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Tonight I got back into town after leaving my 2017 Volt at the airport for about 10 days. The car was parked in a covered spot and plugged into an L2 charger the whole time. Temperatures ranged from probably around 15-70 degrees while I was gone.

Ambient temperature was about 20 degrees tonight when I got in. I knew something may be problematic when I couldn't precondition the car via the OnStar app. I just kept getting an error message in the app saying the car couldn't be communicated with even though I was able to view the charge status, etc. in the app.

When I got close to the car in the shuttle bus I tried to use the key fob to start the precondition mode but the car would just flash the turn signals so I knew it wasn't working (usually the actual taillights would turn on).

When I actually got to the car I was able to unlock the doors with the proximity button on the handles.

Got in the car, push the button to start and the car turns on like normal with the dash displays, except no "READY" indicator and the check engine light to the right of the screen is on. I also noticed that the heated seats would not turn on even though the rest of the center console things seemed to be working (radio, climate control, etc.).

I turned the car off and back on several times and this same condition persisted. I called OnStar and they ran diagnostics and said they saw "Problem with electric propulsion system - Service vehicle immediately". OnStar suggested that I turn the car off, get out, and walk a good distance away (taking the key with me) for a few minutes to allow it to reboot. I did this and returned to the car.

When I got back in the car and pushed the power button I got the message "Key not present" which I have had issues with in the past. I placed the key in the special spot in the center console and pushed the power button again. This time the car turned on and I got the "READY" indicator, but the check engine light was still on.

I wanted to see if the engine would start so first I went into the climate control menu and changed the engine assisted heat from Deferred to On. It was only 20 degrees so I figured this would cause the engine to start. Nothing happened.

I then put the car in Hold mode but the engine didn't start then either.

I was concerned at this point that I may be able to drive the car but that the engine wouldn't work and I live just slightly beyond EV range from the airport. I called OnStar again and they reported that they still saw the same Electric Propulsion System message. They offered to transfer me to roadside assistance to see if they would be willing to tow me all the way back to my town rather than the Chevy dealer close to the airport.

The OnStar roadside assistance people were useless. First they kept asking me if I need somebody to come jumpstart the car so they obviously aren't familiar with the Volt. Then they told me that the towing is only for 25 miles maximum so I would have to pay for anything beyond that. I also kept encountering OnStar reps who told me that the "Volt Advisors" leave at 8 PM so after that there is no specialty assistance for Volt owners. I guess we aren't supposed to drive after 8 PM...

After hanging up with OnStar I turned the car off again and turned it back on. This time the engine started immediately and I got the engine running due to temperature message that I expected. The check engine light was still on but I was able to drive home successfully. The car seemed to be performing fine other than the check engine light being on.

Has anybody else had this issue? Is this a random problem or could it have something to do with the car sitting outside at the airport for 10 days? The first OnStar advisor seemed to think it shouldn't be left plugged in for that long but I've never heard of that being an issue.

I guess I need to take it to the dealer now since the check engine light remains on.
I do apologize if this incident caused you any undue stress or inconvenience, VoltFish. This is definitely not a situation we'd like for our customers to experience, and if you'd like, our team is happy to lend you our assistance.

Firstly, I'd like to provide some clarification on your OnStar-specific concerns. Please know that the current generation of OnStar hardware present in your vehicle goes into a sleep mode after 48 hours. In order to use the app Remote Start feature again, a physical ignition cycle must take place. However, this does not excuse the inconvenience or frustration caused to you when you called in, and for this I do apologize.

I'd also like to offer you our assistance while your Volt is at your dealership. If you'd like, we can certainly work alongside them throughout diagnosis/service.

If we can assist you in any way, or help to answer any additional questions/concerns you may have, please feel free to send us a private message.

Amber G.
Chevrolet Customer Care
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