really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
16,228 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.

2012 Chevrolet Volt brakes problems

brakes problem

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2012 Chevrolet Volt Owner Comments

problem #9

Jun 272016


  • 65,000 miles


This car relies on regenerative braking when the brakes are first applied. Regenerative braking is only applied to the front wheels. When a wheel loses traction, regen braking switches off completely and immediately, and friction brakes take over. The problem is that there is a delay from regen braking switching off to the friction brakes activating. This delay causes the car's braking distance to increase by a considerable amount, 5-10ft in my perception. This usually happens on wet or snowy roads. The car should really attempt to keep the perceived braking force constant by applying the friction brakes to compensate for the regen switching off and then activate the friction brakes and ABS, as needed, to limit wheel lock. This would make the experience a normal ABS activation event, which drivers of any modern car should be used to.

- Taunton, MA, USA

problem #8

Dec 282015


  • 20,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Volt. The contact stated that the brake pedal was applied and did not respond numerous times. The failure occurred intermittently. While driving, the transmission brackets fractured and caused the transmission to become detached. The vehicle was towed to a dealer for inspection and repair. The vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 13V271000 (electronic stability control, service brakes). The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 20,000.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #7

Jan 142014


  • 1,300 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Volt. While driving at various speeds, the brake pedal was depressed and failed to respond. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 1,300.

- Harrah , OK, USA

problem #6

Apr 102014


  • 31,200 miles


Unexpectedly, generally on uneven street/roadway, hilly the brakes do not immediately engage and will create a feeling that you many not be able to stop and/or steer, or keep the vehicle under control. After taking the automobile to a dealer about four times, it was determined July 2014 that brakes needed to be replaced. The car was and still is under warranty. I believe that the braking system is also covered under an extended electric car warranty. Brake problems have continued intermittently; are auto safety issue. The last two times I have not reported to the dealer, or Volt advisor. The dealer service advisor was incorrect about how regenerative brakes work in electric car. The blind spot is excessive for backing up, and every Volt should have had a back up camera as standard equipment, and bumpers that had crash test standards, but was not aware of options when car was sold by dealer sent a few Volts to sell. Aftermarket camera high price, less desirable than factory installed. Tax credit information should have been more clearly provided (including the tax form provided by dealers and Bosch's partnership with General Motors for 240 voltec charger). Dealer advertising needed to be accurate and transparent. Due to uninformed. Or politically conservative cpa & broker (2 individuals), did not receive a federal tax credit for purchase of Volt or installation of 240 Volt charging system. I could have easily qualified for the tax credit, which cpa failed to adequately and accurately advise me for tax planning. I have loved the Volt. However, without the anticipated tax credit, past and ongoing braking issues, blind spot problems, large price drop in value of the car (which had similar prices for 2011, 2012, or 2013 models when I bought my car. The tax credit exists to encourage electric cars, not to play a game of "gotcha."

- Wales, WI, USA

problem #5

May 012014


  • miles
2012 Chevrolet Volt. Consumer writes in regards to brake failure and vehicle acceleration issues. The consumer stated his wife had an accident. She stated the vehicle accelerated on its own, and applying the brake did not stop the vehicle. She was trying to park doing between 8-10 mph, when the incident occurred. His wife damaged two other vehicles, and her vehicle was totaled. When the consumer arrived on the scene, he stepped on the brake pedal, and it went to the floor and a dash light on the instrument panel read booster brake needs service.

- Zeeland, MI, USA

problem #4

May 212014


  • 13,552 miles
On 5-21-14 I was driving 25 mph when I had to do an panic stop to avoid another car. At this point the car lost all power and my brakes went to floor. I missed hitting the other car by inches. Once I restarted the Volt it came up with a dash warning to "service brakes". I drove about 20 mph for 1 mile to find a safe place to pull over and park. All the while testing my brakes and they were very mushy. Once I pulled over and stopped another warning message came up on dash saying "ABS failure". I called aaa and had car taken to dealership. It has now been at dealership for 21 days and still counting without even one update from dealership. Once at dealership the car acted normal as if nothing was wrong.

- Burbank, CA, USA

problem #3

Jan 272014

Volt 4-cyl

  • miles


This is the second time I have had an issue with the brakes on my Chevrolet Volt not working. The issue was first reported 2 weeks ago. The worked on the car and now the same issue started gain. This was a very scary incident.

- Lafayette, CA, USA

problem #2

Sep 132013


  • 6,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Volt. The contact stated that while driving 30 mph, the brakes failed to stop the vehicle. The contact was able to stop the vehicle eventually. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis but they were unable to duplicate the problem. The manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 6,000.

- Norwalk, OH, USA

problem #1

Feb 132013

Volt 4-cyl

  • 9,000 miles
Upon braking and passive deceleration the car makes a loud audible whining noise coming from the engine compartment. The dealer states it is a regenerative brake bearing failure. This issue is related to the bearing cage failing causing the bearing to lose its integrity. GM-Volt.com/forum/showthread.php?17877-loud-whining-during-regen.

- Nashville, TN, USA

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