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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
67,623 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2012 Chevrolet Volt Owner Comments (Page 1 of 4)

problem #76

Dec 112023


  • miles


Grandson was driving and went to brake to make a turn and the engine not available light came on and he had no brakes. He was unable to slow and take the turn and hit a truck in the front driver quarter panel which resulted in the car being a total loss.

- Memphis, IN, USA

problem #75

Oct 012022


  • miles
2012 Chevrolet Volt, the vehicle has been losing power for propulsion on the highway/roads at all speeds. Shutting off. Electric charge is supposed to switch to the gasoline motor when it is low, but it does not, and vice versa. It shows hybrid battery management has a loss of propulsion with a message of low propulsion power. The original problem was not fixed with a recall a few years back because the same problem is showing up. Now, Chevy does not have this VIN being recalled. But worse, the conditions in the software are causing a powertrain failure while driving. Please help. I am pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Bowdoinham, ME, USA

problem #74

Jul 282022


  • miles
Blank (dark) main screen display for speedometer, fuel, etc. Fuse not blown. the vehicle is unsafe to drive. One can run out of electrical power and or gas and not know, stop on the highway and be in harms way. no turn signals, no speed indication at all, nothing. this is recall worthy! and needs to be addressed by chevy.

- Weatherford, TX, USA

problem #73

Feb 072022


  • miles


Car suddenly entersinto a no start and stall.this is being repaired by H&H Chevrolet in omaha at owners expense.the problem seems to be in a faulty batterycharge sensor. The part is being ordered by H&H service department andis notyet of 2/9/2022.

- Omaha, NE, USA

problem #72

Oct 012021


  • miles
LCD Driver panel, fuel, odometer, speedometer, screen is completely black. Started flickering then went out. No warnings given. I have no idea how fast I am going nor how much gas/ battery power I have.

- Concord, NC, USA

problem #71

Sep 132021


  • miles
My instruments cluster that displays speedometer/fuel/battery charge indicator went absolutely blank while vehicle was in motion on busy highway. Only remedy recommend by Chevy dealer was to replace the entire assembly and reprogramming. I feel failure of essential display of basic functions to the driver is definitely a hazard to the vehicle operator and to the general public.

- Harrisburg, PA, USA

problem #70

Sep 032021


  • 87,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Volt. The contact stated that after entering and starting the vehicle, she became aware that the center console screen was showing a blank screen. The contact restarted the vehicle however, the failure persisted. After waiting for a few minutes, the contact drove the vehicle to her son-??s home to charge the vehicle and the display screen started working. The contact was concerned that the failure would recur. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 87,000.

- Mcmurrary, PA, USA

problem #69

Aug 122021


  • miles
The display screen which shows my gas, battery amount as well as my speed has stopped working. I have changed the fuses, disconnected the battery and it still will not come on. This is dangerous, as I cannot see how fast I am going and can potentially run out of gas and battery power on the highway with no way to get anywhere. This is the only thing that has gone out, everything else in the car is working. It has been reproduced and I cannot drive anywhere safely because of this. I am in fear of what may happen, as well as the legal ramifications of not knowing my speed. No warning, just flickering of the screen and then it went blank and has not come back on.

- Alpharetta, GA, USA

problem #68

Apr 022021


  • 101,000 miles
The vehicle has illuminated the check engine light with a warning that the battery is too cold. This occurred while in motion on a highway under normal conditions in summer temperatures. An internet search has indicated that a temperature sensor may be to blame, and that the electrical system may try to heat the battery to an unsafe level.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #67

Jan 202021


  • 75,000 miles
Temperature sensors responsible for monitoring the battery pack fail unexpectedly. Sometimes displaying a "battery too cold plug into warm" message or a check engine light. Personally, this is the second time I've had a sensor fail. The entire module containing the failed sensor must be replaced. The battery is made up of three different sections called modules. When a sensor fails, the car will simply refuse to start despite being within a normal operating temperature range. I've had the message display when in motion. This time however, the message was accompanied by a check engine light, and a burning odor that resembles burning plastic while the engine is running. I have yet to experience reduced propulsion of any kind while driving.

- Mont Alto, PA, USA

problem #66

Nov 192019


  • 141,301 miles


Purchased car 5-31-12-received GM's '19 recall to reprogram hpcm to eliminate ppr some vehicles had. Prior to service no issues. Coolants replaced same time. Service done 11-19-19 by ourisman rockmont @ 141,301~85% ev, with negative impact. Range now to 28~32 miles/chg, 8.1-8.3 kwh consumed, prior 36-38 miles/chg 9.7-9.9 kwh@60-75F. Eng now runs randomly @ temps btw 40-65F. Called GM, complained assigned case#9-56696768626&taylor@866-790-5600X5916129. Multi msgs B4 call returned. Advice-return to dealer, did on 12-5-19 told car functioning correctly. Called GM voiced discontent w/car since recall service. Told GM relies on dealer techs to determine if car is functioning correctly. Per advisor's rec, took 3rd trip to dealer. Dealer rep stated car was working correctly, said he had complaints from others after recall work, engine running due to low temp, batteries & range deteriorate over time. Requested car be returned pre-recall state, told not an option. Expected battery deterioration from start, didn't expect GM/dealer to break car, causing 2 happen in 1 day. Previously eng ran at 24F w/screen showing running due to temp. No screen now. Car speed drops when engine engages, safety issue on busy roads. Wrote GM 5/20 & dealer 11/2020, no reply. Car driven <6K mi in '20 due to these issues. Don't trust GM/dealer to fix car. GM sends me to dealer says car performing correctly. Car no longer chrgs, indicates chg system service required. After 2 trips to GM dealer, still not working, told battery may need replacing. If so damage done by GM dealer & GM hpcm2 update. Told in '19 by ourisman rep update fixed battery cell rebalancing issue. Since hpcm2 reprogramming my cars performance fundamentally changed & safety issue when engine engages. GM should recall vehicles, fix them making owners whole since it is their software & dealer service technicians who created safety issue.

- New Market, MD, USA

problem #65

Jan 012021


  • 72,000 miles
The dashboard instrument panel goes blank in cold weather. Not able to see speed or any other information.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #64

Dec 252020


  • 160,000 miles
The driver's info screen (speed, odometer, remaining fuel, warning lights, turn signals, safety messages, etc.) went blank while I was driving. It intermittently comes back on, but goes blank again.

- Brandon, MS, USA

problem #63

Mar 022020


  • 115,000 miles
Passenger side airbag sensor in seat failing on and off for a couple months, steadily getting worse and light/warning coming on more often until it's continuously failing. Seat did not get wet or damaged.

- Scottsville, NY, USA

problem #62

Jan 122018


  • 51,000 miles
While driving sudden loss of power having to basically depress gas pedal to maintain speed while simultaneously receiving "reduced propulsion error". dealer cleared error and did a reprogram. After picking up vehicle range was reduced approximately 1/3rd but car ran. Shame on me for not being more forceful about range reduction because this battery was defective. This summer June 2020 complained about reduced range and dealer did more programing. Now in October 2020 reduced propulsion error came back and hybrid battery is bad. Warranty ran out in May 2020 and GM refusing to acknowledge 2018 date of defective battery.

- Woodbury, MN, USA

problem #61

Aug 192020


  • 149,627 miles
The contact's daughter's boyfriend owns a 2012 Chevrolet Volt. The contact stated that while his wife was driving 35 mph, the vehicle abruptly independently slowed down with an unknown message on the instrument panel. The contact's wife continued driving the vehicle at a slow speed. Upon reaching her destination, the contact attempted to restart the vehicle however, the vehicle failed to start. Due to the failure, the contact's wife had the vehicle towed to her residence. The contact stated that the electrical vehicle was unable to be recharged, and remained inoperable. The manufacturer had been notified of the failure however, offered no further assistance. A dealer was not notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 149,627.

- Jackson Springs, NC, USA

problem #60

Jul 242020


  • 112,000 miles
The issue is caused by a previous software update to the vehicle interface control module (vicm) which was installed to improve the car, but which may have disabled the cell balancing function, causing the Volt to enter a low-voltage condition. This puts the affected Volts into a situation where it would enter what is called a low-power "limp-home" mode, before shutting down completely cause the Volt to shut down in traffic. Dealer states that needs to replace battery which it cost about 6000. Chevrolet is not responding for the defective problem that caused the recall. Low-voltage battery cell issue or propulsion reduce

- Homestead, FL, USA

problem #59

May 272020


  • 162,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Volt. The contact stated that while driving at 60 mph, the reduced propulsion error message was displayed on the instrument panel. The engine revved up and the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact pulled over and restarted the vehicle however, the vehicle failed to accelerate. The vehicle was towed to beaty Chevrolet (9615 parkside dr, knoxville, tn 37922) where he was informed that the voltage on the battery was low and needed to be replaced. The contact spoke to serra Chevrolet Cadillac Buick GMC Kia (189 stonebridge blvd, jackson, tn 38305) where the dealer discussed trading in the vehicle, but offered no assistance for the repair. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 162,000.

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #58

May 292020

Volt 4-cyl

  • 95,607 miles
Driver screen goes completely blank, leaving the driver with no idea how many miles until empty, no speedometer, no warning lights, or any other information.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #57

Feb 282020


  • 91,000 miles
While the vehicle is parked and the key fob is carried inside the owners pants pocket, the owner's keys will inadvertently press against the unlock button on the fob for an extended period of time (5 secs ?). the remote will in turn signal the Volt to power all four windows in the car to the "express window down" feature. During this time frame the owner of the car is unaware of the windows in the lowered position and if rain enters the interior of the car the interior & seats become saturated. This in turn may cause the passenger airbag occupancy sensor to malfunction and display the "service airbag" warning light on the driver instrumentation screen. There are reports from GM service departments telling customers the airbag occupancy sensor is defective because the owner got the seat wet and offer very little assistance. The express window down feature can not be switched off from any menu settings of the car. This is a clear recall that can adversely effect the driver / passenger airbag safely deploying.

- Penn Laird, VA, USA

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