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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My son has a 2012 Volt with 111K miles. I have always been a little concerned about battery replacement cost, but early on when I was doing the research the cost was only around $3500. I have seen the coast tick up, but thought it was "only" ~$9000 now. I was shocked today when I took it in for some problems I was having for them to tell me my only options for fixing it was to replace the battery for $23,000!!! Battery costs have been doing nothing but drop for the past decade - how do they justify this. I mostly feel guilty because I convinced my son to get this car.
 

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The dealer isn't really interested in fixing your car. It wants to sell you another one. In addition, GM stopped making Volt batteries, so factory batteries are difficult to obtain. Getting a refurbished battery from Greentech is really the only option for battery replacement.
In addition, the battery usually doesn't just fail all at once. Typically, one or two of the battery cells is lower than the rest and once they get below a minimum voltage, the computer "bricks" the car. The solution to this is to have the dealer reset the codes and then immediately charge the battery to get the offending cells above the minimum voltage. Then never let the battery get low again. Keep it as fully charged as possible and only drive it around in mountain mode. That might keep the car going for a bit longer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The dealer isn't really interested in fixing your car. It wants to sell you another one. In addition, GM stopped making Volt batteries, so factory batteries are difficult to obtain. Getting a refurbished battery from Greentech is really the only option for battery replacement.
I guess you are right, but I am incredibly frustrated. I was all-in on GM. I bought my first Volt in Feb 2012. Was so impressed with it, that I got a new one in 2017, and convinced both my kids to buy used ones. Even had a Yukon hybrid Until last year. I had no idea until right now that these were effectively disposable cars. I had always been concerned about battery pricing, but it seemed like it was staying in the range of a transmission or engine so I was never concerned (and hell, market battery prices have been declining steadily). They were still selling 1st gen cars only six years ago -I can’t believe this is how they treat their early supporters.

I realized about 2 years ago that a Tesla was going to be my next car, and I got a Model 3 (fantastic car BTW) and last year got my wife a Model Y. As mush as I love our Teslas, I still had a soft spot for the original Volts until now. And as much as I dislike the dealer experience, I am not sure how much blame to place there. The dealer told me they expected the price to be less than $7000 based on a job they did a little while ago and were shocked at the price. They made zero effort to sell me on another car.

So I am done with GM. Given that they are actively over-pricing replacement parts to obsolete perfectly good cars, they have lost my business forever. And for whatever it is worth I would encourage any that are able to try out a Tesla. That feeling I got in 2012 of “driving the future” is back, and frankly much stronger in my Tesla and still hasn’t worn off in 2 years.
 

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Same sentiment here. GM really burned it's hybrid customers and frankly, most of the world isn't ready for full EV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Perhaps you should check into the Greentec Auto replacement option. For $6,000 you may have a solution short of spending much more on another used car. Apparently used car prices have gone astronomical especially in the “affordable “ zone.
You are right about used car costs - I have no idea what advice to give my kid. Certainly $6k gets you nothing in the used car market right now. Of course trade in value for the Volt is pretty high too - would feel very guilty unless maybe to a GM dealer…
 

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I guess you are right, but I am incredibly frustrated. I was all-in on GM. I bought my first Volt in Feb 2012. Was so impressed with it, that I got a new one in 2017, and convinced both my kids to buy used ones. Even had a Yukon hybrid Until last year. I had no idea until right now that these were effectively disposable cars. I had always been concerned about battery pricing, but it seemed like it was staying in the range of a transmission or engine so I was never concerned (and hell, market battery prices have been declining steadily). They were still selling 1st gen cars only six years ago -I can’t believe this is how they treat their early supporters.

I realized about 2 years ago that a Tesla was going to be my next car, and I got a Model 3 (fantastic car BTW) and last year got my wife a Model Y. As mush as I love our Teslas, I still had a soft spot for the original Volts until now. And as much as I dislike the dealer experience, I am not sure how much blame to place there. The dealer told me they expected the price to be less than $7000 based on a job they did a little while ago and were shocked at the price. They made zero effort to sell me on another car.

So I am done with GM. Given that they are actively over-pricing replacement parts to obsolete perfectly good cars, they have lost my business forever. And for whatever it is worth I would encourage any that are able to try out a Tesla. That feeling I got in 2012 of “driving the future” is back, and frankly much stronger in my Tesla and still hasn’t worn off in 2 years.
Replacement Tesla packs are over $20k, and suffer from the same battery aging effects. The difference is you can actually get a new vs a used pack, however you'll be faced with the same significant financial downside.
 

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Go to a different dealer, yours is a stealership. Or, check out Greentech Auto, $6k for a replacement.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Replacement Tesla packs are over $20k, and suffer from the same battery aging effects. The difference is you can actually get a new vs a used pack, however you'll be faced with the same significant financial downside.
No doubt there is risk with both. But Tesla batteries are much, much higher capacity - if their battery price is $20k then GM‘s should be less than $4K. And frankly replacing Tesla’s battery covers the vast majority of potential drivetrain issues. with the Volt, transmission and engine are certainly potential issues even after you replace the battery.. Also the Tesla appears to come with full warranty and compared with the 3 year warranty GM gives you.

I was a huge GM supporter - I am not the one that abandoned this vehicle and it’s owners.
 

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No doubt there is risk with both. But Tesla batteries are much, much higher capacity - if their battery price is $20k then GM‘s should be less than $4K. And frankly replacing Tesla’s battery covers the vast majority of potential drivetrain issues. with the Volt, transmission and engine are certainly potential issues even after you replace the battery.. Also the Tesla appears to come with full warranty and compared with the 3 year warranty GM gives you.

I was a huge GM supporter - I am not the one that abandoned this vehicle and it’s owners.
Agreed. As someone who just bought a 2012 a year and a half ago and then paid out of pocket to replace the battery ($9.5k), then have the transmission fail and now engine issues, the "new" battery does not guarantee a reliable car if something else were to fail right after.
 

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No doubt there is risk with both. But Tesla batteries are much, much higher capacity - if their battery price is $20k then GM‘s should be less than $4K. And frankly replacing Tesla’s battery covers the vast majority of potential drivetrain issues. with the Volt, transmission and engine are certainly potential issues even after you replace the battery.. Also the Tesla appears to come with full warranty and compared with the 3 year warranty GM gives you.

I was a huge GM supporter - I am not the one that abandoned this vehicle and it’s owners.
Not exactly. The Tesla has a drive unit, same as the Volt. The warranty that comes with a replacement Tesla pack is not the full 8 year warranty, and people are seeing failures around the same timeframe we are with the Volt. With the Volt engine, unless one does something stupid to it, I expect it to far outlast the battery. Even with the high number of miles I drive, less than 50% are on the engine. These are more similar than opposites.

The one way in which GM and Tesla are moving in completely different directions is the battery design. Tesla is moving toward a "structural" battery, meaning the entire battery will need to be replaced instead of a module. The entire battery is filled with a rigid "goo". The new GM design is more modular, for lower cost section replacements.

Now don't get me wrong, I agree GM should be fully supporting the Volt including new replacement packs. However, one can't have blinders on to reality, and expect they won't have very high $ repairs on the Tesla as well.

As far as the 23k you were quoted, either GM has significantly hiked the price to ensure replacement packs are available for warranty purposes, or it's the dealer's (really stupid) way of saying they don't want to do the repair. Most who have posted here on the replacement cost, have done so in the 11-12k range.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Not exactly. The Tesla has a drive unit, same as the Volt. The warranty that comes with a replacement Tesla pack is not the full 8 year warranty, and people are seeing failures around the same timeframe we are with the Volt. With the Volt engine, unless one does something stupid to it, I expect it to far outlast the battery. Even with the high number of miles I drive, less than 50% are on the engine. These are more similar than opposites.

The one way in which GM and Tesla are moving in completely different directions is the battery design. Tesla is moving toward a "structural" battery, meaning the entire battery will need to be replaced instead of a module. The entire battery is filled with a rigid "goo". The new GM design is more modular, for lower cost section replacements.

Now don't get me wrong, I agree GM should be fully supporting the Volt including new replacement packs. However, one can't have blinders on to reality, and expect they won't have very high $ repairs on the Tesla as well.

As far as the 23k you were quoted, either GM has significantly hiked the price to ensure replacement packs are available for warranty purposes, or it's the dealer's (really stupid) way of saying they don't want to do the repair. Most who have posted here on the replacement cost, have done so in the 11-12k range.
I don't have a ton of confidence in "GM lower cost section replacements" actually resulting in lower cost for its users, but in any event I suspect the reason they have to do this is the variability they have in the modules and failure rates. And the Volt drive unit/transmission and engine is substantially more complicated than Tesla's drive connected to a battery. but point made, out of warranty Tesla owners should be prepared for some high $ repairs.

But there is also such a huge disconnect when comparing the Tesla battery to the Volt battery - 16KWhr vs. 75-100KWhr. Battery cost is almost 100% dependent on the capacity so if prices are similar, then GM is ripping us off...

I have seen others post similar quotes, and also seen where dealers said there were none available period - I suspect something has happened recently in the supply chain, or perhaps they are just hoarding batteries for use in the Volts still covered under warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Agreed. As someone who just bought a 2012 a year and a half ago and then paid out of pocket to replace the battery ($9.5k), then have the transmission fail and now engine issues, the "new" battery does not guarantee a reliable car if something else were to fail right after.
Curious how long ago you did you have the battery replaced? And good luck with the car - I really enjoyed our (3) volts for a long time, and hope it works out for you.
 

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I don't have a ton of confidence in "GM lower cost section replacements" actually resulting in lower cost for its users, but in any event I suspect the reason they have to do this is the variability they have in the modules and failure rates. And the Volt drive unit/transmission and engine is substantially more complicated than Tesla's drive connected to a battery. but point made, out of warranty Tesla owners should be prepared for some high $ repairs.
...
The current lithium battery technology is the same across all manufactures, which are only a few. They differ in how they are packaged (cylinder vs pack), and how they are packaged within a battery pack, however one isn't better than another, as it's the same base tech. The first EVs are now 10 years old, so we now have real world data, and battery aging is showing to be the predominant factor for failures. The reality is that most people will be far better off with a hybrid or gas car financially. Only when the mileage really gets up there does an EV begin to make financial sense.
 

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I own a Volt because I live in Michigan and really wanted to give GM a chance. But between the EGR valve failures, BECM failures, and their stopping production of replacement batteries, I think my next car will be a Toyota.
 

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The current lithium battery technology is the same across all manufactures, which are only a few. They differ in how they are packaged (cylinder vs pack), and how they are packaged within a battery pack, however one isn't better than another, as it's the same base tech. The first EVs are now 10 years old, so we now have real world data, and battery aging is showing to be the predominant factor for failures. The reality is that most people will be far better off with a hybrid or gas car financially. Only when the mileage really gets up there does an EV begin to make financial sense.
 

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I wonder if in a future they will be able to replace the "pack Battery" with cylinder Tesla type of battery inside the T shape of the Volt?
"They" ? If you mean GM, no. If you mean some unknown third party, unlikely. It's not just battery, but related hardware and software.
 

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I wonder if in a future they will be able to replace the "pack Battery" with cylinder Tesla type of battery inside the T shape of the Volt?
How many of those do you supposed they'd be able to sell? It won't be millions. It probably won't even be hundreds of thousands.
 

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How many of those do you supposed they'd be able to sell? It won't be millions. It probably won't even be hundreds of thousands.
About 150,000 Volts were made over 10 years. Ford makes about 150,000 F150's in about three MONTHS, similar for Silverado. So, about 6 million vehicle in 10 years. Lots of parts and aftermarket mods available as a result of the sheer volume. Low volume cars like the Volt and others will never have that.
 
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