Is it fair to say GM will eat a lot of money on battery warranty work?

Discussion in 'Chevrolet Volt' started by Skoorbmax, Nov 9, 2011.

  1. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Seeing as how they are only now adding a heater, I doubt it. Not to say that air cooling a battery makes it less reliable. Most hybrids have done well with such a system. Fluctuations in the battery's performance do to temperature just aren't a big deal to a hybrid. For an EV, it might mean not getting home.
    As I pointed out earlier, the 10yr/150k miles (and lower federal one) warranty is the one the emission system required by law. As long as the car meets its emission rating, I doubt the warranty covers pack degradation. Unless Toyota has added on to it, the warranty won't replace the battery if the EV range is reduced to half.

    GM to shoot for SULEV II. So it's a reasonable assumption the emission system is good for the Carb warranty length.
     
  2. gwmort

    gwmort Active Member

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    That doesn't make it an industry standard, its a government guideline.

    AT-PZEV stuff is a joke, production PiP qualified before it existed, and the HOV stickers will let them go faster so they can burn gas instead of staying PZEV, brilliant.
     
  3. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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    I was under the impression that the Leaf uses only ambient air. Certainly less able to manage temperature than a heating and cooling liquid system.

    When I had the CAN-View in my Prius I noticed that in very hot weather, and more so after driving a while, the battery got hot and the car greatly diminished its use. In the case of the Prius you didn't notice it unless you tried to get it into electric mode. But it shows how ineffective cooling with ambient air can be.

    Or, GM would, if they actually had a warranty on battery life. I'm still waiting to see language to that effect. Lots of talk about the length of the warranty, but no specific contractual language stating what is actually warranted. In the absence of that, I presume that defects in materials and workmanship are all that's warranted.

    A warranty is a legal contract. As such, it states clearly what is warranted. In the absence of specific language, there is no contract and there is no warranty.

    From this page: (PDF)
    Note that there is no mention of battery life. Just that the components are covered. Since normal wear and tear is excluded from coverage elsewhere in the car's warranty, any degradation in battery capacity can be refused warranty coverage on the grounds that it's normal wear and tear. And given GM's history, this seems likely. Again, there's no warranty on battery capacity unless it's explicitly stated in a legal contact. Perhaps a Volt owner could post the text of the actual battery coverage from the warranty booklet.
     
  4. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    Repair
    If possible, components will be repaired or replaced, and the original battery will be returned to the vehicle.

    Replace (If Necessary)
    Under warranty, the high voltage battery will be replaced with either a new or factory reconditioned high voltage battery with an energy capacity (kWh storage) level at or above that of the original battery prior to the failure.

    Your Volt battery warranty replacement may not return your vehicle as an “as new†condition, but it will make your Volt fully operational appropriate to its age and mileage.​

    Source

    So, if Volt battery dies with 70% of the original capacity, they will try to repair it first. If not, GM will replace you with another one with the same or better condition pack. If you get a reconditioned pack and dies again in a month or so, you'll get another reconditioned pack? This would continue until you run out of warranty?

    Of course, it is possible you'll get a brand new pack as well.
     
  5. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    There seems to be a critical assumption that everyone is making here: uniform degradation of all cells. Far, far, FAR more likely is that an individual cell will die and trigger whatever check engine light the Volt has, requiring replacement of 1 of the 9 modules.
     
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  6. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    Discredit AT-PZEV won't make the Volt better. PiP was supposed to launch in 2010. Toyota even got the CARB certification but for some reason, they decided to use them only to collect data.
     
  7. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    This is a very good point. And under Volt "warranty" they only have to replace the one cell. How feasible that is, who knows. Guessing (100% speculation on my part) that there will be a system where GM swaps the whole bad traction battery with a refurbished one of similar capacity, then sends the bad one to the factory to have the cell replaced, pack rebalanced, and sold to another warranty claim volt.
     
  8. Pinto Girl

    Pinto Girl New Member

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    I'm sure the ICE in a conventional car wouldn't provide rated power after 150,000 miles, and no one has an issue with that.

    Reduction in battery capacity is normal wear and tear. How much or how fast, I'd think, is subject to so many variables that it's probably difficult to provide any hard figures.

    As far as Daniel's Tesla, you appear to have the money to spend on a new vehicle when you wish. In the case of the Roadster, that'd be regardless of the loss of resale value due to aged/out of warranty batteries with potentially diminished capacity. Sounds like the car is right for you given your circumstances. But true cost of ownership isn't really a factor in your case.

    I mean, if a Volt defender's response to this issue was, "I'll just get rid of the car and go onto something new, so it won't matter," I don't think any of us would let them get away with that for a moment.
     
  9. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    The battery being modular means that only part of it needs to be replaced. Presumably, they will have a reman program to replace bad cells in a module, then return the module to service. From a warranty standpoint, it would not be overly costly, if that is their plan. They can also sell reman modules to cars out warranty.

    Presumably, that is the plan of the average lease holder, to be out from underneath any potential issue well before warranty coverage expires.
     
  10. mfennell

    mfennell New Member

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    EDIT: Dennis beat me to it. I should read the whole thread first...

    Sigh. The passage is copied directly FROM the warranty. Page 14. The link to Download Warranty is on the Volt page.

    http://www.chevrolet.com/assets/pdf/en/overview/2k12chev_lim_wm.pdf

    I'm sure this is inadequate to everyone here and they should commit to giving you a brand new battery, possibly with a bouquet of roses and some scented oils but it is 100X better than Nissan's "gee, that's too bad" policy and saying otherwise just makes one look foolish.
     
  11. mfennell

    mfennell New Member

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    Are you sure you weren't thinking of Nissan?

    Wait! You must have been thinking of Toyota! My mistake.

    What was your point again?
     
  12. mfennell

    mfennell New Member

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    It has fans to circulate air throughout the pack to help keep temperatures uniform but it's sealed. It can't pull in ambient air.
     
  13. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    Nissan's statements say estimated degradation to be 80% after 5 years, 30% after 10.

    as far as batteries go. their usefulness is always going to be dependent upon its application. for a vehicle; due to the size, weight, and performance metrics desirable a more robust metric is adhered to. so an 70-80% guideline is set for usefulness. anything beyond that is simply carrying too much dead weight around.

    in a cellphone, one can go as low as 50-60%. its inconvenient for sure, but most put up with it waiting a few months for an upgrade rather than spending $30-40 for a battery.

    but, old battery packs will still have usefulness as UPS, offline storage for solar, wind, etc.

    add to that; 3-5 years before we see any inconvenience caused by this degradation, the buildup of public charging options, favorable legislation (which is a bit slow for sure. here we have the favorable political climate but seem to lack the cash to act on this)

    its all a risk and with new technology its simply part of the game. but i bought my Leaf knowing that i could work with a 30-40% range reduction and i feel that i am years away from that and i was not willing to wait anymore for something to happen.

    now will the Leaf go the route of betamax and HD DVD? well, maybe. but considering the headstart they have on everyone else, i doubt that will be clear in less than 3 years.

    despite all the talk by every other manufacturer, we really wont see much of anything from anyone for at least another year. we have token entry from Ford (huge disappointment) high end low volume from Tesla.

    now the surprise 2nd place runner in the EV world seems to be Mitsubishi. granted a more low end option than the Leaf but still on the Chamedo QC, so i think the future looks good.
     
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  14. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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  15. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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    The above specifies WHAT they will do if a battery component is DEFECTIVE. It says NOTHING about anything other than a DEFECTIVE component. In other words, this warranty does not cover a battery that has lost capacity due to normal aging or wear and tear.

    And while they MIGHT replace a defective pack with a new one, the only promise is that they will replace a defective pack with one of at least equal capacity. IOW, no warranty on capacity. Just like every other EV manufacturer.

    With only 2,500 Tesla Roadsters built, the car could become a collector's item once the last few are sold (likely to be pretty soon now). I'm not counting on it, but it could appreciate in a few years. And mine is one of the later ones, and is the last model (a 2.5).

    Is the air actively warmed or cooled? Or just passed through a radiator to bring it closer to ambient temperature? I gather that a future model will allow it to warm the batteries for cold climates, but will it also cool the air for hot weather? Leaf drivers have bragged that it performs as normal in extremely hot weather (due to the battery chemistry) but that does not answer the question of premature aging due to heat.

    Note: I'd still have bought one. I expect it to do quite well. But we don't know for sure.
     
  16. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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  17. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    In other words, GM will screw its customers. Again. And again. The 'new' GM is the old GM. For now GM is kissing the collective asses of all 5k Volt owners because it is good PR. That will not last because it is expensive, and GM has proven on too many occasions to count that it could not give a sh1t about its customers or reputation.

    Same old GM. So painful to think of all that national money squandered on this POS company.
     
  18. gwmort

    gwmort Active Member

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    My Volt's warranty says (on page 14) "depending on use the battery may degrade as little as 10% to as much as 30% of capacity during the warranty period."

    If my battery tested at more than 30% loss during the warranty period I would call that defective.

    Now if they think I'm at a stage of life where it should have only lost 29% it looks like they'd be okay putting such a battery in.
     
  19. mfennell

    mfennell New Member

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    The capacity limit is 30%. I've posted it twice, then posted it again with the full text because I was told it was meaningless because they didn't commit to repair/replace. :rolleyes: Dennis posted the Repair/Replace guidelines in the event that the capacity goals are not met. I realize you have an I-hate-GM reading block but c'mon.

    Fixed it for you. Read the whole thing again. Then again. Once more. Eventually, I think you'll notice they warrant capacity, which noone else does. I've posted it twice and the complete text once.

    Feel free to compare to the Nissan wording, which specifically excludes capacity, then try to understand how ridiculous you (and others) sound grasping at GM-will-screw-you straws. Since Nissan is pre-emptively screwing buyers, you won't have to refer to Nissan 350z, GT-R, Frontier/Navara, Pathfinder, Armada/Titan/QX56, Altima, and Maxima class action lawsuits to get a feel for how they might handle any battery issues that might arise.

    You're the biggest EV proponent here and were on the reservation list for who-knows-how-long and you don't know this stuff? Active warming is available in the '12s. There is no radiator. There is no cooling. They made design decisions to save expense and space. They may or may not work out in the long run but Nissan won't be on the hook for them in any case.
     
  20. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    ^^ I agree, however *which* capacity is not specified. Maybe they will decide they were talking about the 10.6 kwh useable capacity, and then tweak the software to increase the SOC range to bring you back under warranty.

    The loophole exists, and your faith in GM is your problem.
     
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