Chevrolet Volt Waits Patiently For Software Patch Before Being Ok'ed For Sale

Chevrolet Volt Waits Patiently For Software Patch Before Being Ok'ed For Sale

GM dealers where informed Wednesday to stop delivering many popular 2013 models, including that of the Chevrolet Volt, due to a software glitch that affects their OnStar communication systems.

However, by Friday a GM spokesperson said that the company is now working on applying a software "patch" on over 60,000 affected vehicles on dealer lots, and the repair campaign should be "wrapped up in days, maybe into next week."

The models that are under a dealer hold until fixed are:

  • 2013 Chevrolet Volt
  • 2013 Chevrolet Cruze
  • 2013 Equinox
  • 2013 Cadillac XTS
  • 2013 ATS
  • 2013 Buick Verano
  • 2013 GMC Terrain
  • 2012/2013  Cadillac SRX

The issue that prompted the 'hold' was a software glitch that sometimes prevented OnStar's crash notification system from alerting the OnStar call center in accidents that do not trigger the airbag deployment.

Many light incidents do not activate the airbag, but this can also be true in more severe incidents, such as a rear-end collisions.

GM states that "sensing diagnostic module" is still fully operational and deploys the airbag as it is intended, but tests found that certain model's occupants would not always receive a call notification from an OnStar operator to check to see if passengers were injured in incidents where the airbags were not inflated.

Thankfully, this is only a software issue that applies to a level of service past the NHSTA safety standard, so current owners of these vehicles need not be alarmed, and there is no immediate recall.

GM has already isolated the problem and has deployed a software patch that many current owners may not even be aware their cars have already downloaded.  For those vehicles that can't be patched remotely, owners will be told to book an appointment for dealers to perform the patch service, a process that takes about 30 minutes according to the company.

All vehicle owners will be notified by letter whether their cars have received the fix remotely or need to come in.

The apparent issue for the dealer lots is those unsold cars do not receive the automatic patch over their OnStar communications in many cases, so dealerships must do the manual repairs themselves.   This does not affect the ongoing sales of the cars, unless you account for the extra 30 minutes the customer may have to wait as the dealership completes the service.


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