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fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
13,392 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2013 Chevrolet Volt electrical problems

electrical problem

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2013 Chevrolet Volt Owner Comments

problem #12

Jan 152016


  • 52,000 miles


While driving at 40mph on a straight road, I went to change the drive mode, but I accidentally hit the power button. When I hit the power bottom the car shut down. I was not able to restart the car while the shift lever was in drive, so I had to coast to a stop, place the vehicle in park, and reboot the car. I was very surprised that I was able to power off the car while I was driving around 40-45 mph.

- Corona, CA, USA

problem #11

Jan 022016


  • 36,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Chevrolet Volt. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 25 mph, the service high voltage charging system warning light displayed. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the contact was informed that the battery coolant level was low. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 36,000.

- Lawrenceville, GA, USA

problem #10

Apr 092014

Volt 4-cyl

  • 6,600 miles
I received the following message on the car dash display: Propulsion reduced-engine not available. This message came on while I was driving in the carpool lane. I called GM thru on star and was told that I had a catastrophic error and needed to get my car into repair with 24 hours. With only 6 miles left on the battery, I told the GM rep that I better get the car to a Chevy dealer. I immediately drove to the dealership in culver city. The minute I pulled into the driveway of the dealership, my car stopped and would not restart. This could have been a disaster if the car had stopped in the carpool lane. I have read of other complaints on google and yahoo. I was told by the dealership that they were going to replace the engine module, which they said would take 8 hours to repair, but when I picked up the car, they only replaced the transmission module. Since the incident, I only get a full charge of 32 to 34 miles, where before the incident I was getting a full charge of 42 to 44 miles per charge. This is definite safety issue as GM blames the driver for the problem. GM needs to replace the engine module on my car.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #9

Jun 162013

Volt 6-cyl

  • 21,000 miles


Was entering highway in the dark and went to put the car into "hold" mode to run the gas engine and save battery charge. This requires pushing a button 3 times. I reached over and pushed the button. Accidently was pushing the "power" button which is right below the "mode" button shutting down the car. The entire car shuts off, no lights, powertrain, ps, pb just dead. This is easy to do if you are watching the road and just glance down to the buttons. They are placed too close together and this is going to be a serious problem if in traffic or on winding roads. Numerous reports of this on the Volt forum!

- Sutherlin, OR, USA

problem #8

Jun 242014


  • 14,238 miles
Chevy Volt is an extended range electric vehicle, it uses a gas powered generator to provide electric power for driving if the battery has dropped below a certain voltage. I parked my vehicle in my garage at home and neglected to power down the electric systems in the vehicle. There is a blue power button on the center console, if you do not press this button very deliberately the system does not power down. This is not readily apparent since the center console stays lit even when powered down. I opened the charge port and plugged the vehicle in. If the vehicle is powered down the car will give an audible beep and the charge light will go from orange to green after a period of about 4-5 seconds. If the vehicle is not powered down the light stays orange and no warning is given to the operator. I left the vehicle, I had the remote with me. The following morning my wife discovered the car in the garage with the generator running at very high RPM's the temperature in the garage was very hot, the door handle to the garage was hot to the touch. The car used almost all of it's gasoline supply, about 10 gallons, that equates to about 190 pounds of CO2 produced in my home. I backed the car out of the garage, the concrete underneath the car was too hot to touch and still warm 10 hours later. The car was towed to my local Chevrolet dealer, they repaired the heat damage and returned the car to me. I have since tested this same scenario and the vehicle will start its gas powered generator if left powered on. No gas motor is running when vehicle is parked, it is operating on its battery system. Once the battery is depleted it will self start its generator even if: 1 the car is in park 2 the charge door is open 3 the car is plugged in to it's charger 4 there is no driver in the drivers seat 5 the vehicle is not moving 6 the remote not in the vehicle. Failure to warn vehicle is on.

- Milton, GA, USA

problem #7

Nov 112013


  • 1,000 miles
The car's electrical / software issues caused (1) all of the windows to roll down in unison (in for repair 3 times to fix this one), (2) caused the car to not recognize that it was in "park", thus not shutting off, and (3) caused the car to lose power without touching any of the buttons on the console (I.e. the "drive" button or the "power" button). The latest incident occurred last Friday (August 1, 2014) when the car just lost power while I was driving at 65 mph on I-85 North at around 4:00pm. I had to get over from 4 lanes of traffic with no power at all in the car and luckily did so without incident. Onstar's diagnostics showed that the electrical system, braking system, engine, and other parts of the car showed the car needed immediate attention. I put the car in park and while still with onstar the dashboard lit up and the power button lit up too. I hit the power button and drove straight to the rick hendrick Chevy dealership in duluth. When I went to pick the car up later Saturday morning, I was told that there's nothing they car do because they can't recreate the problem. They have reflashed various ecus, but at the end of the day cannot "recreate" the problems and cannot fix them. So they just wipe their hands clean of these issues and act like they don't exist. (the service manager actually called me "ignorant" once and later apologized.) I pray it doesn't take people dying in these cars before Chevrolet and/or General Motors does something to fix them.

- Duluth, GA, USA

problem #6

Aug 312012


  • 800 miles


When in low gear (higher regenerative braking), when braking and going over some bumps, the regen braking stops causing a feeling of a lurch forward. A 'low traction" light appears. This causes a reduction in braking force of approximately 35bhp, a very unsafe condition. An anti-lock brake style pulsation of the regen should be employed, not a discontinuation of the regen brakes.

- Manchester, NH, USA

problem #5

Jun 022013

Volt 4-cyl

  • 11,669 miles
The vehicle has repeatedly shut down while driving/failed to start since June 2013. The vehicle has been in service due to repairs = 42 days in the last 10 months. GM continues to replace/recall parts on the hybrid battery as well as other parts concerning secondary problems. I am afraid this vehicle will shut down again while I am driving causing an accident hurting me or others on the road. Clearly, it is a potential death trap.

- Williamsville, NY, USA

problem #4

Apr 012014

Volt 4-cyl

  • miles
Letter from constituent regarding his wife 2013 Chevrolet Volt, who having issues with the HVAC system not cooling the rear seats when the temperature was near 100 degrees; requesting that GM accept the return of the vehicle and purchase price be refunded. The consumer stated the windows would fog up whenever humidity was present, the navigation system, was reading the vehicle was in detroit, the re-generative braking system and acceleration had downgraded after the last software update.

- Indio, CA, USA

problem #3

Mar 272014


  • 7,500 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Chevrolet Volt. The contact stated that he erroneously depressed the drive mode button and all the electrical power failed. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer or independent mechanic. The manufacture was notified about the failure. The failure mileage was 7,500 and current mileage was 7,900.

- Corvallis, OR, USA

problem #2

Mar 092014

Volt 4-cyl

  • 9,100 miles
Car gas engine started, (engine running due to temp). Ran for just a few seconds, then shut down and went into "service mode" - killing both the gas engine and electric motor - without touching any buttons on dash.

- Albion, MI, USA

problem #1

Dec 032012

Volt 4-cyl

  • 800 miles
I was on my way home, it was very dark outside on a two lane highway going 60-60mph and wanted to switch over to electric "hold" mode so I could save the electric battery for city driving. I glanced over and hit the "drive mode" button three times thinking I was going to send the drive mode down to "hold". instead what I did was powered off the car by hitting the power button. (the two buttons are right next to each other and both require multiple presses to work). So there I was, the car went black inside and the headlights turned off outside while I was going 65mpg on a two lane highway (one lane each direction). Thank god there was nobody around or close to me and thankfully there was just enough ambient light from the moon to see where I was. I hit the power button to try turning it back on, nothing. Luckily the hazard switch remained lit and I was able to turn my hazards on. I had to stop on the side of the road, put it back into park and hit power. I realize I hit the wrong button but why should such an easy mistake almost cause a fatality. If not for the moon I might have drove off the road and into a telephone pole. I would highly recommend they move the power button to the steering column, similar to where a key would be located. For gods sake, don't put a multiple click button next to another multiple click button that has such significance in the outcome of your life. And for god sakes, don't turn off the headlights if the computer detects I'm going 65 and knows via the sensor that it's dark outside! there are multiple complaints about this at various web sites, including....! somebody is going to be have a fatality soon if this is not fixed.

- Caledonia, IL, USA

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