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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
DSCN1237_zoom_for_upload.jpg Volt_door_seam.jpg One of the things I've liked about my Volt is that the exterior shows very good panel fits and gap alignments. There's a very slight mismatch on the driver side between the front and rear door height, mainly visible on the chrome strip under the side windows, but it's not so noticeable that I have any issue with it. There's "close enough" by my standards, not to be confused with "that is seriously messed up".

So I was at my dealership today and they had a new Volt in the showroom. I was very surprised to see that the fit between the front fenders and front doors, on both sides of the car, was a case of "that is seriously messed up." Basically, from the lower beltline up, the door sheet metal curved inward at a steeper angle than the front fender did, so imagine looking dead on up the side of the car from the rear and there is a gap from the front fender sticking out below the mirror. The 2 panels do not lie flush with one another like they're supposed to. It was worse on the driver's side, where you may have even been able to see inside the front fender well looking forward, if you had a light through the seam! Looking at that car, I couldn't even see how it could have aligned right given the 2 differing panels, like the door skin and front fender came from some early pre-production build.

So it's not my car and why do I care, right? Well, this was bad enough that it reminded me of some GM cars from the 70's and 80's, where like on the old Firebirds and Camaros you'd frequently see similar misalignments between the front fender and door. I'm sure like a lot of you, I'd prefer to feel proud of the total quality of the Volt and believe GM is making one great Volt after another, building a top-notch reputation, and I really thought GM had gotten their body panel act together. If this showroom car had been one I'd ordered, I would have seriously hesitated to take delivery of it, and I'm almost stunned that it was allowed to leave the factory looking like that. Now I'm wondering, was a supplier or later production change made that screwed up the door alignment? Any of you out there (especially with recently built cars) see the same thing on your Volts? I'm really not trying to stir the pot here, and you know I'm a Volt fan and love my car. But this concerns me.
 

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Wow, that concerns me. I've been talking to dealers to order the first GM car in my life. This sounds bad enough to make me worry. Can you reject a car based on a flaw like this?
 

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Yes you can reject a car if it is not up to your standards. Just make sure that its in the contract that you sign with your downpayment.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Wow, that concerns me. I've been talking to dealers to order the first GM car in my life. This sounds bad enough to make me worry. Can you reject a car based on a flaw like this?
I'm sorry if I'm making anyone worry with a car on order, but I at least hope that people who care about such things take a look at that area of the body before they sign the papers, because in all the excitement it might be easy to miss something and then the next day you go, WTF? (That kind of happened to me years ago with a 1988 Corvette I bought new, and the first time I washed it I realized the paint was badly etched with water spots from sitting out for months on the dealer's lot. 1 bad repaint, several other problems and 2 years later, I was able to get GMAC to terminate my lease early.) I'm REALLY hoping that this particular new Volt I saw today is an extreme outlyer, and that everyone here reports back and says there's no problem like that with their cars.
 

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Did you question the dealership about it? if so, what did they say?
 

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My passenger side has a very slight out to in fit between the front quarter and the door. Not enough to rustle feathers over. The door is a flatter piece overall and the quarter is more rounded overall. I already have a few freeway sand nicks on the front area of the hood.
For those in Southern California. I took my Volt over the Conejo grade last night. Entered on battery power and switched to CS half way up. The Volt easily crested the grade at 67 mph. I love my Volt the way it is.

 

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Discussion Starter #8
Did you question the dealership about it? if so, what did they say?
I mentioned it to the salesperson and he hadn't noticed it until then. He seemed a little perplexed by it himself. But I didn't get the impression they were going to look into it any further. The car is V. Joule color by the way.
 

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I wish you took a quick photo to show us.
 

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I had a Japanese vehicle in the 70's that fell apart in 4 years ...literally.. the fenders rusted out so bad in 4 years the would flap in the wind... the tranny had problems after just 40K miles.... the seat broke while driving 50mph and I almost wrecked... the engine had a bad carb no dealer could fix. It would rev to 4K at a stop light for no reason. The brakes would stick and drag.
It was rated by CU with all red dots ...
.... but it had good "body fit".

From your comments it sounds like you are looking for anything to complain about... have you ever built anything in your life?

Sounds like there isn't a thing wrong with this car so you say " body fit" like you know anything about how to fit a body.

There are over 5000 parts in the car and they are all working properly but you have to make up negative comments.

Anyone can look at any car and make up negative comments like "poor body fit".... yes I rated this thread as "poor"
 

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Discussion Starter #12
1) No camera on me other than my cell phone; 2) My cell phone camera sucks; 3) I'm friendly with the dealer and want to remain that way; 4) I wasn't sure if I was even going to mention it to you guys, but after thinking about it later I felt it was relevant to the Volt community. But yeah, I wish I had a photo, too.
 

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Well, I'm glad you mentioned it. We're picking ours up next Sat. and I'll definitely check out panel/door alignment.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I had a Japanese vehicle in the 70's that fell apart in 4 years ...literally.. the fenders rusted out so bad in 4 years the would flap in the wind... the tranny had problems after just 40K miles.... the seat broke while driving 50mph and I almost wrecked... the engine had a bad carb no dealer could fix. It would rev to 4K at a stop light for no reason. The brakes would stick and drag.
It was rated by CU with all red dots ...
.... but it had good "body fit".

From your comments it sounds like you are looking for anything to complain about... have you ever built anything in your life?

Sounds like there isn't a thing wrong with this car so you say " body fit" like you know anything about how to fit a body.

There are over 5000 parts in the car and they are all working properly but you have to make up negative comments.

Anyone can look at any car and make up negative comments like "poor body fit".... yes I rated this thread as "poor"
You're new here, aren't you?

Panel fit is something GM knew they were lagging on, and after Bob Lutz became the product chief, he would brag about panel fit on several new GM cars; I personally remember that being the case with the first Buick LaCrosse and the Cadillac CTS. GM wants to conquest German and Japanese import buyers with the Volt, and their job is going to be tougher if the first walk up to the car looks like they can't fit the sheetmetal together properly.

If you'd paid the slightest bit of attention to my post, you might have noticed that I'm very happy with the panel fit on my Volt, and I love the car and tell everyone who asks about it that I love the car. I'm not looking to make negative comments at all, in fact my concern here is that something slipped in the chain and now negative comments will come from elsewhere, LIKE THE PRESS for example. My comments are not "made up", I was simply relating my experience about something that concerned me about the Volt's future.

I really don't care how you rated this thread, nor am I concerned with your old POS Japanese car. Do you work on an assembly line? The right reaction, if you worked at the Volt plant for example, would be to bring this to the attention of the plant manager and the Volt brand quality manager, because there is a problem to be fixed. No amount of argument is going to make the ****ty panel fits on that one Viridian Joule Volt go away.
 

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I agree Voly11. I have never bought a GM (or Ford, or Chrysler) car in my life. The Volt would be my first domestic vehicle. Among the reasons I never bought a US brand: they fought against seat belts, they fought against air bags, they fought against fuel economy, poor reliability and, yes, their fit and finish. I see the Volt as a dramatic step away from all that. But if backsliding has already begun (poor panel alignment), I will reconsider my Volt buying plan.
 

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Can we hear from real Volt owners? Do you have misaligned body panel on your Volt.
The rear door on Vin 483 is close to metal on metal contact at the top rear edge of the door. Does not look bad but I will watch it to see if there is any closing of the gap that would cause the paint to chip on contact. I have considered loosening the door hinges and retightening them to increase the gap. Or I will wait until the first trip to the dealer and mention it to them as long as nothing changes before then.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I agree Voly11. I have never bought a GM (or Ford, or Chrysler) car in my life. The Volt would be my first domestic vehicle. Among the reasons I never bought a US brand: they fought against seat belts, they fought against air bags, they fought against fuel economy, poor reliability and, yes, their fit and finish. I see the Volt as a dramatic step away from all that. But if backsliding has already begun (poor panel alignment), I will reconsider my Volt buying plan.
I hope the Volt you ordered, when delivered, meets and exceeds all your expectations, Steverino. Let me reiterate that my Volt is the best car I ever owned so far, and I've owned a large number of domestic and imported cars, although mostly domestic. I really believe that the engineering on this car is exceptional, and even if it has a few glitches that have popped up so far, those pale in comparison to how much was done right with the Volt. This is why I've also expressed my fear in other posts about new CEO Akerson's push to make the Volt significantly cheaper (by $7,500 in the next few years), because my impression of the Volt has been that it was designed and engineered first and foremost to be great, not to be cheap.

As to what domestic brands may or may not have fought against, I think like any industry they resisted the government meddling with their business, and preferred the marketplace and simple competition to drive their process. GM was actually the earliest car maker to offer air bags as a regular production option on their high end sedans, beginning in 1974, and very few consumers stepped up to pay for them. Now of course consumers have gotten used to them, the technology has improved greatly and gotten much cheaper, and many now look at safety as a purchase criteria. Like the Volt has eight standard air bags, although to my knowledge only 2 are still required by law (rules for more airbags kick in 2013).

Now I'm not claiming the auto executives have always acted in either the public's or their own long term best interest-- far from it. But I also think every story is complicated, and simplifications like "GM killed the electric car", or "Toyota is environmentally friendly" are usually very debatable once all the facts are dug out and evaluated rationally.
 

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Our Volt (when it is delivered) will be the first domestic car I have purchased in my life. GM is getting the business this time
because they produced a car with industry leading technology. As an American, I am proud of this and I hope they don't screw it up.
They will get one shot with those of us who have experienced the high quality and high reliability of the Japanese car makers. If
there is poor quality, they will likely lose these leading edge buyers for the rest of their lives. People spending $40K for a car EXPECT near perfect
build quality.

70's Japanese cars WERE cheap P.O.S es . My first car was a 71 Corolla hand me down. It shook like hell when it went much over 50 and broke down alot. But by the mid 80's the Japanese cars were head and shoulders above the American cars in build quality and reliability....so much so that despite my bad experience with the Toyota, the first new car I bought was a Mazda 626....and every car I have bought since then has been Japanese.

I am very excited about the Volt and the fact that it is designed and built in the USA. I Just hope everyone at the factory takes pride in their work and spends the time to deliver a quality product. Ford has managed to make dramatic improvements....My mother's Fusion Hybrid was built to very high quality. I'd love to see GM do it too.

It's got to be a team effort by the engineers, the management, the line workers , and the dealers. I hope GM reads the forum like a hawk and immediately corrects any problems in the whole process. Social media provides unprecedented speed of feedback from the field , both positive and negative. I hope they are wise enough to use it.
 

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#135 Gets an A on Seams

I am amazed by the tight seams around all of the undulating curves and sharp edges of this car. I have looked my #135 over carefully and the only seam that is slightly off is where the hatch meets the body under the corner of the left roof line. At that point it overlaps to the right about 1 mm:
[/url]
hatch.L.1mm by bbookser, on Flickr[/IMG]

Interestingly on the exact same place on the right side of the hatch there is no compensating overlap.

Here are a couple of shots of the great seam work on other curvy parts of my Volt:
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L.rear.fender.seam by bbookser, on Flickr[/IMG]
[/url]
Lrear.win.seam by bbookser, on Flickr[/IMG]

Pretty darn good assembly on my unit. I give those Michigan lineworkers an A.
 
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