The highly popular Chevrolet Volt range-extended electric car has been given a
n official customer satisfaction recall by parent company General Motors to rectify a problem with the rear gas struts on the hatch of certain cars which can cause the hatch to fail to operate properly. [Edit: As our friends at Autobloggreen note, GM isn’t calling this a recall, but a ‘Customer Satisfaction Recall’. The difference? This one won’t appear on NHTSA or other safety databases for official recalls.]
As users on the Chevy Volt Owners Facebook Group noted at the weekend, the recall appears to affect model year 2011 through 2014 Chevrolet Volts, as well as 2010-2015 Cadillac SRX cars, which use the same strut component, although does not yet appear on any non GM recall databases.
According to those who have received the recall, it says that the rear struts used to hold the tailgate upright when opened can become detached while the tailgate is closed. This in turn means that the tailgate cannot stay up against gravity when lifted to the open position, shutting itself as soon as the owner lets go of the tailgate.
Aside from the obvious problems that this could cause with bumped heads or damaged limbs, this particular recall is something GM is calling a “customer satisfaction” recall. In other words, it’s a recall which won’t affect the driving safety or operation of the car on the road, but has been frustrating a large number of Volt and Cadillac SRX owners.
Online however, there’s been a little confusion about the actual context and content of the recall from Volt owners who haven’t’ been complaining about detached strut mechanisms but rather weak strut mechanisms.
Many tell countless stories of being hit on the head by their Volt’s tailgate, caused by weak or incorrectly functioning lift struts, and are unsure if this recall affects their continual complains to GM or has been caused by something completely different.
Either way however, it appears a large number of cars are affected, with owners being notified directly via General Motor’s ONSTAR service in the U.S.
It is not known at this time if the recall affects European-market Volts, or if it will affect the Volt’s European sibling, the now-discontinued Vauxhall (Opel) Ampera. Since both cars are identical in their mechanical components and are made on the same production line, we’re guessing a recall is likely.
GM says it will notify affected owners and arrange for complementary inspection and/or repair as necessary. In the meantime, those Volt owners who wish to find more information can contact their dealer or GM directly, quoting Customer Satisfaction Program N140274 14274 LIFTGATE STRUT ROD DETACH 01/23/2015.
While the recall won’t affect on-road safety, we think those who have received a bang on the back of their head from an under-supported tailgate will agree that sending your car in for the quick remedial work will save an awful lot of unpleasant headaches.
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