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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
As most of you are aware, the Volt contains more lines of programming code than the Boeing 767 Dreamliner. An experienced IT professional, I am always interested in obtaining extended support for proprietary hardware and software systems. As a rule, having that support inevitably saves money for the enterprise.

The Volt includes a 5-year/100,000 mile drive train warranty, and a 8-year/100,000 mile battery warranty. The warranty which covers your Volt's computer hardware and software systems, as well as electronic sensors, is 3-year/36,000 miles.

By extending the 3-year/36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, you continue to receive complete electronics hardware and software support for your Volt. I extended the bumper-to-bumper by 2-years/64,000 miles to 5-years/100,000 miles for $1,794.00. This pricing compares very favorably with IT industry software and hardware support standard pricing. For example, a one-year subscription to Microsoft's Visual Studio 2010 with MSDN is $800.00. Those of you familiar with HP hardware support pricing structures will recognize GM's extended warranty as bargain basement pricing.

I encourage those of you who are purchasing the Volt to give due consideration to extending your bumper-to-bumper warranty. You will save money with just one service call. In addition, the extended warranty also strongly incents GM to upgrade your software as Volt v1.5 and v2.0 arrive.

James
 

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After procrastinating over the past week, checking this out is definitely on my to do list today. I've heard prices go up September 1 each year as it signifies a new model year.

I received a mailing from GMAC for the GM-sponsored GM Protection Plan - They are offering 5 years / 100,000 mile Major Guard with $100 deductible for $1,700; they offer 0% financing, with $170 down and $85 a month for 18 months.

I am told this is a major revenue opportunity for dealers with variable (i.e., high) markups depending on dealer, so it probably pays to shop around. Smaller companies may go bankrupt and you could possibly take a haircut on your extended warranty. I have an extended warranty on my 2008 Yukon XL Denali, and the GM bankruptcy did not affect that; it is alive and the dealer replaced a $500 backup camera at no cost to me.

Gordon, who I met at the Volt Homecoming sent me information on the dealer (in Savannah Georgia) that he bought his GM Major Guard from - his was $1,545 for an 84 month / 84,000 mile extended warranty. Since I do more miles than that, but am currently under 12,000 miles, I need to give them a call and price it out for other time / mileage options, such as the 60 month / 100k miles.

I originally had questions about what is covered under the plan and was going to call - is it the same bumper to bumper coverage as the warranty? They list a bunch of generic components (including distributor module - are there any cars left these days with a distributor?), but it is not Volt-specific. But it does look comprehensive - basically excludes wear out items. I'm glad I got the information from Gordon to check out - thank you Gordon!
 

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I'd recommend really looking around a bit. I got 6yr/100,000 mile GM plan for $1,349.00, from my dealer. I've got a $100 deductible but I'd have to use it 3-4 times to make up the difference from some of the other posted prices here.
 

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If I need a software update between years 3 and 5, I can't imagine it costing $1700 to have done. All the new Volt-like components have at least a 5 year warranty on them (and the battery and Voltec components have 8 years), so I don't see as much value in it IMO. I'll still look into it a bit, however.
 

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I typically don't buy extended warranties, but rather choose to self-insure. This is my way of gambling, rather than playing the lottery (which has a negative expected value, much less than the money I would throw into it - that's how the state makes their money). However, things like air conditioning (the A/C also keeps the battery cool for long life when required), suspension parts including wheel bearings (expensive with ABS speed sensors), CV joints, etc. can be very expensive. Plus the Volt has a number of heat exchangers, and I'm not sure if these are considered "powertrain". I wouldn't want to try to fix any of this myself (and I'm an ASE-certified master mechanic, certified in all 8 vehicles areas plus advanced engine diagnostics.)

Yes, the coverage on the battery and powertrain is very good, and the 36 month / 36k bumper to bumper warranty provides a lot of assurance. It depends what your risk tolerance is. I bought an extended warranty for my GMC Yukon XL, and at 63,000 miles, have only used it once, for a $500 backup camera (no deductible on this policy).

So is it worth it? I'm not sure myself if it is or not. But if not, you can ask yourself daily over the next 5 years, "Am I feeling lucky today?"

So compared to playing the lottery, where an individual has perhaps a one in ten thousand chance of coming out ahead in the long run, the odds of getting back more than you paid for the warranty are much better - the sellers of the warranty still have to make money, but as PatsVolt says, if the Volt is so rock solid that you don't need the warranty, that's a win too.
 

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There are lots of other vulnerable systems, such the air conditioning system which is complicated in this car since it also cools the battery. It in its self will cost more than the premium cost to repair. The transmission is another device that if it needs repair will cost lots of money. I have the 6/100,000 plan with 0 deductable at a cost of 1800 dollars. Only time will tell if this was a good bet or not.

I will only lose the bet if the car stays rock solid for the next 6 years and or 100,000 miles. It is the kind of bet I don't mind losing.
 

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>> the Volt contains more lines of programming code than the Boeing 767 Dreamliner.

I'm also in IT and I think this would be a poor way to add value to the Volt. An airliner has many more systems than an automobile and the Volt really should not have a lines-of-code count as a unit of measure to indicate much. Lines of code of what? C++, Java? (I hope it's not Java!), C, other? Given that most code would be algorithms designed around process measurement and control along with the more elaborate code for things like GPS, DVD playback, and other visual aspects of the console and dash - I have a hard time believing the "lines of code" number is anything but marketing. Did they count lines of comments? Blank Lines? Who counted and why publish it?

What I get from the statement is "either the airliner needs more code to be safer - or the Volt is over-engineered". over-engineering is good, at times, but sometimes adds to more bugs ongoing. It's a trust thing - more complex things are harder to trust. More lines of code implies more cost, as well, so those who equate engineering "quantity" to product complexity and cost can use this number against us. Elegant code is not bulky. There may not ever be a fully-qualified definition of what this lines-of-code comment is all about other than to imply "more code is better to make the Volt technically superior". I'm not sure if this is a number that should have been published, however, and if proven not to be true, then it's just some kind of marketing hype. Politicians and marketeers do use innumeracy to sway public opinion from time to time.

I'm not bashing the Volt in any way - I'm bashing a general use of a number to imply something else. 97% of all statistics are wrong 80% of the time. Maybe.
 

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Another thing I don't need to worry about paying for if I lease.
 

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I just was recommended to buy the 5 year 100,000 $100 deductible (I have 8,000 miles on my Volt now with just 5 months of use) and the price would be $1,075 - I believe this is from the dealership in Savanah, GA.
BTW, at $1,000 I can justify this in my mind as insurance from bad things happening even if no claims are made. At $1,700 I swallow pretty hard.
NOTE: if I DO buy it (I'm leaning in this direction) then it does NOT add 5 years to my 3 year warranty. The 5 years starts clicking at the time that I take out the warranty. So it means that I go from a 3 year 36,000 mile warranty to a 5 year and 5 month warranty of 100,000 miles whichever comes first.

Since I plan on keeping this car for 10 years it still leaves me a bit short, but then I don't expect to have a lot of problems.
 

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I will only lose the bet if the car stays rock solid for the next 6 years and or 100,000 miles. It is the kind of bet I don't mind losing.
No, you also lose the bet if the repair would have been covered under any of the standard warranties. You also lose if the repair isn't under warranty, but is also < $1800.

I would not get the extended warranty. These things are designed to make money, they are betting the payouts in repairs are less than the premiums collected, and they have much more & better data to assess this, making it a bad bet for you. You are supposed to insure against catastrophic risk - totaling the entire car, getting sued for 100k because you hit somebody. Stuff you can't risk happening. Not stuff that would greatly annoy you but wouldn't cripple you financially, like a $2500 car repair bill, stuff you can self-insure. If you don't get the warranty, and lose the bet for a $2500 repair job, you are out an extra $700. But if you win, and no repairs are needed, or repair was covered under the regular warranty, you are up $1800. Or if the repair is < $1800 you still win something. These outcomes are way more likely than hitting a > $1800 repair item covered in the extended warranty period, NOT covered by the longer drivetrain/Voltec warranties.

I've never gotten extended warranties on electronic gadgets. I've had many of them fail, probably more than my fair share, but they all failed either within the standard warranty, or well after any extended warranty would have expired. Extended warranties are designed to suck out your money, they are covering periods where things are unlikely to fail, AFTER periods where manufacturing defects likely would have exposed themselves under the std warranty, but BEFORE age makes failure likely. Not having bought a lot of cars, I don't have adequate sample size, but I'm sure the principle is the same. My major repairs have all come late in my car's lifespans, well over 6 years.
 

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No, you also lose the bet if the repair would have been covered under any of the standard warranties. You also lose if the repair isn't under warranty, but is also < $1800.

I would not get the extended warranty. These things are designed to make money, they are betting the payouts in repairs are less than the premiums collected, and they have much more & better data to assess this, making it a bad bet for you. You are supposed to insure against catastrophic risk - totaling the entire car, getting sued for 100k because you hit somebody. Stuff you can't risk happening. Not stuff that would greatly annoy you but wouldn't cripple you financially, like a $2500 car repair bill, stuff you can self-insure. If you don't get the warranty, and lose the bet for a $2500 repair job, you are out an extra $700. But if you win, and no repairs are needed, or repair was covered under the regular warranty, you are up $1800. Or if the repair is < $1800 you still win something. These outcomes are way more likely than hitting a > $1800 repair item covered in the extended warranty period, NOT covered by the longer drivetrain/Voltec warranties.

I've never gotten extended warranties on electronic gadgets. I've had many of them fail, probably more than my fair share, but they all failed either within the standard warranty, or well after any extended warranty would have expired. Extended warranties are designed to suck out your money, they are covering periods where things are unlikely to fail, AFTER periods where manufacturing defects likely would have exposed themselves under the std warranty, but BEFORE age makes failure likely. Not having bought a lot of cars, I don't have adequate sample size, but I'm sure the principle is the same. My major repairs have all come late in my car's lifespans, well over 6 years.
Extended warranties are a profit center just like everything else in this country. It's hedging your bet against loss, insurance. Some insurance's are required by law, others not and if not and you don't want it, don't buy it. Personally I just paid $100 for a $1,700 A/C repair on a 2007 Saturn and $100 on a $400 brake repair on the same car just a year prior, because of an extended warranty, so I'm way ahead.

Electronics don't even fall into this category. Next year's TV is 75% (or less) in price than this years TV. Electronics are disposable. I can't even remember the last time I had an auto repair outside of warranty that was less than $100 and most of the time way more than that.

And while GM has gone to great and extensive testing during prototype of this automobile, it's still 1st generation on a new platform. I'm happy I bought the extended warranty because you can bet your a$$ that the first thing that breaks outside of warranty, is going to be EXPENSIVE.

It's not for everyone and obviously not you but many of us feel differently and have a great satisfaction with the decision made.
 

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I just bit and bought the GMPP 4 year / 100k mile / $0 deductible warranty. In my situation, I already have 10,483 miles since April 5, and I do a lot of driving - it makes sense to put the miles on the Volt instead of the Yukon XL when I can.

I first checked with GMAC, referencing the mailing they sent me, and they recommended the plan described above. The original mailing had a $100 deductible - I don't expect much to go wrong; I guess I could have hedged my bets more with a deductible, but the 4 year was more to my needs than the 5 year, so I basically got the $0 deductible "free" considering I would exhaust the mileage before the time. The $100 deductible could sometimes be the determinant if something gets fixed or not. I want everything to work as designed. Oh, and the 4 years / 100k miles starts from today and the mileage on the car today, so it expires 8/25/14 at 110,483 miles.

After checking with GMAC, I called the Chevy dealer in Savannah Georgia that Gordon recommended at the Volt homecoming. Their price of $1,330 was $375 (22%) less than the price through GMAC. This is a high markup item (buyer beware if this is not for you). This dealer does a lot of GMPP sales to people out of state, and they make up for the lower markup in higher volume. Gordo had done his homework. Thanks! In his case, he opted for a longer, lower mileage plan, which fits his particular needs.

Yes, if I was leasing, I would not have to worry about this, but the mileage overage would have killed me!
 

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The Savannah dealer is where we bought ours as well. Good prices here. We did $1,350 for 6 years 100k with $100 deductible.
 

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Wouldn't need to worry about paying for an extended warranty if your bought the car either and you sold it before 3 years. It's nice that you can sell when you want to sell instead of being some lease company's biatch for 3 years and then not being able to buy your car at the end because of the $7500 loss.

Another thing I don't need to worry about paying for if I lease.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
@bonaire: I cited the "lines of code" marketing subtext to remind folks that there are proprietary computer applications onboard the Volt, and I agree with your other comments regarding elegance vs bloat.

The extension of the warranty for the sensors and computer hardware is a smart move. In my case (a fully loaded Volt operating in Michigan's ferocious winters) it may be somewhat smarter than for someone living in a more temperate climate, but remains smart in the majority of cases. As always, no one size fits all, and what is good for a car geek flush with cash may not be ideal for your mom.

James
 

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I leased also but did the 45k miles. I will go over the 36k miles easily. I extended to 36mo/45kmiles (which now is 40/mo50kmiles) for a modest $485. US Banks does state that all repairs are the leasee's responsibility. I can just see a LCD screen going out.

Another thing I don't need to worry about paying for if I lease.
 

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I guess I am their biatch, but I didn't lease to buy at the end, which is a dumb idea in any lease.
I didn't qualify for the full $7500 Tax credit. And I saved over $1200 in sales tax by leasing.

Wouldn't need to worry about paying for an extended warranty if your bought the car either and you sold it before 3 years. It's nice that you can sell when you want to sell instead of being some lease company's biatch for 3 years and then not being able to buy your car at the end because of the $7500 loss.
 

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Please feel free to contact me in regards to GM's MajorGuard Protection Plan. I definitely have an inside connection for pricing. I do know I will be purchasing one for the "almost mine" Volt!
 
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