really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
16,013 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2013 Chevrolet Volt Owner Comments

problem #13

Mar 232016


  • 32,800 miles


While driving down a road in indianapolis at 35 miles per hour, my car suddenly slowed down and a message reading " engine not available - service soon" appeared on my hud. My car only has 32,800 miles on it and a clean title. Nothing about my driving changed to cause this issue, it was sudden and without apparent cause. I had the car taken to the mechanic, and GM just reset the codes. It is driving ok for now, but a reset of codes is a temporary fix to the issue, and I've read extensively about many, many other Volt owners with the same issue. It is extremely dangerous to have your engine shut off while driving, especially if I had been on the high way during rush hour. This is something that needs looked into, and I feel that GM is trying to bury it with resets which aren't working for most people.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

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

Sep 162015


  • miles
While entering in the highway the car started to decelerate regardless the fact the gas pedal was pushed several times. The car decelerated and then stalled. The car has been rear ended by the car behind. This could have been a much more serious accident and it was a vehicle failure.

- Royal Oak, MI, USA

problem #10

Jun 302015


  • 32,000 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Chevrolet Volt. The contact stated that the horn would activate independently while the vehicle was idling. The contact stated that the failure started occurring after the vehicle was repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 15V145000 (engine and engine cooling). The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician stated that the vehicle was operating as designed. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 32,000.

- Montrose, CA, USA

problem #9

Apr 132015

Volt 4-cyl

  • 17,400 miles
A warning message appeared on the dash, which said "propulsion power is reduced, " followed by, "engine not available. Service soon, " as well as a check engine light. I pressed the onstar button to find out what was wrong but they had never heard of the error message and could not establish communication with the vehicle to perform diagnostics. While on hold with onstar, the vehicle began to spontaneously decelerate very rapidly despite my attempts to accelerate, in the middle of fast highway traffic. I made it over to the side of the road safely, limping along at 3-10 mph, with the help of a good samaritan who blocked traffic for me. This is a spontaneous occurrence, with no maintenance negligence to explain the event. The car was towed to a dealer, which has yet to determine the source of the issue.

- Berkley, MI, USA

problem #8

Feb 022015


  • 27,300 miles
While driving, the electrical system (including motor) shut off and restarted. In the first instance I was driving at 5 mph or less in a parking lot. In the second incident I was driving on the road at approximately 30 mph. Investigated by dealer on 3/27/15. They reported a notice from Chevrolet about the problem without resolution. They could not reproduce the problem nor provide any fix.

- Winter Springs, FL, USA

problem #7

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 #6

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 #5

Jul 242014

Volt 4-cyl

  • 6,500 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Chevrolet Volt. While pulling out the driveway at 10 mph, the parking brake automatically applied and the vehicle stalled. The check engine indicator illuminated. The dealer stated that water leaked into the battery charging receptacle causing the resistance of the interlock to drop over a period of time, which contributed to the parking brake becoming engaged. The vehicle was repaired and the manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 6,500. Updated 12/2/14 the consumer stated the incident caused the transmission to go into park.

- Indialantic, FL, USA

problem #4

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 #3

Apr 062014


  • 19,900 miles


My Chevy Volt was at a car wash and the attendant was able to turn the car off while still in "D" gear. The car is able to roll and move while in this gear. I was surprised so I tested it for myself, and sure enough you're able to turn the power off and exit the vehicle while still in 'd'. every car I've owned (automatic) forces you to shift into P or N before allowing the key to remove. This is a great concern for me, so I called my Volt advisor today and was informed that other customers rolled into their garage, and the behavior was by design and normal.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #2

Jun 172013

Volt 4-cyl

  • 196 miles
I leased a new 2013 Volt on Friday and drove it to work and home on Monday. The battery display showed it was at minimum, zero miles remaining. The Volt was running with the internal combustion engine. As I pulled out of a parking lot, "┐propulsion power is reduced"Ł, "┐engine not available"Ł, and "service stabilitrac" displayed on the driver information center. After going about 500 feet, I stopped at an intersection to make a left turn and the Volt stalled. I turned on the flashers and attempted to restore power by pressing the brake and the power button. The displays lit up but the instrument cluster continued to display "┐initializing-wait to shift"Ł. I turned the Volt off by pressing the power button again and attempted to restore power several times with the same result. Cars behind me were attempting to pull around on the left side but were blocked by cars turning onto the two-lane street. I pushed the on-star button and requested assistance. Soon, a Volt specialist came on the line and said she suspected the security system or the 12V battery. She had me turn everything off and walk 200 feet from the car. When I returned and tried to start the Volt, it started briefly but shut down. She said the 12V battery might be low and they would have the tow truck driver bring booster cables to charge the battery. I had managed to push the Volt to the curb and got some cables to boost it. The Volt initialized and the displays looked normal. I drove to the next intersection and stopped for the light. When the light changed, it stalled again. I was able to continue to my house on battery power but it would not go up the slope of the driveway. I tried to charge it but the charge cycle would not start. The next morning, it had "┐plug in to charge" light on. I started the charge cycle. It goes to the dealer tonight.

- Dublin, OH, 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.... GM-Volt.com/forum/showthread.php?17249-power-button-too-close-to-drive-mode-button! somebody is going to be have a fatality soon if this is not fixed.

- Caledonia, IL, USA

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