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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A new member brought this to my attention. I'm not sure why the guy did not try turning off the car. Let the sleuthing begin.

 

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Press power button twice. Car turns off and slow down on shoulder. Call tow truck. It's that simple, what's wrong with this guy?
 

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...or shift into N. It's not a real transmission selector after all.
 

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I suspect fraud. No shoes, says neutral but shift lever looks like it's in low, lots of steering wheel input for going 80 mph. The car is apparently malfunctioning in a dangerous way and you don't put down the video camera and pay full attention to your driving? Whole character of the thing seems wrong to me. But heck, I could be wrong. Like already mentioned, why not just turn it off?
 

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I say he works for Toyota :p
 

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At least he had plenty of time and road to try different things. He ran out of ideas... but overlooked what seems to me to be the one big obvious thing to do... push the big blue button and TURN OFF THE CAR. I don't understand why putting it in neutral didn't work. I will give him kudos for not panicking and taking time to film the whole thing.
 

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He says "the car is really dangerous", but I think his driving is. Barefoot driving is not at all smart, operating the camera while driving is probably illegal, and just plain stupid why he wouldn't be trying to stop the vehicle.

I wouldn't be surprised if the floor mat is pushed under the accelerator pedal causing it to stick. This has happened to me on numerous vehicles. Only once have I had a throttle stick, and that was on a car where coolant wasn't flowing through the air-intake as it was supposed to on that model which let the throttle get too cold and moisture froze causing it to stick open.

Full brakes, popping to neutral, and then killing the engine fixed it right away.

Volt's neutral is not, which is a problem. I find neutral could at times draw more current coasting than D does, at least the couple times I tried (watching output on Torque!). This situation was probably heater on, so when I set it in neutral heater started drawing amps so was showing positive draw, and coasting in D was probably regenerating enough to offset it. But still, not really neutral.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I had a runaway engine once, it was a stuck throttle linkage. But the engine ROARED, not the leisurely mph creep we see in the video. The floor mat idea is interesting. and yes so was the barefoot driving. I wonder if it could be faulty cruise control, even though it appears to be off?
 

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Ok, last time I did 75, the green ball was nowhere near the middle... Lol. Also, you can catch movement outside the windshield at points, sure didn't look like 80mph. Plus, only 4kwh? Somethings screwed up, don't think it was running away, or near 80mph.
 

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He's says - as you can see the cruise control is not on? I see the cruise control icon on the driver display.
 

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He's says - as you can see the cruise control is not on? I see the cruise control icon on the driver display.
The icon would be green if it was set.

I'm pretty sure he's going down a mountain. That would explain the accelerating part. Unfortunately it looks like he has a brake problem too though. Wonder if he tried L.
 

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The icon would be green if it was set.

I'm pretty sure he's going down a mountain. That would explain the accelerating part. Unfortunately it looks like he has a brake problem too though. Wonder if he tried L.
Yes, if 'set', but being on during a malfunction, hence speed just ratcheting up - his first move would be to turn the cruise control totally off. He probably did - but wanted to make this video - so he turned it back on.
 

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I don't think any race car driver or other sane person would be able to stay calm enough to video record ( and i mean video record ) the experience of doing 80 MPH in a fully electronically controlled car with its fully electronic control malfunctioning....

Sounds more like a suicide ...

I'll say this was simply a creep speed or even a standing still, with speedometer malfunctioning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
"hit the brakes and the car doesn't want to stop"

I see the mph dropping from 83 down to 35, so the brakes do seem to be working. Though there is obviously an issue, I would have pulled over, shut off the car and restarted it to see if the issue persisted.
 

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It was 106°F on a desert highway in what looks like level terrain where the speed limit was probably 75 or 85, and there wasn't much traffic, so he was never in any danger, although taking a video while driving is almost certainly illegal and unsafe. His climate control was in comfort with the temperature set to low, and he was on the phone with OnStar, and the engine appeared to be running. At least the sound towards the end of the video sounded like the engine ramping up. Both the battery icon and the fuel tank icon were grayed out. Was this perhaps ERDTT at the other end of the temperature scale?

Stepping on the brakes illuminated the MIL, the brake malfunction light, and the traction control system light on the DIC (so regeneration may have been disabled), and eventually the "Service Brake Assist" message appeared. At the point where he said the car was in neutral, the video showed N on the DIC, but the shift lever appeared to be in D, but it's hard to say. He didn't do anything drastic to stop the car, since he was mostly going 45 mph on a highway where others were going at least 70 mph, so he was more interested in getting off the highway to a safe place or perhaps a repair shop.

Something was definitely wrong, and, although it would be considered a safety issue for the car to accelerate on its own, stepping on the brakes slowed it down considerably. Stopping may have been an issue if he didn't use the emergency brake (pulling and holding the parking brake on the center stack applies the cable brakes, even when the car is moving) or turn the car off, or both.

I think the most dangerous thing in this video was the driver using a video camera, but I would be very interested in knowing just what happened and how it was resolved.
 

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The Ready light is off - I believe this was standard starting in 2013 (maybe 12i?) and given there is a power use gauge which came along in 2013 - this means the car was already turned off! That, along with a downhill grade at least earlier in the video when we could not see the road, would explain a lot of what's going on - no difference with the shifter in N, warnings about brake system/stabilitrak, no response from accel pedal, etc.

So either the guy didn't know the car was off, or ... he purposely turned it off and then back on service mode to try to scare people into getting a pedicure.

VB
 

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My goodness. So many dismissive and accusatory comments, some from people who obviously didn't even watch the whole video.

Press power button twice. Car turns off and slow down on shoulder. Call tow truck. It's that simple, what's wrong with this guy?
I'm glad he took an opportunity to document it. Problems can only be solved by engineers when engineers know that problems exist and (preferably) can observe how the vehicle responds to various commands (i.e., braking, shifting, etc.).

...or shift into N. It's not a real transmission selector after all.
He DID shift into N one minute into the video. He shows it on the DIC and on the gear indicator next to the shifter.

He's going 81 mph and drawing 4 kW. Going downhill perhaps?
Not with the foot off the gas in D. Should be regen-ing 20+kW at that speed.

I wouldn't be surprised if the floor mat is pushed under the accelerator pedal causing it to stick.
He shows the pedal moving freely when he pumps it multiple times in the video.

I find neutral could at times draw more current coasting than D does
Coasting in N always draws more power than while in D.

his first move would be to turn the cruise control totally off. He probably did - but wanted to make this video - so he turned it back on.
Really? You really think that? The guy's jamming on the brakes -- that would normally be enough to cancel CC if it's set.

Anyway, I don't think I've hit that cruise control ON/OFF button once since I first turned it on 2.5 years ago when I first bought my Volt. I'm not certain I'd even think about it in a situation like this.

I'll say this was simply a creep speed or even a standing still, with speedometer malfunctioning.
What??? There are trees and cars going by at significant speed outside the car.

The Ready light is off - I believe this was standard starting in 2013 (maybe 12i?) and given there is a power use gauge which came along in 2013 - this means the car was already turned off!
There was positive power draw shown in the DIC Power Flow display. You don't get that with the car turned off.

I suspect fraud.
Can't rule it out, but that would be a lot of effort to doctor this video -- and for what? If it's some kind of conspiracy to undermine GM, you wouldn't just let it sit on youtube for 4 months with nothing but a few hundred views.
 

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Wow, posted July 14, 2014, and we see it just now! It is sure a mystery what may have happened to the Volt.

I can tell you he was on the wide-open flat desert somewhere. There are miles and miles of straight road in the Mojave Desert in the Mojave, Ridgecrest, Barstow (California) area and over toward Las Vegas, NV. He's on a divided freeway, two lanes going his direction, oncoming traffic on another ribbon completely separated by a strip of desert land from his lane.

It looks to me like his car was having a major malfunction of some computer part.

His Service Brake Assist warning came on, and he was reporting it was difficult to slow the car down. To me that means the vacuum brake assist had quit, so all he had was "manual" braking, which corresponds to his complaining that it was really hard to slow the car down. I'd be worried that by allowing the malfunctioning car to re-accelerate, and then braking again, he could overheat the rotors if he didn't bring it to a complete stop at once.

As always, in situations like that, shutting down the car, and maybe also disconnecting the 12 volt battery, would cause the computer systems to reboot and work normally.
 
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