GM Volt Forum banner
1 - 20 of 52 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought the car new 7.5 years ago and have ~120k miles on the car. Was getting ~40 miles per charge recently using A/C and gentle driving. Was on a trip a few hours from home when the reduced propulsion warning popped up. I stopped for gas because it was almost empty. The car would not start, lights would come on but there was zero battery and the engine would not start. Had the car towed to the nearest dealer and got a ride home. The dealer called the next business day to tell me the car needed a new battery. The dealer was working the GM to see if they would cover some/all of the batter cost. After a few days the answer came back, NO COVERAGE! The cost to replace the batter is almost $12k. No way am I putting that much money into a car worth less than $5k.

Definitely be the last GM product I buy. $40k disposable car!!!

The car has been towed to a junk yard and sold for salvage.

I've warned the two people I work with that own gen2 Volts.
 

·
Premium Member
2012 Volt Premium (Cyber Gray Metallic) - Stock
Joined
·
289 Posts
I feel your pain. I bought my 2012 for around $9,500 and then had to replace the entire HV battery pack within the first 6 months of ownership. The cost of HV battery pack replacement at the dealer was the price I paid for the car. I have seen some members go to Greentec Auto for a lower cost replacement (around $6,500 installed), but don't know about the quality of those packs or if they last as long as the OEM. I know that Greentec does offer a 18 month warranty whereas the dealer I went to gave a 3/100k.

Sorry to hear about your troubles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
406 Posts
So, apparently it was mostly trouble free for the first 7.5 years? And because a dealer says you need a new battery you instantly junk the car? I think maybe looking more into the problem and at the very least, get a second opinion. I know the dealers are the "experts", but I would have looked at just the 12V battery first. Also, I believe if the main battery is too low, it will not start the gas engine, there is no "starter" for the 12V to start the engine.
I have a 2011 with over 145,000 miles, still running strong, and a 2018 I've had for two years with ZERO problems. You can't say ALL Volts are junk, disposable car based on YOUR experience.
PS: We bought a 2006 Tahoe (GM product) back in 2005, to this day, my son is driving that vehicle, still runs great.
 

·
Premium Member
2012 Volt Premium (Cyber Gray Metallic) - Stock
Joined
·
289 Posts
The thing is GM is at least giving us an option to replace the HV battery pack, albeit at a large cost. Try finding a battery for a 2010 MacBook Pro from Apple and you'll have to either find one from an aftermarket vendor or go to one of those Fix-a-gadget places.

I am a firm believer that no matter the cost, a known well maintained vehicle that needs a major repair (engine, transmission, differential, or HV battery) is still a better choice than finding a used vehicle at the same price. For example, transmission on your minivan goes out at 180k miles - rest of the van is in great shape. Would I spend the $4-5k to replace that transmission vs. find a used van for the same price? Absolutely!
 

·
Registered
2017 Volt Premier 80k+ Miles
Joined
·
756 Posts
Battery failures are not a GM issue, this is simply the state of battery engineering & manufacturing as it exists today. Older Tesla's are having the same issue. This is also the reason I don't plan on keeping mine past year 7 or 8.

I agree with Clublife.Peoria in general on fixing a car that you've always owned, verses buying a used one with unknown history & issues. The issue with the Volt battery is (1) you can't buy a newly manufactured one, and the (2) the replacement cost. If this wasn't the case, then it would make sense to replace the battery and keep it running for another 7-8 years. Even with all the driving I do, only about 30% is on the engine and those are 90%+ highway miles. That engine would still have a lot of life left even at 200,000 vehicle miles.
 
  • Like
Reactions: twoheeldrive

·
Registered
Joined
·
125 Posts
I bought the car new 7.5 years ago and have ~120k miles on the car. Was getting ~40 miles per charge recently using A/C and gentle driving. Was on a trip a few hours from home when the reduced propulsion warning popped up. I stopped for gas because it was almost empty. The car would not start, lights would come on but there was zero battery and the engine would not start. Had the car towed to the nearest dealer and got a ride home. The dealer called the next business day to tell me the car needed a new battery. The dealer was working the GM to see if they would cover some/all of the batter cost. After a few days the answer came back, NO COVERAGE! The cost to replace the batter is almost $12k. No way am I putting that much money into a car worth less than $5k.

Definitely be the last GM product I buy. $40k disposable car!!!

The car has been towed to a junk yard and sold for salvage.

I've warned the two people I work with that own gen2 Volts.
That would be the case with almost every electric made, if the battery fails out of warranty. Throw it out and buy a new one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
171 Posts
Until battery swaps get cheaper, electric cars essentially do become disposable once the cost to repair exceeds their repaired value. The same is true for gas cars but for gas cars there exists a huge infrastructure of repair facilities and parts that makes repairing them much less expensive. When I purchased my 2017 Volt, I realized that once the VOLTEC warranty expires, any significant battery/electric drive expense likely means junking the car. I'm hopeful that I can keep it working for many years after the VOLTEC warranty expires but I'm not counting on it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
589 Posts
It appears the Volt community is in dire need of an accessible, affordable solution to the issue of HV battery change out. Are there any success stories short of the $10,000 solution? Is there a $5,000 solution anywhere out there?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
236 Posts
120k miles out of a car is pretty good. I consider everything beyond 100k miles to be gravy. Vehicles with that many miles are on verge of suffering from numerous failures. I don't let them get to 100k. Better to sell them at 80k or earlier. Volts are just cars, no better, no worse than any other.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
I'm hoping to get my Gen2 to 150k. After that, it won't owe us a dime. I do wonder about the traction battery, however. Here's to hoping that secondhand Polestar 2s are within reach in a couple years ....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,464 Posts
It appears the Volt community is in dire need of an accessible, affordable solution to the issue of HV battery change out. Are there any success stories short of the $10,000 solution? Is there a $5,000 solution anywhere out there?
GreenTech offers a less expensive rebuilt option at $6K with a 18-Month Warranty: Chevy Volt Remanufactured Battery Pack & Modules Assembly | Greentec Auto
It's not perfect, but is an option. What goes bad is not the pack as a whole, but an individual cell - or perhaps two. What we need most is an inexpensive cell-level replacement option. There are some who are making progress on this option but we're not there yet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,478 Posts
And addressing this in a reasonable way is the exact point of GM switching to the Ultrium platform. You're still replacing modules, but it's a standardized module used across the whole of GM, and then the modules can go back somewhere to get the individual cells replaced as needed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,944 Posts
The average ICE car goes 200,000 miles. Sparkie went 488,000+ miles and is still going. The problem with conventional battery packs is when an individual cell goes (there are many of them), the whole pack goes. Ultium battery addresses that. Others will follow suit as that becomes the established order of doing things. The early adopters don't have that option. Redesigning a battery for a legacy model is a niche problem. The Volt will be rarity on the roads as people opt for cheaper better solutions that will come out as opposed to keeping them on the road. Once you modify a car it no longer retains much of its collector status it might have had. Will be for static display only.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BenjaminD

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Sorry for your loss and we feel your need to vent. What you experienced is not unique to the Volt. Wrecking yards receive many 8-year-old-120k-mi cars in decent condition, but they've depreciated to where a failed engine, transmission or sometimes a difficult-to-find/fix computer random failing, makes them uneconomical to repair.

Slightly OT, but the first BMW i3s were $50,000 cars when new and some are being sent to the boneyard because of air conditioner failures after the warranty expired.

Only slightly off-topic, but the largest wrecking yard in our area receives a transporter load of new GM cars which failed some final assembly test. It's more cost-effective to build one more new car than to rip apart the failures to find the one bent pin in a wiring harness buried in the bowels of the wiring harness.

Bottom line, the Volt was a less-than-average-car to buy new and saying,
The cost to replace the battery is almost $12k. No way am I putting that much money into a car worth less than $5k. . . . . Definitely be the last GM product I buy. $40k disposable car!!!
ignores that any new car ceases to be a "$40k" product the minute the paperwork is signed. After eight years, it's worth less than $5k to anyone.

The one area in which GM and other hybrid manufacturers can be faulted is given today's unproven/unreliable batteries, a hybrid should be able to be continued to operate as an ICE should the traction battery fail.

jack vines
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,478 Posts
Until battery swaps get cheaper, electric cars essentially do become disposable once the cost to repair exceeds their repaired value. The same is true for gas cars but for gas cars there exists a huge infrastructure of repair facilities and parts that makes repairing them much less expensive. When I purchased my 2017 Volt, I realized that once the VOLTEC warranty expires, any significant battery/electric drive expense likely means junking the car. I'm hopeful that I can keep it working for many years after the VOLTEC warranty expires but I'm not counting on it.
All cars are disposable once the cost of repairs is more than about 80% of their resale value.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BenjaminD

·
Registered
Joined
·
229 Posts
Another factor that has to be considered is the location. A car from the rust/salt belt up north or from a ocean beach area will deteriorate faster from the rust than it will mechanically. I got rid of two excellent Volvos with about 95K mileage because they began to rust through. Great cars mechanically with a reputation of running forever, but victims of the environment, and at 12-13 years old, not worth the cost and nuisance of fighting the decay.

Fortunately my 2013 is a low mileage car and shows no signs of impending rust damage. The car is flawless, still showing 10.5kw usage at ICE startup, so it appears to still be healthy. But it is an out-of-warranty orphan and seems to be poorly supported by GM and dealers. Many components are unique to the car and unavailable from third-party aftermarket sources. Used Volt prices seem to vary all over the map, but I doubt that it is worth a lot as a trade. I like the car, and I see no sense in taking a financial beating by trading now - my best option seems to be to just drive the car, and when and if there is a catastrophic failure I'll see what options are available. In the meantime I will enjoy driving the car and not worry a lot over the "what if" factor.
 

·
Registered
16,17 volt
Joined
·
1,136 Posts
most batteries that i have seen is one cell that goes bad
all it would take is someone with a used battery to brake it down and sell you the one cell for a couple 100 bucks
1000 or so to change it and away you go
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
most batteries that i have seen is one cell that goes bad
all it would take is someone with a used battery to brake it down and sell you the one cell for a couple 100 bucks; 1000 or so to change it and away you go
That the above isn't happening anywhere in the known Volt universe suggests it isn't quite that simple and/or it isn't economically feasible.

jack vines
 
1 - 20 of 52 Posts
Top