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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 2012 Ampera died at the local recycling centre, of all places, and I haven't seen it since that day in July.

The RAC recovered it to the local Vauxhall main dealer where a faulty main battery assembly was diagnosed. The dealer requested the part number for a replacement from Vauxhall and, three months later, they are still waiting.

I have escalated a case within Vauxhall Customer Service. However, as the 8 year Voltec warranty expires next month, I'm starting to worry it could end badly. If Vauxhall won't replace the battery under warranty, the car would have to be written off.

Now this is pure speculation, but is it possible that Vauxhall are no longer able to source a genuine main battery assembly? I would guess this is the equivalent part for the Chevrolet Volt and it appears to be no longer available: 2011-2014 Chevrolet Volt Battery Assembly 20979876 | GM Parts Center

Quick poll - has anyone else needed to have a Ampera main battery replaced?










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That is dreadful service. I would expect them to have a battery in mainland Europe spares, so makes no sense why it has not been repaired by now. The fault was before the warranty expired, so I wouldn't worry about that. Have they given you a courtesy car?

I would write a formal complaint to Vauxhall and say if they don't fix your car within (say) 2 more weeks you want an equivalent replacement Ampera. You may want to ask CA for advise too.

BTW I think access to the Volt battery was restricted so that may be why it isn't available online.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No courtesy car, although not really needed. Lucky to be working from home, otherwise I'd have pushed for one. Agreed about the dreadful service - nothing actioned and zero communication for weeks until Vauxhall management got involved recently. Hopefully we'll have a way forward next week.

Thanks for the helpful info and advice @proddick



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My car was with vauxhall for about 3 months getting diagnosed and fixed. I was getting nowhere on the phone to Vauxhall customer care. I then got onto their Twitter help desk and things really started to get sorted. After waiting over a month for a courtesy car I got one within a few days. Communication was excellent from thereon in. Good luck.
 

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I have an ongoing dispute with Accor hotels over two refunds which I am due but they won't pay - head office and hte local hotel each claim it is the other which should pay it.

There is absolutely no question that I'm wrong yet I can't get it resolved.

I've been told by a few people now that Twitter is the place to get stuff fixed. I'll trry it in the next couple of days.

Certainly worth remembering for Vx.
 

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My car was with vauxhall for about 3 months getting diagnosed and fixed. I was getting nowhere on the phone to Vauxhall customer care. I then got onto their Twitter help desk and things really started to get sorted. After waiting over a month for a courtesy car I got one within a few days. Communication was excellent from thereon in. Good luck.
Seems we are in an age that lots of businesses only take customer service seriously when customers start highlighting their lack of communication on social media.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I kept the Twitter option in my back pocket as a last resort. Hopefully won't need it now as escalating to the Vauxhall Customer Service manager seems to have worked. A high level engineering manager has contacted the dealer service team and is guiding them through the process. Turns out the battery assembly is NEVER replaced. Instead, the car is usually taken to Luton and the battery repaired by Vauxhall.

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I kept the Twitter option in my back pocket as a last resort. Hopefully won't need it now as escalating to the Vauxhall Customer Service manager seems to have worked. A high level engineering manager has contacted the dealer service team and is guiding them through the process. Turns out the battery assembly is NEVER replaced. Instead, the car is usually taken to Luton and the battery repaired by Vauxhall.

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That's not surprising. Short of a catastrophic failure, batteries are by nature modular in design, and consist of several control boxes that should be replaceable.
 

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My name is summoned .... !

I believe there have been two full battery replacements done in the UK, one of which was one of the guys here on the forum.

In both cases I heard, yes, it was shipped to Luton for the work done. AFAIK they were full battery replacements.

They are man-made objects with due imperfections and can die. GM were selling them off some time back for $3,200 each, IIRC, such was how much they have over-stocked the item in anticipation of a larger failure rate.

It is entirely possible that it is not your main battery, the dealers are very poor at diagnostics and repairs. Equally possible is that the battery does need replacing. I cannot see how they can refute the warrant, it failed in warranty and must be repaired.

Your choice is to let them continue with the repair or seek an alternative remedy with Vauxhall. They are piss awful at honouring Ampera warranties, I still have a complaint with OLEV that stalled 3 years ago and remains something I get promises about. I guess they are just waiting for all the cars to expire.

Good luck. If there is anything I might be more specific on I am willing to try. It may not be so daft as to find a US GM sourced pack from stock and ship it over but I think you have to really love the car for that.
 

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Surely there must be some viable packs from front end write-offs? Where do they go??
 

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Surely there must be some viable packs from front end write-offs? Where do they go??
I’m going to get a section shipped over next year,strip it and keep it charged.
You can see it being stripped into each individual cell pouch on YouTube,difficult but not impossible.
 

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My 2012 Ampera died at the local recycling centre, of all places, and I haven't seen it since that day in July.

The RAC recovered it to the local Vauxhall main dealer where a faulty main battery assembly was diagnosed. The dealer requested the part number for a replacement from Vauxhall and, three months later, they are still waiting.

I have escalated a case within Vauxhall Customer Service. However, as the 8 year Voltec warranty expires next month, I'm starting to worry it could end badly. If Vauxhall won't replace the battery under warranty, the car would have to be written off.

Now this is pure speculation, but is it possible that Vauxhall are no longer able to source a genuine main battery assembly? I would guess this is the equivalent part for the Chevrolet Volt and it appears to be no longer available: 2011-2014 Chevrolet Volt Battery Assembly 20979876 | GM Parts Center

Quick poll - has anyone else needed to have a Ampera main battery replaced?










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Hi, I bought my 2014 Ampera around the middle of last year stunning bargain at 80239 miles, absolutely immaculate inside and out. Totally delighted in every way with my purchase. Around 6 weeks ago the engine warning light came on, intermittently at first and then permanently on. Since the car had 12 month warranty from Vauxhall I took the car to my local dealership. They diagnosed a fault in the main battery and placed an order for a replacement at the same time assuring me that it was ok to continue driving the car. Gradually over time the electric range of the car began to drop from the high 30s to the low 20s miles range, I put this down to the colder weather until the car stopped accepting any charge either from my tethered wall charger or by means of the supplied 13A cable. Again I took the car back to Vauxhall and was told it was all part of the same fault and they would chase up their order for the main battery replacement; not available within GB or the EU and the order was was now placed in the USA! Still got around 6 months of my purchse warranty left and the manufacturer's battery warranty runs out in 2022, so I'm hoping for the best!
 

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Hi, I bought my 2014 Ampera around the middle of last year stunning bargain at 80239 miles, absolutely immaculate inside and out. Totally delighted in every way with my purchase. Around 6 weeks ago the engine warning light came on, intermittently at first and then permanently on. Since the car had 12 month warranty from Vauxhall I took the car to my local dealership. They diagnosed a fault in the main battery and placed an order for a replacement at the same time assuring me that it was ok to continue driving the car. Gradually over time the electric range of the car began to drop from the high 30s to the low 20s miles range, I put this down to the colder weather until the car stopped accepting any charge either from my tethered wall charger or by means of the supplied 13A cable. Again I took the car back to Vauxhall and was told it was all part of the same fault and they would chase up their order for the main battery replacement; not available within GB or the EU and the order was was now placed in the USA! Still got around 6 months of my purchse warranty left and the manufacturer's battery warranty runs out in 2022, so I'm hoping for the best!
Related is I had a conversation with Vauxhall customer services yesterday to ask if the Voltec warranty would be honoured if, as a result of Covid lockdown, servicing is not carried out to schedule. Answer was that there is no extension being made as yet - although apparently there was one for the March 2020 lockdown. Now I’m not sure the guy I spoke even knew what an Ampera is, let alone what Voltec meant, and I think he was just talking about warranties in general, but upshot is I’ll be schlepping over the Wantage this week (50 miles each way) to get a service done by Bellingers, just to make sure. I added an early MOT to make my justification for the trip even more reasonable if I get stopped!
 

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Another US supplier is still listing the battery. Also, there is currently a low mileage wreck on ebay. Personally I'm rather glad mine is out of warranty now - makes things a lot simpler in a way.

139565



139566
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
My name is summoned .... !

I believe there have been two full battery replacements done in the UK, one of which was one of the guys here on the forum.

In both cases I heard, yes, it was shipped to Luton for the work done. AFAIK they were full battery replacements.

They are man-made objects with due imperfections and can die. GM were selling them off some time back for $3,200 each, IIRC, such was how much they have over-stocked the item in anticipation of a larger failure rate.

It is entirely possible that it is not your main battery, the dealers are very poor at diagnostics and repairs. Equally possible is that the battery does need replacing. I cannot see how they can refute the warrant, it failed in warranty and must be repaired.

Your choice is to let them continue with the repair or seek an alternative remedy with Vauxhall. They are piss awful at honouring Ampera warranties, I still have a complaint with OLEV that stalled 3 years ago and remains something I get promises about. I guess they are just waiting for all the cars to expire.

Good luck. If there is anything I might be more specific on I am willing to try. It may not be so daft as to find a US GM sourced pack from stock and ship it over but I think you have to really love the car for that.
Good news. My car is finally back on the drive 6 months after it went in for repair. The GOM now reports 37 miles range in freezing weather, when previously it was mid-20's.

I am left in the dark about any work carried out when it was sent to Vauxhall Technical in Luton. All the dealer would say was, from the shiny appearance of the casing, they suspected the battery assembly and maybe a controller module, had been replaced, and that the battery would more than likely be a reconditioned unit.

Luton diagnosed a separate problem in the wiring harness which they suspected was caused by water entering via the wheel arch. Thankfully, the dealer was able to fix this without replacing the whole wiring loom (which would have rendered the car a write-off).

All in all, I'm very pleased with the outcome as it looks like the car has been given a new lease of life at 80000 miles. I ended up paying £350 for the wiring fix and I wasn't charged for the the work carried out in Luton. I assume that was carried out under the Voltec warranty, although it wasn't mentioned on the invoice.

Lessons learned:

1) Ignore the GM Volt water trough test video (
) - avoid driving through flood water!
2) A case will drag on with Vauxhall Customer service until the Customer Service Manager is directly involved.
3) Don't rely on an Ampera as your only car - you could lose it for months waiting for Vauxhall Technical to provide support to the dealer. Luckily I have a backup car.
4) Spares are only going to get harder to source (e.g. charge ports).
5) What @donald doesn't know about the Ampera isn't worth knowing! Thanks for your help and good luck with the OLEV complaint.
 

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Thanks for the kudos. It is one of only two or three cars I have ever owned (out of many dozens) that I have truly loved, so did indeed invest mental efforts getting to know it. With profound regret, I ended up with precisely the sentiment you put there; if something goes wrong, you cannot predict what will happen next at the dealers. It is not the car at fault, but let down by dealers/VX. Sad sentiment for you to come to know, but regrettably true.

I agonised over the risk of becoming car-less in a moment's notice and held to ransom by bungling dealers. To have given up the best car I have ever owned over 'that'. Shame. It is precisely as you say, if I had two cars and less stress in life over mobility dependence, then I would almost certainly have arrived at a different conclusion.

Thinking about that now, maybe the answer was to buy a second 'back-up' car than sell Ampera. Possibly a cheaper and more versatile solution all around, but costwise is still dependent on the type of fault and when.

I hope you now get a lot of great, cheap, fun motoring for many miles to come yet.
 

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Amperas can now be purchased for, on average, around half what I paid for mine in May 2019 - prices may not continue to drop - so probably a good time to buy. I understand the requirement to have a second car, so why not buy two?
 

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I love the Ampera and am wondering if I will ever sell it but I don't think I'd want the potential cost of owning two - seems they can be very expensive if they go wrong (unless you are a competent DIYer) and parts won't get any easier or cheaper to obtain...
 

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One of many things that I find interesting about cars, is how after an initial waterfall of depreciation they tend to find their true value. And, the true value of anything is what someone is prepared to pay to own it. I have a strong feeling that the Ampera will be regarded as a modern classic and value-wise, prices may not drop much further.

Of course I could be wrong, I have been wrong before - for example when I sold the last of my Citroen 2CVs for £150 in 2002. My logic then was that although the car was perfectly sound, it was unlikely to be worth more if I were to hang on to it - so it would be good to let it go to an appreciative owner. Similar cars are now selling for at least £5,000 and often much more.
 
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