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· Administrator
23,701 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Sometimes the charge cord handle can't be unlatched from the charge port. This FAQ pertains to that.

The charge handle uses a mechanical latch, not software controlled. Squeezing the trigger results in pivoting arms moving the latch up to disconnect it from the car's charge port. One of those arms might be sticking, needing some dry lube. Here it is with the handle cover off. Latch is top left.
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There is an older GM Tech Bulletin on on how to disengage a stuck handle.

Basically turn off power to the EVSE, the pry the two halves of the handle apart using a flat bladed screwdriver (or, if yours has screws, remove them). This is for 2011-2012 but newer models may be very similar.

Pry apart the top and bottom parts of the handle. Those with a replacement cord, it has four screws, two star screws and two phillips (one is hard to remove because of the charging door). The charging cord for my 2014 Volt has six screws! So, depending on the model of your cord, the handle will pry apart, require removing four screws, or removing six screws.

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Once the handle is apart, you can remove the charger. If there is no apparent reason for the handle to have gotten stuck, consider asking for a warranty replacement.

#PIC5565A: EREV Procedure For Removing Charge Cord From Receptacle If Cord Handle Latch Is Stuck - (Oct 18, 2011)
Note, This PI was superseded to update recommended field along with model and model years. But I only have this one.

Subject: EREV Procedure For Removing Charge Cord From Receptacle If Cord Handle Latch Is Stuck

2011-2012 Chevrolet Volt
2012 Opel Ampera

Includes Domestic and Export Vehicles

The following diagnosis might be helpful if the vehicle exhibits the symptom(s) described in this PI.


Some customers may experience a condition where the charge cord handle latch may stick and the cord cannot be removed from the receptacle. If this condition arises, the vehicle cannot be shifted out of park.


The following procedure should allow the charge cord to be released from the vehicle. It can then be driven and serviced by a Volt certified dealer.


Important: If the vehicle is connected to a level 2 or 240 volt charge station, start the vehicle by using the blue start button, and open the vehicle hood. When the ICE (engine) starts, the high voltage battery charging will be disabled and the procedure below can be attempted.

1. Use a suitable medium size flat blade screw driver.
Object ID: 2726234Click here for detailed picture of the image.

2. Insert screw driver into the seam on the side of the charge cord handle.
Object ID: 2726237Click here for detailed picture of the image.

3. Twist the screw handle to separate the two halves.
Object ID: 2726241Click here for detailed picture of the image.

4. Follow the seam with the blade of the screw driver to further separate and disengage the halves.
Object ID: 2726246Click here for detailed picture of the image.

5. Grasp and remove the upper half from the handle.
Object ID: 2726251Click here for detailed picture of the image.

6. Reinsert the screw driver in-between the latch and receptacle and pry upward on the latch while pulling on the handle with the free hand to disengage the handle from the vehicle.
Object ID: 2726259Click here for detailed picture of the image.

Object ID: 2726261Click here for detailed picture of the image.

After removal of the cord from the vehicle have the receptacle and cord set inspected and serviced by a Volt certified dealer.

Please follow this diagnostic or repair process thoroughly and complete each step. If the condition exhibited is resolved without completing every step, the remaining steps do not need to be performed.

GM bulletins are intended for use by professional technicians, NOT a "do-it-yourselfer". They are written to inform these technicians of conditions that may occur on some vehicles, or to provide information that could assist in the proper service of a vehicle. Properly trained technicians have the equipment, tools, safety instructions, and know-how to do a job properly and safely. If a condition is described, DO NOT assume that the bulletin applies to your vehicle, or that your vehicle will have that condition. See your GM dealer for information on whether your vehicle may benefit from the information.

· Administrator
23,701 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
After looking at the handle lock and the charge port, 1) I was able to bend a coat hanger into a rectangular "fish hook" lock pick, 2) insert it above the locked tooth and disengage the handle by 3) using a small screwdriver as a lever to pull up the coat hanger wire and the lock tooth it was hooked on. 4) shows how the coat hanger hooks the tooth and the screwdriver levers it toward the top, disengaging it. 5) shows the port with just the hook in it.

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· Administrator
23,701 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·

· Registered
51 Posts
Thanks Steverino! I might not have tried this without your directions and pics.

Old thread but others might have the same issue. I had this problem this morning. I tried Steverino's coat hangers trick, but I couldn't get any results. So, I took the 2 torx screws out and the 4 phillips screws to remove the cover. Not that hard but the screws are all small. Anyway, after I fully removed the cover I found 2 small stones had jammed the mechanism. The coat hanger didn't work because the rocks were in the way.
Anyway, watch for stones when you are engaging the cable.

· Administrator
23,701 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Stones got inside the handle?

· Registered
2015 Red Volt
2,331 Posts
They got stuck in the end and jammed the latch. Not saying who put the handle in the gravel, but I love her.
Well, bless her heart! 💖
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