UPDATE: Chevrolet Volt Gets First Major “Recall”


Major in terms of number of vehicles affected, but rather minor (some Chevrolet Volt owners believe otherwise) in regards to the actual issue.

 *UPDATE: Though General Motors lists this as a recall and recall notice in its own paperwork and in notifications sent to owners, the automaker has informed us that this is actually a “Customer Satisfaction Program.”  However, we firmly believe this to be a safety issue, so we’re sticking with the “recall” terminology as it was originally referred to in the notices sent to owners.  

Here’s the notice that General Motors sent out to Volt owners over the weekend via OnStar:

Volt Recall Notice

Volt Recall Notice

And the recall number, as well as some info on what’s at fault:

Volt Recall

Volt Recall/Service Issue N140274

GM Notes New Chevrolet Volt Issues For "Liftgate Strut Rod Detach"

GM Notes New Chevrolet Volt Issues For “Liftgate Strut Rod Detach”

The recall (we’re hearing it’s officially referred to as Recall Number: 2014274),  involves the replacement of faulty rear liftgate struts.  These struts hold up the liftgate.

If failure occurs, the liftgate could descend, possibly injuring anyone who is loading or unloading the rear cargo area of the Volt.  At this point we want to stress it is not an official NHTSA recall notice.

There have been several reports from Volt owners who have experienced an issue with the strut’s ability to hold the liftgate in the upright position.  Some owners have even had the unfortunate experience of being hit by the liftgate as it descends.

Though owners report the issue of the strut’s inability to hold the liftgate open at times, General Motors is replacing the strut because it could possibly detach when the liftgate is in the closed position.

It appears as though this recall affects all Model Year Volts, though we can’t confirm this at this time.  We do know that 2013-2015 Volts are included in this recall, but we’ve been unable to confirm if the recall extends to include 2011 & 2012 Volts.

The last recall on the Chevy Volt affected only 4 vehicles built.  This latest liftgate-related recall appears to affect most Volts.

*Volt owners can run their VIN here to see if your vehicle is affected by this recall

Hat tip to Larry Schuler & Terry Child!!!

Category: Chevrolet


59 responses to "UPDATE: Chevrolet Volt Gets First Major “Recall”"
  1. pjwood1 says:

    Volt, a guillotine waiting to happen.

  2. Sivad says:

    I have a 2013 Volt and have not received any notice yet from Onstar.

    1. ClarksonCote says:

      Same here, but entering my VIN into their recall site does claim that my Volt is included.

      Not sure why I didn’t get a notice. I’ve never had any issues with my hatch anyway, so I’m not too concerned.

    2. mrenergyczar says:

      When its less than 10F outside, my hatch doesn’t remain open. I always thought it was due to low temps. Works fine otherwise….

    3. Thomas J. Thias says:


      Nope, Wrong – NOT A SAFETY RECALL!

      Once again, Global Automotive Journalists spin the Cyber Echo Chamber with fiction and not FACT!

      Link Goes To My Cyber Echo Chamber – Opinion Post- Text Photo-


      The Owners and Lessees of certain Chevrolet Volt EREV’s are being notified that a “Customer Service Campaign” has been launched to replace the rear struts in a number of sold vehicles.

      Link Goes To Screen Shot Of GM Global Connect Customer Satisfaction Campaign Notice, VIN Specific-


      The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is NOT involved. This is a voluntary replacement of rear struts and is NOT a Safety Recall

      The near 100,000 global GM Voltec sales with just 4 unique VIN’s addressed in an official NHTSA Recall of 4 Chevy Volt EREV’s of the 2013 Model Year still keeps the Voltec Platform at near ZERO RECALLS over this entire 5 model year production run!


      Thomas J. Thias


      1. Eric Loveday says:

        Unfortunately, General Motors refers to this as a recall as you can clearly see in the image that states “recall notice” and “immediate action” should be taken. GM can’t tell owners that it’s a recall and issue a “recall notice” and then change it to a “customer satisfaction program.”

        I’m sorry, but if it’s called a recall initially by GM, then it remains a recall. The story does not frame it has an official NHTSA action at this point in any manner.

        1. Jay Cole says:

          In addition to what Eric said. This is the report you get (via GM) framing this campaign a little ambiguously:

          (also added to story content)

  3. David Murray says:

    I already had those struts replaced at about 1 year. It kept falling on me, particularly in colder weather.

  4. kdawg says:

    I haven’t received a notice. My 2013 Volt can be covered in snow/ice and the rear hatch stays open. I’m just one data point, but I could see if these were not working it would be a hassle or dangerous.

    1. Jim_NJ says:

      I had a 2011 Volt for 3 years, and have had a 2014 for a year. I have never had any problem with the hatch staying up – even with a little ice and snow on it. That’s three data points now. 🙂

      1. SIvad says:

        Count me in. No problems.

      1. vdiv says:

        That does not constitute a notice 🙂

        Yes, it’s impacted, same date and number.

        safecar.gov does not have it as a recall, yet, only as a single complaint, NHTSA ID Number: 10566434, dated 2/28/2014

  5. bro1999 says:

    I just checked, and no notices for me. I have a MY2012 Volt built in May 2012.

    1. sven says:


  6. Ziv says:

    No notices for my 2013 and I haven’t had any problems with the hatch staying in place in all weather types. But again, as kdawg put it, I am just one data point. My Volt seems to have been built solid as a brick with noticeably overbuilt components.
    It would be a non-critical component like the hatch strut that would be sub-par since it is probably shared with other GM vehicles either here in the States, or, more likely, abroad. I hate to share my ignorance, but does GM sell any other hatchback in the US, other than the Volt and the Sonic? I doubt the Volt strut is the same one as the one the Sonic uses. Or maybe it is and the problem is that it is suited for a lighter hatch.

    1. bro1999 says:

      It might be just because I own a 2012, but it’s my belief that 2012s were the most solid built out of all the MY Volts. It seems there are fewer complaints about 2012s than any of the newer MY Volts. And I believe there are more 2012 Volts out there than any other model year.

      I wonder if there is any way to check if the struts have the same part number for all MY Volts.

    2. vdiv says:

      Add mine to your data point. Early 2012, no recall notice yet.

        1. vdiv says:

          Yes, it is impacted, same date and number.

        2. SIvad says:

          Yes, I’m impacted but no notice from GM or Onstar yet.

    3. kdawg says:

      The Covette C7 I think has a large hatch. Also there are a lot of hatches for hoods on the fronts of the cars. I don’t know who GM sources these from. Possibly multiple vendors.

    4. Eric Loveday says:

      Run your VIN here and report back. Thanks: https://my.chevrolet.com/na-chevrolet/myvehicle/recalls

      1. kdawg says:

        It says “Incomplete” for me, so I could schedule a fix. Maybe I will wait till it’s warmer and also set up whatever fix they did for the sticky center on the steering wheel. I did get a letter on that. Might as well hit 2 birds with 1 stone.

        1. doudis2 says:

          I’m in the same boat, except i will get my scheduled in the next couple of weeks or so.

      2. pjwood1 says:

        Mine is recalled. To me, its a maintenance item, that in this case simply holds more weight. It’s nice of GM to cover the replacement, but unless they are going to a spring system, I don’t see how going from one strut to another will do more than delay future problems. I’ve always witnessed these things weaken over time. Sad, they may only be practicing a pre-emptive defense because its the Volt.

  7. FSJ says:

    No notice for me yet, for my 2014. But my hatch has been clunking like crazy, and I have been wondering what’s up back there.

    1. Eric Loveday says:

      Please run your VIN here and report back: https://my.chevrolet.com/na-chevrolet/myvehicle/recalls

      1. bro1999 says:

        When I put my 2012 VIN in there, the recall pops up.

  8. Fishhawk says:

    Eric, both of my 2011’s are affected, as shown when running through the website you listed.

    1. Fishhawk says:

      Though its interesting that neither one shows up when run through the VIN lookup at safercar.gov. Makes me wonder if its a “recall” or a “program”, if you read the notice carefully.

      1. ziv says:

        I think it is one of the voluntary fixes GM will do for you if you ask them to do so. But I am not sure. I just had my Volt’s tires rotated and the oil changed and they didn’t mention the hatch strut, but when I entered my VIN my Volt is on the list.
        I have gotten pretty much everything done for free so far (12,500 miles) and I would bet that when I mention it next year they will do this for free too. No big deal for me.
        I think the header should have been “Chevy Volt has first recall. Minor but worth fixing”

      2. Fishhawk says:

        Katie O from Chevrolet Customer Service said it wasn’t a recall, its a customer satisfaction campaign.

        1. ziv says:

          Thanks for doing the legwork and getting the true situation! That is what I figured it would be. Nothing that requires a recall but an issue worth fixing.

        2. ClarksonCote says:

          If this is not a recall as Katie O. states, then the story should be updated, as this “campaign” would be no different than the battery campaign of 2011.

          1. ClarksonCote says:

            I noticed the update in the story, but the title should be changed.

            1. Jay Cole says:

              The reason why it hasn’t changes is despite the statement from “Katie”, GM has sent out a notice themselves to Volt owners as a “recall” in big bold letters…and when you “Search for GM Recalls” you get action on this repair:

              I think if you are a Volt owner and received this string of notifications and actions today, your assumption would be this is a recall, there would be no reason to think it was not.

              Also see below screencap (via GM) we is a little ambiguous as well:

              1. ClarksonCote says:

                Hi Jay,

                Agree that GM is calling it a recall, but I’d bet my hat that is because of all the recent politics surrounding the ignition debacle. They’re walking on broken glass and likely more concerned about getting the word out, than trying to distinguish vocabulary.

                If it is truly a safety recall, isn’t there some government website that can be used to verify it?

  9. Arkansas Volt says:

    i had mine replaced a while back. it was kinda scary when it first started to happen last winter.

  10. John Hollenberg says:

    Article title should be, “Volts recalled for weak Liftgate struts”, in other words “move on folks, nothing to see here”.

  11. Lou says:

    I am driving a 2012 and have been clunked by mine! Hurt and was not funny at all. However, it may have been that I did not fully extend the hatch up. Felt like I did but I suspect that it had a few mmore inches to go. On other h/b’s that I have had, the rear would more or less “pop” open and continue rising. Not on my Volt though, you have to make a conscious effort to fully push it up. May not be a recall issue, but it is dangerous. Believe me, when it hit me, I saw stars and had a lump on my head afterwards…


    1. Cherron says:

      Lou, I experienced the exact same thing with my 2011 model. I got smacked in my head and it left a dent for some days. I experienced nausea, headache, etc. afterwards. I had to lie down for a day or more due to that incidence. I still have been experiencing some headache pain since this happened. I was embarrassed and hurt at the same time when the lift gate fell and hit my head. I did receive a notice on my vehicle. I know mine has an issue. That incident made me scared to put or remove items in the hatchback area due to the fear of it falling on me again.

  12. iwatson says:

    I have noticed lately, during the recent cold snap that the liftgate had a hard time staying up, but figured this was normal as the struts age. I had a Chrysler van before where the liftgate struts got weaker and weaker until they finally had to be replaced, at my expense.

    I have also not received a notice but I checked my VIN and the website indicated that my car was recalled. When I called the dealer the service tech said my car had two recalls, one is for the liftgate struts. The other is brand new and she didn’t have a lot of info on it. Something regarding reprogramming of the electrical inverter module. She was going to try to get more information and call me back to schedule an appointment so they could do both recalls at the same time.

    I’ll update when she calls back. Weird this other recall doesn’t show up on that website?

  13. Djoni says:

    Strange, and cross related, I have both strut replace on my 2012 MY Leaf, and the new one aren’t no better in the cold for holding the hatch, nevermind lift it.
    Cold is at play here, in summer evrything goes fine.
    Still annoying if you are in a hurry, you might bump it befor it open (if it does)

  14. CherylG's_DirtyLittleSecret says:

    I know 3 volt owners.
    3 have never heard of the problem but one of them had the hatch struts fail catastrophically. The left strut disconnected and the right just simply couldn’t hold it up anymore. My guess is the right probably wasn’t functioning properly anymore and the left had to compensate for a while till it slipped off.
    Anyway, the glass shattered but luckily nobody was was under it because they were taking groceries inside.

    The stealership wouldn’t fix it under warranty claiming the struts were “Maintenance and wearble” parts.

    Either way, crap like this happens to all these struts.

    Anyone know if he can get his money back for the repairs from this recall?

    1. kubel says:

      Yes, he will need his receipt or a record of the repair (assuming it was done at the dealership, they will have this). The manufacturer will reimburse the full amount in labor and parts.

  15. Nix says:

    Every hatchback I’ve ever owned has eventually worn out these struts. The real issue here isn’t struts wearing out, it is struts popping off on one end. That’s a real problem, because that failure will be sudden, while when the struts wear out, they slowly don’t do as good a job, until they won’t hold up the hatch all the way. But you have plenty of warning that they are on their way out.

    1. CherylG's_DirtyLittleSecret says:

      I’ve replaced quite a few myself on my cars in the past.
      they really are just maintenance. You just need to catch it before it get’s to the point of failure……lol

  16. Fishhawk says:

    Katie O from Chevrolet Customer Service said it wasn’t a recall, its a customer satisfaction campaign.

    1. Arkansas Volt says:


      It is all in how you word it. Marketing 101.

      1. Eric Loveday says:

        GM initially referred to it as a recall, as in sending out a “Recall notice” to owners. This initial reference to “recall” is what we’re sticking with. GM can’t, on the fly, change it from a “recall” to a customer service campaign.” Once a recall, always a recall.

  17. Driverguy01 says:

    Same here, my car is recalled also…

  18. Epicurus says:

    Note to GM: Don’t buy any more parts from the company which made these lousy struts.

  19. Red HHR says:

    The Volt gave my wife a pretty good clout on the back of her head last week. She claims she was almost knocked out. It was very cold at the time. I also noticed that the hatch would not stay open with a bit of snow on it. My 2012 is on the list, however no notice yet.

  20. Supe says:

    In Canada no issues on a 2014 i make sure i lift the thing all the way up before i stick my head under it.

    I also look to make sure it’s not falling getting injured doing something silly is not worth saving 30 seconds.

  21. ModernMarvelFan says:

    I wonder if the strut is wearing out prematurely or GM under estimate the usage.

    If owners are opening the trunk daily to pull out the charging cord, it would be at least 2-4x of opening and closing…

    My 2012 Volt seems to be covered by the recall but it has been working fine. So, I wonder if the wear and tear are adding up due to the daily usage to the trunk b/c of the EVSE usage.

  22. Zach says:

    My 2012 Volt never had a problem. I traded it in this summer for a 2014 and I have noticed that the force provided by the 2014 struts is significantly weaker. I haven’t had it drop closed on me at any time, but it does feel like they just barely are holding it up. To visualize the difference, when opening the 2014 hatch I have to apply lifting force to the door until it is at least within an inch of fully open or it will drop closed. With my old 2012 hatch I could open the door and let go as much as 6 inches away from fully open and the struts would continue opening the door to the fully open position. Effectively, the 2012 hatch felt much more securely open than the 2014 one I have now.

  23. Chris says:

    I have a 2012 Volt and just found my VIN is included in the Recall, FYI. Just in case anyone out there who didn’t find their VIN initially included, you may want to double check, if you’re concerned about this. 🙂