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BECM (battery energy control module) issues and inconvenience — class action?

24945 Views 122 Replies 40 Participants Last post by  phattyduck
I'm not an attorney, but given the repeated stories and similarities in our experiences, I'd like to see what the pulse may be for some sort of class action.

I specifically shopped for a GM Certified car in Nov. 2021 because I believed the warranty would be important. Three months later, the BECM was diagnosed as bad. The warranty covers repairs, but I've been waiting more than a month with no ETA on a part. Some online suppliers seem to have the part in stock, but the dealer says they can't use a part that's purchased elsewhere. The warranty provides courtesy transportation, but the dealer claims there are no loaners. They won't return my calls. I complained to GM, and they said they would look into it, but I haven't heard anything back yet.

The 2018 warranty explicitly states: "A part not being available within 10 days or a repair not being completed within 30 days constitutes a significant inconvenience."

If anyone else who has not received adequate service when their battery energy control module failed would be interested in looking into a class action, please PM me or email me (zimmerdale at yahoo dot com) with your name, phone number and/or email, your state, year of your Volt, and a brief overview of your experience, I'll try to compile a summary for circulation to see whether anything can come of this.
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If "it's hard to get electronic parts for a discontinued model of low-selling car in this economy" is your threshold, it's not just GM.
Recently got parts for 1970 Oldsmobile, 1998 Suburban, 2003 Hyundai Accent. It just seems to be a problem with newer cars.
Recently got parts for 1970 Oldsmobile, 1998 Suburban, 2003 Hyundai Accent. It just seems to be a problem with newer cars.
These have a BECM?
No BECM on tbose. I was just responding to a general statement above. Not all electronic parts are unavailable.
No BECM on tbose. I was just responding to a general statement above. Not all electronic parts are unavailable.
In other words, "I can get tires for my 1970 Olds", has no applicability to the current Volt BECM supply chain issue.
Actually, they were electronic and electrical parts. For all 3 cars. The problem is the fact that manufacturers do not allow after market parts to be sold in the US until a vehicle is approximately 10 years old. I checked this out with parts suppliers. Hence, my comment that electronic part shortages were affecting primarily newer cars. I guess I did not make myself clear.
which of those sold about 25k vehicle per year?
I'm sorry, I had no idea that the Volt was that unpopular. No wonder they stopped making it.
Exactly. It's a niche car, practically an experimental platform, that served to tell GM how people actually used EVs. That knowledge informed choices made in both the Bolt and future Ultium cars. But it's a rare critter and in many years the Corvette outsold it. AND that even has the enduring advantage of sharing an evolutionary engine platform with the Camaro much of the time, which sold 3-4x as well. The Volt is FULL of nearly custom parts used nowhere else.
My 2017 Volt has been in the shop for a month waiting for the back ordered BECM :( The local dealer doesn't have an expected availability time yet either since the part is on a national back order. I'm also kind of sad cause its been a hot summer and my Volt spent 4 weeks in the hot Texas sun outside where it was towed to the dealer. The only mildly positive is that the part is covered under warranty; of course that doesn't include a rental or anything like that.

Coincidentally we had an order for a 2022 Bolt EUV premier for my wife, and they got a Bolt EUV that just had the battery replaced when the previous customer backed out. So this weekend we become owners of a brand new Bolt EUV. For now we're keeping my wife's old Mazda until the Volt comes back from the service shop. We were thinking the Volt would be the ideal road trip car since the Bolt super charger network is still pretty sparse here in central Texas.
- Sheldon
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My Volt in California has also been at the dealer for a month waiting for the same part. So you are not alone. All we can do is pray and be thankful we both have additional cars.
dealing with this right now. Today was the first day I got propulsion power reduced messages. Last week, it wouldn't start at all. We are waiting on the BECM part, but have our Volt which is presumably okay to drive despite the weirdness. Maybe I'll call again and ask for a loaner.
If I remember right, people have managed to get GM to agree to pay for a rental by calling GM directly.
For those of you 2017 Volt owners waiting months for a BECM, after nearly three months I finally had one shipped to a Chevy dealership who installed it on August 31. I don't know what finally broke the logjam, but FYI I filed complaints with the Better Business Administration, National Transportation Safety Administration, Massachusetts Attorney General's office, three letters to GM corporate addresses, and an email address for Mary Barra (GM CEO).
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My 2018 Volt Premiere has been at the dealership since the beginning of June. Coming up on 4 months. Still waiting for the BECM.
My 2018 Volt Premiere has been at the dealership since the beginning of June. Coming up on 4 months. Still waiting for the BECM.
jimbar99, I would recommend writing and filing letters of complaints. Sometimes the squeaky wheel gets the grease.
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I can't speak to everyone's BECM failures, but both of our events were as described: car stops driving immediately, unexpectedly, and does not move after that. Side note: if this happens to you, you can hold down the start button for 7 or so seconds to reset things, after which the car may be able to limp home in ICE/reduced propulsion mode. I cannot remember if you also needed to have your foot off the brake to do this reset. Pulling the 12V probably has the same effect, but resets your CEL codes which impedes dealer diagnosis.
When I was having this problem I was stuck and literally waiting for a tow truck and somehow got the ICE started, and drove home. I don't know how I got the ICE to start, and was frustrated that there wasn't an emergency ICE start button somewhere. Are you suggesting that this is the "emergency ICE start" procedure? Hold the start for seven seconds. I think my foot was not on the brake.

I am familiar with turning on the car's systems by holding the start button without pressing the brake. But I have never accidentally started the ICE before, so it never occurred to me that this was a viable back-up plan.
Big agree. I think Voltec was probably the most brilliant drivetrain ever developed for a production car, but getting the sense that GM probably isn't interested in supporting the existing fleet.. well, that brilliant complexity is just a liability when not supported. Not to be dramatic, but I'm in the process of getting quotes to trade in/sell the Volt. I can't find myself with a niche vehicle with unavailable parts that I can't fix myself. Finally got mine back yesterday, so that was 77 days, and I'm super glad to have it back. The good news is there are apparently BECMs trickling out for the other folks here waiting.

It's lovely to have the car back. They're great cars. Just don't trust GM to keep mine rolling for the length of time I'd hope to own it.
That is a bummer. I really believed a used Volt was the best option for people like me who want an EV, but cannot afford higher priced vehicles. I have been a loyal Honda and Toyota owner and felt like I was taking a risk on a GM vehicle. Reading these forum threads I'm getting the impression I should sell my Volt as soon as it gets repaired. And I'm not sure if I would trust GM again in the future.
I am on month 5 and would take a buyback at this point. I really don't know what to do. I also have a 2017 premier.
May I ask what your mileage was when it had this problem? My 2017 Volt LT had about 61,500 miles.
My 2018 Volt LT with less than 50K miles had the same BECM failure. It was towed to the dealer on 8/31. Still waiting for the parts and no estimate on when it will come. Luckily they gave me a loaner without question.
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