The Curious Case of the Alleged $30,000 Chevy Volt Battery Replacement Bill

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A Reddit user claims that a Chevrolet dealer from Florida charged someone almost $30,000 for a 2012 Chevrolet Volt battery replacement. And oh, boy did that stir up a "12 Angry Men” scenario.
Dated not even a week ago, apparently, the 2012 Volt has 70,489 miles (112,654 km) on it, which wouldn’t normally justify paying $30,000 in repairs. Maybe if the car had been totaled in some manner, but that’s neither here nor there.

The Volt in question is a series hybrid, which is bad news for the owner because the car requires an electric motor to operate. It cannot run on the ICE engine alone, like in the case of a series-parallel hybrid, for instance.

On the bill, the replacement battery alone was no less than $26,853.99. The labor cost was $1,200 more, the coolant came to a “whopping” $33,98, shop supplies were added as well for $40, and the cherry on top... “FL STATE BATTERY FEE” worth $1,50. All of that, plus a $1,712.68 tax, add up to $29,842.15. Of course, I did my due diligence and the math from the invoice is right on the money, pun intended.

The repair bill caused an uproar in the Reddit comment thread because the Volt’s battery, although hard to find at this point, would cost much less if bought from other places. For example, I found a couple of sources that range between $5,500 and $10,000. It’s a DIY sort of thing, so you’d still need to pay for labor, coolant, and whatnot, but it’s still almost three to five times cheaper this way.

That’s if you would want, for some sentimental reason maybe, to keep the same car. Because the new Bolt would run you “only” $26,595. You’d get a whole new car along with almost $3,500 worth of drive-through money!

Now, here's the catch.

Other users from the forum are denying the authenticity of the alleged Florida-based Roger Dean Chevrolet Dealership bill. According to them, the printed-out piece of paper is missing what would be essential dealership information on it.

The hundreds of users that flooded the commentary section are basically divided into two camps. The ones that are outraged at the alleged price and the ones that don’t believe the bill to be an official document from the dealership.

The argument the ones in camp "fake news" bring up is that the paper can't be real on account of missing essential dealership contact information. And that it should have a physical address and a phone number on there.

On the other hand, the crumpled-up paper does look rather used. Upon further inspection, you can tell that it also has what appears to be staple holes on the upper left side. Another clue to its alleged authenticity could be the VIN that appears to start with the number 1. Because when a car is manufactured in the United States, the VIN always starts with 1.

This could mean that the paper is “legit”. Although, it could just indicate that the person behind this "diabolical plot" knew this information and left the 1 partially “out in the open” as evidence of its validity.

However, the question that arises from the VIN conundrum is “if the person was so meticulous in leaving the partial 1 exposed like that, then why leave out basic stuff like contact information?”

Well, folks, such is the “Curious Case of the 2012 Chevrolet Volt Battery Replacement.” We might never get to see the breathtaking mystery unravel. Or at least until the dealership gets back to me.

Because I’ve reached out to Roger Dean Chevrolet to clarify the situation, and I will be updating this article if or when I hear back from them with relevant information.
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About the author: Codrin Spiridon
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Codrin just loves American classics, from the 1940s and ‘50s, all the way to the muscle cars of the '60s and '70s. In his perfect world, we'll still see Hudsons and Road Runners roaming the streets for years to come (even in EV form, if that's what it takes to keep the aesthetic alive).
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