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Discussion Starter #1
Help - My wife is stuck on the freeway right now. She was in a minor accident and the passenger side airbag deployed. The car is driveable but won't start. We just need to move the car 100 yards or so to get it out of the lanes of traffic but the car can't be moved. All of the dash lights are on as in the blue button to "start" the car. After pushing blue start button the car won't go into gear.

It's unbelievable the car can't be moved after being in a minor accident. Is there a way to override?

Thank you
 

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Airbag deployment causes the battery to emergency disconnect. The car will not be driveable. That’s the quick answer.
 

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You may be able to get the shifter into Neutral to allowing pushing/towing if you put the car in service mode. To do that, hold the power button down for 10 seconds WITHOUT HITTING THE BRAKE PEDAL.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Airbag deployment causes the battery to emergency disconnect. The car will not be driveable. That’s the quick answer.
Thanks - Is there no way to override? The dash lights are on as are the four way flashers. Seems crazy that Chey would not have an override just to get the car off the freeway. This is crazy. It's going to take an hour or so before the tow truck arrives. In the mean time cars are swerving to not run into the car.

You sure nothing can be done?
 

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Thanks - Is there no way to override? The dash lights are on as are the four way flashers. Seems crazy that Chey would not have an override just to get the car off the freeway. This is crazy. It's going to take an hour or so before the tow truck arrives. In the mean time cars are swerving to not run into the car.

You sure nothing can be done?
What about OnStar?? Can't they advise ??
 

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Without having access to GDS2 s/w and tool, there is nothing you can do to re-enable the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You may be able to get the shifter into Neutral to allowing pushing/towing if you put the car in service mode. To do that, hold the power button down for 10 seconds WITHOUT HITTING THE BRAKE PEDAL.
Thanks for the suggestion. If the Blue button is pressed (as normal) the shifter can be moved into any gear. But pressing on the accelerator pedal does nothing. There is no message on the car's computer. And the driver's instruments just say air bags deployed.

The car is on a slight incline so it's not going to be possible to push it. She could coast the car backwards to get it to the side of the road but that would be suicide.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
What about OnStar?? Can't they advise ??
OnStar doesn't have a clue. They told me this is something they have not been trained to deal with. There suggestion was to tell her to wait in the vehicle until the tow truck arrives.

As I said this is crazy. I'm really afraid someone's going to hit her car causing a much larger accident or killing someone.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Without having access to GDS2 s/w and tool, there is nothing you can do to re-enable the car.
So do the drive motor batteries disconnect leaving the some other battery connected for the 4 way flashers and driver instruments?

What I don't understand is why the Blue "start" light comes on? Seems to me if the car can't be "started"/moved the Blue light should not come on AND there should be a message on the computer.
 

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Thanks for the suggestion. If the Blue button is pressed (as normal) the shifter can be moved into any gear. But pressing on the accelerator pedal does nothing. There is no message on the car's computer. And the driver's instruments just say air bags deployed.

The car is on a slight incline so it's not going to be possible to push it. She could coast the car backwards to get it to the side of the road but that would be suicide.
Then unfortunately you’re stuck until the tow truck arrives. For safety reasons the car cannot be driven until it’s repaired and the dealer resets the latched codes.
 

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So do the drive motor batteries disconnect leaving the some other battery connected for the 4 way flashers and driver instruments?

What I don't understand is why the Blue "start" light comes on? Seems to me if the car can't be "started"/moved the Blue light should not come on AND there should be a message on the computer.
The 12V battery is still active (but will die after a few hours). That’s what powers the lights and dash. The high voltage battery is in an emergency-disconnect state and cannot be re-enabled by the driver after an airbag deployment.
 

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Thanks - Is there no way to override? The dash lights are on as are the four way flashers. Seems crazy that Chey would not have an override just to get the car off the freeway. This is crazy. It's going to take an hour or so before the tow truck arrives. In the mean time cars are swerving to not run into the car.

You sure nothing can be done?
So do the drive motor batteries disconnect leaving the some other battery connected for the 4 way flashers and driver instruments?

What I don't understand is why the Blue "start" light comes on? Seems to me if the car can't be "started"/moved the Blue light should not come on AND there should be a message on the computer.
Federal law requires that the high-voltage battery on any vehicle that has one be disconnected immediately after an accident to prevent a fire or explosion. It would be illegal to have an override that a consumer could activate. The 12V battery powers the blue light on the power button, the dashboard, and all other lights on the vehicle, hence why those are all on still. I would assume the emergency services were called immediately after the accident (as they should be if the airbags deployed), so they will be able to safely remove the car from the road.
 

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What would happen if you partly open the hood? If the gas engine starts then you might be able to drive the Volt to the shoulder. Just a thought.
 

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So do the drive motor batteries disconnect leaving the some other battery connected for the 4 way flashers and driver instruments?

What I don't understand is why the Blue "start" light comes on? Seems to me if the car can't be "started"/moved the Blue light should not come on AND there should be a message on the computer.
High Voltage System become s/w disabled and you need the GDS2 + tool to re-enable the HV system. Once you have the tool, re-enabling is easy - I have it documented in my previous posts for my Spark EV rebuild. Neither Onstar nor you trying anything will help you. At least Chevy is not as bad as Tesla - in Tesla's case a pyro fuse fires when airbags deploy... Dealer can re-enable the volt, but they want full inspection 1st - a lot of $$.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
You may be able to get the shifter into Neutral to allowing pushing/towing if you put the car in service mode. To do that, hold the power button down for 10 seconds WITHOUT HITTING THE BRAKE PEDAL.
Nope didn't work.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Been waiting over an hour and a half for a tow-truck. Car is still in the middle of the road. It appears after the air bags have been deployed the car's drive train is locked. So hows the tow-truck going to move it? I guess they are going to have to drag in? Makes no sense.
 

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Frontal air bags are generally designed to deploy in "moderate to severe" frontal or near-frontal crashes, which are defined as crashes that are equivalent to hitting a solid, fixed barrier at 8 to 14 mph or higher. (This would be equivalent to striking a parked car of similar size at about 16 to 28 mph or higher.)
In all modern vehicles, an electronic control module (ECM) receives input from various sensors to determine when/if to deploy airbag(s). The ECM also determines how quickly (or with how much force) frontal airbags deploy and it also triggers the seatbelt pretensioners to tighten any slack.

For a traditional car/truck, the ECM also disables the engine, usually by cutting off the fuel pump, if the airbags deploy. For an EV, the traction batteries are disconnected.

At the very least, a driver will be disoriented when an airbag suddenly hits them in the face. It's also very possible that the driver may be seriously injured and/or unconscious after a serious impact. A running engine with an unconscious (or worse) driver would make a very bad situation even worse. By cutting off the fuel pump, it also helps to minimize the risk of a fuel-related fire. By disconnecting the traction battery, shock hazards are minimized in case the high voltage system has been compromised in the crash.

Many ECMs can be "reset" after an airbag deployment which re-enables the fuel pump. If the engine is still operable, it will run after a 'reset'. With an EV, there is also a reset, That is done at the dealer after making sure the HV systems are in good shape.

So, while I can understand the frustration and concern at being stranded in an immovable car, there is a reason why it's immovable, and it applies to all brands of cars and trucks (Ford, GM, Chrysler, Mercedes, Toyota, etc.).

An in-law had a similar experience a few months ago in his truck. Airbags deployed, truck was a paper weight waiting for a flat bed tow to the dealer.
 
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