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Discussion Starter #1
I have had my 2016 Volt for a little over a year (and about 20k miles on it so far). The car has been pretty much bullet proof (a couple of very minor things taken care of by the dealer). But tonight the car stranded me: I went to a restaurant for dinner. Came out, hit the start button: car came alive as always with the familar little star trekkie 'whoop' noise ... then, tried to shift to reverse .... can't move the shift lever !

First time I have ever needed onstar ... called them: they gave me 3 different 'soft reset' things to try ... none worked. I asked for diagnostics: no codes ! Finally had to get it towed .... for grins, I asked the tow driver to unhook the 12 volt battery for about a minute, and then reconnect to see if that might help as a 'harder' reset. Same problem ... car 'starts' fine -- headlight, all interior stuff, phone and radio work fine. She just would not shift out of park.

Onstar advisor (NOT Volt specialist) said "we've seen more of these calls lately" (it appears the volt specialists don't work nights on the weekend).... anybody else experienced this? It's saturday night and I won't hear from my dealer until Monday at some point ... i will update thread when I know more.
 

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In the old days if you parked on a steep hill and didn't put the parking brake on, you could get the shifter stuck where the car's weight on the parking prawl would cause you to not be able to shift out of park. I don't know if this is possible with the volt. But the thing to check would be to move the car to a flat surface (the tow truck driver already did this for you) and try starting and shifting the car while it's sitting in the flat dealership lot.

Other possibilities, a failure in the shifter mechanism that releases the shifter when you squeeze the button, a bad brake sensor where the car thinks you aren't pressing the brake pedal to allow you to release the shifter out of park, or a myriad of other things.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
In the old days if you parked on a steep hill and didn't put the parking brake on, you could get the shifter stuck where the car's weight on the parking prawl would cause you to not be able to shift out of park. I don't know if this is possible with the volt. But the thing to check would be to move the car to a flat surface (the tow truck driver already did this for you) and try starting and shifting the car while it's sitting in the flat dealership lot.
The car was parked on a flat lot, not any 'preload' from being on an incline. I actually thought of this issue (in the old days, the steering wheel also often 'locked', but not the Volt) and rocked the car back and forth a little bit and tried again -- didn't work.

Other possibilities, a failure in the shifter mechanism that releases the shifter when you squeeze the button, a bad brake sensor where the car thinks you aren't pressing the brake pedal to allow you to release the shifter out of park, or a myriad of other things.
yep, more likely is my guess ...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks erewhon -- my volt was also parked head in against a curb ... but the tow driver was able to undo the mechanical shift linkage under the hood to put the volt into neutral so we could push it back (I was also worried about front wheel damage !). But removing the shift linkage to the cockpit momentarily so we could hook it up to the tow truck worked fine (we hooked it back up again so the dealer will see the issue).
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Might need the transmission replaced although you'd have many more codes thrown.
Transmission has been flawless for 20k miles so far ... I'm guessing (since I got no codes at all) that what failed is the simple mechanical transmission lockout switch ... dealer is going to try to get to it today, so we'll see.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Any update on this?
Hi Steve -- your previous link was right on the money ... they are changing out the shifter -- they think the issue is the lockout mechanism has failed (and the service advisor said they have seen a number of these). They did not have the part in stock and are hoping to have it done tomorrow ... in the meantime I'm riding around in a loaner Yukon SLT ! LOL ....

You know the difference between a Yukon and a Volt? The Yukon uses $10 gas a day ... .the Volt uses $10 gas a MONTH!
 

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Good to know the fix. Thanks for the update.

When my Optima hybrid was in the shop I ended up with a Jeep Cherokee rental. 28mpg wasn't too bad.

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