The Volt is an electric car for drivers who don't want to be limited by battery range. It usually allows you to drive gas-free for 35 miles, however the exact number depends on weather and driving style. In our testing, it ranged from 20 to 50 miles. When the battery is depleted, a backup gasoline engine kicks in to keep the electric motor running. This allows you to keep driving for up to 315 more miles before refueling.
Alerts
There are 2 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Reliability

Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how used vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system.

Overall Reliability
Most Common Trouble Spots
Common Trouble Spot
Common Trouble Spot
The 2012 Chevrolet Volt has been recalled 2 times by NHTSA. View Recalls
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Overall Reliability Verdict
NA
Potential Trouble Spots
Engine Major
NA
Engine Minor
NA
Engine Cooling
NA
Transmission Major
NA
Transmission Minor
NA
Drive System
NA
Fuel System
NA
Electric System
NA
Climate System
NA
Suspension
NA
Brakes
NA
Exhaust
NA
Paint/Trim
NA
Body Integrity
NA
Body Hardware
NA
Power Equipment
NA
In-car Electronics
NA
Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey for about 420,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2019 vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system. NA indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.

Learn more about car Reliability.

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2012 Chevrolet Volt owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Display screen difficult to see

"Glare occasionally washes out touch screen so it is difficult to use controls"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Chevrolet Volt None Plug-in Hybrid)

"Screen would have th colors blend like a rainbow. Couldn't make out print. Almost like it had been broken. No accidents had occurred. Cleared itself after a few start up reboots"

Anonymous, AZ (2012 Chevrolet Volt Unsure 1.4-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

"Quirky due in periodic inconsistent function and occasional unpredictable response to touch screen commands"

Anonymous, MI (2012 Chevrolet Volt None Plug-in Hybrid)
Display screen goes blank

"Rarely the display will blank-out functions on the screen so that they are not available. An example would be not allowing the comfort setting on the climate control screen. Usually the problem disappears when the auto is restarted"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Chevrolet Volt None Plug-in Hybrid)

"The dash display would go blank (dark) at various times while driving. Shut off and restart fixed the display temporarily. Software upgrade by Chevy fixed it permanently"

Daniel S., CA (2012 Chevrolet Volt None Plug-in Hybrid)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"Very out of date maps. Spent $200 on update and my street is still not showing (it was created in 2008). Vendor refused to refund purchase price"

Anonymous, WA (2012 Chevrolet Volt None Plug-in Hybrid)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"Infotainment not working correctly. Bluetooth, remote onstar, charging scheduling not working"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Chevrolet Volt None Plug-in Hybrid)

"Bluetooth can't recognize each other. Not as automatic"

Anonymous, AZ (2012 Chevrolet Volt Unsure 1.4-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)
Backup or other camera/sensors

"TPMS sensors have been replaced three times. Still frequently see error messages showing to service sensors"

Anonymous, IL (2012 Chevrolet Volt None 1.4-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

"On occasion, after switching from reverse back into drive, the backup sensor claxon continues to chime even though there is nothing in proximity to the sensors. I typically have to stop and power down the vehicle to get it to reset"

Brian M., CA (2012 Chevrolet Volt None 1.4-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Locks and latches

"Power door lock failed on driver front door. Mechanism was replaced"

Brett B., FL (2012 Chevrolet Volt None Plug-in Hybrid)

"The button to unlick the car on the outside driver side door handle stopped working"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Chevrolet Volt None Plug-in Hybrid)

"Latch for back hatchback became loose & would not shut securely. My husband & I located the problem, loose screws, but did not have the right tools to tighten them so took to dealer at the same time as the charger cord & plug"

Terri H., AZ (2012 Chevrolet Volt None 1.4-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

"Factory recall for weak tailgate struts"

Virgil U., NV (2012 Chevrolet Volt None Plug-in Hybrid)

"Had recall ... strut broke, breaking back window"

Michele S., SD (2012 Chevrolet Volt None Plug-in Hybrid)
Seat controls - movement

"Driver's seat frame has collapsed a small bit in the back right corner. I'm a very small, lightweight individual, but the seat frame has been replaced and the issue has come back. It's not a major safety issue, but is moderately annoying. If the vehicle weren't under warranty, this would cost a lot of money to repair"

Anonymous, IL (2012 Chevrolet Volt None 1.4-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Stability control (ESC)

"Yaw sensor failed in the stability control system covered under warranty"

Virgil U., NV (2012 Chevrolet Volt None Plug-in Hybrid)
Electrical failure

"Car completely shut down in trafficwhile on vacation, had to be towed to dealer, took 4 days to find and correct problem"

Anonymous, MI (2012 Chevrolet Volt None Plug-in Hybrid)

"This car had a bad senser on battery water and wouldn't charge. The warranty on electrical was 100000 miles but GM said that was not covered. I had it to a dealership two times and talked to Voltec. They said I had to cover the cost to replace parts. Didn't know how many more problems I would have with warranty. I had to take a big loss on this car money and warranty. Chevy didn't offer me much trade in. I got a ford. Two weeks after I traded in my Volt Chevy called to tell me my parts had come"

James A., PA (2012 Chevrolet Volt None 1.4-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

"Have received a message that the high voltage charging system needed attention. Each time, the dealer applied firmware upgrades designed to fix the problem. The most recent fix appears to have worked. I have not paid for any of this work as the electrical drive system is still under warranty"

Anonymous, KY (2012 Chevrolet Volt None 1.4-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)
Transfer case

"The bearings went out"

Anonymous, WA (2012 Chevrolet Volt None Plug-in Hybrid)
Traction control

"Traction control warning message appeared on dash within minutes of leaving the dealership for another problem (clicking brakes). It appears that a speed sensor was damaged while the technician fixed the original problem"

Ray I., PA (2012 Chevrolet Volt None 1.4-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

"passenger side rear rotor uneven wear"

David C., OH (2012 Chevrolet Volt None 1.4-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)
Regular brake failure

"Brakes failed at low speeds after serious rain storm. Returned to normal within 1 hour. Gam replaced all components"

Harold K., CO (2012 Chevrolet Volt None Plug-in Hybrid)

"caused damage to rotors"

Amy P., KS (2012 Chevrolet Volt None 1.4-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)
Squeaking

"Clicking noise when applying/releasing brake at low speeds. Problem occured first in 2015 ; repeated in 2017. Dealership is vague about cause/remedy"

Ray I., PA (2012 Chevrolet Volt None 1.4-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Steering linkage (includes rack and pinion)

"Bad steering link was replaced under warranty"

Anonymous, PA (2012 Chevrolet Volt None Plug-in Hybrid)

"Steering rack assembly failed and had to be replaced"

Dave S., AZ (2012 Chevrolet Volt None Plug-in Hybrid)
Steering wheel vibration

"The vibration was part of the steering rack assembly failing"

Dave S., AZ (2012 Chevrolet Volt None Plug-in Hybrid)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

"I over filled the gasoline tank and caused the evap system to cause a code. Chevrolet covered my stupidly under warranty. Never, never overfill the tank"

John G., MO (2012 Chevrolet Volt None Plug-in Hybrid)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"Mass air sensor, cost from Chevrolet 6 $600 found later I could buy and install for under $80. Chevrolet a rip off"

Kenneth W., NC (2012 Chevrolet Volt None 1.4-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

"a lot of issues, engine light kept coming on, dealer said bad gas. not to run on elect to long, took over a year w a lot of undiagnosed problems seems like every month or 2, finally fixed it. for now, been running good for about 8 months now, not sure what they did to fix"

Anonymous, OH (2012 Chevrolet Volt None 1.4-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

12V power plug

"It worked but they felt it had a bit of a connection problem and there was a software glitch fixed with a software update"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Chevrolet Volt None Plug-in Hybrid)

"Battery charger stopped charging consistently at home; after 15-20 minutes of charging time, vehicle would honk & stop charging. When I took it to dealer, they said it had become faulty & gave me a new power plug which is working great"

Terri H., AZ (2012 Chevrolet Volt None 1.4-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)
Tire pressure monitor

"The receiver that receives the signal from the tire sensors and FOB was defective and not receiving the signal all the time"

Anonymous, MN (2012 Chevrolet Volt None Plug-in Hybrid)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Heater system

"Some Volt models have problems with the cabin heat not working, intermittently, when operating in electric mode. This is apparently due to a part that either failed, or a design flaw in the heating system"

Anonymous, MD (2012 Chevrolet Volt None Plug-in Hybrid)

"Twice experienced no heat during morning commute following overnight charge. Heat functioned on return commute"

Anonymous, MI (2012 Chevrolet Volt None Plug-in Hybrid)

"Periodically does not heat. Dealer says the aux water pump is going out"

Lyle M., MN (2012 Chevrolet Volt None 1.4-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Cylinder head

"My volt would misfire when it went into gasoline mode. It took several trips to the dealer before the problem was diagnosed. When they decided I needed a new cylinder head, the job was under warranty, but I ran up nearly $500 in repairs before they dealt with the problem. I was using the wrong grade of fuel because the dealer I bought the car from lead me to believe that it was a 2014 Volt which used regular fuel, but the manual for the 2012 Volt says to use 91 octane or higher. This is a mitiga"

Anonymous, NY (2012 Chevrolet Volt None 1.4-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Other/unsure

"The On Star module went bad and had to be replaced"

Anonymous, IL (2012 Chevrolet Volt None Plug-in Hybrid)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

Compare 2012 Models

No Data Available
Recalls
PROVIDED BY
ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING:ENGINE:GASOLINE
Mar 13 2015
If the engine runs for an extended period of time in an enclosed space, there may be a build up of carbon monoxide, increasing the risk of personal injury.
Summary:
General Motors LLC (GM) is recalling certain model year 2011-2013 Volt vehicles manufactured August 25, 2010, to June 26, 2013. If the driver exits the vehicle without turning off the electrical system, the battery may drain low enough that the gasoline engine will automatically start itself to recharge the electric battery.
What should you do:
GM will notify owners, and dealers will update the engine management software to limit the time that the stationary vehicle can be left in the ON position, free of charge. The recall began April 15, 2015. Owners may contact Chevrolet customer service at 1-800-222-1020. GM's number for this recall is 14617.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 15V145000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 50236
ELECTRONIC STABILITY CONTROL
Jun 27 2013
If the brakes lock up it could cause a loss of steering control and/or a lengthened distance needed to stop the vehicle, increasing the risk of a crash.
Summary:
General Motors (GM) is recalling certain model year 2012 Chevrolet Volt vehicles manufactured March 1, 2012, through April 17, 2012. Due to a brake pressure modulator valve problem, the vehicles do not relieve brake pressure from the front brakes during an anti-lock brake system (ABS), electronic stability control (ESC), or traction control event. One or both front brakes may lock up and not release. Thus, these vehicles fail to conform to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) No. 126, "Electronic Stability Control Systems"' and No. 135, "Light Vehicle Brake Systems."
What should you do:
General Motors will notify owners, and dealers will install a new brake pressure modulator valve free of charge. The recall is expected to begin July 12, 2013. Owners may contact Chevrolet at 1-866-694-6546. GM's recall number is 13184.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 13V271000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 4
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