The battery warranty on the both the Volt and LEAF had been a mystery for a very long time, that is until Chevrolet took the initiative to go first and announce a 8 year/100,000 mile program of coverage. Nissan, wanting to stay on equal crowd with its closest competitor announced it would be matching that warranty a few days later.
But what is the warranty exactly? What does it entail? At what level of degradation would the pack start to be covered under warranty? Would the pack have to suffer a catastrophic failure to be replaced entirely?
Once again, GM has taken the lead in this regard.
Well, sorta. There was no fanfare, no announcements, no ‘read the warranty’ button to be found anywhere really. You have to find your way through the labyrinth to reach it from its Chevrolet Volt homepage (go ahead, give it a try).
GM states that first a dealer service technician will determine if the battery capacity is within the proper limit (given its age and mileage) to have any service/warranty work done. This process can apparently take up to 24 hours.
What is a acceptable loss of power? Anywhere from 10-30% loss of the original 16 kWh capacity. I assume some kind of sliding, pro-rating curve will apply as to which level between 10% and 30% is unacceptable.
If it is determined the car does need warranty servicing, GM (at their discretion) can either use new or ‘factory reconditioned’ components (like replacing individual cells) to repair the pack, or outright replacing the pack with a new (or used) battery.
Also present is the disclaimer about what level of capacity you should expect after work has been done. The car will be returned “…with an energy capacity (kWh storage) level at or above that of the original battery prior to failure.”
“Your Volt battery warranty replacement may not return your vehicle to a “as new” condition, but it will make your Volt fully operational appropriate to its age and mileage”
So is it good? Bad?
I rate it as ‘okay.‘
…but what if Nissan follows GM’s lead again? Is this warranty ok for a BEV like the LEAF that relies on its battery full time?