really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
31,366 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 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2012 Chevrolet Volt Owner Comments

problem #10

Jun 242016


  • 100,000 miles


After shifting into "D" drive, on a flat area, and while standing still, then pressing on the accelerator, the car went backwards as if in R. repeatedly shifting back into P or R and then to back into D, did not change the behavior. Kept going in reverse as if in "R". only turning the car on and off a few times brought it back to normal.

- Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, USA

problem #9

May 252016


  • 67,000 miles
The Volt was purchased in November of 2012: In / around June of 2013 a warning light came on and it was taken into the local dealer (where it was purchased) it was found to have a leaking coolant system for the primary electric battery (lithium ion battery). They could not find the leak so they refiled the system and included a fluorescent dye and returned it to me (the amount of coolant was ~7 liters). 12 months later (plus or minus a few weeks) in 2014, the same light came on, it was again serviced (they claimed to have fixed the leak) and it was returned to me (~7 liters coolant). 12 months later (plus or minus a few weeks) in 2015 again the light came on, this time a substantial part of the coolant system was replaced around the lithium ion batteries (claimed to have found a few leaky connections). The vehicle was again returned to me (~all knew coolant). 12 months later (plus or minus a few weeks) in now 2016 the same light has come on yet again and it will be returned to the dealer for repair yet again. Leading to the warning light the car's fan runs longer and longer while charging (its trying to cool during charging) and the ac stops working / blowing cold. The light usually come on shortly after starting. Attempts are currently being made to contact a Chevrolet Volt / electric car advisor to work with the Chevrolet zone manager on fixing / repair this vehicle. This is not only an obvious manufacturing defect, which the dealer clearly can not repair. But also, a major safety concern, if they warning light failed and the battery of this car overheated it would likely cause an intense fire (its a large lithium ion battery). Furthermore, they coolant being released by this vehicle is a substance monitored by the epa. This is again a genuine manufacturing safety defect and needs to be resolved or the vehicle declared a lemon.

- Hoover, AL, 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

Nov 042015


  • 35,000 miles


The vehicle continuously stalls out at any speed the only way to get power back is by putting the car in low gear and then back into drive.

- Interlachen, FL, USA

problem #6

Jun 152015


  • 35,785 miles
Upon arriving at our vacation destination, we were in the process of checking into our hotel in tulsa, ok. It was a hot so I told my autistic adult son to stay in the passenger seat with the A/C on while my wife and I unloaded the luggage. The car had been backed up a slight grade into the parking spot. Moments later my wife screamed out that the car was backing up. She ran to the passenger door and reached in attempting to put the car in park. Instread she bumped it into drive and the car moved forward dow the grade. She ran along side it trying to protect our son who by this time had attempted to exit the car. She bruised up her shins quite badly. At this point I had reached the drivers door and applied the brake. I believe this is a design flaw present in many GM vehicles with console automatic shifters. Heres why: The console makes provision for storage in the area ahead of the shifter. (this is true of the sonic loaner car I am presently driving) unfortunately items stowed in this manner can interfer with the shifter going into park. In my case, my bluetooth headset was in the compartment ahead of the shifter. When you move the shifter toward part, electronic controls activate the transmission to go into park, the doors unlock, and the shift indicator light reports park. But, ,,,, the shifter is actually in the mechanical park detent. The shifter needs to travel nearly an additional 2 inches to reach the lock in detent. If it is blocked by an item in the storage area, it will not lock. In this event, the shifter can be pulled back into reverse without the driver present. I took the car to jim glover chev in tulsa. The service writer duplicated the problem and was prepared to document it but reneged after talkig to management. Kelsey chev in lawrenceburn, ind. Has it now, cant fix it. The electronic portion of the park process needs to be sinked w

- Cleves,, OH, USA

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problem #5

Jun 242015

Volt 4-cyl

  • 22,292 miles
When the vehicle would come to a stop, the parking brake would engage by itself. The only way to disengage it was to turn the vehicle off and on again. The second time I did this, the vehicle failed to shift out of park, and the vehicle was disabled in the middle of a roadway. The cause was a faulty charging port sending out a false proximity signal to the car's computer, making it think it was charging...updated 08/27/15

- Oostburg, WI, USA

problem #4

Feb 032014

Volt 4-cyl

  • 12,000 miles


While I was driving home my car would surge then lose power. I pressed the onstar button and a vehicle test was conducted. I was told the transmission needed attention. Also, the vehicle lost power while driving and I had to pull off the road. I was on a rural road so no one else was affected. Had I been on the interstate this could have affected others and myself in a negative way. I took the vehicle in and jessup auto in catherdral city, ca kept it several days and corrected the issue. The main issue is losing power while driving.

- Dhs, CA, USA

problem #3

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

problem #2

Dec 012012

Volt 4-cyl

  • 12,500 miles
Driver had returned home, stopped car, depressed gear shifter button to put gear in park, and was electrocuted from the point of gear shifter. The vehicle was already slated to be "repurchased" by GM due to other ongoing mechanical malfunction issues. The vehicle was returned to the driver for use while the new vehicle was being built by GM for delivery to the driver. When the vehicle was at the dealership for additional malfunctioning repairs, the last time before incident (including a malfunction with the main battery component the dealer determined) the dealer's mechanic reported finding a "stiffness" or malfunction with the gear shifter. The dealer ordered and replaced a part to the gear shifter. The driver drove the vehicle without incident for about three weeks before the electrocution occurred. GM was informed of the incident immediately afterwards. GM instructed driver to call 911 to have "first responders" disconnect the power in vehicle. Fire dept refused to cut power cables in vehicle, for lack of knowledge of the systems, and fear of their safety, since the driver was no longer in danger inside of vehicle. Luckily, when incident occurred, driver was able to quickly remove their point of contact from gear shifter before the hand and arm muscles had involuntarily contracted in place permanently closing the contact and resulting in further electrocution. Driver sustained significant electrical shock injury to hand/arm including pain, shock, soreness, numbness, and tingling sensation. Since incident, GM is only willing to transfer driver to their product allocation department which acts in a legal capacity and accepts claim reports for further investigation. Driver's immediate concern is not to sue GM but to insure all reasonable efforts are made to inform other Volt dealers of incident and hopefully prevent other drivers from being electrocuted......updated 01/30/13 updated 2/4/2013

- Santa Rosa Valley, CA, USA

problem #1

Sep 012011


  • 83 miles
I was slowing down at a merge point, when vehicle "stalled". I and dealer worker could not restart for 45 minutes, at which time it finally started. Drove to dealership, checked out briefly, seemed ok. Drove it again less than a mile, and for 2nd time, again stalled for approx. 45 min. Car couldn't be started. Finally car responded and drove 2nd time to dealer, where it was left for analysis and possible repair. Car purchased Aug. 30 2011, incident Sept. 1, beginning 7-8am. Car is now in dealer's hands for possible repair. Chevrolet Volt hybrid extremely dangerous situation if car stalls in major intersection or at high speed on highway. Defective component battery, engine, computer??

- Port Washington, NY, USA

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