niik
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2021 10:57 am

Re: Battery warranty advice for 2014 Spark

Thu Nov 25, 2021 4:46 pm

This journey is finally coming to a conclusion.

I took my car to a second dealer on Monday (22 Nov) and they called me Wednesday (24 Nov) and said the battery capacity tested below the warranty level and will need to be replaced. They have placed the order for the parts and all the costs will be covered by the warranty. They won't know the availability of the parts till Monday (29 Nov) when the suppliers open after the holiday.

I still need to get the kWh result from the dealer so I can see how close my calculations were to the official measurements.
Also, there could be parts shortages that delay the repair but at least the process is started.

Recap of events (some dates are estimates*):
  • 30 July - Took the car to Findlay Chevrolet. They told me that there was not a test for battery capacity/degradation and that they couldn't help me.
  • 30 July - Called GM corporate to get warranty clarification. How can my battery capacity be warrantied if there is no test for capacity?
  • 3 Aug* - GM called back and said they contacted Fairway Chevrolet and that dealer would be able to perform the required tests.
  • 16 Aug - Dropped the car off at Fairway Chevrolet for testing and told them I wanted the High voltage battery capacity and degradation tested (it's on the work order recipe).
  • 18 Aug - Picked up car from Fairway Chevrolet and paid $190. They said the test showed "Battery is within GM specs." I asked for the kWh measurement when I picked it up but was told I would need to get those numbers from GM HQ because the scanner sends the logs to GM and the technician did not have them.
  • 19 Aug* - Called GM and they did not know what I was talking about and that they could not give me the kWh info cause they did not have it.
  • 20 Aug* - Realized I had the whole service on dashcam. Fairway Chevrolet only had my car in the shop for about 30 minutes and the technician only spend 5-10 min looking at my car and the rest of the time they talked with other technicians.
  • 23 Aug - Received this message from GM: "...as you have the diagnoses from the dealership that the battery is within specs that no repair will be made and the battery will not be replaced at this time." I messaged back that I did not believe Fairway Chevrolet performed the correct tests and I had done my own measurements that showed the battery was 40% degraded, and that I needed GM to provide kWh measurement to confirm or disprove my results before I would be satisfied.
  • Got busy with work
  • 20 Sept - Emailed Fairway Chevrolet about my dissatisfaction with the service.
  • 22 Sept – Emailed Fairway Chevrolet again requesting a response to my complaint.
  • 23 Sept – Received a message back from Fairway with this statement: ”As per GM repair procedure if no codes are set, there is no further action to be taken.”
  • 23 Sept – Forwarded the message from Fairway to GM. I emphasized that the warranty does not require “codes to be set” for a capacity/degradation claim.
  • 1,6,11,14 Oct – Phone calls with GM. My case was “escalated” so I needed to catch the new person up and we discussed what to do next.
  • 21 Oct – GM told me that Findlay Chevrolet could perform the correct test.
  • 28 Oct – Messaged Findlay Chevrolet through their website to confirm they could perform the test and schedule service
  • 5 Nov – Had not received a response from my first request. Called Findlay Chevrolet and left a message with one of their service people with my info and questions.
  • 8 Nov – Still no response from Findlay Chevrolet. So I called again and this time told them I would hold till they could answer my question. They confirmed they could perform the Capacity/Degradation test so I scheduled my service for Monday 22 Nov
  • 22 Nov – Dropped the car off at Findlay Chevrolet
  • 24 Nov – received a call from Findlay Chevrolet that the battery failed the test and would be replaced under warranty.

I don't know why Findlay Chevrolet told me they could not test the capacity/degradation the first time I asked, lack of EV knowledge and experience is my guess. However, Fairway Chevrolet was a total "Stealership" in my opinion. My coworker also took his Volt to them and he had a similarly bad experience.

SparkE
Posts: 451
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:18 am
Location: SF Bay Area (San Jose, CA)

Re: Battery warranty advice for 2014 Spark

Fri Nov 26, 2021 12:24 pm

Personally, I would escalate the poor service issue to GM. I would underline that Fairway charged you for the service and did not perform the test. Tell them that you have dash-cam footage that proves it. Request a reimbursement for the testing fee (ask from GM, and tell them it is up to GM to get the money back from Fairway). YOUR time that Fairway *wasted* is worth more than the service fee, and you really should be reimbursed over $500 for your time, but you aren't asking for that.

Also, ask GM if there are any *actual, qualified* EV-trained technicians at any dealership within 50 miles, because based on the history so far, Fairway has no idea what to do with an EV. Suggest to GM that they retrain/ re-certify a technician from Fairway before the warranty work is done.

PS: Thanks immensely for the update. It will be interesting to hear how the warranty work went. I don't think that we have heard yet from a forum member on warranty battery replacement.

PPS: I *think* that 2014 Spark EVs have a 35% battery degradation limit for warranty work. (and maybe even the 2015 model as well.) MrDrMorgan would know. My 2015 is still at about 17 kWh, so around 90%.

MrDRMorgan
Posts: 1191
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:27 am
Location: Manteca in Central California

Re: Battery warranty advice for 2014 Spark

Fri Nov 26, 2021 7:25 pm

SparkE wrote:
Fri Nov 26, 2021 12:24 pm
Personally, I would escalate the poor service issue to GM. I would underline that Fairway charged you for the service and did not perform the test. Tell them that you have dash-cam footage that proves it. Request a reimbursement for the testing fee (ask from GM, and tell them it is up to GM to get the money back from Fairway). YOUR time that Fairway *wasted* is worth more than the service fee, and you really should be reimbursed over $500 for your time, but you aren't asking for that.

Also, ask GM if there are any *actual, qualified* EV-trained technicians at any dealership within 50 miles, because based on the history so far, Fairway has no idea what to do with an EV. Suggest to GM that they retrain/ re-certify a technician from Fairway before the warranty work is done.

PS: Thanks immensely for the update. It will be interesting to hear how the warranty work went. I don't think that we have heard yet from a forum member on warranty battery replacement.

PPS: I *think* that 2014 Spark EVs have a 35% battery degradation limit for warranty work. (and maybe even the 2015 model as well.) MrDrMorgan would know. My 2015 is still at about 17 kWh, so around 90%.
Indeed, I do know! On page 14 of the 2014 Spark EV Limited Warranty and Owner Assistance Information booklet, it states under Spark EV Coverage - Propulsion Battery Warranty Policy: "...depending on use, the battery may degrade as little as 10% to as much as 35% of capacity over the warranty period". The warranty period is 8 years or 100k miles. Further, the coverage states "If warranty repair requires replacement, the high voltage battery may be replaced with either a new or factory reconditioned high voltage battery with an energy capacity (kWh) storage) level at or within approximately 10% of that of the original battery at the time of warranty repair".

The HV battery capacity in my 2014 Spark EV is currently about 14 kWh (Torque Pro data) with 30k miles on the odometer. Another unanswered question is this - what was the starting HV battery capacity when the car rolled off of the assembly line?

MrDRMorgan
Posts: 1191
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:27 am
Location: Manteca in Central California

Re: Battery warranty advice for 2014 Spark

Sat Nov 27, 2021 1:11 pm

MrDRMorgan wrote:
Fri Nov 26, 2021 7:25 pm
SparkE wrote:
Fri Nov 26, 2021 12:24 pm
Personally, I would escalate the poor service issue to GM. I would underline that Fairway charged you for the service and did not perform the test. Tell them that you have dash-cam footage that proves it. Request a reimbursement for the testing fee (ask from GM, and tell them it is up to GM to get the money back from Fairway). YOUR time that Fairway *wasted* is worth more than the service fee, and you really should be reimbursed over $500 for your time, but you aren't asking for that.

Also, ask GM if there are any *actual, qualified* EV-trained technicians at any dealership within 50 miles, because based on the history so far, Fairway has no idea what to do with an EV. Suggest to GM that they retrain/ re-certify a technician from Fairway before the warranty work is done.

PS: Thanks immensely for the update. It will be interesting to hear how the warranty work went. I don't think that we have heard yet from a forum member on warranty battery replacement.

PPS: I *think* that 2014 Spark EVs have a 35% battery degradation limit for warranty work. (and maybe even the 2015 model as well.) MrDrMorgan would know. My 2015 is still at about 17 kWh, so around 90%.
Indeed, I do know! On page 14 of the 2014 Spark EV Limited Warranty and Owner Assistance Information booklet, it states under Spark EV Coverage - Propulsion Battery Warranty Policy: "...depending on use, the battery may degrade as little as 10% to as much as 35% of capacity over the warranty period". The warranty period is 8 years or 100k miles. Further, the coverage states "If warranty repair requires replacement, the high voltage battery may be replaced with either a new or factory reconditioned high voltage battery with an energy capacity (kWh) storage) level at or within approximately 10% of that of the original battery at the time of warranty repair".

The HV battery capacity in my 2014 Spark EV is currently about 14 kWh (Torque Pro data) with 30k miles on the odometer. Another unanswered question is this - what was the starting HV battery capacity when the car rolled off of the assembly line?
Addendum: I believe the 8-year warranty on my 2014 Spark EV will expire in June 2022.

NORTON
Posts: 1388
Joined: Fri May 01, 2015 5:52 am
Location: KC,MO

Re: Battery warranty advice for 2014 Spark

Sun Nov 28, 2021 6:16 am

MrDRMorgan wrote:
Sat Nov 27, 2021 1:11 pm
Addendum: I believe the 8-year warranty on my 2014 Spark EV will expire in June 2022.
Yikes !!! :shock:
I'm right behind you...
Then what happens to us GM BEV Early Adapters? :?
'14 Spark EV 2LT w/ DCFC. 97k miles !! Going strong!
'17 Bolt Premier w/ It All! 69k miles.
GM needs Modern Troubleshooting tools for Modern EV's.
3 step Trouble Tree, 1st try, nope, 2nd try / cost $800. 3rd try fixed it.

niik
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2021 10:57 am

Re: Battery warranty advice for 2014 Spark

Sun Nov 28, 2021 10:24 am

MrDRMorgan wrote: energy capacity (kWh) storage) level at or within approximately 10% of that of the original battery at the time of warranty repair"
It kind of sucks that the warranty only "Guarantees" 10% improvement over whatever the current capacity is. Luckily it seems like the current GM process has them replacing the battery with a new one, at least that is what it sounded like over the phone. I'll add that to my questions Monday if it's a new battery or a refurbished one.
NORTON wrote: Yikes !!!
I'm right behind you...
Then what happens to us GM BEV Early Adapters?
Ya, my warranty expires in 4 months (Apr 2022). I don't think that most owners will have degradation as bad as my Spark. I think that the combination of Las Vegas heat (115°+) and the previous owners charging habits lead to the extra degradation. Like when it's that hot out the Spark can use around 40% of its charge just on "battery conditioning" also since that takes a lot of energy it leads to needing to DC fast change more often compounding the heat issues. So if the previous owner had a long drive to work they probably needed to charge on both ends and maybe in the middle too. Also based on the paint fade I think it was parked outside in the sun making the heat that much worse. That's just speculation but since most users here don't seem to have as much degradation I feel like it's probably something related to the environment the car lived in.

MrDRMorgan
Posts: 1191
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:27 am
Location: Manteca in Central California

Re: Battery warranty advice for 2014 Spark

Sun Nov 28, 2021 3:45 pm

niik wrote:
Sun Nov 28, 2021 10:24 am
MrDRMorgan wrote: energy capacity (kWh) storage) level at or within approximately 10% of that of the original battery at the time of warranty repair"
It kind of sucks that the warranty only "Guarantees" 10% improvement over whatever the current capacity is. Luckily it seems like the current GM process has them replacing the battery with a new one, at least that is what it sounded like over the phone. I'll add that to my questions Monday if it's a new battery or a refurbished one.
NORTON wrote: Yikes !!!
I'm right behind you...
Then what happens to us GM BEV Early Adapters?
Ya, my warranty expires in 4 months (Apr 2022). I don't think that most owners will have degradation as bad as my Spark. I think that the combination of Las Vegas heat (115°+) and the previous owners charging habits lead to the extra degradation. Like when it's that hot out the Spark can use around 40% of its charge just on "battery conditioning" also since that takes a lot of energy it leads to needing to DC fast change more often compounding the heat issues. So if the previous owner had a long drive to work they probably needed to charge on both ends and maybe in the middle too. Also based on the paint fade I think it was parked outside in the sun making the heat that much worse. That's just speculation but since most users here don't seem to have as much degradation I feel like it's probably something related to the environment the car lived in.
With 14,000 miles on the ODO [June 2018], my 2014 Spark EV had a battery capacity of 17.2 kWh as measured by TorquePro. At 27,343 miles [May 2021] the battery capacity had dropped to 14.2 kWh. Today, at 30,015 miles on the ODO [Nov 2021], my battery capacity is 14.3 kWh. The drop from 17.2 kWh to 14.2 kWh was very linear. But, for the last 2700 miles, it has flatlined at 14.2 - 14.3 kWh. The GOM is running about 75 - 80 miles after a full L1 charge. I do not have the DCFC option on my 2014 Spark EV and almost all charging is done using the 120 VAC L1 charger that came with the car. The most recent GOM is 75 miles. My warranty ends in June 2022.

My 2016 Spark EV, which does have DCFC, is usually charged using my Bosch L2 charger or EVgo and Electrify America DCFC chargers. At 10,284 miles on the ODO [June 2018], the battery capacity measured 16.6 kWh. At 36,565 miles on the ODO [Nov 2021], the battery capacity measured 13.8 kWh. The drop in capacity has been mostly linear. The most recent GOM is 87 miles. My warranty ends in Aug 2024. This vehicle might shortly be a candidate for a battery replacement.

zzzzzzzz
Posts: 51
Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2016 10:03 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Battery warranty advice for 2014 Spark

Tue Nov 30, 2021 12:56 pm

My 2016 has been holding steady at a "calculated" average of 13.07 kW since 11/16/2020. Assuming 2016 capacity is 18.5 kW, that average would be 70.6%. I have right now about 70k miles on it, so I'd guess that on 11/16/20 my odometer was between 55k-60k ish given my total commute each weekday is 40 miles.

I'm really hoping it'll go down to 40% soon...hopefully not in a few years...when car prices cool and my warranty is up. I love the car for it's cheap buy in and torque but absolutely despise Mary Barra and Government Motors.

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