A recent software update to the Volt is actually the root cause of this problem.

Last week, General Motors revealed that the company is set to issue a Chevrolet Volt recall. Affecting some 3,233 Chevrolet Volts from the 2013 model year, the recall will rectify a problem with the vehicle's battery cell balancing, which could cause the Volt to shut down in traffic.

The issue is caused by a previous software update to the Vehicle Interface Control Module (VICM) which was installed to improve the car, but which may have disabled the cell balancing function, causing the Volt to enter a low-voltage condition. This puts the affected Volts into a situation where it would enter what is called a low-power "limp-home" mode, before shutting down completely.

This issue mimics two recall campaigns issued by General Motors, placed for the 2017 and 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EVs for similar battery related issues where a set of defective battery cells could warrant the vehicle to power down.

A statement from General Motors states:

"An error in the software update may prevent the batteries in these vehicles from balancing the voltage among individual battery cells, which under certain circumstances can result in a low-voltage condition in one or more battery cells. If the voltage in a given battery cell falls below a certain level, the vehicle may enter a reduced power mode and notify the driver that propulsion power is reduced. If the vehicle continues to be driven after the vehicle enters reduced power mode, the vehicle may lose propulsion."

Currently, no accidents or injuries have been reported as a result of the affair. Furthermore, no timeline is set for when the owners will be notified or when the software update will be installed on the affected vehicles.

Source: Green Car Reports

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