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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm just wondering how prevalent problems are with the Volt. Two weeks ago I took my first test drive in a Chevy Volt. I was really impressed by the silent running and nice power, but decided that it was just too small for the needs of my family - much smaller than my Chevy Equinox. So instead of making an offer to the dealer, I drove away with my Chevy Equinox. As the days passed, I experienced more and more 'non-buyers remorse'. I really, really want to use 'Made in the USA" energy for my driving needs! A week later I found myself at the same dealer getting recall work done on my Equinox. And they still had the Volt!!

I made a deal and on Friday March 11th I and went to pick it up on a long lunch break. Everything was great at first. I met with the salesman and he gave me a rundown. Then I went to the Finance person at the dealership, where there was one minor problem with the lease agreement. While that was being ironed out I went out to the Volt with the salesman to get it all set up.

It was interesting working the climate controls, getting On-Star set up, the radio, and Bluetooth and looking at the different displays. The salesman had just been to Volt training a few days ago and was excited as well.

I went back into the dealership, signed on all of the lines, and then returned to the Volt to drive back to work. The salesman went over a few more items, and then shook my hand, congratulated me and walked back into the dealership.

I did a few more adjustments - to mirrors, and such. I tried to move my Volt's gearshift into "D", but the gearshift didn't move. "Oh", I thought, "It must not be 'on'. Hmmm, but the screens are on." I hit the "On" button once and it turned off my Volt. I pressed it again, but instead of the chiming startup melody there was no noise, and the driver's screen said "Initiation in progress" or something like that. A little odd, I thought, but OK. I let it do its thing, and up came the normal driver's display with "0" MPH in the middle, a full green battery on the left, and "PRNDL" on the top right.

I moved the gearshift to "D", and an electric jolt went through me (figuratively). Here I am, about to drive MY CAR, gas free and silently! I pushed the 'gas' pedal down. (I will now only call it the 'accelerator pedal'!) I was ready to start my new journey of energy independence, and.......nothing. The car did not move even a millimeter.

The only thing that seemed visibly amiss was the 'check engine' light, which was on. Technicians came and went over the next two hours, hooking up their OBDC scanner and laptop, calling On-Star for a diagnosis, etc. The Volt would not move. The dealer was kind enough to let me cancel my transaction, and I went back to work in the Equinox that I had just traded in. I really have nothing but good things to say about the dealer. They were very understanding, and cancelled all of the paperwork that we had just done. Perhaps I should name them, but I think anonymity is wiser at this point.

I took out my cell phone and took this photo of the only way the technicians/mechanics were able to move my Volt. At least it's moving gas-free! ;) http://mysite.verizon.net/~illo/my_volt2.jpg

So, I owned (actually leased) a Chevy Volt for two hours, and never drove it (except for a test drive two weeks earlier). I am really bummed out. I'm afraid that the Volt is not ready for Prime Time. I certainly hope that there are not too many similar experiences, because I really want the Volt to succeed. And I am too busy to be a 'beta tester' for GM, especially with my primary vehicle. As a secondary vehicle, though, I would be happy to do some real-world testing. GM, are you listening? :) [I did contact GM directly via e-mail]
 

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Sorry to hear of your experience. We've read of just a few "at delivery" issues with the Volt, but I think most people (including me) are driving theirs with few if any problems. My car recently passed the 2000 mile mark.

It might be worthwhile checking in with the dealer on what they find. For one thing, I'm sure many of us here would like to know. But also it may be something pretty minor, and you might want to reconsider. The car certainly looks great in the photo, even being pushed!

One thing you'll find with the Volt is that GM has so far given any problem very personal attention and top prioritization. I think most here would agree that it's very reassuring to know that in general we've gotten the VIP treatment. I have a lot of confidence in my Volt, and also knowing that if there is any problem, I'll have GM's support from high levels.

OTOH, the Equinox is a really nice car, too! :)
 

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My first thought was that the parking brake was set.

Steve in Boca Raton with 2539 miles of problem free driving of Volt #313
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the info about VIP treatment. I actually would consider buying this car again if I can be reassured that it was a minor problem. On the other hand, I'm not so sure my wife would want to see this car in our driveway after telling her my story.

I'll update this thread when I find out what the problem was with this specific Volt.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
My first thought was that the parking brake was set.
I thought of that too, and checked it. I also got completely out of the car, locked it, unlocked it, and started fresh. Then the salesman came out to see what was wrong. I was REALLY hoping it was something simple and stupid that I had forgotten (like the Parking brake), but two hours with the techs, followed by pushing it back into the service bay, convinced me this was not a simple problem. I have read about several problems with the CEL (Check Engine Light), and I suppose that could be it. But usually that doesn't completely disable the drivetrain.
 

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It's ready for prime time. The car rocks. All cars have quirks, but what I tell people that are worried about the Volt service is that GM has so much riding on this car that they will come running to fix them. You just won't get that attention with any other car. I don't know of any car in this price range that comes with a personal assigned advisor that calls in to proactively check on you to make sure you are happy.
 

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What are the last 4 digits of that Volt's VIN?

You did have your foot on the brake when you shifted into "Drive," right?
 

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4500 miles for me, not one issue to mention.

We'll perhaps a bit more range in the cold cold Michigan winter. And I did get an egg in one of my tires, which could happen to any car. Other than that, the car is fantastic!
 

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An egg? Forgive my ignorance praytell what or how of an egg?

Thanks,

Pat
 

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Yea, that's a Goodyear problem. Not good tires in general. Not a Volt problem.

bulge in the tire from a weak point in the rubber
 

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You should check with the deaker and get details of what was wrong. Ask the dealer to provide you with DTC numbers (error code numbers). Then post those numbers here and folks will help decypher how bad the issue was.

I have been following the volts since they started delivery and, so far, the issues seem to be few and far between. This IS a new tech car and some minor issues should be somewhat expected, however, the very few things that folks have posted here have been mostly very minor.

My volt, delivered early Feb is working fine without a single issue (knock on wood!).

Stilgar
 

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Discussion Starter #14
What are the last 4 digits of that Volt's VIN?

You did have your foot on the brake when you shifted into "Drive," right?
Last four digits = 1357. I assume this means that this was the 1,357th Volt built?

Forgive my ignorance praytell what or how of an egg?
An 'egg' on a tire is a bulge that looks like there is an 'egg' under the surface. It's caused by a weakness in the rubber, or damage.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
You should check with the deaker and get details of what was wrong. Ask the dealer to provide you with DTC numbers (error code numbers). Then post those numbers here and folks will help decypher how bad the issue was.
Stilgar
I am visiting the dealer tonight, and will definitely give an update to this thread.

Response to another post: I may not have had my foot on the brake to begin with, although my Equinox requires a foot on the brake before shifting (and maybe even turning it on), so it's second nature to me to put my foot on the brake. But even then, I would hope that this wouldn't completely disable a car to the point that a team of technicians couldn't move it except by pushing it.
 

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Please do let us know what you find out. I picked up my Volt last Tuesday and just got back from a weekend drive in it. Now have 550 miles on the ODO, and so far, so good. :)
 

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Ifollowed by pushing it back into the service bay, convinced me this was not a simple problem. I have read about several problems with the CEL (Check Engine Light), and I suppose that could be it. But usually that doesn't completely disable the drivetrain.
I'm just wondering how prevalent problems are with the Volt. <SNIP> I'm afraid that the Volt is not ready for Prime Time. I certainly hope that there are not too many similar experiences
There certainly hasn't been too many bad experiences with the Volt from purely a numbers perspective but there has been a few.(and most if not all fairly well documented here at gm-volt.com, including the eventual resolutions)

Whatever the problem was, the fact remains that with hybrid and electric vehicles (Be they Toyota, Honda, Tesla or GM) whenever the self diagnostic system detects a electric powertrain issue of some sort, they will typically disable vehicle operation "while the fault is present" or the ignition/operation attempt immediately following.
It's the only way to insure people are NOT exposed to an electrically unsafe scenario, and NOT on the roadway with a vehicle that may not perform correctly.
My point is they ALL work that way. (not just the Volt)

So IMO this inst as much a "Volt" issue as it is a dealer (and owner) education issue. While it's unfortunate that your Volt purchase was scuttled by this rare incident, what it highlights for me is how we need to do a better job at the dealership level on training them to understand how the Volt (and to a similar extent the 2-mode hybrids even) behave VERY DIFFERENTLY than cars (and trucks) we have become so accustomed to working with.

Dealership personnel are not "used to" vehicles that are performing self diagnostics when they are technically "OFF". In most other vehicles, if you road tested a vehicle to be starting, running, and performing correctly and then shut it OFF- you would generally have high confidence that it will later start, run and operate correctly a few minutes or hours later. This is no longer absolutely true for hybrids, EVs and EREVs because a SIGNIFICANT amount of self-diagnostic routines continue to monitor and verify vehicle condition for many minutes or even hours AFTER the vehicle is shut OFF (and even LONGER should the vehicle be "plugged-in")

Should a problem of some sort be detected during this period then there's a high likelihood that the vehicle will not "start" or otherwise operate on the very next attempt. It's not that the problem is necessarily serious, it's just the safest thing to do!

So on these vehicles (including the Volt) a series of secondary check measures have become necessary on the completion of a standard "road test" that includes using a scan tool device to verify certain diagnostic events have successfully taken place- BEFORE the vehicle can be ascertained as "Good to Go".
This is where this particular dealership failed.

I have little doubt that the fault that might of occurred in this case might have been amazingly simple to rectify, and what's worse probably COULD have been prevented had the pre-delivery and service processes been followed TO THE LETTER.
But in this case it appears it was not.

What we can verify is the Volt has undergone an incredible amount of pre-launch development and testing to the extent that I can say unequivocally that the Volt MOST CERTAINLY is "ready for PRIMETIME".

But without additional information, it's next to impossible to accurately speculate exactly what might have transpired here.
But I suspect the ball was dropped here at this dealership and they unfortunately lost a perspective customer and sale.
Live and Learn.

JMO
WopOnTour
 

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Last four digits = 1357. I assume this means that this was the 1,357th Volt built?
It means it's the 1,375th Volt to exit the paint shop and enter the assembly line. VINs are fully assigned at that point. They don't necessarily exit the assembly line in the same order they enter the assembly line.
 

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Volt #541 is absolutely flawless.

I picked up in January. It now has 2,950 miles including several long trips through cold and snow, plus daily commuting.

I cannot say enough good things about this car!!
 
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