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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

I never thought my first post here would be like this. In a nutshell: brand new 2017 Volt died within 12 hours, dealer offered to swap it with an identical car. New car has a few more options and also has an extra $1500 in rebates according to shopclickdrive.com.

Should we ask for the additional $1500 off before doing the swap? Will the dealer pocket it if we don't? Does it even apply in this situation since it didn't apply to the original vehicle we bought?

Any help or insight is much appreciated. Here's some more detail for those who want to read it:

This past Saturday we bought a 2017 Volt Premier for what we felt was a pretty good price - about $5500 off MSRP, including $1000 factory rebate for "Volt Select Market Incremental Consumer Cash Program." We drove it home Saturday evening and plugged in to charge overnight.

Sunday morning the car wouldn't go. Without getting too much into details, it said "Shift to Park" every time we put it in gear, and refused to move. It also said there were 0 EV miles with a full battery. Monday it went on a tow truck back to the dealer, where the service department said it was throwing unknown error codes. They would have to get GM involved.

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The dealer offered to swap it for an identical vehicle, which we agreed to. They got one from another dealer and told us it has a couple extra options. We will meet them this coming Monday evening to do the paperwork on the new vehicle.

I did some sleuthing and believe I've found the VIN of the new vehicle (VIN just showed up on our dealer's website, but still exists on another dealer's site; options match what they told us).

  • The new one has everything the original Volt had plus cargo mat, cargo net, and illuminated charge port. So MSRP is technically $395 more.
  • The new VIN is about 5,000 lower than the original (139xxx instead of 144xxx) so it's also slightly older.
  • As mentioned above, clicking through the dealer website to shopclickdrive.com shows an additional $1500 "Chevrolet Select Model Bonus Cash Program" rebate, for a total of $2500 in factory rebates.
My concerns going in:

  • We're not going to pay any extra for the additional options
  • Hopefully the age difference in the new Volt isn't large; sounds like it could be less than a month, in which case I'm not sure that I care. I just don't want to swap for one that's been sitting around several months longer.
  • We feel like there should be some concession for the fact that our new car died so soon after purchase, and we're without a Volt that we paid for, for the first week.
  • I have absolutely no idea if the extra $1500 rebate should still apply to the new Volt in this case. I'm sure the dealer will say no, especially if that means they get to pocket the cash from GM. If anyone knows how this works, and whether it should apply to us in this situation, that would incredibly helpful.
After the hassle and letdown, my wife is about ready to walk away completely if they don't give us the additional rebate. I'm pretty sure they'll fight that, not sure how much I want to fight for it.

Any thoughts are appreciated. Happy Thanksgiving. :)
 

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The dealer is doing you a huge favor, probably as since it was the next day, the DMV paperwork was not filed yet, so they can unwind the deal.

They have no obligation to do this, they could simply say, deal with GM and your then into an unknown battle of time and money.

Its your call on how far to push this, but know if you say we are "walking", they could reciprocate with the issue are now yours, which they really are.
 

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Sunday morning the car wouldn't go. Without getting too much into details, it said "Shift to Park" every time we put it in gear, and refused to move.

Considering that a common cause is a misaligned battery terminal under the front hood, I am wondering why you don't simply have them fix that and keep the car.

see http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?255850-17-Volt-could-have-killed-me-today.-quot-Shift-to-Park-quot-and-locked-steering-40MPH!&p=3591842#post3591842
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys, for the responses.

The dealer is doing you a huge favor, probably as since it was the next day, the DMV paperwork was not filed yet, so they can unwind the deal.

They have no obligation to do this, they could simply say, deal with GM and your then into an unknown battle of time and money.

Its your call on how far to push this, but know if you say we are "walking", they could reciprocate with the issue are now yours, which they really are.
You're absolutely right - they didn't have to offer this at all. The only difference between this and the same situation later in ownership is that here, it did occur so soon after bringing the car home. If it had happened any later, we'd simply be dealing with whatever repair process was necessary under warranty. I get that.

The "walk away" comment came from my wife in frustration over the whole ordeal. You just don't expect a new car to go bad less than 24 hours after taking it home. She started thinking that the old car is still pretty decent, so screw this whole thing. :rolleyes: I realize that, in all likelihood, that's not a real option. I'm still excited about finally getting a working Volt. :)

The main question was whether this other factory cash back is usable on the new car when we swap. If so, it seems that if we just take the same deal as before, the dealer is gladly pocketing that as extra profit for themselves. But I don't know exactly how these things work, or if maybe there was some consideration of it in the swap they did with the other dealer.

I guess worst case, we ask them about it and hope they're honest, regardless of what the answer is.

Considering that a common cause is a misaligned battery terminal under the front hood, I am wondering why you don't simply have them fix that and keep the car.
Thanks for the reminder on this - I remember seeing that post in my research. I even meant to check it before we made the deal, but completely forgot. And when the car refused to work the next day, I didn't think about it then, either.

The service department acted like the problem was much bigger than this - certainly if this were it, and they'd properly diagnosed it, we'd have been very happy to take the car back with a simple fix. But they said they needed to get GM involved because it was giving error codes they didn't recognize. The dealer offered the swap because they didn't think it was easily fixable. I would hope their service department is competent enough to recognize something simple like the battery terminal vs. something much bigger!

I might try to mention it to them when we see them on Monday. Don't think it'll make a difference in our situation, anyway.
 

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I'd say you are very lucky it happened so early and the dealer is offering the swap. If it was me, I'd be grateful for these things and take the swap, don't push for the extra rebate too hard at all. The replacement car's VIN indicates that it is probably an August or September build date, so only a few months old, all good there.
 

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That looks like what mine did when it broke down over the weekend...

Full battery (mine was empty, I'm sure of it), 0 EV miles, Check Engine light on, no "READY" light, "Shift to Park" if I tried to move the shifter.

Only difference is mine didn't show anything for the Cruise Control, but I don't have Adaptive on mine.
 

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Sounds like they are "Unwinding" the deal as another poster said. That shows they care about YOU as a customer. I would not worry about a difference in build date. You could ask them to absorb the extra cost options. If they say no, ask for half. After that I would not push it. They are doing you a "solid" IMO.
 

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Tough call, if it's as simple as a mis-aligned battery cable I think I would want them to fix it and we move on. Why because if it's that's simple why take a chance on another vehicle.

I'd ask them how long it would take to investigate that first. I would think that's worth an hour or two to determine if it's that simple or that you got lucky and dodged a bullet and take the replacement vehicle.

But it seems your dealer is going above and beyond what I would have expected. Good luck.
 

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The 1500 is VIN specific. It's a bonus tag assigned by VIN. They can't be applied to other vehicles.
I'd say do the swap.
 

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Sorry about your Volt. No doubt a big disappointment!

I think if I were in your shoes, I'd first push them to investigate the error codes with GM, check out the battery terminal scenario, and ask that they provide a Volt loaner for you while they do so. Just make sure they give you a concise timeline on this, and hold them to it.

If it becomes clear that the issue is something big, then I'd go for the swap. In which case I would bring up the rebate and make sure that they know that I know that car is eligible for it. I wouldn't be bitter if they couldn't honor it considering the unique circumstances, but I would want them to give me a clear, logical explanation if it couldn't be done.

And I agree, you should pay no extra for the add-ons. Good luck!
 

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Sorry about your Volt. No doubt a big disappointment!

I think if I were in your shoes, I'd first push them to investigate the error codes with GM, check out the battery terminal scenario, and ask that they provide a Volt loaner for you while they do so. Just make sure they give you a concise timeline on this, and hold them to it.

If it becomes clear that the issue is something big, then I'd go for the swap.
The battery terminal check is about 30 seconds with your eyeballs, assuming the service tech knows about this issue. Depending on the dealer and the tech, that's not a bet I would want to make. We have seen time and again that the info on this board is an educational eye-opener for some Chevy dealers depending on the issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Thanks everyone for the feedback. Your comments helped my wife (and me) feel better about what has been a frustrating situation, understanding that the dealer really went out of their way to do something nice that they hardly ever do.

We picked up the new Volt last night. Some highlights of the situation:

  • The additional $1500 rebate was indeed available on the new vehicle. But see also below.

  • The VIN I had guessed earlier last week was indeed the one we got. So, slightly older, but not a big deal. I forgot to look at the door sticker to see exactly how much older, but it's not an issue.

  • We paid exactly the same price as the original Volt, so got $395 (MSRP) worth of additional options for free. No hassle, they didn't even try to charge us for them.

  • Since Costco added the Volt to their promotion in the 9 days since the original purchase, we were able to get in on that deal, too. The dealer was proactive and offered it to us without us asking. It didn't change the price, but we'll get the Costco cash card for even more savings. We were not Executive members this year, so my wife went over there to upgrade our membership while waiting for final paperwork. Not sure if Costco will give us the bigger cash card, but it was worth a shot.

  • Unfortunately, the new Volt was transferred from a dealer 100 miles away and was driven up yesterday afternoon. They didn't even attempt to plug it in while we were waiting, which was disappointing, but whatever. Got to experience the smooth ride on gas power while driving home, very pleased with that aspect. Still, our dealer had a week to get this figured out and ready, so it would have been nice if they'd been on the ball and gotten it in earlier and fully charged for us.

  • I'm ashamed to admit that in the original deal, they pulled a fast one on me and got me to buy an extended service plan. What I missed at the time was that they discounted the service plan by $1500 (so it seemed like a good deal at that point) by assigning an unused $1500 GM factory rebate to cover the service plan discount. So we really did not get a good deal on the service plan, but we did get the extra $1500 rebate on the original Volt. That's why, with the pre-existing $1500 rebate on the new one, we still paid the same price. It was the same rebate they'd already given us, unbeknownst to me. My bad for not being on the ball on that.

  • We fully plan to cancel the service plan for a full refund under California law. We'll either shop around for a better one, or go without (as we've done on every other vehicle we've ever owned). The nice thing is that this is not tied to the $1500 factory rebate, so we'll get the full actual cost of the service plan refunded and keep the $1500.
I checked the battery terminal issue and it looked good according to the other threads about that. So far, no issues with the new one. I really enjoyed all of the features and the overall handling on the drive home last night. Overall very excited as long as nothing else goes wrong (fingers crossed)!
 

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Sounds like the dealer gave you everything one could possibly ask for, some items without your having to ask. What dealer, their efforts should not go undocumented.
 

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Congrats Bankshot, all's well that ends well. I 2nd the request to acknowledge this dealer's fine efforts, let us know which dealer please.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The dealer was Simpson Chevrolet in Garden Grove, CA.

I agree, in the end they were absolutely fantastic in unwinding the original sale and getting the replacement done with no issues. For that alone, I'll probably go ahead and give them the 10 stars they kept harping on for the upcoming survey. (as an aside, I find it completely absurd that 8 or 9 - which is still very good - is considered failing under their system; I want to give honest feedback, not a binary pass/fail)

That said, even without the failure of the first Volt and subsequent swap, this was not the "best" car buying experience I've had. There were a number of minor complaints (reasons why I'd like to reduce "10" survey ratings to "9" or "8"):

  • Both times, the vehicle wasn't charged before we headed home. The first Volt had a partial charge, which was just enough to get home with 3 miles of EV range left. The replacement was completely depleted.

    In the first case, I asked several times during the 3+ hours we were there if they could plug it in while we waited to finalize everything. Never happened. In the case of the replacement Volt, it was depleted because they drove it 100 miles from the other dealership that afternoon. They had a whole week to figure this out and get the car up there early so it would have time to charge.

    As an owner of a BEV for almost 5 years, I expect a good dealer to send me home with a full charge in my new EV - EREV or BEV, it doesn't matter. Failing to do so is like not topping off the gas tank before I leave - far from a deal breaker, but shows a lack of attention to detail and customer experience.

  • Waiting time. There was a lot of waiting both times we were at the dealership. I'll give them a pass on the first time; they didn't know we were going to purchase that day, and there were other deals being processed ahead of us. But when we went to pick up the new car, all we really had was 5 minutes worth of paperwork signing. They knew when we were coming and should have had everything ready to go. We should have been in and out in 15 minutes, tops. Instead, we were there about 2 hours.

  • The first Volt only had one keyfob, and they didn't have a second one ready to take home that night. Also didn't have the required front license plate bracket installed. We were going to have to come back to get those. Both show a lack of attention to detail - really no excuse for not having this ready on every vehicle in stock.

  • In the original negotiations, they did try some funny business with the numbers. After we arrived at a final price, they tried to bump it up $500 - "Oh, that price included the lease conquest rebate, which you aren't eligible for." Um, no. We negotiated the price without that rebate, because we already discussed early on that it wasn't available to us. I had to stand firm on that. Got the usual crying about how we're taking them to the cleaners on the deal - yeah, right!

  • Our salesperson didn't know anything about the replacement Volt until it arrived. He couldn't tell us the VIN, configuration, or anything else. Yet somehow, I was able to figure out all of this myself several days earlier (but it was unconfirmed until we got there). Again, shows that they weren't totally on top of things, and whoever was handling the transfer from the other dealer wasn't communicating with our salesperson.
As I said, every one of the above items is small potatoes in the grand scheme of things. The fact that the replacement got done, and smoothly overall, is absolutely superb and worthy of huge praise.
 
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