The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will be opening an investigation into 73,000 Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid cars after incidents of drivers losing operating power, Reuters reports.
A preliminary evaluation of the 2016 through 2019 model year Chevrolet Volts has been opened as the result of 61 complaints made related to problems with the battery energy control module (BECM).
One Volt owner experienced their vehicle suddenly losing propulsion while driving and is now unable to turn on or drive the vehicle. Another driver reported that their Volt fails to surpass a speed of 35 miles per hour and that it sporadically stops driving on electricity.
According to some of the complaints received, there was little to no warning before power was reduced or entirely eliminated from the vehicle. NHTSA has said it presents a safety risk if vehicles are not flowing with traffic, and an even greater threat is posed if a stalled vehicle is not able to restart.
Some owners have reported waiting months for replacement battery modules, if they’re able to obtain them at all, though General Motors has said it has enough replacement parts in supply.
GM ceased production on the Volt back in early 2019. The automaker has not recalled the vehicles but has released a technical service bulletin instructing drivers to have the BECM replaced and reprogrammed if the car is unable to restart.
The company believes it has taken appropriate action in response to the issue, but is complying with NHTSA’s investigation.