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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
70,442 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2012 Chevrolet Volt Owner Comments (Page 1 of 5)

problem #82

Jul 282023


  • miles


In September 2019, the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened [XXX] to assess the malfunction of the Passenger Sensing System (PSS) in the 2012-2013 Chevrolet Volt vehicles. Due to that malfunction, the air bag system malfunction indicator light is activated. This could cause the passenger airbag to be suppressed in a crash. In July 2021, the ODI closed [XXX] after GM instituted a cost reduction program for the repair/replacement of the PSS in the subject vehicles. In July 2023, I took my 2012 Volt to a local dealer to correct this problem, only to learn that the necessary replacement part has been DISCONTINUED by GM and is no longer available. That is, frankly, unconscionable. I am requesting that ODI reopen the investigation and take further action to compel GM to make this repair available. INFORMATION REDACTED PURSUANT TO THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- Glen Ellyn, IL, USA

problem #81

Apr 012024


  • miles
This issue has been reported extensively: NHTSA PE19013. The passenger seat sensor has failed leading to the airbag turning on and off rapidly while driving. This is available for inspection upon request. I worry about the safety of occupants in the car. If the airbag is turned off despite a passenger sitting in the seat that is a problem. The price of repair at a dealer is very high considering that this is a very clear quality control issue by GM that has been acknowledged by both GM and NHTSA. This warning light has turned on before and then went away for a long time. Now it has returned and after some research it is clearly an issue that many other 2012-2013 volt owners have experienced.

- Santa Cruz, CA, USA

problem #80

Jul 012023


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Volt. The contact stated while operating the vehicle, the front passenger-??s side air bag warning light remained illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the local dealer who determined that the front passenger-??s side air bag Passenger Sensor System was faulty and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact was informed that the part to repair the vehicle had been discontinued and no repair was available. The manufacturer was contacted and confirmed that the part was discontinued. The failure mileage was 100,000.

- Potomac, MD, USA

problem #79

Oct 122023


  • 127,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Volt. The contact stated while driving at various speeds, the "Service Air Bag" warning light intermittently illuminated. The contact notified a dealer about the failure and was provided a diagnostic fee. The manufacturer was also notified of the failure and the contact was provided the same information. Upon investigation, the contact discovered NHTSA Action Number: PE19013 which was linked to the failure. The NHTSA investigation was later closed. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 127,000.

- Flat Rock, MI, USA

problem #78

Aug 102023


  • miles
Airbag sensor harness underneath the passenger seat comes disconnected from moving the seat back and forth causing a warning on the dash. GM has a TSB about this and should rewire the harness for free. The passenger presence module is undetected when the seat moves forward but is detected when moved to its full rearward position.

- Columbus, OH, USA

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problem #77

Jan 012019


  • miles
Defective front passenger seat occupancy sensor. The defective sensor makes the passenger airbag unusable, sacrificing passenger safety.

- Penn Laird , VA, USA

problem #76

Jun 012017


  • miles


The 2012 Chevy Volt Passenger Airbag Sensor was an issue that the NHTSA investigated. It will cause the passenger side airbags not to deploy in a crash. I can reproduce the airbag warning light by pressing on the passenger seat. It has also been confirmed by an independent service center. There is supposed to be a reduced cost replacement program (according to the NHTSA) but both dealers and the Chevrolet Support Center do not seem to know about it)

- Saint Charles, MO, USA

problem #75

Nov 012022


  • miles
The passenger seat occupancy sensor is malfunctioning and needs replaced.

- Emporia, KS, USA

problem #74

Aug 112021


  • miles
Seat sensor for passenger air bag is not working. It picks up a passenger and turns on air bag then turns it off. Then back on then off. Getting service airbag light. I see this was investigated by NHTSA and chevy was supposed to build a replacement program for 12-13 volts but when I call chevy they see no such program even though it is reported as a known consumer concern and was part of agreement when closing NHTSA investigation as per articles on this from journalist.

- Greenville, SC, USA

problem #73

Aug 012022


  • miles
Airbag light is on due to faulty passenger seat sensor that is a known defect by manufacturer. Your investigation was closed with the note that "GM created a program to replace the passenger sensing systems in 2012 and 2013 model year Chevy Volt vehicles". I am trying to get them to fix the issue, but they say there is no program for this repair. And the repair consists of replacing full passenger seat for over $1000. It looks like GM is misleading NHTSA that they have a program to correct the problem.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #72

Jan 012022


  • miles


Regular Faulty Warnings referring to air bag component

- San Antonio , TX, USA

problem #71

Aug 012017


  • miles
My 2012 Chevrolet Volt has had a failure with the passenger air bag presence sensor. As a result, the passenger air bag indicator has been going on and off intermittently while someone is riding in the passenger seat. This has been happening since 2017. It has gotten worse over time and is usually off when it should be on. My passengers no longer feel safe. This is a failure that could result in the passenger-??s death if the air bag fails to deploy in a crash. The repair cost from the dealer is also unreasonably expensive at over $1,000. The part alone costs $400 and requires proprietary dealer programming equipment for installation. A critical safety failure like this should be immediately recalled and fixed at no cost to the owner. This is not an isolated incident and has been widely reported across the internet.

- Blue Springs, MO, USA

problem #70

Mar 012021


  • miles
We began receiving the intermittent warning message "Service Airbag" on our 2012 Chevy Volt at around 65,000 miles, and are continuing to receive it at 69,000 miles. Research reveals that other Volt owners have encountered the same problem. Cost of repair: $1,000. It appears to be a manufacturer sensor defect that requires a recall.

- Auburndale, MA, USA

problem #69

Jul 062021


  • miles
The "service airbag" light starting coming on. I took the car to the dealership and they said that the harness in the driver's seat has a bad sensor or plug and cannot be replaced because GM no longer makes this part. They suggested that I might try to find a replacement seat in a junkyard. This means I have car that is less than 10 years old with a driver's side airbag that may or may not deploy in an accident. The dealership does not have a solution.

- Arden, NC, USA

problem #68

May 012018


  • 80,000 miles
Airbag problem warning light. Dealer said there is likely a problem with the passenger sensor in the seat and I would have to pay $1200 but that might not fix the problem. We declined the service. I have since read about many more Volt owners with this problem. Ours started around 80,000 miles. We are currently around $120000 miles.

- Castroville, TX, USA

problem #67

Apr 012018


  • 65,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Volt. The contact stated that the passenger's side air bag warning light would intermittently illuminate with an occupant seated in the passenger's seat. The contact took the vehicle to bob bell Chevrolet of bel air (1230 belair rd, bel air, md 21014) where they diagnosed the vehicle with a defective passenger side air bag sensor. The contact was given an estimate for repair which he declined. Recently, the contact stated that the passenger's side air bag warning light would remain illuminated with or without an occupant seated in the passenger's seat. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 65,000.

- Bel Air, MD, USA

problem #66

Apr 092021


  • 102,000 miles
The air bag warning light keeps going on and off randomly for different lengths of time. I looked up the problem online and it seems like I'm not the only one with this issue and that it has been reported multiple times before. The light normally turns on while the car is in motion. I have not taken it to the mechanic yet because, according to the article I saw regarding similar complaints, sometimes the mechanics can't figure it out if the problem can't be reproduced at the time. I know that this is a problem for this car though and has been reported multiple times.

- Kalamazoo, MI, USA

problem #65

Oct 012020


  • miles
Service airbag sensor for passenger side airbag. I will get the warning ding, then the airbag light will illuminate for a few minutes, then go out again. It used to happen infrequently, when something, like a handbag was on the seat, but is becoming more common as time goes on when there is nothing on the seat. The quote for repair is over $1000. This is not an isolated incident; this should be a recall item by Chevy.

- Fair Oaks, Ca, CA, USA

problem #64

Aug 272020


  • 98,000 miles
Service airbag warning light now stays on permanently. Dealer inspection reveals the front passenger seat passenger discriminating sensor needs to be replaced. Estimated cost is $900 +/- this seat has never been wet or damaged, the vehicle has not been in any accident where the airbags deployed.

- Tarpon Springs, FL, USA

problem #63

Sep 162016


  • 120,000 miles
My "service airbag soon" light has come on for the passenger side and requires a replacement of the passenger presence sensor and module. I have been quoted by the Chevy dealer at $897 before tax. This has been reported by many other people before. Due to the sensor malfunctioning and not knowing if there is or isn't a passenger in the seat the airbag may or may not be active. This is extremely dangerous.

- Madison, WI, USA

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