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It is definitely covered under warranty.

PM me if you want a copy of my email exchange before I bought the car. Wouldn't have bought it unless it was covered.

I had to give my own dealer a copy of the same email, because they were 'losing' the argument with Vauxhall too.

Infuriating. I have to say I will be struggling to consider buying a new [-ish] car covered under Vauxhall warranty again. Can't be bothered with the hassle. Who the h3ll are these executives that can destroy customer confidence in an instance with stupid policies and turning a blind eye to these problems? Surely this should be board-level information that they can then sack these no-doubt highly paid execs.
Thanks Donald I have hopefully PM you. Regards
 

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I'm being asked a few times for this confirmation of warranty cover on bearings, so feel free to reference my Service Request Number.

It says not to reprint the email, but as Vauxhall are being so bl00dy awkward I'll take my chances and make this public.

It's really so lacking in any professionalism from them that it is in the public interest to do so;-

"
Service Request Number: 489214-913464397
Date: 9th February 2015



I write further to my previous email sent to you.

Please accept my apologies for the confusion in my last email, I have now confirmed with our Technical Team that the Electriv Drive Unit assembly and internal components refers to the 4ET50 Transmission, which is covered for 8 years/100,000 miles.

If you require any further assistance, please respond via return email or feel free to call us on 0800 026 0275, quoting your reference number which is stated above.

Yours sincerely,

Catherine Douglas

Customer Service Manager
My Ampera Specialist



This email has been sent from General Motors LimitedRegistered in England 01682792 Registered Office: Griffin House, Osborne Road, Luton, Beds, LU1 3YT, Telephone: 0800 026 0034VAT Number 382 1581 51Disclaimer: IMPORTANT: The information contained in this message and any attachment may be confidential. If you are not the intended recipient of this message then you should delete it immediately along with any attachment and inform the sender. You may not copy this message or any attachment or transmit it to any other person.
"


Also to add - this email was in response to a non-vehicle specific question I asked. I wanted this reassurance before I bought an Ampera, so it does not related to any one Ampera in particular. It is the answer to all Amperas.
 

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I'm being asked a few times for this confirmation of warranty cover on bearings, so feel free to reference my Service Request Number.

It says not to reprint the email, but as Vauxhall are being so bl00dy awkward I'll take my chances and make this public.

It's really so lacking in any professionalism from them that it is in the public interest to do so;-

"
Service Request Number: 489214-913464397
Date: 9th February 2015



I write further to my previous email sent to you.

Please accept my apologies for the confusion in my last email, I have now confirmed with our Technical Team that the Electriv Drive Unit assembly and internal components refers to the 4ET50 Transmission, which is covered for 8 years/100,000 miles.

If you require any further assistance, please respond via return email or feel free to call us on 0800 026 0275, quoting your reference number which is stated above.

Yours sincerely,

Catherine Douglas

Customer Service Manager
My Ampera Specialist



This email has been sent from General Motors LimitedRegistered in England 01682792 Registered Office: Griffin House, Osborne Road, Luton, Beds, LU1 3YT, Telephone: 0800 026 0034VAT Number 382 1581 51Disclaimer: IMPORTANT: The information contained in this message and any attachment may be confidential. If you are not the intended recipient of this message then you should delete it immediately along with any attachment and inform the sender. You may not copy this message or any attachment or transmit it to any other person.
"


Also to add - this email was in response to a non-vehicle specific question I asked. I wanted this reassurance before I bought an Ampera, so it does not related to any one Ampera in particular. It is the answer to all Amperas.
It's funny that myself and Andy have had this bearing replaced on our uk Chevy Volts by Cambridge Suberu , the ex Chevy volt dealer , easy as pie. Phone and explain b bearing failure. Drop in for confirmation and Chevy uk picks up the bill under the Voltec warranty and you get your car back in a few days all fixed. And people were avoiding uk Volts 2nd hand due to warranty concerns. Seems Amperas are more hassle via Vauxhall. Makes me chuckle that. M
 

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Would it be a little premature to suggest that the number of these "bearing failures" is reducing as the miles are increasing on the cars.
If as often suggested, the failure is more to do with misalignment rather than being caused by a poor quality/plastic bearing cage so it would be nice if it was so.
I wonder if a visual check for floaters in the oil would act as an early warning?
 
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I started to notice the bearing noise on my 2013 Volt (only a very slight amount of noise), and so I took it into the dealer for repair on July 20th. I got it back yesterday, August 5th. So, this one was two-and-a-half weeks. They said that it took a long time because they broke the special tool that is used in the repair, and they had to wait for a replacement.

Also, what I thought was interesting was that when I asked the agent about the severity of the bearing fault as compared to the previous one (the 2012) he said that it was curious because the parts involved are slightly different between the MY2012 and MY2013. So, it would seem that with a part modification between those two model years that GM/Voltec were trying to remedy something or address an issue even back then... and that it didn't quite do the trick.
 

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It is often said (on gm-volt) that the 'reason' for the bearing failures is the nylon cage of the original design 'fails' and this is the cause. So they implemented a bronze bearing cage.

I have dismissed this explanation. A nylon cage is perfectly suited, so long as the bearing doesn't get too hot. The reason it would get too hot is misalignment or incorrect pre-load.

So when I took mine in for this, the noise level was stable and was not changing. If it had been a nylon cage failing then it'd have got much worse, but didn't. The tech said this was because the ball bearings were grouping together and I made a prediction that he would not find this, in this case. I was right (surprise! :) ) and more interestingly still, mine had been fitted with a bronze bearing cage when new. I think mine must have been one of the first batch with the new design in when new.

I suspected this for a very simple reason - people were having failures following repairs. Never understood/don't understand why people still stick to the idea it is because of failing nylon race cage if it is replaced with bronze which fails again.

Turns out mine was just 'running rough'. Odd, eh? The bearing alignment and pre-load design is poor.
 

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Mine was less well pronounced. The rate of decline is much slower on the bearings with the bronze cage, but the noise is the same.
 

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Is this a similar thing to the gearbox bearing the ice's used to pop now and then or is it more in depth?
 

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I wonder if the "bearing alignment and preload" problem that @donald mentions is why the MkII Voltec has been re-designed.
I assume the very large diameter but narrow bearing cannot take much side load and really should only act as a support for the motor shaft.
Probably not possible in this case but I always tap a bearing centre or shaft on both sides to help locate when changing them as it is easy to pre-load them incorrectly.

Does anyone know if the 300,000 mile Volt in the US has its original bearing?

Such a shame that the rest of the drive mechanical parts including clutches seem to be bullet proof and never even get a mention yet a simple bearing causes so much grief!
 
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I assume the very large diameter but narrow bearing cannot take much side load and really should only act as a support for the motor shaft.
Exactly. High speed motor bearings should be small compact things, high speed rotations but low m/s surface movements. Smaller bearing radius means smaller yaw rates on the axis under harmonic loads (which is the noise you hear in the Voltec bearing failures).

I would have also used a twin-race spherically opposed bearing too. As far as I can tell, they are using thrust-angle bearings either end and 'hoping' the tolerance along the length of the shaft doesn't lead to any imbalance in loading at the two ends.
 

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Such a shame that the rest of the drive mechanical parts including clutches seem to be bullet proof and never even get a mention yet a simple bearing causes so much grief!
Admittedly, I was a bit naive when I purchased the first Volt. I hadn't seen any information regarding this bearing issue, and I hadn't seen any other information which concerned me about reliability. And so, the first Volt (MY2012) was already over the 100K-mile warranty, and I didn't worry about that in the least. Soon afterwards I saw information about the bearing issue, and I saw the video I posted above. So, on the next two purchases (MY2012 and MY2013) I made quite sure that the warranty was still applicable. Both of those two have now had the motor bearing repair done.

In retrospect, I think that my first purchase wasn't as risky as I later thought that it was. If the vehicle has driven 100K miles already without this fault, then I think that it's quite safe to say that it won't ever happen without some other factor being introduced. I don't think that the motor bearing issue is something that will happen to every Volt out there. Rather, I do think that it's an issue that will happen to some of them well-before the 100K-mile mark (the two of mine that needed repairs were much less than 50K miles).

So, having the Volt at the shop for two weeks is rather inconvenient, but I don't think that it's anything to worry too much about when purchasing a used Volt. Either it's not going to have this fault, or it will, and it will be covered by warranty.

I guess maybe my thinking could be proved wrong in the coming years as more of them lose their warranties due to mileage or starting in 2020, due to age, but given that it's really only a 2-hour repair job, plus the parts... I'm not convinced that it would be a terribly expensive repair, either.
 

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I'm not convinced that it would be a terribly expensive repair, either.
Could be problematical for us on the other side of the pond given what a rare beast the Volt/Ampera are, I wouldn't be worried if I was in the US.
 

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The bearing and parts are actually listed as a sub £100 part and is a couple of hours labour. Troublesome if it happens out of warranty but not exactly 'expensive' when you compare it with a timing belt change, for example which would come to about the same thing.

Now - whether a local dealer sticks to that and charges you a few hundred quid, or if it hasn't got a clue and views it as a few days work rather than a few hours, well, that's another thing,
 
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