US government investigates GM over stalling Volt hybrids

Washington, D.C. January 8, 2024 – The U.S. government’s auto safety regulator is investigating General Motors (NYSE:GM) over allegations that their hybrid sedans may stall while driving. This alleged defect augments the risk of a crash and injury. 

If the investigation leads to a recall, it could affect an estimated 73,000 of 2016 – 2019 Chevrolet Volt hybrid cars.  

Investigation summary  

The regulator, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), opened an investigation on November 11, 2023, following 61 complaints of hybrids losing power while driving or failing to start at all. The cars also were also prone to entering the “limp-home” mode or even losing power steering.

Based on the initial findings, this may be caused by a failure of a computer called the Battery Energy Control Module (BECM). The BECM manages how much electricity is stored in batteries and delivered to the electric motor drivetrain to propel the car forward.

GM previously addressed the issue by instructing dealers to “replace and reprogram” the BECM in 2018 and then again in 2022. It is not clear how many of the affected vehicles have already received the replacements.


Maneuvering a vehicle that is losing power or stalls can be difficult, especially if it happens in dense, fast-moving traffic. Such situations can lead to a crash, increasing the risk of injury.

Warning signs

Based on complaints, “little to no warning” preceded the loss of motive power.  In some cases, though the check the engine or “propulsion power is reduced” warnings would appear on the dashboard prior to the loss of power or failure to start.

Some drivers were unable to switch to the gas mode to resolve the issue.

Other Chevrolet recalls

In December, General Motors recalled Chevrolet Trax and Buick vehicles because their instrument clusters would switch off while driving

In January, several GM models, including Chevrolet Silverado and Suburban, were subject of a large-scale recall caused by blinding headlights

Is your vehicle part of a recall?

This investigation may eventually lead to a General Motors power loss recall, potentially affecting more than 70,000 hybrids. To do a GM or Chevrolet recall check and see if your car might be a part of it, please use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Bojan PopicUS government investigates GM over stalling Volt hybrids

Related Posts