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.