button to power up the car like normal. A message will display alerting you that the charge cable is connected and the Volt will prohibit you from shifting out of park.
    4. The lights may auto-on if dark. If so, simply switch them off on the stalk like normal.
    5. Clamp the shift lever button closed (as if you were going to shift out of park).
    Enjoy unlimited A/C/Heat/Radio/12v Accessory power while your Volt continues to charge. Perfect for camping, mobile office, using with an inverter. See http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread....Can-it-be-done

    Option 2. The Loboc Rubber Band Man. Same as above, but using a rubber band! <$1 Enjoy The Spinners version here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKbADFJOCkU

    Option 3. The InSommsNiac Button. A push-button solution. Similar to the Somms Horn-no-More, but for the auto-off timer. About $10 http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread....73#post2391073

    Option 4. The Swiffer Power Upper. Keeping the brake pedal depressed with a Swiffer duster works for about 3.5+ hours or so but will not work indefinitely. Plus, the safety of keeping the brake pressure booster activated for hours on end may be a concern. http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread....62#post1914962 also http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread....10#post2291610

    Option 5. The Jedi Rock'N Roll (not recommended). Put Volt in 'N' to prevent the auto-shutoff. Of course, Neutral allows the car to roll, so at a minimum you'd want wheel chocks preventing the car from rolling forward or backward. I can also see someone forgetting the chocks are in-place and putting the car in D or R... http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread....70#post2532170

    Option 6. The Brake Lobotomy (not recommended). You could remove either the F21 40A and/or F30 60A fuses under the hood to prevent powering the K17 Electronic Brake Control Module. Free. Again, not recommended, as not having power to the brake control module is unwise and expose you to liability in a lawsuit.

    Option 7. The Horn Lobotomy (not recommended). You could remove either the F11 horn fuse. Free. Again, not recommended, as not having a horn can be very dangerous and expose you to liability in a lawsuit.


Related Links
http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread....ning-quot-horn
http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread....oftware-update
http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread....Can-it-be-done
http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread....-Into-the-Volt!
http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread....uto-Off-recall
http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread....011-2013-Volts
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E66_...ature=youtu.be
 

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If you are leasing - you have to get all the recalls done, even this one.
 

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"Some find one or both safety feature annoying or inconvenient in some circumstances."

It baffles me why this is such a bone of contention. Thanks for making the effort to put all this together, Steverino. I think that should put it to bed.
 

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Or.. Just ignore it as this is the normal operation of the vehicle. Of course, living far enough away from neighbors helps.
 

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I didn't see this listed as a work-around for camping purposes (I may have just missed it):

Turn on e-brake and put Volt in 'N'. Voila, auto-shutoff prevented. I tested this with my 2012 Volt that had the recall update performed, and I was able to leave my Volt on all night.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I didn't see this listed as a work-around for camping purposes (I may have just missed it):

Turn on e-brake and put Volt in 'N'. Voila, auto-shutoff prevented. I tested this with my 2012 Volt that had the recall update performed, and I was able to leave my Volt on all night.
Now there are 7. I added "The BroRoll". :)
 

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If you are leasing - you have to get all the recalls done, even this one.
I'm leasing and had no problem declining this one at the dealer. I was in at 2 years/22K miles for my first oil change, and they also did the hatch strut recall and the fuel evap recall.

I think you're saying that since I'm leasing that I'm responsible to have all open recalls performed before I return the car?
 

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If you are leasing - you have to get all the recalls done, even this one.
Nope, my 2012 never went back for anything. No recalls or maintenance, all I did was drive it for 3 years. When you turn in a lease, they do zero checks on whether its up to date on anything. They check the mileage, look for dents and tire wear, that's it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

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Am I required to have this upgrade installed? No, not even if you are leasing.

I just called a dealer the other day. I told the service writer I would like to do the struts and emissions [canister], but not this recall. He told me that they would have to do it, since it was safety related. I told him that I would not be bringing it in for any of them then. The thing that really angers me, is that I tried to make a appointment with them when only the strut replacement was out. They never got back to me on this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
He told me that they would have to do it, since it was safety related.
It's one person at one car dealer. My dealer service experience was the opposite. No trouble whatsoever. Tell them you'll sign a waiver refusing the recall so they can cover their ass and GM's.
 

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Or perhaps find a dealer that is not volt certified?
The struts for sure can be done by any dealer. And the emissions possibly. Even then, the emissions doesn't seem to be life or death.
 

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Am I required to have this upgrade installed?

This section seems to be missing that this is an NHTSA recall, which is mandatory according to a certain ASE certified mechanic on this board. Some dealers may insist on doing the recalled update and refuse to work on your car otherwise.

Its a NHTSA recall.


The dealers that aren't doing it are in violation of Federal law. Its not like the FBI is going to raid the place.... But if a injury happens in a car with a active recall, an investigation and audit would happen.

If I was the service manager, I would insist on all open recalls done. If the customer didn't like it, I would thank them for coming by, document what happened, and send them on their way.

Even MORE SO in light of the ignition switch situation..... How stupid can these dealers be?
Maybe there should be a section 3a: Is the dealer required to perform this update? Yes, by law.
 

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The 2014-2015 Volts have a safety feature if the car was left on in Park that alerts the driver (a horn triple honk) when they may have accidentally left the car on, plus the car will automatically shut down after 150 minutes. A recall adds this safety feature to 2011-2013 Volts. It reprograms the K9 BCM to retroactively add the auto-off and horn honk alert that now comes standard on newer Volts.

Some find one or both safety feature annoying or inconvenient in some circumstances.
Excellent write-up, Steverino. This Cadillac ELR also has this "feature" and was one of the principal complaints I had that eventually led GM to take my car back. Why Cadillac and Chevrolet can't come up with a better alert system is beyond me. The Rav4 EV emits a long external tone when it's left on, but the driver has about 15 seconds to manually lock the door from the outside before it sounds. The Ford Fusion Energi has a double-honk, but one can leave the keyfob in the car and manually lock the door with the B-pillar keypad to avoid this. Not sure what other manufacturers do, but considering how many different horn alerts the Volt and ELR use, you'd think GM would want to utilize a completely different sound so that a driver is completely aware of why the car is complaining. Even the system voice stating loudly, "Alert - your vehicle is ON" if the driver opens his door while the car is running would suffice without scaring/waking up everyone within 400 feet of your car!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
you'd think GM would want to utilize a completely different sound so that a driver is completely aware of why the car is complaining. Even the system voice stating loudly, "Alert - your vehicle in ON" if the driver opens his door while the car is running would suffice without scaring/waking up everyone within 400 feet of your car!
Thanks, Blast. Maybe a farting noise instead of the triple honk? You'd still get looks though, lol.
 

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I have a very usable addendum to answer #7. Instead of leaving the keys in the car, I open the window, exit with keys in hand, close the door, reach in and back out with the hand with the keys, autoclose the window, then hit the door lock button on the key fob or the door handle. Works quite well, though if the keys were originally in your pocket, there's some fumbling to get them out (excuse me while I whip this out...)
 

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"Some find one or both safety feature annoying or inconvenient in some circumstances."

It baffles me why this is such a bone of contention. Thanks for making the effort to put all this together, Steverino. I think that should put it to bed.
I had all the recalls done recently. I've already run into the triple honk twice in really annoying circumstances.

1) Leaving for work VERY early in the morning, before most people are up. I pull out of garage, see my son left his sidewalk chalk outside. I stop, get out to move the chalk in the garage before leaving, and now my car is honking in the middle of the culdesac. Further irritation comes later when my wife tries to contact me to find out why I was honking at her.

2) Tried to remote start car with keyfob at work to get it ready for return home carpool but it didn't appear to be working. So I just got in and started it, got back out, locked it up briefly to wait inside for my passenger. Had to explain that I wasn't honking at him to hurry up.

A far better solution, in my opinion, would be to have the car only remain on if it can do so without starting the engine. As soon as the engine needs to start, then it can shut down. All without annoying honking.
 
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