Six Years Later, The One Thing We Hate About The Volt

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Six Years Later, The One Thing We Hate About The Volt

Postby adamjohnson » Sat Jul 29, 2017 4:19 am

We bought our two Volts more than six years ago (2011). We were one of the first "two volt" families with VINS 1680 and 1703. We had to sell 1680 after 4 years and 60k Miles to be replaced way for a work truck (long story) but still have 1703. As our time with the Volt nears its end, I thought it was worth reflecting on what has been good, not so good, and genuinely awful about our experience.
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The cars have performed as advertised with only two major maintenance failures (fixed under warranty).
With the better part of 140,000 miles on the Volts we operated on ~85% electric while enjoying the long-range capability when we needed it.
The Volt Advisor program has been a godsend on several occasions.
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The Not-so-Good
Before the Volt was launched one of our most hoped-for features (a thread on here somewhere) was OTA - or at least routine - software updates. It was not to be. The car's software is six years old, it was not great to start with, and it is replete with uncorrected quirks and unrealized potential. GM needs to get this right before we buy another of their products.
Unfortunately, GM never really got behind the marketing for the car and its resale has been disappointing for a $45k vehicle.
The physical limitations of the vehicle (small back seat, low roof line) have proved an increasing irritant over the years.
There are some mechanical quirks (e.g. getting stuck on crawl mode if one drives "too aggressively") that GM swears is normal operation but has only ever surfaced on one of the vehicles. Hmmm...
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The Awful
Other than the OTA software issue, I would be happy to recommend the car (and often have) to friends and family except for the one AWFUL thing about owning a Volt: General Motor's terrible dealer network.
It started when the first dealer tried to charge us $5000 over MSRP and has never really improved. For the past six years we have visited several area dealers with our Volts. Four different dealers, same story. They do not understand the vehicle, the are largely incapable of maintaining and repairing it, and they CHEAT like nothing I have seen. The attached scheduled maintenance recommendation I was given at a recent visit sort of drives home the point. If I did what the dealer told me I was supposed to do I would have spend thousands of dollars in pointless and unneeded maintenance over these past six years. When I brought this to the attention of the Volt Advisor they repeated "they are independent businesses" mantra.

It is too bad that the GM dealer network is such a disaster.

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In any case, our time with GM is fast coming to an end. We are soon to become a two Model 3 family (mid November if the unofficial Tesla Delivery Estimator is to be believed). GM had something really great here but IMHO battery improvements and fast charging technology are quickly making the Voltec concept obsolete. The Volt was a fine bit of engineering but the GM dealer network has been a weak link throughout these past six years and I will be glad to be done with them.
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