2011 Chevy Volt Deemed Most Dependable Compact By J.D. Power


When It Comes To Plug-In Reliability The Volt Has No Equal - According To JD Power Survey Of 41,000 Vehicle Owners

When It Comes To Plug-In Reliability The Volt Has No Equal – According To JD Power Survey Of 41,000 Vehicle Owners

Chevy Volt Wins Most Reliable Used Compact In First Year Of Eligibility

Chevy Volt Wins Most Reliable Used Compact In First Year Of Eligibility

Once a year, J .D. Power puts out a “Dependability Study” of the most reliable 3-year-old vehicles.

And while the overall reliability of these used cars was down for the first time in 16 years – the Chevrolet Volt topped the list for compact cars.  (Take note of size class US News and World Report Award)

Overall 2011 cars reported 133 problems per 100 vehicles which was higher than the year previous (126 incidents).

But none of that year-over-year failure applies to the Chevrolet Volt, as it just edged out the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic to win its segment.  The overall winner at 62 problems per 100 vehicles was the Lexus LS and the Cadillac DTS.

Phone Your Granddad And Congratulate Him That His 2011 Caddy With 4,000 Miles On It Is The Most Reliable Car In America

Phone Your Granddad And Congratulate Him That His 2011 Caddy With 4,000 Miles On It Is The Most Reliable Car In America

Although the Chevrolet brand placed in the middle of the pack for reliability (13th overall), GM was still pleased with the Volt’s performance inside the group, along with the Camaro which took home the honor for most dependable “Midside Sporty Car”

“The Volt has redefined how Chevrolet’s electrification technology is helping our customers save fuel and reduce emissions without compromising style, comfort and performance,” said Paul Edwards, U.S. vice president, Chevrolet Marketing. “The Camaro continues to bring new buyers to Chevrolet, and we expect the introduction of the Z/28 will further heighten enthusiasm for America’s favorite sports car.

“Receiving coveted dependability rankings on two launch-year vehicles demonstrates our commitment to providing our customers with first-class quality and customer experiences,” said Edwards.

Also of note: Overall Lexus finished as the most reliable brand (68 incidents out of 100), while Mercedes Benz finished a distant second (at 104) and Cadillac 3rd (107).  The dubious last place award fell to MINI (185),who just edged out the Dodge brand (181)

J.D. Power Scoring Legend for 2011 Chevy Volt

J.D. Power Scoring Legend for 2011 Chevy Volt

Category: Chevrolet

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31 responses to "2011 Chevy Volt Deemed Most Dependable Compact By J.D. Power"
  1. Eric Loveday says:

    Lookie there. Now it’s correctly called a compact.

    1. ClarksonCote says:

      Yes, I hope the website “InsideCarClasses.com” is reporting on that in due diligence. 😛

  2. kdawg says:

    Is “incident” defined?

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Due to the nature of the survey, it is pretty generic…just classed as “problems experienced during the past 12 months by original owners of 2011 model-year vehicles. Overall dependability is determined by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100), with a lower score reflecting higher quality.”

      1. kdawg says:

        So if someone “heard a funny noise” it counts the same as someone having a new transmission installed. Hmmm

  3. Spec9 says:

    Considering the complexity of that drivetrain, that is amazing. Well done, GM.

    On the other hand, the fact that the reliable battery and electric motor do most of the work, it is not surprising that the most reliable car with an ICE in it is the one that mostly relies upon a battery & electric motor.

  4. DaveMart says:

    So how many incidents per 100 vehicles did the Volt actually get?
    I can’t see it above, unless I missed it.

  5. ffbj says:

    Haha. It’s an article about the Volt and everything but the incidents per Volt are mentioned.
    For the Lexus, Cadillac, Mini, Dodge..oh well probably around 120.

    1. DaveMart says:

      Don’t worry, just follow the supplied link…..oh……

      1. Jay Cole says:

        There is lots of media press releases from the related parties you can check out, for the Volt win and quotes…..but nothing on the Volt data yet (generally OEMs don’t like you to source link their media press releases in stories)



        We have a call in because it is driving us crazy too…will update the story with the Volt numbers as soon as we get them.

        1. DaveMart says:

          Yeah, they do that kind of thing.
          A bit like Pike Research, where the figures they give look rubbish, but you have to pay them several hundred dollars to find out where they invented, sorry, sourced, them from.

    2. Eric Loveday says:

      We are searching far and wide for the Volt incident per 100 figure. It seems to not be available. We’re not sure why J.D. Power listed it for some vehicles and not others. Our search continues.

  6. How did other electric vehicles rate on this J.D. Power survey? Both Nissan LEAF and Smart ED had 2011 models.

    1. Tesla Motors says:

      Smart ED in 2011 wasn’t mass production. Some people still have them and they say they haven’t had any problems except for the really long charge time and shorter range.

  7. ffbj says:

    Ah. I think I understand. While the Volt got the award for compact car individual models are not listed, only the brands themselves.i.e.
    Brand scores (problems per 100 vehicles for 2011 models; lower is better):

    Lexus (68)
    Mercedes-Benz (104)
    Cadillac (107)
    Acura (109)
    Buick (112)
    Honda (114)
    Lincoln (114)
    Toyota (114)
    Porsche (125)
    Infiniti (128)
    BMW (130)
    Subaru (131)
    Chevrolet (132)
    Jaguar (132)
    Mazda (132)
    GMC (133)
    Ford (140)
    Nissan (142)
    Audi (151)
    Kia (151)
    Volvo (152)
    Scion (153)
    Chrysler (155)
    Volkswagen (158)
    Ram (165)
    Mitsubishi (166)
    Hyundai (169)
    Jeep (178)
    Land Rover (179)
    Dodge (181)
    Mini (185)

    1. Assaf says:

      Looking at the list, I suddenly feel great that Chrysler has given EVs the cold shoulder so far 🙂

      1. lewl says:

        Chrysler has always been crap.
        I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen the words “What a great (reliable) (durable) (etc) vehicle” in relation to a Chrysler (and family brands), lol.

        EVs would actually help bring them up in reliability, as there’s less to fail.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Found what? Unless I see it, there is not Chevy Volt data there either. That is also based off the JD Power media release as far as I can tell.

  8. Bloggin says:

    Well Done Volt!

  9. ffbj says:

    I was trying to explain that the Volt is folded in with all a
    Chevrolet products. That why I pointed out it is rated as a brand when it comes to their pp100,as they call it problems per 100 vehicles. Lexus, Dodge, Bmw..etc..
    Individual models receive the particular awards but not the pp 100.

  10. Assaf says:


    Now, all that remains is for GM to start pushing this great car like Nissan pushes the Leaf.

    I want to see a 30-second GM spot showing every single award Volt has won.

    Not a 30-second spot with
    – “Dad, are we gonna die because you got us an Electric Car?”
    – “No sweetie, don’t worry, it still has a gas engine.”

  11. pjwood says:

    “compact”. That was bold, Jay, really bold.

  12. ffbj says:

    That is the designation given by JD Powers.

  13. RedLeafBlueLeaf says:

    There are problems with these surveys, as there are with Consumer Reports surveys. In the case of JD Power they make their money selling the rights to brag about JD Power awards to the manufacturers, so of course they have the incentive to design surveys to maximize revenue.

    Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean the surveys are meaningless – just you can’t rely on small differences. Consumer Reports has been right that Toyota and Honda are in general much more reliable than Chrysler and GM, and that historically Chrysler transmissions and Ford A/C really were highly unreliable.

    Similarly, this is such a jump in quality for GM that it probably does mean the Volt is much better than previous GM cars. I owned a GM disaster, made in 1999, and most of the problems were in components specific to ICE-cars – though at least two of them involved computer chips that managed the components. When I heard GM was making a PHEV – or EREV if you prefer – I was thinking “these guys can’t get a basic old school V6 to work reliably – how they hell are they going to make a complex hybrid work reliably”. But maybe the series engine set up has solved a bunch of their chronic problems for them.

  14. ViperRT10Matt says:

    Volt won! That means Obama must’ve gotten to them boys at JD Power! Right, tea partiers?!?

    1. Open-Mind says:

      Nah … Obama has no time for the Volt any more.

      He’s too busy reading your emails, text messages, and phone call transcripts, while “fundamentally transforming” the USA into something resembling Venezuela. He’s also been very busy reducing our national debt from $10 trillion to $18 trillion. You share comes to about $55K. 🙂

      1. Jerry says:

        Your comment has very little to do with the Chevy Volt, however you need to be thankful that President Obama renewed and continued the green energy tax credits in the same manner that the oil and natural gas industries enjoy those tax loopholes and credits. Besides you fail to realize cutting taxes (Bush Tax cuts) during two 10 year wars, mortgage collapse, banking bailout, automotive industry bailout, and a massive recession causing less federal tax receipts and increased deficit isn’t President Obama’s fault. If you still believe that fantasy you should go ahead and call yourself a proud resident of crazy town. Personally, I own a Chevy Volt powered by solar panels and guess what, none of that could have been possible during the Bush administration “oil loving” years. Please think before you speak and please use correlations to understand our current day situation.

        A very proud Chevy Volt owner!!!

  15. Open-Mind says:

    Since it’s sort of on topic … I’ve started keeping a “diary” of my Volt issues. Pasted that below. Now in my 4th week of ownership, I’ve had two legit issues … and maybe three more if I really want to get picky. It’s been perfect since Feb-06. 🙂


    Purchased January 20th, 2014. Car was originally on another dealership’s lot, but was purchased though my local dealership.

    Mon, Jan 20 (Day 1)

    Took possession with 40 miles on ODO. Car looked to be in great shape. My dealer said the original dealership said there was a windshield chip, but we could not find it.

    Minor: Floor mats missing … still at the original dealership. The mats were delivered to my dealership the next day. I noticed a low tire warning before pulling off the lot. They filled it.

    Once home, the charging door was sticking and would not open. Read this was a common problem, and the cure is some silicone lube. I applied some, and that fixed it.

    Also once home, I learned my oil life monitor was at 61%, so my “new” oil was already 39% used according to the oil monitor. With only 40 miles on the ODO, apparently this
    Volt had sat on lots about 9 months. That’s because one year of sitting idle takes 50% off the oil life. I figured that out on my own.

    Thu, Jan 30 (Day 11):

    Realized the electric cabin heat was not working at all. Probably never was, but since the engine was routinely running (due to very cold temps), the engine heat masked
    the problem. Once the temps got above 30F outside (so the engine didn’t run), then the lack of cabin heat was much more noticeable. I learned from my (incredibly helpful)
    Volt Advisor that this is a common problem, but unfortunately neither of my dealerships were aware of the issue or detected it ahead of time.

    Mon Feb 3 (Day 14):

    Dropped off the vehicle to have the heater serviced. This service was done by the end of the next day, since a new heater element had to be ordered.
    On my trip home, I noticed the check engine light was on and it seemed to be running rough, but a big snow storm was beginning, so I just parked the
    Volt in my garage that night. Noticed a slight hot/burning smell then, but I decided that was just some spilled coolant on the engine or manifold. Invoice said they had to
    replace the coolant in order to install the new heater.

    Wed Feb 5 (Day 16):

    After work, the snow storm was all done, so I could finally test-drive my repaired Volt. Engine ran fine. No warning lights. Good heat. Seemed perfect. Assumed all was good.

    Thu Feb 6 (Day 17):

    Driving 12 miles to work in 0 deg-F temp at 65 MPH in “Hold” mode. Then half way to work, the Volt engine ran rough a few seconds, then just shut off completely without warning.
    Dash said “Engine Not Available – Service Soon”. Huh?!? So I then switched it back to “Normal” drive, and it got me to work on electric power, but in a reduced power mode. I immediately called the dealership about getting my Volt towed there, and they suggested I call their towing company to provide them directions. The plant where I work is big and out in the country (not a simple street address), so I decided it would be better to call Onstar, thinking they could use my Volt GPS to guide the tow company. After much confusion about my
    GPS location (and waiting on hold a few times) I decided to just drive to the dealership, and cancelled my Onstar tow request. Nutshell … I spent 20 minutes on the phone to avoid
    the 15 minute trip that I ended up driving anyway. Lesson learned … drive it to the dealership if you can.

    I made it to the dealership with 3 miles of EV range/anxiety remaining, and their shuttle promptly returned me to work. So I got to work about 90 minutes late. At the end of this
    day, they said my Volt was “done”, since they could not find anything wrong with it. Since my tank (still containing its original gas) only had about 2 gallons left, they had filled the tank
    so they could test drive it. At that point, it started working perfectly again. They test drove it seven times total to make sure. Their opinion was that the old/original gas was
    bad, contained moisture, etc, so the new fuel “fixed it”. That seemed fine with me, but at checkout I learned they were charging me $19.35 for the gas. I guess it’s right to be charged for it,
    but It did seem odd that I was required to pay for gas that was needed to diagnose a problem that (according to them) was caused by their gas that was in the car at purchase.
    In retrospect, I now suspect that at least some of that gas was as old as the (61% life) oil. Lesson learned … if the engine shuts down, restart the Volt if you can and try new gas.

    1. kdawg says:

      Too bad you didn’t get a 2014 Volt. The charge port door is manual (so no sticking) and it would not have sat all that time.

      1. Open-Mind says:

        Good point. Although a similar 2014 would have cost me several thousand more despite it’s lower MSRP. My price was $9K off MSRP. And because the 2013 has a higher MSRP, it qualifies for a bigger tax break here in Illinois … calculated as 10% of MSRP up to $4K. All things considered … can’t complain! 🙂