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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, So I have 2012 Chevy Volt, which I love. In Oct we moved into a home built in 1978. Shortly thereafter I started getting the "Service High Voltage Charging System" alert and the charger turned off. I went to the mechanic 6 times before we realized that the house doesn't get enough electricity, and regularly drops below the 114 volt limit. The dealer says the module inside the battery pack is fried, and so the whole battery pack has to be replaced. Chevy blew me off because it's not under warranty. So I called my insurance company. My homeowners doesn't cover it because it doesn't cover cars unless they are 3rd party and I'm not. Auto insurance doesn't cover it because it's not specifically named in the policy.

I am looking for precedence. Have you somehow gotten a policy to cover this? or found another solution? Please help. Thank you!!
 

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I'm surprised that a too low voltage could be a problem. Have you tried getting a 2nd opinion from another garage?
 

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I don't know how many US owners will be on here as it was originally a UK forum, though there are more nations gradually coming on. If you have Facebook it might be worth looking for The Chevrolet Volt group and ask in there or alternatively you could try the gm-volt.com forum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I don't know how many US owners will be on here as it was originally a UK forum, though there are more nations gradually coming on. If you have Facebook it might be worth looking for The Chevrolet Volt group and ask in there or alternatively you could try the gm-volt.com forum.
I've heard this can be a problem with Tesla's as well. Is there a US forum like this?
 

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Hi, So I have 2012 Chevy Volt, which I love. In Oct we moved into a home built in 1978. Shortly thereafter I started getting the "Service High Voltage Charging System" alert and the charger turned off. I went to the mechanic 6 times before we realized that the house doesn't get enough electricity, and regularly drops below the 114 volt limit. The dealer says the module inside the battery pack is fried, and so the whole battery pack has to be replaced. Chevy blew me off because it's not under warranty. So I called my insurance company. My homeowners doesn't cover it because it doesn't cover cars unless they are 3rd party and I'm not. Auto insurance doesn't cover it because it's not specifically named in the policy.

I am looking for precedence. Have you somehow gotten a policy to cover this? or found another solution? Please help. Thank you!!
Proper countries run 240v as standard, we even call 110v "site safe" for workmen on building sites in the UK as its so weedy, it wont likely kill then in an accident.
 

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If undervoltage causes damage than that is a design fault of the onboard charger - it should be able to deal with any forseeable supply, either by working or shutting off.
As regards battery damage this sounds highly implausible, unless the onboard charger design was catastrophically bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I take it you've done the usual 'replace/ recharge the 12v battery'?
It's not that battery. It's the big one. The car drives and is fine. It just doesn't charge any more. Two dealers and an external mechanic have worked on it, and gotten it temporarily fix, but because it took us 5 months to figure out it was the house, the modules keep blowing and now it's the one inside the battery pack, which can't be replaced without replacing the whole battery pack at $10,000.
 

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It's not that battery. It's the big one. The car drives and is fine. It just doesn't charge any more. Two dealers and an external mechanic have worked on it, and gotten it temporarily fix, but because it took us 5 months to figure out it was the house, the modules keep blowing and now it's the one inside the battery pack, which can't be replaced without replacing the whole battery pack at $10,000.
Worth a try though, surely?
 

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LEAF N-TEC 62KW
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If undervoltage causes damage than that is a design fault of the onboard charger - it should be able to deal with any forseeable supply, either by working or shutting off.
As regards battery damage this sounds highly implausible, unless the onboard charger design was catastrophically bad.
Most electronics these days works from 90-240v AC so I am surprised a drop of a few volts will cause damage. If so, really bad design.
 

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Too low voltage is known to damage electronics.
Only if they're shite. Damage would be more likely to occur when the voltage recovers from being too low - badly designed regulators can overshoot quite badly when the input supply suddenly jumps, which can cause serious damage. But again, only if they're shite. I'd push back hard on the diagnosis and get precise information on what has failed and how the damage occurred. And get a second opinion - I've had a garage try to replace an engine, even though the car just needed a thermostat replaced.
Most electronics these days works from 90-240v AC so I am surprised a drop of a few volts will cause damage. If so, really bad design.
If they're talking about battery replacement, it'll be after it's rectified and potentially regulated, so the nominal AC voltage shouldn't matter too much. Transients are a different story though.
 

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What a strange state of affairs. Anyway the house hasn’t fried anything, your supply utility is surely responsible for meeting supply voltage requirements.
I’m also surprised it doesn’t seem to be normal to run charge points from the 240v feed rather than 120v.
 

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Anyway the house hasn’t fried anything, your supply utility is surely responsible for meeting supply voltage requirements.
Only if they've given you a bad supply. If their supply is within spec and your wiring is a mess, it's very much your problem.
 

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Wouldn’t the EVSE just shut off in the event of an off-nominal state?
 

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Are you using the granny lead or a wall mounted dedicated charger? I'd assume a proper EVSE would've been wired for 240 so if its the granny it's possible something inside it has popped rather than in the car? Have you tried charging the car at a public charger?
 

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FWIW I've just had a £1300 bill to replace the controller module that governs the Charger. My granny EVSE blew up internally, and must have sent a spike of 240V down the low voltage CP line into the car. Symptom was the car sometimes charged, sometimes failed to start a charge for a few days after this, then completely refused to charge. Dealer changed the plug-port assembly, and I think also the controller module that lives under the UK driver's seat, maybe under the USA passenger seat. Visible if you slide the seat back & lift the carpet. Dealer say's it's fixed, but thx to lockdown I haven't been able to collect it yet to find out. I would have thought there are enough bits of dedicated circuitry between teh Mains voltage & the HV battery for the HV to be effectively well isolated from harm. The main item connected to HV surely has to be the actual inverter module (the actual "Charger") that lives at front right of the car, just inboard of the RHS front wheel behind the bumper.

There's a doc on the web called ChevyVoltLearChargerOperations.pdf which describes it in detail.
 
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