Volkswagen Recalling Over 20,000 Electric Vehicles Due To Software Problem

Electric vehicles are extremely complex machines full of high voltage equipment, converting energy from the battery to move the wheels. Thankfully, rarely there are issues in production that may necessitate a recall, just like any other car. That being said, EVs are still just as susceptible to electrical issues that can cause a recall. Earlier this year, BMW recalled more than 14,000 EVs over a potential high voltage system problem where the car could lose power while in operation.

2021 models of Volkswagen's ID.4 EV are the next vehicles to face a recall over high voltage system issues. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) documentation, VW started receiving reports of the potential software issue back in July of 2021. After several months of testing, VW found that there was an error with both the high-voltage battery control unit and the pulse inverter system. The pulse inverter is what converts direct current (DC) from the battery to alternating current (AC) that the electric motors use (via Porsche).

A software issue may cause the car to lose power

The NHTSA has identified 20,904 of the 2021 model year ID.4s as being potentially affected with the software issue. The NHTSA has determined through VW's testing that the high voltage control unit "is too sensitive in certain situations. This may lead to an unnecessary reset of the control unit." For the pulse inverter: A software failure may lead to incorrect evaluation of internal measurement values. If this is detected, the pulse inverter may be deactivated."

Both problems can cause the cause the car to temporarily lose power without warning. Documentation notes that steering and braking would still be functional in the event the vehicle loses power. The Volkswagen Product Safety Committee has determined that the defect is not immediately deadly and the ID.4 will return to normal operation after it has been restarted.

Newer VW ID.4s have an updated version of the software and are therefore unaffected by the recall. 2021 VW ID.4 owners will be notified by the end of March to schedule the software update at a Volkswagen dealership.