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I have been following this site for almost 4 years now. This is my first post, and the only reason I have come out of the shadows is because there has been a lot of talk about software updates. I am volt 1569 and the first Volt purchased in the state of MN. 2600 miles and averaging 200 MPG. Chargers are become more common here, but there is still a limited network. Many thanks to the Mall of America for being the first in the state to install chargers.

I was contacted by the volt advisor team today to inform me that a software update is now available for my volt, and all 2011 models. When I asked if he had any details about what this update will do.... he simply stated "modifications to the temperature controls and other things to extend the range of the vehicle." Very vague... so I try to dig a little deeper with no avail. No even gm-volt.com had any information about this new software upgrade yet.

I will be getting the software upgrade tomorrow...

Has anyone already received the update? Any modifications or significant changes you have noticed?
 

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I attended the Volt Homecoming at the 2011 Woodward Dream Cruise. A question that I asked was, "it looks like many of the new features in 2012 are software or have a heavy software component. Any chance of some of these being retrofitted for 2011 models? The answer was fairly vague but "Yes". BTW, was hoping to see a 2012 in the flesh but did not.
 
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@ Noel,

The Volt Advisors will be contacting the 2011 Volt owners and letting them know the update is now available and you can set an appointment up with your dealer at your earliest convenience. If you have not heard from them yet, you will be soon.
 

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Sorry, missed this thread and started another one in the ownership forum. Was told it will also include some improvements on the Nav/Radio. Hope they publish a list of the improvements.
 

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The Volt Advisors will be contacting the 2011 Volt owners and letting them know the update is now available and you can set an appointment up with your dealer at your earliest convenience. If you have not heard from them yet, you will be soon.
Trevor, I wanted to say "thank you" for all that you do on this forum. Your posts are always professional, always helpful, and prove that Chevrolet cares about us, the early Volt adopters.

I have one question as I have a 2011 Volt, how do I find my Volt advisor? I've never been contacted by one and am not sure how to find him or her?

I too would be interested in a list of changes in the software update, if you can share it with us!
 
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Not a problem voltcrazy and thank you very much! I am always more than happy to help out! Send me a message with your contact information and I'll have an advisor reach out to you and they can give you an introduction and go over the update with you real quick.
 

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Trevor....are these software mods already incorporated in the 2012 MY? Specifically, all the Canadian Volts that are supposed to leave the factory Sept 1?
 
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@ maestro,

Yes they are. These updates are specific only to the 2011 models. All of the 2012 model's software is up to date.
 

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Thanks for this thread, I was contacted by my Volt Advisor today and we scheduled a date for me to get my software update. Any information on what the improvements are would be much appreciated!

-Chris
Volt #44
 

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Didn't someone end up posting somewhere what the exact update details/descriptions were? I am searching the forums for anything with the keyword "software" but I just can't find it. I was also hoping for the Part Number or CVN of these updates so I can verify in TISWeb if my Volt got them at some point.

When I picked up my Volt from service, I was told that the software updates were applied. However, not an hour after receiving the Volt, I had that "decrease fan speed" button become grayed out on my display. Made me wonder if I actually got the SW update, as I thought that was supposed to also be fixed in this SW release.
 

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Had my car in for service yesterday and today, precipitated by an intermittent HVAC problem: would not go from ECO or COMFORT to FAN. Has happened twice since February, when I got the car; only "fix" was to turn the car off and back on. Timing was purely accidental that this software update (a recall, officially) is claimed to address this problem, as the original plan with the Volt Advisor was to bring it in for diagnostic checks. (I'm guessing they didn't do much diagnosis on this visit...)

I won't really know for, say, three or four months, or maybe six, that the software update addresses the problem I encountered: absent an ability to reproduce a problem on demand, you can't say definitively that it's fixed.

Heads up, though: expect to lose almost all your settings. Maybe this was unique to my situation, but I had to reset every option on the entire car, except for my stored nav destinations (I have not check the music on the HDD: I expect that was unaffected). The clock (why no GPS tie-in, we ask again?), the favorites, the locking options, the beep-on-lock, everything.

I also experienced something very odd.

The dealer, Fremont Chevrolet, had not recharged the car. (Yes, I did say something to the Service Advisor there when I discovered this. They had the car overnight. I got a call at 3pm today telling me that the car was done, was being cleaned up [i.e., washed], and would be ready in about 45 minutes. I arrived at the dealership about 5:40, and was a little surprised to find the car in the service driveway, rather than on the charging station, but expected it had been fully charged and was waiting in a slightly more convenient spot. I was wrong. Note to Trevor and his fellow Volt Advisors: all the service people in the entire network need to be trained. A Volt should never be delivered to a customer following service with a depleted battery. It's a rare occurrence that it should be delivered with anything much short of a full charge! And if a Volt is kept overnight and is capable of taking a charge, it should certainly be charged before delivery. "More car than electric" is true for the drivers, but is not true for the Service Advisors!)

The Energy Usage display showed about 10.5 miles had been driven since the last full charge. The battery was depleted (well, to be specific: it had discharged as low as the system was programmed to allow it to go).

This battery has been very consistently good for 45-50 miles per charge under normal driving conditions all summer long (SF Bay Area, mild temperatures, freeway speeds). 10 miles on a charge? Something is very odd. The Service Advisor claimed that the car had been left on while they were detailing it for the past two hours, and they had just finished (okay, but what about that "ready in 45 minutes" as of 3pm?), and the battery must have run down then. Sorry: two hours just sitting there, even turned on, isn't going to pull the propulsion battery down from full or nearly full charge to nothing.

I was very perplexed. My best guess at this point is that the memory of the miles driven since the last full charge was zeroed when the software update was done. At that point, there were about 10 miles' charge in the battery: that could be about right. They then drove another 11-ish miles, which happened to have depleted the battery, plus a bit. (Why would they have driven 11 miles thereafter? The car had a rattle that I'd asked them to track down. It showed up only at something near freeway speed. Quick trip to the nearby freeway, up to speed, to the next exit and back: might well have added up to ten miles.)

Can anyone else a) confirm that we should expect to lose all our configuration settings when this update is applied, and b) that the memory of miles since last full charge is also zeroed with the update?
 

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My Volt was upgraded this week. A few settings went back to default, including clock (early by 4 or 5 hours), audio volume (I forgot how loud the boot sound is at the default setting!), and estimated range (back to 35 miles until my Volt gets to know me again).

My dealer washed my Volt and fully charged it, no worries.

While I'm no expert in the auto industry, I believe the Volt software "updates" involve flashing one or more EEPROMs. This is like upgrading the BIOS on your PC. It takes time, it can be risky if it fails, and it often wipes out some or all previously-stored settings. One thing is for sure: this is not like a Windows Update (thankfully).

Speaking of which, for that reason I am certain that GM tested the living daylights out of this upgrade. Unlike other software environments, automobiles are no place for beta-testing. And burning EEPROMs is not the kind of thing you want to do regularly. So, I believe that the software development and testing process at GM is probably is highly controlled with ISO-9000 (or similar) quality standards. That means changes must go through rigorous procedures, and the code gets locked-down "hard" months prior to public release. In other words, be patient regarding suggestions for GM. It may take time, and you can be sure that any change implemented by GM will go through a gauntlet of tests.

As to the hold-up on the release two weeks ago, I would venture to guess that it was some sort of "build" problem. Maybe a defect got through the testing process, but I kind of doubt it. It seems more likely that something went haywire in distributing the final build.

These are my thoughts, having spent nearly a lifetime doing software/engineering for both capital equipment and enterprise systems.

Chris
 

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These are my thoughts, having spent nearly a lifetime doing software/engineering for both capital equipment and enterprise systems. Chris
I got an update about a month ago and got my car back washed and fully charged (update related to new radio and audio cue volume).

Loved your comments about quality and testing. I'm sure if we knew the facts about what they go through we would be incredibly impressed. Putting 2012 software change in the Volt may be surprising more involved, resource intensive and expensive than people imagine. They are thinking about PC or mac software not the kind that impacts cars drivablity (interface to features (distractions) and driveline/drivabilty/braking related)

A software developer,
Scott F
 

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I just took 15 minutes or so to go through my Volt's Config menu after the software upgrade. Actually, I'm having some difficulty finding any settings that were lost, other than radio Volume and estimated Range. Certainly my BT phone was still there, all my Nav addresses were there, the trip odometers were there, and unless I'm crazy, my radio presets were there too. The HDD even remembered precisely where I was last listening to The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood.

Also, I could not find any feature/function changes in the software. The one thing I half-hoped for was persistence in the Pause button, but alas the 2011 Volt's radio still has our favorite "instant-on" feature. Ah well, I have ingrained habits to manage that behavior!

My local dealer finally got their first Volt, a black demo with the big decal on the side. It was parked in the most eye-catching prime outdoor location, it was surrounded by keen prospects, and it looked great!

Chris
Volt #541
Berwyn, PA
 

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I'm having some difficulty finding any settings that were lost, other than radio Volume and estimated Range.
Do we have a canonical listing of all modules affected by the 2011 Volt bulk software update from the VAs?

Slapshot, did you get a listing of all modules updated (hopefully with a list of software revisions for each module)?

My thought is they either might have missed one/some of the updates, or possibly one of your modules was already previously updated? Is it possible some of your upgrades may have failed for some reason, and the dealer punted?

My understanding is the GM way is to restore any module updated to default values. Now personally, after some years in the computer business, I know anybody I've worked for tries REALLY hard not to trash user configuration settings on an upgrade (going to the point of revision marking parameter settings storage, and having conversion routines to map old storage to new formats... right guys?).

While GM may be years ahead of the auto industry in the car department with the Volt, they seem not yet to grok computers.
 

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Slapshot, did you get a listing of all modules updated (hopefully with a list of software revisions for each module)?

My thought is they either might have missed one/some of the updates, or possibly one of your modules was already previously updated? Is it possible some of your upgrades may have failed for some reason, and the dealer punted?
My service report says, "Service Update 11137 is open per VISS. Updated modules and installed label. Performed service update, installed label." My car was at the dealer for a week, while we were on vacation, and GM sent an engineer out to look at a small hose leak (detected by CEL with code P079A), so I doubt they had any trouble or failed to complete the upgrade. Also, other than a quick tire rotation a month ago, this is the only time my Volt has been in for service.
 

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Now personally, after some years in the computer business, I know anybody I've worked for tries REALLY hard not to trash user configuration settings on an upgrade (going to the point of revision marking parameter settings storage, and having conversion routines to map old storage to new formats... right guys?).

While GM may be years ahead of the auto industry in the car department with the Volt, they seem not yet to grok computers.
You are 100% right that most companies and their software upgrades go through great pains to keep previous settings. I do that as well on the products I work on.

Of course most companies and business are very clear on changes made to the software / user_interface as well.
 

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I forgot to mention that my clock needed to be reset. I think it was 4 or 5 hours too early, perhaps as someone already suggested, defaulted to GMT. It is a global car!

As I mentioned, I can't find any changes in features or functions. The thread-starter, pushplaymobiledj, recounted this description from a Volt Advisor: "modifications to the temperature controls and other things to extend the range of the vehicle."

Probably folks will be disappointed that their various requests were not included; however, I still believe that the Volt's "software" is more like firmware (e.g., BIOS code). Because safety and reliability are so central, I think code development must have a long and rigorous development cycle--basically only fix proven defects, and do not permit changes to features or functions.

Again, probably people will be disappointed by this strategy; however, it's ALL about reliability.
 
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