G.M. Plans a Software Patch to Address Stalling Chevrolet Volts

Chevrolet is asking owners of about 4,000 Volt plug-in hybrids from the 2013 model year to bring their cars to dealers for a software upgrade. Michelle Malcho, a spokeswoman for General Motors, said in a telephone interview the upgrade was necessary to ensure the Volt would avoid losing power when in motion.

Ms. Malcho said the problem involved a delayed-charging function: a feature that allows owners to preselect a convenient time to charge the Volt’s batteries when electrical rates are low, for example.

When that option is selected, however, a software malfunction may cause the electric motor to shut off at a different time, even when the vehicle is being driven, she said, forcing the driver to seek a safe place to stop the vehicle. The power steering and brakes still work in this situation, she added.

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