The 2012 and 2013 model year Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in vehicle may have a battery glitch caused by low coolant levels. No recall has been issued and General Motors is taking care of the issue at no cost to drivers.

Some of the affected Volts may have lower-than-advisable coolant levels because of some pesky air pockets in the car's cooling circuit. When the coolant levels get too low, the charging system for the battery powering the car's onboard generator (i.e. the Rechargeable Energy Storage System, or the RESS) may be shut down, turning one's Volt into a run-of-the-mill gas-powered car, and a pricey one at that.

The Car Connection says GM is advising owners of the '12 and '13 Volts to contact their local Chevy dealer for a free fix. GM representatives didn't immediately respond to a request for comment from AutoblogGreen for more details. We believe this is a separate issue than the one that brought 8,000 Volts back to the dealers for a battery coolant fix, what GM called a "voluntary customer satisfaction effort," a few years ago.

General Motors sold 23,094 Chevy Volts last year after selling 23,461 Volts in 2012, so that fix-it list may get fairly lengthy. Check out a GM-Volt.com user thread related to this issue here.

*UPDATE: Chevrolet spokesman Randy Fox confirmed in an e-mail to AutoblogGreen that the company issued a service bulletin to dealers that they may need to top off coolant levels on certain Volts because of the issue, and that the vehicle will "return to normal charging operation" once that's done.


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  • 29 Comments
      • 10 Months Ago
      Whats this? Another GM problem! Give up GM, you should have gone through real bankruptcy and saved me some money. Your company deserves to be an ancient relic along with the good cars you USED to make.
      Tom Slater
      • 10 Months Ago
      Horror of horrors, you have to top up your coolant or the system shuts itself off? And then you drive a gas-burning automobile to the dealership, where they add coolant and / or bleed it as necessary? For free? Jesus Christ, GM. We expected better.
        Julio B
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Tom Slater
        The system is intelligent enough to protect the batteries from overheating because there is not enough coolant. It is working as designed. I don't know if you are being sarcastic or overreacting because of a coolant top off...
          scraejtp
          • 10 Months Ago
          @Julio B
          That post was drenched in sarcasm.
      btc909
      • 10 Months Ago
      "top off" what about any air bubbles in the coolant lines?
        Nick Kordich
        • 10 Months Ago
        @btc909
        This is the result of purging the coolant lines of those air bubbles.
      MayTheBestCarWin05
      • 10 Months Ago
      GM. Being proactive vs. reactive is a good sign. This is how you change perception. One day, one car at a time.
        Jim R
        • 10 Months Ago
        @MayTheBestCarWin05
        They're only being proactive because if they try reactive again they'll get raked over the coals--deservedly so.
      Charles
      • 10 Months Ago
      So, is that mean there is a recall in order???
      thecommentator2013
      • 10 Months Ago
      F***, I love my Volt!!!!
      Avinash Machado
      • 10 Months Ago
      Good to see GM taking proactive decisions.
      Revis Goodworth
      • 10 Months Ago
      Can't get the coolant levels right on your VaporVolt. How comforting. Wonder what else is wrong with this pathetic, inefficient, expensive hunk of junk.
        thecommentator2013
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Revis Goodworth
        @Revis.... Ok, ok, we heard you, we heard you, now take your pills and go back to sleep.
        Dave
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Revis Goodworth
        I thought you had to be at least 13 to get a Facebook account....
          Doug
          • 10 Months Ago
          @Dave
          No, he is 13 going on 40 and still having trouble with his diapers. He's good at dishing, but can't take any criticism.
        Grendal
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Revis Goodworth
        Geez. 60K cars on the road and you still don't think they exist? Get a clue. Notable accomplishments: Car of the Year European Car of the Year Highest Customer Satisfaction Rating that is still very high to this day.
      AndY1
      • 10 Months Ago
      I've just had my dealer today top my MY2012 Ampera battery coolant. It was about 2 cm below the minimum line in the reservoir. Luckily, I didn't get the error message, but my friend did a month ago as he was low on coolant too.
      Grendal
      • 10 Months Ago
      It's good to see GM fixing a problem without having to be told to do so.
      VFan
      • 10 Months Ago
      This article perplexes me. The clear plastic reservoirs for all 3 cooling systems are in plain site under the hood. Can't I just keep an eye on those? The levels in mine haven't changed in 2 years and my battery has never failed to charge. As it is stated I see no need to take the car in for inspection.
      11fiveoh
      • 10 Months Ago
      Could definitely use a heavy dose of cool.
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