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GM fixing 2013 Volt software glitch that affects motor

By Deepa Seetharaman

DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Co is updating the software on about 4,000 Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid vehicles to fix a problem that could cause the electric motor to shut down while driving.

The glitch only affects 2013 Volts when owners use the delayed charging function, which allows them to program the vehicle to recharge at specific times.

When the motor shuts down, the steering and brakes still work, allowing drivers to safely coast to a stop. The vehicle functions properly again after being off for two to five minutes, GM spokeswoman Michelle Malcho said.

"We have received a few reports from owners that their electric motor has temporarily stopped working, resulting from a software anomaly when their vehicle is in the delayed time and rate charge mode," Malcho said.

The problem, first reported by The Detroit News, is not an issue on the 2011 and 2012 Volts. Three days ago, a Volt owner posted about the problem on www.gm-volt.com, a website for Volt owners that is unaffiliated with GM.

GM is asking dealers to take their vehicles to "re-flash" the vehicle's control system, which takes less than an hour.

(Reporting By Deepa Seetharaman; Editing by Maureen Bavdek)