Chevrolet Volt Web Chat Friday 05Jan12 12 p.m. EST
Web chat with:
- GM Global Chief Engineer for Electric Vehicles Jim Federico,
- Chevrolet Volt Marketing Director Cristi Landy and
- Volt Vehicle Line Executive Doug Parks.
Volt web chat
Friday January 6, 2012
Doug Wernert: Hello everybody and welcome to today's chat. Joining us today will be GM Global Chief Engineer for Electric Vehicles Jim Federico, Chevrolet Volt Vehicle Line Executive Doug Parks and Chevrolet Volt Marketing Director Cristi Landy. We'll get started right at noon ET, but feel free to start sending in your questions now. We'll answer as many as we can in the hour. Thanks!
Doug Wernert: We'll get started in just a few minutes. We're receiving your questions into our queue and will answer as many as we can in the chat. Thanks!
Jim Federico: Hi everyone this is Jim Federico. I'm the Chevrolet Small and Electric Vehicle Line Executive. I look forward to answering your questions this hour.
Doug Parks: Hi everyone, this is Doug Parks. Thanks for joining today. Let's get started.
Comment From Ron in NJ
How many Volts have been sold and are on the road now? I love mine.
Cristi Landy: Hi Ron,
We have sold 7997 Volts in the US since our launch in December. Our customer have accumulated over 20 million miles to date.
Comment From Pat
Is this fix necessary, or is it just to placate the naysayers?
Doug Parks: Pat, it's true this incident was caused by a post-crash test procedure. It is very difficult to replicate this test procedure in the real world. So, we believe the chance of this happening in the real world is very small. However, the fix will be free to our customers and should give you or anyone who may own the car later the peace of mind of knowing this test procedure incident can not happen with your car.
Comment From Gigi
I feel somewhat uncomfortable with having my car taken apart to make these structural changes, particularly since I personnally think the supposed risk of fire weeks after a side impact wreck that also includes being flipped over is really low and overblown by the press. It seems silly to risk messing up a car that is running quite nicely by taking it apart unnecessarily. How strongly do you recommend that unworried Volt owners proceed with this alteration?
Jim Federico: Gigi, the actual work the dealer will do will not mess up your car. We will train and ensure the technicians will do this in a very effective way. We do recommend you get this done when it is convenient for you. No rush since your vehicle is very safe, even without it.
Comment From Ed Dombrowski
Can a transcript of today's discussion be made available to Volt owners?
Doug Parks: Yes, this chat box will automatically become a replay once it is over.
Comment From Billy
Will a loaner vehicle be provided during the service to make the modifications?
Cristi Landy: Billy,
Yes, Volt owners will get a loaner vehicle while the vehicle is in for service. This service is expected to take about one day.
Comment From donald shaw
Could the 'short circuit' caused by the coolant been a problem if the battery had been deactivted
Doug Parks: Don, it's true if the battery was deactivated, this "short-circuit" would have been avoided. GM will continue to support the depowering of high-voltage batteries in severe crash test events for proper storage and handling.
Comment From John
The letter said that there would be some retrofits done to strengthen the battery case. How much will these retrofits add to the weight of the car? Is there any idea of impact, if any, to range?
Doug Parks: John, the added structure will weigh about 2-3 pounds and will have no impact at all on your EV range or fuel economy.
Comment From Guest
First let me say that I love my Volt and recommend it to everyone who asks. I think GM handled this NHTSA issue with class and dignity that is very rare in todays Automotive world.
Cristi Landy: Guest,
Thanks for your support. By the way, Volt customers the most satisfied customers in the industry.
Comment From Dan
Is there a way we can see a picture of the part that GM would be adding to our vehicle?
Jim Federico: Dan, you can go to media.gm.com to view a graphic and animation of the process and parts we are using for the enhancement. You may view it at this link on the right hand side. http://media.gm.com/content/media/us.../Jan/0105_volt
Comment From DonC
I'm a moderator on a Volt forum where a poll yesterday showed that up to 40% of the Volt owners had concluded they would not participate in the cusomer satisfaction action or were considering not participating. From comments the underlying reason seems to be that many do not see the value in addressing what they consider to be a non-existent problem. Can you give these folks a few examples where the announced fixes would provide a benefit that would not otherwise be provided by a propoer and timely discharge of the battery?
Doug Parks: Don, please help us tell all the folks on the forum that there is no downside to getting this done (the enhancement will be handled well at the dealer - we will ensure that). The upside is that you will have "peace of mind" that the enhancement is in your car as well as knowing that your car will be as updated as every car we build from here on out.
Comment From Michael Sebald IL
How long will the service take. Will the modifications be made by the local dealer. Seems like a really unique type of "recall. Although I know its not really a recall.
Cristi Landy: Michael,
The service will take about a day. This enhancement will be handled the same way as any other Customer Satisfaction program that Chevrolet with other issues. You will get a letter from GM with the official notification and then you can just call your dealer to schedule an appointment. This update can be made at your convenience.
Comment From Dana
I take it that the battery does not need to be removed to do the structural fix. Is all the structural work done from the underside and how many items must be removed to get at the fix area. Also is a reprogramming required with the coolant level monitor to be added or will it display using a prexisting indicator.
Doug Parks: Dana, the battery will need to come out and then the structure is added to the tunnel from beneath the car. The battery will be reinstalled without any changes internal to the battery. The coolant sensor will also be added as well as an update to your vehicle software to monitor the coolant sensor. No new graphics or displays will be added.
Comment From Harvey
How will 3 pounds of steel protect such a large battery? The plates will be very thin!
Jim Federico: Harvey, since the structure is already fairly effective, it does not take that much more material to spread the load that comes in a severe side pole-type crash.
Comment From Gigi
Will all Volt owners get a CORVETTE as their loaner?!!
Cristi Landy: Sorry Gigi,
Most likely you will not get a Corvette as a service loaner. But I encourage you to ask your dealer for a test drive of a Corvette. It is a great vehicle!
Comment From Sean_Volt_1440
4th try.....From what I understand, our battery packs won't actually be replaced, they will just be reinforced. Is this true?
Doug Parks: Sean, sorry this took four tries (lots of questions coming in), but your pack will not be replaced, just the vehicle structure will be added around the battery.
Comment From mac mccallum
had the volt 3 weeks and got the car after the reports - love it and just mad I did not get it in time to get the nice gift of the flip camera - great add on by chevy - I drive quite a bit and have gone 800 miles on first tank!!!
Cristi Landy: Mac,
That is great to hear. Our owners are averaging about a month between fill ups. It is quite a joy to avoid the gas station on a regular basis.
Comment From Billy
Is there a chance that there could still be a recall related to this issue once the NHTSA releases it's full report?
Doug Parks: Billy, we have worked very closely with NHTSA in this investigation and enhancement plan. Everything we have to date tells us we have addressed all of their concerns. From their statement yesterday, we believe they are moving towards closure of the investigation. We really can't comment on their final position, but believe our customer satisfaction program will completely satisfy our customers.
Comment From John Armstrong #506
If I'm involved in a damaging accident, how do I see that the battery is discharged before it's towed? Do I need special equipment?
Jim Federico: John, GM engineers are currently dispatched with special equipment to discharge the battery before the vehicle is transported. Even without our special equipment we can assist the emergency responders on how to use simple available equipment to discharge the battery. In addition, we are working with a supplier for all emergency responders to have a discharging tool available for usage before the end of the year.
Comment From Mark
How are the technicians to be trained? Video, or attending a course, or trainers coming round to dealerships?
Cristi Landy: Mark,
When you take your Volt in for this service, you can be assured that a very highly trained technician will be working on your vehicle. All Volt selling dealers are required to go through extensive training, including high voltage training.
Comment From Valerie
Is there a time limit of when you have to complete this enhancement
Doug Parks: Valerie, no time limit. I would suggest whenever this is most convenient for you.
Comment From DavidM
I have the upcoming 2012 model on order. Fair to assume these new modifications will be implemented by GM prior to dealer delivery? Any other mods anticipated? Will this delay my 2/6 TPW date?
Doug Parks: David, we have been building 2012 Volts since last summer. If we have already built your car, you will see no delay. It will be your choice to take your car as is and get the fix later or get it installed before you pick up your car. Thanks for buying a Volt and we're sure you'll love it!
Comment From Fulgerite
I think GM should consider a special TV commercial that responds to this issue and points out that the Chevy Volt has the highest customer satisfaction rating in the industry.
Cristi Landy: Fulgerite, We are so proud of the Consumer Reports Customer Satisfaction win. However, Consumer Reports does not allow their results to be used in advertising. I will tell you that Volt customers are off the charts with their enthusiasm. It is always a pleasure to read our consumer feedback!
Comment From Ryan
Are there any plans to include 'dashboard guages' to the DIC? I would like to be able to check items like battery temperature, actual charge, as well as other metrics like ICE rpms.
Jim Federico: Ryan, currently no. But your car today monitors all of these parameters and will indicate to you through the DIC or cluster telltales when any of them are out of the normal range.
Comment From John Kelner
John here. 3000 miles total. 2600 miles EV! I hate buying gasoline now.
Cristi Landy: John,
All of us Volt drivers are with you! It is amazing how quickly you can get used to not stopping at the gas station.
Comment From Ted
has this fix been crash tested?
Doug Parks: Ted, we have crash-tested this successfully on four separate vehicles here at GM and the NHTSA has also completed a successful crash test on 12/22. All tests were with the enhancements and eliminated this post-crash incident.
Comment From Charlie Scuilla
What if question? Please answer - what if another accident occurs in the "real" world - GM gets notified through Onstar that the battery is damaged. What is your procedure to deactivate the battery? Will responders do it?
Jim Federico: Charlie, we currently dispatch qualified GM personnel to work with the responders to discharge the battery. We are working with the supplier to make a discharging tool available to all responders this year. Between now and then GM utilizes their own equipment or simple tools available to responders to discharge the battery.
Comment From Steve P.
Don't know what happened to my first attempt here. I like my Volt. I received it 3 days before all this news about the battery broke. I have gone over 900 miles on 2.4 gallons of gas. At this rate, I will need a fill up by June. My question concerns lease contracts, does the contract require us to get the fix?
Cristi Landy: Steve,
Purchased and leased vehicles are treated the same. All customers should schedule a time to get their vehicles updated.
Comment From Gary Winkelman
"Elegant Design" I reviewed the photographs of the Volt's "undercarriage" retrofit and I'm wowed by the simple yet sophisticated solution. As a private pilot, this is nicer than my old Cessna! More like a modern military or commercial aircraft! Hats off!
Doug Parks: Thanks Gary. All the engineers agree with you.
Comment From Anne
I love my volt. Unfortunately just today the electrical inspector came to inspect my 240 charger and said "too bad you installed this for a car you are going I return!" I think he was surprised at how angry I became and tried to educate him on the realities. Obviously a fox news channel watcher.
Cristi Landy: Anne,
Thanks for your support. We are looking to our owners, Volt's best advocates, to help us get the word out. We are doing what we can also.
Comment From John Roxburgh
I guess no one wants to answer the "spoiler" question.Is there a version 3.?Version 2 still rubs my drive.
Jim Federico: John, for this generation Volt, spoiler version 2 is our mainstream design. Yes, it will still rub, by design, but the amount of contact has been reduced without any performance degradation. In other words, we have designed the spoiler to rub to ensure the Volt gives you all the fuel-free performance you bought the car for.
Comment From Guest
When will dealers have the parts and training to begin completing the enhancement?
Cristi Landy: Hi Guest,
We expect dealers to get the parts in early February. You will be notified and the dealer will let you know.
Comment From Zachary Pilon
I am a little frustrated in that this question is not being answered whiled we have comments not pertaining to the battery being posted. Is there a reason why the charge mileage has gone down from 42 to 30 over the past six months?
Doug Parks: Zach, sorry for the delay - so many questions from more than 1,500 people right now. EV range will be affected by external temperature, road terrain and driving habits. I've been driving mine for almost two years and I drive highway speeds a lot and my range typically is in the high 20s in the winter here in Michigan and tops out in the low 40s in the summer. I think you're just experiencing a similar range due to conditions and drive patterns. The car does adjust the prediction based on temperature and how you drive. Thanks for buying and I hope that helps.
Comment From Victor Barajas
I really appreciated the Internal combustion backup during the windstorms here in Pasadena, CA......No power for a week!......My volt ran on gas for the duration.... Take that LEAF! .victor #1650
Doug Parks: Thanks Victor. Our experience tells us most Volt customers drive about 1,000 miles between fill ups, although I'm sure you're doing better than that!
Comment From Cindy B in NJ
Tried to so Yeah to the Volt before, trying again......recently purchased our Volt..about 2 months now...850 miles on only 3.5 gals of gas..mostly drive in EV...LOVE
Doug Parks: Thanks for your support, Cindy.
Comment From Fulgerite
Can you tell us approx. how many real world crashes that your technicians have responded to so far?
Jim Federico: Fulgerite, we have responded to approximately six real world crashes severe enough for us to depower the battery. After review of all six we have been very pleased on how the Volt has performed in customer safety when considering the severity of the accident.
Comment From Mike
I have someone pick up my Volt to clean it. They pick up many kind of cars to clean from customers, even BMW's & Caddys. My car cleaner told of all the ones she pickups she loves picking mine up the best and driving it because it is the most funand neatest to drive. She now wants one!
Cristi Landy: Mike,
This doesn't surprise me. Data shows that Volt owners are more satisfied with their vehicle than luxury car owners - this includes rating their Volt as more fun to drive!
Comment From David
Is this a standard NHTSA test? If so, how was it missed before production?
Doug Parks: David, yes it is a standard test and we did run this test several times before and after start of production. We passed it every time. The NHTSA test ended up being the only one that this incident happened in. Part of the reason is the vehicle sat fully charged for three and a half weeks after the test. These enhancements will prevent this condition, but GM still supports depowering batteries after severe crash tests to provide safety in all post-crash conditions.
Comment From Franc
The initial reports indicated that the 2012 Volt included Chevy's MyLink system. The Volt came to Colorado in 11/11 and I bought a 2012 model. Are there any plans to provide 2012 Volts owners with an upgrade to include the Chevy's MyLink system. Possibly at the same time as the battery modifications?
Comment From Mike Jensen
As a fire/rescue volunteer, it was the safety features of the volt that sold me on having to have one. It is a great car, and a safe car!
Cristi Landy: Franc,
Chevy's MyLink system is expected to be available later in the model year.
Comment From Scott Winneguth
You mention the NHTSA has crash tested the modification. However, I thought one of the tests conducted was on a battery pack by itself, then inverted to simulate a roll-over. How does the structural modification resolve this issue? Great car, by the way!
Jim Federico: Scott, thanks for the compliment. Glad you like the Volt! NHTSA did both a full vehicle test and battery lab testing. The structural modifications avoid the potential for coolant leakage from a severe side impact. This will avoid the potential for coolant contacting any of the electrical circuit boards if a rollover were to occur in addition to the side impact.
Comment From RaphaŽl leroy
how can you explain that all deliveries have been suspended since 12/13/2011. Cars are sitting at the dealer. Is the car safe ?
Doug Parks: Raphael, deliveries are not on hold. The cars are completely safe as is. My wife and I are both driving them right now, too and I can assure you the cars are safe. The enhancements will be made available starting in February.
Comment From Ron in NJ
So far 4000 miles on one fill up (8 gals).
Comment From Farris Khan
When will you go on Fox News to counterpoise the talking points? How did Mark Modica become the spokesperson for all things Volt? Can you go on there or somewhere else to provide facts?
Cristi Landy: Farris-
Modica's reporting is politically motivatied, not always fact base. Our greatest opportunity is for our owners - like Eric Rothbard did last month - to join their discussions, because it's highly unlikely they'll welcome someone GM.
Comment From Nan Pomeroy
I notice that some Volt owners have stated they were getting as much as 40 miles when fully charged. Mine has never been more than 35. This winter in 30-40 degree weather, I am getting a full charge only at 25. Is this normal?
Doug Parks: Nan (and others that are asking about this), the car takes external temperature and your recent driving patterns into account when it predicts your EV range so it will change as the climate changes and your driving patterns change. From my experience, in 30-40 degree weather, 25-35 EV range is not unheard of. I actually average about 27-28 miles EV range here in Michigan in the winter driving 70 mph highway speeds.
Comment From Victor Barajas
Brought this up before , but know you're swamped.....Any concern for minor crashes? From the animation it looks like the protection is ment for major penetration into battery compartment. Do I need to worry about minor rear-end "fender-benders"?
Doug Parks: Victor - Thanks no concerns for minor crashes. Actually the battery is completely protected in all major crashes, except this one. This is a "worst case" for the battery but with these enhancements we eliminated any intrusion into the battery even in this worst case test.
Comment From Robert
My engine light would go on and stay on for up to a week at a time after having used any form of charger. With that we have also found in the vehicle manual that there is a form of gas called, "top teir" gas that the company reccomends be used in the vehicle. Could the intake of bad gas be the problem that triggers the engine light?
Comment From Robert
Is there any way to add the passive locking and unlocking feature to the 2011 which is now available on the 2012
Cristi Landy: Rob,
Unfortunatley, we do not have a way to update the 2011 Volt with the 2012 passive locking and unlocking feature.
Comment From Gail C
if in a severe accident or a situation with a battery short, does the battery have internal fusing that is capable of protecting it from a short circuit or a rapid discharge to prevent fire or explosion? PS we all see what lithium ion batteries in RC racecars are capable of when shorted.
Jim Federico: Gail, the Volt senses isolation faults and will immediately isolate all high voltage to the battery pack itself therefore protecting anyone handling the vehicle for whatever reason.
Comment From Howell
I would like to know my "Volt #"... I have seen several people post theirs by their name. How can I find out mine?
Cristi Landy: Howell,
Do you have a 2012 Volt? 2011 Volt owners have the last 4 digits of their VIN displayed on the screen when the vehicle starts up.
Comment From Derikp 1833
So to recap, should we contact the Volt Advisor or Dealer to schedule the installation? The Fix will increase integrity of battery in side impact crash and increase weight nominally, and thus shouldn't materially impact eMPG. Do I have that right?
Doug Parks: Derik, we will contact you as soon as the parts are ready (starting in February). You are correct - there will be a 2-3 pound increase in the weight of the car and this will have no effect on your EV range or MPGe.
Doug Wernert: Hi everyone, Cristi and Jim had to run, but Doug Parks is still here to take your questions. Thanks!
Comment From Joe
I am especially interested in how the new structural elements will be attached. Is it by welding, by adhesive bonding, or by bolting? Will new undercoating be added, especially if the fix is by welding?
Doug Parks: Thanks Joe. The new structure will be attached through adhesive and rivets into the tunnel structure of your car.
Comment From Beth C
I wanted to ask this again, all the retrofit work will be done from underneath the car? That's what it looks like from the animation. I love my Volt and hate seeing such bad press, keep up the good work.
Doug Parks: Beth, the battery will come out, the structure will be attached from under the car and the battery will be reinstalled. By the way, no changes to the battery.
Comment From scottf200
This part of the fix has confused everyone? What is it for? "Add a tamper-resistant bracket to the top of the battery coolant reservoir to help prevent potential coolant overfill."
Doug Parks: Scott, on your battery coolant reservoir cap and in your owner's manual, we state that you have to go to a dealer to service your battery coolant. This tamper-resistant bracket helps protect against overfilling of the coolant bottle and leaves any of this work to a highly-qualified service technician.
Comment From Steve,
Has the Volt been tested more than any other non-electric/hybrid car would be?
Doug Parks: Steve, the battery alone has had more than 285,000 hours (or about 25 years) worth of testing. Without using exact data, this car has had more tests, more miles and more validation that any car I have been associated with at GM in the last 25 years.
Comment From Mary #4161
These web chats are really helpful! I don't get this kind of attention with my Mercedes or my Prius. Another great move by GM - Thank you!!
Rob Peterson: @Mary - glad you find the webchats helpful. We've conducted several webchats on a variety of subjects over the past month - from driving efficiency tips to living with the Volt - on Chevroletvoltage.com. If you haven't already, I suggest you join either the Chevrolet Volt or Chevy Volt Owner Facebook pages to get updates for the next chat.
Comment From David Drolet
Is any of the interior touched for this fix?
Doug Parks: David, no interior changes.
Comment From Cassandra Pickerell
I have tried to ask several times about the risk for squeaking after the fix. Can you please answer!
Doug Parks: Cassandra, please be assured no squeaks, rattles or bumps will happen in your car as a result of this.
Comment From Danny Ulster
How long should I expect my Volt to be in the shop for the recall?
Doug Parks: The enhancement should take about a day to put in.
Comment From janice
I have not seen a VOLT commercial since the crash hoopla began. I have had comments from 'semi- informed' friends and relatives about the safety of the volt. I have tried to educate them but I get a subtle eyeroll in response. I love the car and want to be proactive in my defense of it. How about some media help from Chevy?
Rob Peterson: @Janice - Our media "buys" are made months in advance which is why you've seen few commercials of late. Volt commercials will begin to air again in February.
Comment From Roger in Oregon
I give up.
Doug Parks: Roger, sorry we haven't answered your question - it would take me a long time to go through the hundreds of questions to find your original one. Can you try one more time? If not, please have a great day.
Comment From Kalpesh
I am wondering about after an accident. How do the GM Engineers know where and when to go to dicharge the battery after an accident? Is it through onstar or do we have to call when there is an accident?
Doug Parks: Kalpesh, when OnStar makes the call after a crash, we can tell that it is a Volt and we start our investigation from there. We are working with first responders and post-crash handlers to make the electric battery depowering a standard practice for all vehicles whether they have OnStar or not.
Comment From Mark Lipof
IS the battery removed from under the car also??
Rob Peterson: @Mark - the battery is removed from beneath the vehicle. There are photos available on ChevroletVoltage.com
Comment From Roger in Oregon
I've been getting (I estimate) 800 mpg. I don't know for sure because I have yet to fill up the gas tank. I love driving my Volt! I do have one pet peeve, however. The DIC/NAV/Status and the radio seem to share a single on-off button. There are plenty of times when I want the one or the other and not both. Will there ever be a way to de-couple these? Can it be retro-fitted for the 2012 model? I would also like to know if there are any plans to upgrade the NAV system to include a POI category for charging stations. It would be convenient to have them displayed on the map while driving.
Doug Parks: Roger, sorry you waited this long for this and you may not love this answer, but the DIC/NAV and radio controls will not be dramatically changing in the near future. We're always looking to make improvements in future models for these kinds of conditions including NAV functionality. Nothing I can announce at this time. I'm glad you love driving your Volt and we're working to make it better every day.
Doug Wernert: All - We are seeing multiple questions about loaner vehicles will be available when Volt owners take their Volts to the dealership. Yes, they will be.
Comment From Khaled
Are you confident that the dealers are capable of performing this modification ........ ? Sometimes my dealers look at my VOLT like its from Outer space and I get the feeling that anything outside of a Tahoe or Silverado is "foreign" to them .... ?
Rob Peterson: @Khaled - the Volt technicians at dealerships are some of the most trained professionals in the industry. We're confident they will handle you're car with care.
Comment From f3rretus
Where can we get inexpensive 240V chargers?
Doug Parks: You can get the 240V charger (uninstalled) directly from our provider SPX for $495 for the hardware. This is the lowest price that I'm aware of.
Comment From Bill Gerth
Is a non-conductive coolant being considered as a later upgrade? Is this a cost issue or one of thermal properties?
Doug Parks: Bill, all coolants have some level of conductivity. We have examined other coolants with less conductivity, but they have negative long-term thermal properties that do not meet our specifications.
Comment From Dave Muse
Any comment on 2012 plans? How many Volts will be built? How many to Europe? Plans for the Chinese market?
Comment From Fulgerite
I understand why it may not be feasible to retrofit existing batteries with conformal coating on the circuit boards... But you should consider protecting the circuit boards from coolant on future designs.
Rob Peterson: @Dave we have production capacity for up to 60,000 units globally but will build to meet demand. All vehicles produced for Europe, China, Canada, Australia etc will be built at GM's Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly facility. We would consider building a production facility in another region, but only to meet local demand.
Doug Parks: Our circuit boards in our batteries do have conformal coatings. All I can say is this was a rare event of coolant interacting with the circuit boards and connectors. This is why we feel it is important to prevent coolant leakage into the system.
Comment From f3rretus (#3887)
What are you doing to make the volt more affordable? I hate seeing nissan selling more LEAFs.
Doug Parks: I think we might have outsold them for the last three months .
Comment From Maynard
I assume "discharging the battery" after an accident is done at nearly short circuit rate, which woukld be very unkind to it.
Doug Parks: Maynard, the depower is done at a rate that does not cause any damage to the battery. Once repowered, if not damaged by the accident, the battery will be fully capable.
Comment From Sam and Stephanie Levine
Can you please answer my question about extending battery range in the future? We have leased our 2012 and are thinking ahead, because we expect range to increase. Will that happen, do you think?
Doug Parks: Sam and Stephanie, thanks for your patience. I do not expect significant range increases in the near future on our Volts, but we understand how important it is to our customers and are working on it.
Comment From Bob
Will every Volt dealer be certified for the fix. We would want only the best to work on this marvelous car!
Rob Peterson: @Bob There is a certified Chevrolet Volt Technician at every participating Volt dealership. As I stated earlier, they are some of the most highly trained technicians in our dealer network.
Comment From Rich
You need to get real Volt owners in your commercials to relate their real-world experiences with the car. The best advertising is always delighted customers!
Rob Peterson: @Rich Our Volt owners have been, and will continue to be, key to building the Chevrolet Volt brand. Your stories, many of which we have posted to ChevroletVoltage.com and Facebook, have been a large part of our success. We will continue to leverage your enthusiasm, advocacy and stories in our communication and marketing efforts. Again, thanks for your ongoing support.
Comment From Ernie
Do you have any other means of Volt Information notification, other than social media? I prefer plain old e-mail.
Doug Wernert: Ernie - We do have the ability to send you email if you provided it to your volt advisor. We also post information on www.chevroletvoltage.com nearly every day.
Comment From Paul
Should we have a charge in the battery when we turn it in for the fix? No point if they have to drain it before removing battery during the process right?
Doug Parks: Paul, it doesn't matter either way. There will be no changes to your battery with these enhancements.
Comment From Chris , your wife
I lease my Volt. Love it. I would rather not bother with this 'fix' as to me it is a non-issue, can't happen, no risk situation....do I still have to take it in?
Doug Parks: Chris, we can't make any Volt owners take their cars in for this fix, but we are encouraging it, if for nothing else, piece of mind. By the way, you are the best wife ever!
Comment From John Sobecki
Any thoughts on how to convince my employer to let me charge at work? They have existing 120V outlets already in the parking lot but aren't willing to let me charge during the day.
Rob Peterson: @John - the best method for convincing an employer, business or other entity to install a charger is to give them a drive in your car. Driving electrically is a very persuasive activity.
Doug Parks: Tony, we are recommending an average tire pressure of 38 psi. This will get you optimum EV range. Also, on "engine running due to temperature," we do turn your engine on below 26 degrees F if needed to meet your internal comfort settings for heat. Fact is, at cold temperatures, we can heat you faster if we use waste heat from the engine and it is more efficient. All is good.
Comment From Steve B.
Any plans to extend range with fuel cells in the future, rather than a gas generator? Also, should I wait to hear from my dealer to schedule an appointment for this enhancement - or should I contact the dealer now?
Doug Wernert: Steve B- Sorry can't discuss future product plans at this time. You will be notified by GM when parts are available at your local dealer. Will start in February. Thanks.
Comment From tony guffin
I got my 2012 volt in Dec. and only after reading my email re: monthly diagnostics realized that it was delivered to me with tires inflated at 31 psi but max. is 38, so I added air and now can make it all the way to work (38 miles) on battery. It was always a few miles short prior to this adjustment. Additionally, I live near Spokane WA. where it has been a mild winter so far, but some days were in the low 20's and I became concerned when the DIC displayed a message intermittently "engine running due to temperature". My chevy dealer explained that this is supposed to happen and showed me a copy of the mechanic info. reguarding it. This morning it came on a few times (low 20's). Yesterday, slightly above freezing in am. it did not come on. The explanation is that the engine come on in order to actually warm up the battery to maintain optimum performance. Cool! I just wish that I was warned about this so as not to be alarmed at such a message prior to delivery.
Doug Parks: Sorry, my response from Tony is above.
Comment From Roger
My dealer advised me to do a software upgrade, but has not scheduled this. Can this be done at the same time as the battery upgrade?
Doug Parks: Roger, absolutely. And yes, good idea.
Comment From John Sobecki
Any comments on the future Voltec family? Spark? Equinox class or compact 4x4 SUV?
Jim Federico: John - love that you have questions about future product but if we told you we'd have to kill you. Stay tuned.
Comment From Fulgerite
Does the new retrofit help protect the passengers from side impacts as well as the battery?
Jim Federico: Fulgerite - Hi it's Jim. I am back to help Doug answer all your great questions. The side passenger safety is top notch as designed. This change will not degrade that performance at all. The Volt is a 5-star safety and top safety pick.
Comment From David Drolet
How do I know I need a software upgrade? I have a 2012 bought in November
Doug Parks: David, the only software upgrade you need for your 2012 Volt would be associated with these enhancements.
Comment From Charles1
Availability of replacement 110 chargers?
Jim Federico: Charles - Sorry you are having a problem. They are available. Contact your dealer immediately.
Comment From BA
I remember seeing that their would be a Cadillac "Volt" and a small truck "Volt"... Are they still in the works?
Rob Peterson: BA - The Cadillac ELR, a two-door extended-range electric vehicle is in the works. Jim and Doug's team is moving as fast as they can to bring it to market. It's stunning http://cadillac.com.prod-www-seg1.gm...ctric-car.html
Comment From Jared K #5175
Jim or Doug, will we have longer battery life if we charge the battery as often as possible or drain it down all the way and then recharge? Thanks guys! Keep up the great work!
Doug Parks: Jared, please drive your Volt just the way you want. Most of us get the most EV miles we can (and I would suggest you do also). Part of the reason we have coolant in our battery is to maximize battery life. You should have no concerns with battery life whether you charge often or very little.
Comment From Jim I
When the car is taken is for the upgrade, will I lose any of my configuration settings when the battery is disconnected?
Jim Federico: Not all but some "like radio" will need to be reset.
Comment From trevor (#3887)
love the volt - i just put winter tires on it and have noticed a big decline in range. any ideas?
Doug Parks: Trevor, we have all-season tires and they are designed for ultra low-rolling resistance. Any other tire than the original will decrease your EV range. I understand you may feel better with winter tires, but you will see a big decline in range. I've driven mine through two Michigan winters with the original tires and have had great driving performance.
Comment From Soup
(in reply to Doug's reply to David) Does that mean that everyone that gets the fix will/must also get a software upgrade?
Jim Federico: Yes, it we would highly recommend it.
Comment From Carl
When I go on an extended trip should I leave my volt pluged in and charging?
Doug Parks: Carl, I assume you are not driving your Volt and are leaving it at home. If so, your car may periodically warm up the battery (winter) if needed. This will use a small amount of electricity, but nothing significant. If you leave disconnected, you will avoid using this small amount of electricity and still be fully ready to drive immediately upon start.
Comment From glen
Thank you for an amazing product. I love my 2012 volt 6229. I feel the crash test border lines rediculess. I mean several weeks after the fact? and hitting a pole that hard? i'd be more concerned about them poor crash dummy's in the car at the time of impact. did they leave them in the car too when they carried it off to the back lot?
Rob Peterson: Glen - no crash dummy's were harmed during the testing of the Volt (it did receive NHTSA's 5-Star occupant safety rating).
Comment From Traice
what does the software upgrade address?
Doug Parks: The software updates for the 2011 model address minor low-frequency issues that can happen. If you haven't experienced any issues, you probably will not notice any improvement. However, as we would like you to bring the car in for these new enhancements, we would recommend a software upgrade at that time.
Doug Parks: Question from Carey that Jim will answer: I have 28Kmiles on my Volt in 1 year (#486). I fully charge and discharge twice every work day. Today I repeated a test I did when I first received my volt under the same conditions. I would like to report that I received the exact same mileage on the battery as the first week I drove it. I was expecting a % loss due to battery fatigue, same as my laptop. I am happy to say on a real world stressed battery there has been no electric mileage lost!! Love my Volt 16K electric miles. Thanks GM
Jim Federico: Carey, great news, thanks. As designed !!
Comment From Fulgerite
What is the new coolant sensor for? How does it help improve safety?
Doug Parks: The coolant sensor will monitor coolant in your battery system and detect if you are losing coolant. Coolant is a required part of the battery system to perform at its optimum. If you are losing coolant in your system, we want a technician to check and make sure everything is functioning correctly.
Comment From Mark in Cailf.
jim, in my volt the gas egine seems to run rough, I feel a vibration in the steering wheel, I use only premium gas, yet is one brand of gas better to use than another? Also should I add enjector cleaner to the gas tank?
Jim Federico: Mark , sorry to hear your engine is running rough. The fuel should not effect the idle performance. I recommend you bring it in to the dealer for analysis. If support is needed, we have ways to assist the dealer.
Doug Parks: Thanks so much to everyone who participated in this chat. We're sorry we couldn't get to everyone, but we had more than 1,500 participants and more than 1,000 comments submitted. Most importantly, thanks to all our owners who have showed loyalty and support for our great car. We love it as much as you and rest assured, we will continue to listen to you to keep making our car as good as we possibly can. Have a great weekend.