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

24837 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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desertwinddust,

The Volt uses brand new technology and scale (Less than 12 years), the Volt's real world failures in the field were never in GM's plans, nor to make excess parts available to support such an eventuality. Especially because of the low number of Volts produced. GM is in a bind now and have to get a vendor to make these parts that are prematurely failing under warranty. This is expensive and time consuming, they can't just tell a parts manufacturer "we will be selling a lot of these cars in the future" to get a rock bottom quote. Gm has to weigh a lot of factors eg law suits vs costs, reputation damage on future sales, etc. It's easy to sit in a chair and criticize, but stand before the board of directors and tell them "I need 10 million dollars to fix this situation", guaranteeing that "this will be the end Chevy's liability" takes a lot of guts for anybody, doubt it's going to happen. It's not like they are buying tires for $2.00 a pop with a million piece order that fits many models, years etc.
I consider the Volt a flirtation with technology before it's time, accepting its flaws and benefits. The market, technology, demand, market saturation, profitability and other factors are mostly unpredictable for every car company, they all will have a lot to do just to stay in existence IMO

Stephen


Recently got parts for 1970 Oldsmobile, 1998 Suburban, 2003 Hyundai Accent. It just seems to be a problem with newer cars.
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I consider the Volt a flirtation with technology before it's time, accepting its flaws and benefits. The market, technology, demand, market saturation, profitability and other factors are mostly unpredictable for every car company, they all will have a lot to do just to stay in existence IMO
Yup. It was a fun experiment and made sense at the time but people thinking about the past weren't interested in it and people thinking about the future knew it was just a bridge not a roadway forward.
I wish more people would report the BECM issue on the NTHSA complaint board - especially if it's causing a clear safety issue like suddenly stopping the car. I recently did a search on the board and found 9 hits for "BECM" or "battery energy" for 2017 Volts, and 0 for any other year (2016-19). But from this forum and Reddit it seems the problem is much more widespread. The government is not going to force a recall unless they have evidence that it's a serious and common safety issue.
I purchased my 2016 in December 2015. It went into the dealership two weeks ago for a replacement BECM.
I purchased my 2016 in December 2015. It went into the dealership two weeks ago for a replacement BECM.
Lovely. I bought mine at around the same time. The voltec warranty will expire in 25,000 miles or about 15 months. I'm guessing the BECM is going to fail right at 8 years and 1 day...

PLEASE report the issue to the TSA. The more reports, the more likely that GM will be forced to issue a recall.
In early July, 2022, my 2017 Volt (107,500 miles) continuously had LOW PROPULSION MODE kick in and the vehicle was unsafe to drive. On July 8, 2022 my Chevy dealer ordered a BATTERY ENERGY CONTROL MODULE 2.210, FP Number 24296900, for my 2017 Volt. Since that date my car has been sitting like a rock in my driveway because we cannot take it on the road. Dealer stated it is covered under the vehicle exhaust warranty which is in effect until 150,000 miles. Still waiting for the part to arrive but the car is absolutely worthless at this time.
In early July, 2022, my 2017 Volt (107,500 miles) continuously had LOW PROPULSION MODE kick in and the vehicle was unsafe to drive. On July 8, 2022 my Chevy dealer ordered a BATTERY ENERGY CONTROL MODULE 2.210, FP Number 24296900, for my 2017 Volt. Since that date my car has been sitting like a rock in my driveway because we cannot take it on the road. Dealer stated it is covered under the vehicle exhaust warranty which is in effect until 150,000 miles. Still waiting for the part to arrive but the car is absolutely worthless at this time.
Just curious what state your car was sold in when it was new? It's a bit unclear whether the Voltec warranty (which covers the battery and BECM) extends to 10 years/150k miles in any state other than California.
Just curious what state your car was sold in when it was new? It's a bit unclear whether the Voltec warranty (which covers the battery and BECM) extends to 10 years/150k miles in any state other than California.
And it had to be sold in Caifornia and stayed in California. Move the car to Kansas and the extended warranty is gone.
Just curious what state your car was sold in when it was new? It's a bit unclear whether the Voltec warranty (which covers the battery and BECM) extends to 10 years/150k miles in any state other than California.
The BECM is covered outside of California. We're in Texas and I'm not sure what part of the warranty covers the BECM. My 2017 Volt will be 6 years old in December, so its past the standard 5 year warranty, but the BECM repair parts and labor will be covered when the replacement BECM finally arrives for my 2017 Volt that has been at the local Chevrolet service shop for ... too long.
The BECM is covered outside of California. We're in Texas and I'm not sure what part of the warranty covers the BECM. My 2017 Volt will be 6 years old in December, so its past the standard 5 year warranty, but the BECM repair parts and labor will be covered when the replacement BECM finally arrives for my 2017 Volt that has been at the local Chevrolet service shop for ... too long.
The standard (bumper to bumper) warranty is 3 years, not 5.

The BECM is covered under the Voltec warranty, which is 8 years/100k miles. The Volt also comes with an emissions controls warranty that is also 8/100 in most states, but 10/150 in California. The BECM may be covered under the emissions controls warranty as well. The question is whether any Volts sold in a CARB state other than California have the 10/150 emissions controls warranty.
Original poster, still without our 2017 Volt Premier over 7 months later. Bought it through the GM Certified website from a GM dealer with 50k miles. Drove it 2,500 miles for 3 months until the BECM failed and was diagnosed immediately on Feb. 18, 2022.

We waited over 2 months for the BECM. The dealer then said they found two other things needing repair: a clip, which was available immediately, and a "cable," which has never showed up. I've never been able to get the dealer or GM to give me a part number for the mysterious cable we're waiting on. At one point months ago, the dealer told my wife the cable was now in quality control. We've not heard an update, and the dealer won't return our calls.

I asked GM for a loaner or a rental at the very beginning. They said no loaners. They said I should get a rental and at the end of everything, when our car was repaired, they would reimburse us at their predetermined rate of $46/day. At that point, the cheapest daily rental in our area was $90/day. They said at the end of everything, they might consider additional reimbursement.

It's been more than 7 months (230 days) since the BECM was diagnosed, so we would now have paid more than $20k for a rental, more than the purchase price of the Volt, if we had gone that route. GM would have reimbursed us half of that.

We bugged and bugged the dealership until after three months, they finally gave us a loaner. We're now on our second loaner, a large inefficient SUV.

At one point GM offered us $2000 off buying a new vehicle as we continue to wait on the Volt. Then they offered 10,000 points worth $100 towards repairs. We really just want our car back or a way out of this awful, neverending mess. It doesn't seem like we have any options.

When GM learned I had talked to a lawyer, they refused to speak to me any further. Having worked in retail and the service sector for many years, I'm amazed at the poor customer service from GM. A little bit would have gone a long way.

There are lawyers working on putting together warranty cases related to the BECM failures. A number of folks have contacted me through this forum. If you think your situation might fit, contact me at [email protected], and I can connect you with the right people.

Has anyone else waited more than 7 months or had similar issues with a mysterious "cable?"
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Once you tell someone you've retained a lawyer for a matter, they generally won't talk to you except through your lawyer. Because the lawyer is your representation, and is who tracks officially who told you what, when and promised which in the process.
Once you tell someone you've retained a lawyer for a matter, they generally won't talk to you except through your lawyer. Because the lawyer is your representation, and is who tracks officially who told you what, when and promised which in the process.
Yes, I understand that. I don't fault them for that. Interestingly, I didn't tell them anything, but their system figured it out.

My "customer service" comment was referencing the months of no information and no willingness to genuinely help us out.
So what I'm getting from this is that I am in for a long wait. I just hit 1 month without my 2018 Volt Premier today. Been at the dealer the whole time.
oof. I came here looking for info on the BECM. My check engine light came on a couple of times (we thought it might be b/c of cold weather so cleared it first time to see) - but other than that it seemed to be running fine. The dealer diagnosed the BECM needing replacement and as you all have said - no ETA on the part. he did say it was 2.5 mos. for another person - so I was hoping it would only be that at the most but now I'm getting worried. I'm also wondering if it's really the BECM because as I said - no other issues - but that's what the dealer said. I have a 2017 premier, bought used about 2 yrs ago and I did have something repaired a while back that was still under warrant - have to get my records as I'm blanking what that was at the moment. But other than that it's been a great car and I love it. Luckily we have alternate transportation and I work from home but still.....
The question is whether any Volts sold in a CARB state other than California have the 10/150 emissions controls warranty.
It would certainly be nice to get a clear and official statement on this.
It would certainly be nice to get a clear and official statement on this.
I bought my Volt in NY (a CARB state) as Volts were not being sold in IL at the time. My Volt did not come with the extra warranty nor the extra emission controls.
I bought our 2018 Volt from the original owner in Calif. and was told the CARB warranty is good in WA. Not so?
The Chevy website is the authoritative source for what warranty could still exist for your vehicle. Warranty Information | Account | Chevrolet Support.

There are things that may make listed-as-in-effect warranties no longer valid, but nothing that isn't on there exists.
I bought our 2018 Volt from the original owner in Calif. and was told the CARB warranty is good in WA. Not so?
What do WA laws say regarding warranty coverage? It’s often very difficult to obtain this information.

All cars sold in the US must meet Federal emission standards. In 1971, California obtained a waiver to set emission standards that are more protective than the federal standards. The states are allowed to adopt either set of rules, and a number of them have chosen to follow the California Air Resources Board (CARB) standards.

CARB emission standards and CARB warranty requirements are separate issues. State laws aren’t required to meet both. Your state laws may say that California emissions standards must be followed without also requiring that California warranty standards must also apply.

For example, here in Oregon, a CARB state, the rules seem to say YES to the 10-year/150K mile extended warranty for the traction battery for PZEV-class vehicles, but NO to the 15-year/150K mile extended warranty coverage for the emissions controls.

Oregon DEQ Rule 340-257-0120, Warranty Requirements, says the manufacturer of my vehicle must provide a warranty that complies with the California requirements, except that the 15-year or 150,000-mile extended warranty for PZEVs is not included as a requirement of this [Oregon] rule... The provisions of this section do not amend the requirements... that indicate the warranty period for a zero emission energy storage device used for traction power will be 10 years or 150,000 miles, whichever occurs first.

Regarding the rules in Washington state, Washington State Department of Licensing seems to say that Washington is a CARB state regarding emissions standards, but not regarding CARB warranty requirements:

"Required emission standards"
"Starting with 2009 models, new and used passenger cars, light duty trucks, and medium duty passenger vehicles must be certified to California emission standards..."
...
"Warranties for Zero Emissions Vehicles"
"Washington doesn't require automakers to offer additional extended warranties for sales of Zero Emissions Vehicles like California. However, the Department of Ecology encourages automakers to offer and honor those extended warranties voluntarily as a service to their customers."

.

As hellsop points out above, the GM warranty page for your Volt should list all warranties applicable to your Volt for which GM, the manufacturer, is responsible, including the New Car Limited Warranties that may or may not have expired by now, plus any extended warranty coverage for which GM is responsible.

Those PZEV-class Volt owners living in other CARB states should research their own state laws to determine if CARB battery or emission controls warranty coverage is also required in their state. If CARB warranty coverage is not found on their Volt Warranty page, it may be because their state law does not require it.
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Hey everyone.

3+ months waiting for a part. I am gathering my info for a lawyer.

contact Matt @ IAE Law

they are partnering with Branstetter, Stranch & Jennings, PLLC | Attorneys With a Passion For Justice

Chevy is sending me 50% of what my car payment would be. But its not enough to cover a rental car. :(
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