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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Forums like this tend to act as a "I have a problem" magnet. No surprise there. The number of "My Volt is working great, no problems" posts are almost nill compared to "My car is having a problem" posts.

With that in mind, my observation is the forum tends to act as a megaphone, amplifying the problem, often making it appear to be a bigger problem (in frequency) than it may be. As a result, I'll see words like "widespread" or "common" applied to a problem because an issue has been posted 5 or 10 or 20 times.

So the question is, what defines a problem posted here as being common or widespread? 3 posts? 20? 900? 44,000? Keep in mind we've never had anywhere close to 900 people reporting the same problem. 1 post to a high of maybe 40 posts would be in the ballpark.

Since sales began in December 2010, a total of 94,490 2011-2015 Volts have been sold in US and Canada. For 2016-2020, 83,341 were sold.

Based on the number of Gen 1 Volts on the road, no problem posted on GM-Volt has come close to equaling 1% of the cars on the road. 1% would be over 944 posts! Of course not everyone having a problem will post it here. Some may post it elsewhere. Others may not post their problem online at all.

Still, when I see someone claim that an issue is common or widespread with Volts, I look at the numbers above and say it's actually a rare problem. 20 posts here would equal .02%. Let's say another 20 are posted somewhere else (FB, etc.), now we are at a whopping .04%. 4/100ths of 1% does not lead me to conclude a problem is common, just the opposite it means it's rare.

Yes, some owners will an experience a problem, and some problems get posted more than others. But the numbers say the problems seem to be rare rather than common. I think what the number of posts could indicate is a trend or an inclination. In the rare event you experience a problem, it will more likely be one of the ones posted. That's about all I can conclude.

What do you think?
 
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I have driven and riden in may different automobiles for more decades than I would like to admit.

Asside from a few pesky recalls, the Volt has given me no problems and has had only two oil changes over 40K miles. This car is hands-down, all-around, the best automobile I have ever owned or driven in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
it becomes wide spread when you cant get the part
even gm that has the numbers, didnt allow for that amount of failures
Supply chain issues are a problem (in every industry today), but that's related to ease/timeliness of repair rather than whether the underlying car problem is common.

Yes, if I can't get a replacement steering wheel that's a problem. But the underlying question is how many Volts are experiencing steering wheel failure and whether it's common. That's what I'm referring to.

One guy posts a steering wheel failure and someone else then calls it a common problem based on 1 post, or 15.
 
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it becomes wide spread when you cant get the part
even gm that has the numbers, didnt allow for that amount of failures
That changes the stakes, not the rate. If a thing happens to 1000 vehicles and it takes an hour of shop time to install a new ignition wire, it's exactly the same rate as 1000 being out of use for six months waiting for Unobtanium Modules.
 

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Steverino, I think that your observation is spot on. A smattering of die-hards and some noobies posting here most of the time, answering questions and just commenting. Then there are the smart owners who have a problem and come here to possibly get an idea of the source and suggested resolution. But, those posters are no where near the 94k Gen 1 or 84k Gen 2 owners out there.

One might infer a wide spread problem when GM issues a TSB and those have been relatively few in number.
 

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my observation is the forum tends to act as a megaphone, amplifying the problem, often making it appear to be a bigger problem (in frequency) than it may be.
Indeed Steverino, I have been around this place much longer than my profile states and have read many a posts over the years. Some recent posts of major failures (battery, BECM) from recent members makes me think they are dealing with other peoples' problems, perhaps previous members. All Volts now are used cars, and some will ditch(sell) their car if they are (or are afraid of) facing a large repair bill. Purchasing a used car these days, especially an EV, requires as much head knowledge as intuition. A OBD scan of battery health is the new 'kick the tires".
This car is hands-down, all-around, the best automobile I have ever owned or driven in.
Knowing that you are moving along the road in a most efficient way is very rewarding, especially when passing all those gas stations.😎
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
One might infer a wide spread problem when GM issues a TSB and those have been relatively few in number.
Yes, but even a TSB may apply only to certain VIN's rather than all cars from Gen 1 or Gen 2. But it's a good point that it indicates there are enough (whatever that means for GM) to issue a fix. Of course, safety reltaed issues get treated differently than others (witness 12 Bolt fires causing a recall of all Bolts).

But you bring up a good use for this forum, it's a great way to learn about recalls, safety-based or not. I always know more about recalls than my Chevy dealer. I read about them here first!
 
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IMO the mindset we may have (which is understandable) is there is a “widespread issue” when we face possibly common issues with our cars.

My true belief is parts such as the HV battery start to weaken at the 8-10 year range, and it’s part of the cost of ownership to change these items once they reach the end of their life.
 

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Other than my brake pedal position sensor (aka - cruise control won't engage without foot under the brake) by Volt has been trouble free. I did have a low coolant loop, but not low enough to cause a problem. My dealership topped it off for me for free.
 

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ok lets put it this way
if you can take it to your local dealer and get it fixed either by warrenty or out of pocket it is a common fix and we will not hear about it on this forum
if you take it to your dealer and he cant fix it becouse he cant get a part, that will send a lot of people to this and other forums looking for options to their problem. and in doing so, us the other readers quickly see a pattern happening
so me, that doesnt have the problem , will see the problem on this forum and in my eyes has now become widespread
 

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I think many of us are first owners and many others are 2nd, 3rd, or 4th owners. It is my belief that first owners usually have a better experience, due to the emotional attachment and investment made. For me, I’m possibly a 4th owner (Carfax was incorrect) so I’m not having a good experience. That being said, I still love the car!!
 

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Not everyone who has a problem will be on this forum, and those that have will not necessarily post it here. (I certainly haven't posted every issue). Therefore, what is "common" based on the forum is subjective, and one cannot apply statistical analysis to data that isn't available.

In general, my opinion is that if more than 10+ people are reporting the exact same issue on non-maintenance items, and they have the same diagnostic outcome from service, then it begins to warrant attention. I remember thinking this with the BECM failures. First there was a few, which could just be outliers, and over time the reports continued to come in. When mine failed, the dealer also confirmed this was a frequent issue they were dealing with, as well as the shift-to-park issue.
 

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Not everyone who has a problem will be on this forum, and those that have will not necessarily post it here. (I certainly haven't posted every issue). Therefore, what is "common" based on the forum is subjective, and one cannot apply statistical analysis to data that isn't available.

In general, my opinion is that if more than 10+ people are reporting the exact same issue on non-maintenance items, and they have the same diagnostic outcome from service, then it begins to warrant attention. I remember thinking this with the BECM failures. First there was a few, which could just be outliers, and over time the reports continued to come in. When mine failed, the dealer also confirmed this was a frequent issue they were dealing with, as well as the shift-to-park issue.
Agreed. Whether GM wants to admit or not, HV batteries have failed. Stator bearings on early Gen1’s have failed. And the “Shift to Park” issues have been noted on other GM cars from the past 5-6 years, so it’s not an “isolated occurrence” either.

I don’t like the “hide it and don’t admit it” mentality these days, If I were the owner I’d profusely apologize to my customers and make things right. But that costs money.
 

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To me, there are three litmus tests.

The best measurement is more about the momentum of posts on a topic rather than a fixed number. For example, there was a burst of postings regarding the stator bearing issue that were all started in the same three to four month period but kept continuing to build until there was a fix. The SHVCS/WOT sensor post blew up and also continued to build over time. I think the SHVCS and WOT together are over 50 pages combined now.

There will always be people who find their way to the forum to ask about a 1 in a 100,000 occurrence that get a few responses and then the posting dies out. But once enough people with the same problem post, one of those posts will start to be inundated with "me too!" comments and at some point it hits a tipping point that signals a legit issue.

The second measure is the regulars. Within the form there are regulars and occasionals. While the regulars (500+ posts - or multiple posts per week) in forum are only a small percentage of forum posters overall and an even smaller percentage of owners overall, there are enough regulars to be representative sample. If two or three regulars have an issue, that's likely a legit issue to me.

I also tend to apply a secondary filter related to cost of the problem. If a traction battery goes bad, that is expensive enough reason for a person to look for a less expensive fix on Google and post about it once they find the forum. I expect this forum has seen at least 50% of the failed battery owners post (which is why I still think it's not a widespread issue). Things like a window regulator are so inexpensive people will just get them fixed and not think twice about it. This forum will never see most of those issues.

My $0.02.
 

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Based on the number of Gen 1 Volts on the road, no problem posted on GM-Volt has come close to equaling 1% of the cars on the road.
What do you think?
I think the number of individual posters on GM-Volt is far fewer than the number of Volts sold. The number of posts on GM-Volt describing an owner's issues should be compared to the number of posters on GM-Volt, not the the total number of Volts sold. Don't think that EVERY Volt owner knows of this site.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I think the number of individual posters on GM-Volt is far fewer than the number of Volts sold. The number of posts on GM-Volt describing an owner's issues should be compared to the number of posters on GM-Volt, not the the total number of Volts sold. Don't think that EVERY Volt owner knows of this site.
True and another way of looking at it yes . On the other hand, people often become a member to post their problem, :)

To me, there are three litmus tests.
The best measurement is more about the momentum of posts on a topic rather than a fixed number.
The second measure is the regulars. Within the form there are regulars and occasionals. If two or three regulars have an issue, that's likely a legit issue to me.
I also tend to apply a secondary filter related to cost of the problem. If a traction battery goes bad, that is expensive enough reason for a person to look for a less expensive fix on Google and post about it once they find the forum. I expect this forum has seen at least 50% of the failed battery owners post (which is why I still think it's not a widespread issue). Things like a window regulator are so inexpensive people will just get them fixed and not think twice about it. This forum will never see most of those issues.
if you can take it to your local dealer and get it fixed either by warrenty or out of pocket it is a common fix and we will not hear about it on this forum
if you take it to your dealer and he cant fix it becouse he cant get a part, that will send a lot of people to this and other forums looking for options to their problem. and in doing so, us the other readers quickly see a pattern happening
so me, that doesnt have the problem , will see the problem on this forum and in my eyes has now become widespread
Yes, we see some issues build into a wave, then receding.
Not sure that regulars posting an issue makes it more legit.
I agree, with the more it costs to fix, the more likely someone will post a complaint.

It is my belief that first owners usually have a better experience, due to the emotional attachment and investment made. For me, I’m possibly a 4th owner (Carfax was incorrect) so I’m not having a good experience. That being said, I still love the car!!
Or, original owners who hold on to their car are taking better care of the car. My emotional attachment is not affecting the number (very few) or type of issues (minor) I have had with the Volt. Besides, have Beach Boys "Good, good, good vibrations..." usually just means a tire is out of whack, haha.
 

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I can only speak to G2 Volts. Mine was one of the first to roll off the assembly line in Sept/15 and as such I was ahead of the failure/problem curve on many issues. Many issues were not “failures” that would strand someone. ( eg. the “chuggle “ issue which took 2 years for them to solve with a software fix).

Other issues were actual failures, such as the shift to park inverter failure ( GM called it an F2 module). Mine was one of the first, dying on the turnpike while coming coming from Florida on 100 degree day. This was eventually resolved by a software fix. Many problems were corrected with software updates which were incorporated in the new cars coming off the line.

The most prevalent failure now seems to be the EGR failure ( short circuit causing non walk home fuse to blow). This problem is stranding people. I only hope GM has redesigned the part to prevent this.
 
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I'm not sure if even 50% of people who experience a battery failure would post here, a lot of Volts simply are getting junked once they find out the costs (either from the dealer or GreenTec Auto). This may be good for those of us who need parts and there is a long lead time, or even years down the road where new parts no longer exist. A lot of cars today are getting sent to the junkyard, almost as shiny as new, simply due to a failed major component such as hybrid battery or transmission.
 
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