Turning off POWER at 55 mph in the dark!

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MrSustainable
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Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2012 1:16 pm
Location: Maine USA
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Turning off POWER at 55 mph in the dark!

Postby MrSustainable » Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:15 pm

posting.php?mode=post&f=4#I have to share this experience that I just had which was utterly terrifying. This was around 7 PM tonight (in the dark) and I just turned on to Route 1 here in Maine which is a rolling two-lane blacktop where traffic averages 55 to 60 mph. As I normally do on any freeway on-ramp situation I punch it into SPORT mode a few seconds before accelerating onto the freeway, and then turn off SPORT mode once I am up to speed. However tonight with my leather gloves on, in the dark, and a passenger in the front seat I was talking to maybe distracted me, I missed the button and hit the big blue Power button. We went from 55 mph to no lights, no steering, and a vehicle that slowed somewhat in response to the brake pedal and eventually came to a stop in the dark not knowing where we were. The dashboard remained lit so I could see the console. My friend had the resourcefulness to turn on the hazard flashers, while I struggled with trying to restart the car by pressing the Power button - to no effect. We were both completely freaking out, and ready to abandon ship since the vehicle turned out to be straddling the yellow line as we could eventually see from the headlights of cars that passed us slowly on both sides. I eventually figured out after a few seconds that I needed to shift back into Park (I had been in L) in order to fully turn the car back on and we got out of there. Needless to say our hearts were racing for quite a while after that, we were very fortunate that no one plowed into the back of the car after cresting the hill behind us.

After I turned onto our straight dead end road near home, I attempted to reproduce the conditions to see what would happen. Rolling along at 20MPH I pushed the Power button and the dashboard dinged and put up a message saying "press power again to turn off vehicle" or something to that effect. So I tried pressing it again and yes the vehicle did turn off but I still had nominal steering, lights, and by applying the brake gently I was able to come to a controlled stop. In my earlier experience I do not think I had pressed the power button twice in rapid succession but perhaps I had without realizing it - but that does not explain the headlights going out and the steering not working as if the power were completely off.

I am sharing this in case anyone has a similar experience, and also to ask the Volt advisors if they want to try to get GM to reproduce this under controlled conditions on a test track and let me know if this was an anomaly, or maybe I pressed the button twice accidentally or something. I certainly hope that this never happens to anyone else again.

My passenger and I questioned the value of being able to turn off a vehicle at freeway speeds. While you can do this with a standard ignition key type vehicle, I would think that this scenario could be disallowed by the computer for safety reasons in the Volt due to the electric steering, and brakes etc.
2017 Blue volt: SUN PWRD
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trb
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon May 07, 2012 3:49 am

Re: Turning off POWER at 55 mph in the dark!

Postby trb » Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:00 am

MrS.

If the vehicle must be restarted while it is still moving, move the shift lever to N (Neutral) and press the POWER O button twice without pressing the brake pedal. The propulsion system will not restart in any other position.

Hope this helps.

MRL
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:08 am

Re: Turning off POWER at 55 mph in the dark!

Postby MRL » Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:17 am

This is almost exactly what happened to me. I did not lose the steering or breaks and know for sure that I pushed the power button at least 3 - 4 times before realizing what had happened. I was probably going about 60 at the time and had to coast to a stop on the shoulder with my hazard lights on. I appreciate the suggestion to place the shifter in Neutral and will have to give that a shot on a side street to make sure it works before applying it in a real world situation. Although I hope to never experience this terror again ;)

Frenchrd
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Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 2:03 pm

Re: Turning off POWER at 55 mph in the dark!

Postby Frenchrd » Fri Jun 14, 2013 7:30 pm

This has happened to me several times as well. The two buttons are too close one another, and hopefully GM will correct this in future models.

TommyBoy
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2010 2:55 pm

Re: Turning off POWER at 55 mph in the dark!

Postby TommyBoy » Fri Aug 30, 2013 5:32 pm

You are not the first nor last to have this happen.

Here's a quote from my 6 month observations back in 2011...

IMPROVE: This is a biggy!!! This is a safety issue!!! Relocate the drive mode button away from the on/off button. Twice in the six months, I've been driving and mistakenly hit the on/off button when I wanted to switch drive mode. Once, on the freeway, I even turned off the car by mistake doing this error. They are simply too close together. Paddle shifters on the steering wheel for the drive mode would also solve this issue for most drivers shifting modes while driving.


But, alas, it has not yet been fixed by subsequent model years.
Volt #898, aka "Heidi" (my greyhound) :cool:
GBV - Cyber Grey Metallic with upgrades: Premium Trim, Park Assist, Polished Al Wheels

trb
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon May 07, 2012 3:49 am

Re: Turning off POWER at 55 mph in the dark!

Postby trb » Tue Sep 03, 2013 3:39 am

There's nothing to fix. The Volt does warn you after you hit the power button the first time.

MrSustainable
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Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2012 1:16 pm
Location: Maine USA
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Re: Turning off POWER at 55 mph in the dark!

Postby MrSustainable » Tue Sep 03, 2013 7:10 am

trb wrote:There's nothing to fix. The Volt does warn you after you hit the power button the first time.


If that was sufficient - there would be no concern! It is NOT! My life was endangered my this poor design and it is only a matter of time before someone dies. It is just too easy to accidentally turn off the vehicle. With a physical key, it requires a conscious effort.

Overall the layout of the buttons on the console is really dumb. And what the heck is that "TP" button for and why couldn't it be better labeled? I joke that my passenger will need the TP after I demo the Volt in Sport mode!
2017 Blue volt: SUN PWRD
My Volt web page: http://www.arttec.net/Chevy_Volt/index.htm

Davis0042
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri May 02, 2014 1:39 pm
Location: Louisiana

Re: Turning off POWER at 55 mph in the dark!

Postby Davis0042 » Fri May 02, 2014 2:16 pm

Hi
First of all don't blame the car for you not paying attention and playing with your buttons it is a big blue light up. You must have panic because nothing you say happens you still have head lights you still have power steering and power brakes.GM engineers have made sure of this untill the volt comes to a complete stop I know I have done this on purpose just to make sure if I did do by accident I would not panic and do the start up procedure wrong all you have to do is put it in neutral push the button twice then put back into drive and go do not make the most common mistake you can not have your foot on the break if you do it will not restart. Yes they are close but darn the buttons even feel different and the start button is raised.

Don

Idleup
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Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2016 11:18 am

Re: Turning off POWER at 55 mph in the dark!

Postby Idleup » Mon Feb 15, 2016 1:56 pm

Glad you're OK - GM should have the ignition button in a place all by its self - its very easy to hit the wrong button as they are far too close!

ggvolt000
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 12:14 pm

Re: Turning off POWER at 55 mph in the dark!

Postby ggvolt000 » Sat Jun 18, 2016 2:18 am

seems like a not good design. if I were designer, I ll completely disable power button while vehicle is moving at any speed. btw I see all buttons are software it can not by fixed by changing software like tesla?


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