The YouTube channel TFL recently took delivery of the brand-new GMC Hummer EV which they say is worth $115,000 (markups can double the price). They planned on subjecting this powerful electric pickup to all kinds of tests. However, it recently stopped working in the middle of a busy highway, also refusing to go into neutral so it can be towed.
The incident happened this Monday. When the vehicle began showing a steering system fault, owner Roman Mica decided to “cycle the computer” on and off to get rid of this and other issues indicated on the dash.
This is something you might do on a conventional vehicle, but it turned out to be a big mistake. What Roman should have done is keep the vehicle on and drive it to a parking lot instead of fiddling with the truck in the middle of traffic. We’re not being critical; TFL themselves admit the problems arose after they turned the Hummer off.
Hopefully, this doesn’t turn into a right-wing political story about how electric vehicles are unreliable, as it did with Hoovies Garage’s F-150 Lightning towing test. TFL has a history of buying new vehicles and pushing them in unusual ways to see what happens, like running an EV until the battery is completely empty or towing with brake regen. Still, consumers have a right to know what happens under these circumstances, and it’s safe to say nothing like this has ever been documented with a Hummer EV.
As a rule of thumb, it’s probably best to not buy a brand new, super-complicated vehicle right after the launch because they haven’t worked out all the kinks. EVs from other companies are still riddled with faults, such as VW’s famous infotainment problems on the ID.4. However, GM clearly has some big issues to fix before the launch of the Chevy Silverado and Blazer EV.
Getting back to what happened with the Hummer, the digital cluster was showing “Start vehicle to view Application” which meant the EV wasn’t fully powered on. The shifter wouldn’t go into neutral and that would be a big problem for the recovery because it weighed 9,400 pounds.
Not an easy fix
TFL knew they had a chance to fully reset the vehicle if they could get to the battery and disconnect it, much like you’d unplug a frozen computer. The battery which runs the computers is separate from the one used by the powertrain. Unfortunately, the front trunk wouldn’t open to allow them access.
Roman’s son Tommy arrived on the scene and managed to find a cable pull under the dash which manually opens the front trunk. This is why everybody is curious about where the auxiliary battery is on EVs and how to get to it. On the latest Mercedes EVs like the EQS, you can’t even open the hood; only the dealership can.
With the battery disconnected, they were able to force a reboot out of the computer, and then came the crazy multi-step procedure to disengage the shifter:
- Press brake for 20 seconds
- Open and close driver window
- Open and close passenger window
- Open and close left rear window
- Open and close right rear window
- Press brake for 20 seconds