Build quality of Volt/Ampera

Discussion in 'Chevrolet Volt' started by andi1111, Jun 4, 2012.

  1. andi1111

    andi1111 Member

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    In my other thread, I was test driving german Amperas.

    Opel dealer in my country, registered first Opel Ampera on friday afternoon/evening. I drove it to an Opel event where we took a closer look at the car before showing it to the audience. I was invited along with the group of journalists.

    The car had:
    - chipped pearl white paint at the edge of a back left tire bumper
    - rear mirrors were plain white, the car paint was pearl white
    - the plastic covering the rain sensor was hanging down and we were unable to attach it back

    Is the general build quality of GM cars that poor or could we simply have gotten a lemon?
     
  2. brewstermac

    brewstermac Junior Member

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    Does the Ampera have rain sensing wipers?
     
  3. andi1111

    andi1111 Member

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    I don't think so, because you select the interval manually, but what is that black box attached to the front screen above the center mirror? That black box' plastic cover was hanging down and we couldn't attach it up.
     
  4. drinnovation

    drinnovation EREV for EVER!

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    Well build quality in my 2011 is excellent, but as they have ramped up production, stopped and restarted the production line, maybe it introduced some quality issues. Chipped paint can easily be a transport issue but non-matching paint should have been caught at the factory, though I do recall a post at gm-volt.com where there was some quality issues with one car's paint.

    The black think behind the mirror is
    the remote control door lock receiver which is an antenna that takes the signals from the tire pressure sensors and the remote key fob. This box also houses the Inside Air Moisture and Windshield Temperature Sensor used for the HVAC auto defog function.

    Not sure what rear mirrors mean.. Do you mean the outside mirrors? (mine are matching crystal red).

     
  5. andi1111

    andi1111 Member

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    Yes, outside mirrors are plain white, while the car is pearl white.

    This is the photo from the event. I'm the one behind the steering wheel :)

    [​IMG]
     
  6. drinnovation

    drinnovation EREV for EVER!

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    Yeah if I can see th ecolor difference in the photo, that should have failed pre-delivery inspection. I wonder if they are shipped with mirrors off (to reduce breakage) or if the were damaged and the dealer did a quick swap just to deliver the unit.

    Did you get the receiver unit fixed.. Im sure the process is documented in the manual discussed in this thread
    Awesome online manual for the Volt..
     
  7. andi1111

    andi1111 Member

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    It was only a test car for the day. We gave the car back yesterday as it was (we left the unit intact as we didn't want to break anything, as hard pressing it up didn't help), however, the Opel Importer PR lady was pretty unhappy to see all these mistakes on a production vehicle.
     
  8. scottf200

    scottf200 Member

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    The build quality on my 2011 is excellent as well. I did have a piece of roof molding come up and it was replaced promptly under warranty. Looked like it was on a curved area and the clip didn't hold. It was trivial and the new piece is still solidly attached.
     
  9. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    Reports in the UK on the RHD Ampera are that build quality is excellent. Sounds like you got a dud or lemon or maybe it was just a journalist/test drive car and someone has already bumped it? Maybe Jeremy Clarkson had been out doing donuts in it for an article on Top Gear? :)
     
  10. andi1111

    andi1111 Member

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    That's good to hear!

    GumpyCabbie, I have some off-topic question for you. I've been pondering to buy PiP or Ampera. However, the Toyota.co.uk site reports, that PiP will only do pure EV only up to 51mph:
    Toyota Prius Plug-In | Toyota UK




    If that's true, than the EU version of the PiP will be severely limited. Can you confirm that? If that's true, I'll be very disappointed with Toyota and will be seriously looking at purchasing the Ampera or Nissan Leaf.
     
  11. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    Not sure if I can answer it for you fully as I immediately discounted the PIP when I saw the ridiculous UK price. It's just not worth paying nearly £7,000/US$10,750 over the base Prius cost for a 10 mile EV range. That's including the deduction of £5,000 Government EV grant, otherwise the PIP would be £12,000/US$18,000 more than the base Prius. lol, not even a consideration at that money. For a start, the basic Prius is expensive now compared to alternative vehicles, let alone the PIP.

    Having seen the UK site it does indeed confirm EV only upto 51 mph/82 kmh which isn't much better than the Prius now once you get a good charge down a steep hill. I'm not paying all that extra money for upto 15 miles of EV range.

    Personally, if GM had made the Ampera a 5 seater and made it a bit cheaper, then I'd have one tomorrow. But again, it's way too expensive over here and no savings could be made - ever - even at $9 a US gallon for petrol. T
     
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  12. PaJa

    PaJa Senior member

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    The PiP has a techically same PSD as standard Prius, only the revolution limits are higher. Ampera has a different gearbox system. I agree that PiP is a quite out with the charging port placement, colors, 15" wheels and it is a little bit pricy.
     
  13. andi1111

    andi1111 Member

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    I understand that, but does the demo PiP and US PiPs run on EV up to 62mph and EU PiP only up to 51mph?

    That means that on every out of town road (where there are 90km/h limits), the EU PiP would run in blended mode.
     
  14. gwmort

    gwmort Active Member

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    The EU Pip has a button the US ones do not called EV-City (or something similar) which will shut off blended mode when in restricted city centers. Other than that, Normal "EV-esque" operation for the Pip is always blended, gas will burn under high acceleration, high speed, need for heater, etc...
     
  15. andi1111

    andi1111 Member

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    Ok, but I want it to run like the demo unit does or like US PiP does. I want it to run that 2km section to my work, which is 100km/h section on EV only. I drive 13km to work and I'm able to recharge there. I don't want to consume a drop of gasoline on the way, just like I didn't with the demo PiP.

    I don't know exactly, what the EV City mode does, but if it doesn't allow EV driving up to 100km/h, then I'm not getting the car.
    The PiP arrives in the EU 9 months later than US, it's more expensive than in the US and is a less of a car than what the US gets.
     
  16. gwmort

    gwmort Active Member

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    I'm interested to find out more about the EV city operation myself. It may be that in order to save more battery charge for strictly enforced EV operation the useable charge had to be further limited when using the normal blended EV driving.
     
  17. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Even with the US spec P-PHV, you will likely burn gas. The higher limit is do to the EPA tests, which have higher speeds. Even then, the car still burned some fuel in EV mode. Depending on terrain, traffic, and how strongly your desire is, you might be able to make the commute gas free with the Euro-spec version. Then again some posters have noted the ICE turning on without knowing directly why.
     
  18. andi1111

    andi1111 Member

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    Well, I managed to drive to and back to work, with demo PiP, without having the ICE fire up, for a week.
    I could drive only 80km/h on a road with 100km/h, but I'm not suicidal or the kind of selfish person, who, because of my own interest, would held up a bunch of people going to work, with slow driving.
    I'd be an embarrassment. Do I want that for another 10 years? Nope.

    I think, that Toyota tweaked the US and the EU version according to the EPA and NEDC cycles. That's why US gets 62mph version and EU gets 51mph version and that that is the only reason we get half the car you get.
     
  19. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    For 50% more money.

    Toyota have lost the plot as far as the European PIP costs go. You'd seriously need your head looking at to spend £32,000/US$49,200 on a Prius that gets about 10-12 miles EV.

    Somebody at Toyota EU HQ completely misunderstood what the PIP was all about to think it's worth that.

    Saying that, the tax policy for EV's changes in the UK in 2015 to make them taxable on the full purchase price at a higher rate than a petrol or diesel equivalent, so prices need to seriously drop by then or be completely priced out of the market.

    I think the UK Government has cottoned on to some manufacturers (GM/Opel/Vauxhall & Toyota) manipulating their UK prices to gain from the £5,000 EV grant, rather than it being of benefit to the customer. Nissans Leaf costs the same as in the USA (but inc our import and sales tax) and the Renault EV's are good value almost the same cost as their existing same sized petrol and diesel models. GM & Toyota's plug in's are both exactly £5,000 more than the USA price. Hmmm funny that.

    (A taxi driver gets all sorts of people in their car, including Government officials and politicians. I'm sure I remember having a conversation with someone high up about the price manipulation a number of months ago. I'll let you work out the rest :cool: )
     
  20. drinnovation

    drinnovation EREV for EVER!

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    I think they realized that in the US
    It is interesting, though speculation to say it was to maximize MPG on the tests. Another possibility is that toyota also wants to keep the max EV speed down, as that is hard on MG2, which must spin very fast at higher speeds, which could impact long-term reliability. So they might not have really tweeked for NEDC, but did teeak for EPA to have an MPGe slightly better than the Volt while minimizing the max EV speed needed to do that.
     
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