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Ok I did a dumb thing today on the freeway, I am used to switching to ICE when I get up on the freeway and switching back to Electric when getting off. So I am getting up onto the freeway in "Sport" mode and so used to switching to ICE that I don't look down at the mode button. (Bad mistake) I don't know why but this time my hand was too low and instead of pressing the Drive mode button four times in succession to switch to ICE, I inadvertently press the Power button four times. By the way the ICE actually came on at that point. The front LCD screen goes nuts and the air conditioning goes off and heat at the highest temperature starts pouring out of the vents. The car starts to lurch forward, like my foot is on the gas peddle slammed to the floor. I put my foot on the brake but when I lift it off the car rushes forward again. Again, my foot IS NOT on the gas peddle! The ICE was revving at it highest point but I finally was able to get the car to the side of the road by slamming my foot on the brake and keep it there till I came to a stop. Then while keeping my foot on the brake, press the Start button again several times until the car finally resets and officially turns off.

I was really lucky that the freeway was light at this time and there was no other car close to me or I definitely would have smashed into it. My car is a MY2013. If the car is moving, you should just get a message saying that you can not do this while the car is moving or at least in an emergency, have the car actually turn off.
 

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That's different.

Normally what we've read is people hitting the power button twice (or more) quickly and having the car shut down on them, like it is programmed to do (double hit on the power within 5 seconds is an emergency stop.)

I haven't read about someone having a runaway acceleration in a Volt before under any circumstance.

You're sure it wasn't just the sudden end of regeneration from L that feels like a lurch forward? (like happens when a wheel slips and it posts the "low traction" message.)
 

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That is serious. Did you try putting your car into neutral? That would hopefully prevent further acceleration, allowing you to either try one more power down/power on cycle or pull off to the side of the road.
 

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Is there any known mode engaged by four presses on the power button? I would have expected the car to shut down as an emergency stop after the first two...
 

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I did this once, I actually thought I was pushing the "Mode" button while just getting on the freeway, but instead was pushing the "Power Button", 4 times, car started beeping at me and I started losing power. Luckily I was able to pull over to the right before I was on the main freeway. I could have caused a huge accident but luckily I was far enough ahead of the next car. I have been more cautious when changing the mode now, don't want to be on the evening news for advertising in a bad way for the Volt. Boy did I feel really dumb. Can you see it, "Volt loses charge, causes major accident on freeway!"

By the way, I tried putting it into "N", you have to be in "P" to start again. So coasting before the freeway and slapping it into neutral did not start my Volt up again. Parked and changed gears properly and it started fine, no issues after that
 

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I agree that the two buttons are dangerously close to each other. GM should address this ASSP, it wouldn't help 2011, 2012, 2013 and I doubt 2014 Volts, but maybe they could come up with a software fix to make it impossible to kill power inadvertently.

I fear and hope no one gets injured or killed by this but the silence from GM is disturbing.

To the OP, posting here is a start, but I'd write a letter to GM and send it certified.
 

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I just think the power button should never be near anything else. It should be off the main dash and under the instrument cluster. Or better yet, put it to the left of the steering wheel. Not only is it accessible to anyone (even a little kid messing around) but it is right next to other buttons that are used frequently. I have feared that I will inadvertently shut the car down by mistake on the freeway. That would create quite an issue, to say the least.
 

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I agree that the two buttons are dangerously close to wash other. GM should address this ASSP, it wouldn't help 2011, 2012, 2013 and I doubt 2014 Volts, but maybe they could come up with a software fix to make it impossible to kill power inadvertently.
The problem is that any fix that makes it impossible to kill inadvertently would make it impossible for a panicked driver who hasn't read the owner's manual recently to kill a misbehaving car, if that becomes necessary.

The Prius and some others only die if you press and hold the power button for several seconds - and the drivers didn't figure that out as we saw graphically and tragically a couple years ago. GM did studies on how panicked drivers react, and the double press shutdown came out of that.

I don't think changing the shutdown makes sense. Changing the shape, character, nature, and/or location of the mode button might be a solution. If they're making changes, I'd also like to decouple Sport from the other three, so that you can be in Sport and Mountain or Hold simultaneously. If I read correctly, I think the Energi twins use L for the sporty throttle as well as the increased braking regeneration...
 

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an easy fix would be to switch over the buttons, the Ampera has them on the other side so it must be an easy switch..

 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
No, I did not. In hindsight, I guess I should have tried that also however at that point the engine was revving at it's highest anyway. Putting it in neutral would have stopped the forward motion, I hope, but that is still no excuse for what happened. Sounds like a software glitch. Sounds like they did not try to press the start button 4 times in a row while the car was already moving during the testing phase. And I was pressing the Start button 4 times, not the Mode button 4 times.
 

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Frankly... I generally avoid blindly stabbing at buttons while driving... Guess what? I never have had any issue with accidentally shutting my car off.

If you are switching modes that often... you need to take the time to LOOK at what you are doing on this car before you start wildly stabbing at buttons.

That being said... There is NEVER a justifiable reason for any car to suddenly accelerate without your control. It is a serious hazard. And I agree that the power button on the Volt is too close to the mode button.

Can it be duplicated? Can we test this sequence of events and reproduce it? If not... It will be nearly impossible to fix the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
That's different.

Normally what we've read is people hitting the power button twice (or more) quickly and having the car shut down on them, like it is programmed to do (double hit on the power within 5 seconds is an emergency stop.)

I haven't read about someone having a runaway acceleration in a Volt before under any circumstance.

You're sure it wasn't just the sudden end of regeneration from L that feels like a lurch forward? (like happens when a wheel slips and it posts the "low traction" message.)
Pressed the start button 4 times not twice, maybe that was the issue that they never thought to test. By pressing the foot on the brake while all this was happening the car slowed down to about 30 miles per hour then as soon as I took my foot off the brake, the car lurched back to about 60 before I put my foot on the break again. This is a serious software bug! As they say, don't try this at home.
 

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If there is a 4 button press on power causing accell, it I could not reproduce on my 2011, so its either model dependent or a glitch or both.

I've had no problem restarting my 2011 in N (though the lights don't come back on properly), and I do it moderately often (I kill the ICE for some of those pesky ERDTT).


I think the solution is not to move the power button, but to move the mode button, because its the common use of mode switching that causes problems. Maybe put it on the steeringwheel or put it much higher on the stack so if one does look its not as far down)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Frankly... I generally avoid blindly stabbing at buttons while driving... Guess what? I never have had any issue with accidentally shutting my car off.

If you are switching modes that often... you need to take the time to LOOK at what you are doing on this car before you start wildly stabbing at buttons.

That being said... There is NEVER a justifiable reason for any car to suddenly accelerate without your control. It is a serious hazard. And I agree that the power button on the Volt is too close to the mode button.

Can it be duplicated? Can we test this sequence of events and reproduce it? If not... It will be nearly impossible to fix the problem.
Not sure it can be duplicated, but I don't even want to try! Learned my lesson. Will always look down before pushing buttons.
 

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A high revving engine should equal more electricity being sent to the battery, not having the car accelerate. The foot pedal controls acceleration.
 

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So, just to be clear, there's no way you were inadvertently pressing the accelerator while panicked, right? I mean, you were breaking with your right foot, etc, thus eliminating the posibility?

I don't want to be insulting, but just checking because most "unintended accelerations" turn out to be someone hitting the gas pedal when they don't mean to or realize it. Just checking.
 

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I just think the power button should never be near anything else. It should be off the main dash and under the instrument cluster. Or better yet, put it to the left of the steering wheel. Not only is it accessible to anyone (even a little kid messing around) but it is right next to other buttons that are used frequently. I have feared that I will inadvertently shut the car down by mistake on the freeway. That would create quite an issue, to say the least.
By mistake, I hit my power button twice while on the interstate, which killed power. Luckily was able to pull over 2 lanes to the shoulder without issue. Lesson learned, and will not happen to me again, but suspect it will for many new owners.

I think that it would be a good idea for GM to place a spring-loaded thumb-lift clear-colored cover over the power button to prevent from blindly pressing it.
 
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