Lucid Is Recalling Hundreds Of EVs Because The Motors Might Randomly Shut Down

The Lucid Air is a high-performance electric sedan. The Air Dream Edition offers the best range of any EV on the market at 520 miles on a full charge. In 2022, Lucid dealt with a few recall issues, and this one, with an NHTSA report submission date of March 23, 2023, is actually a holdover from a problem identified in 2022. Lucid first became aware of this engine shutdown issue in May 2022 when one of its vehicles was brought to a service center for repair. 

The investigation has identified a total of 637 (or roughly 6% of Lucid Air models from years 2022 and 2023) vehicles that are potentially affected by the defect. The problem lies in a part that Lucid calls the contactor. Per the NHTSA recall advisory, "Contactors are electrically activated switches that close at vehicle startup to transfer energy to and from the drive units, and open at vehicle shut down." Sensata Technologies Inc. supplied contactors to Lucid during the affected period, and the two companies worked together to determine the issue. 

In a small number of contactors installed in Lucid Air vehicles, the spring force can rise above the threshold required to overcome the magnetic holding force that keeps the contactor closed and working properly while the vehicle is being driven. Under typical conditions when closing, the contactor showcases a single-dip signature in the electrical current. However, in faulty contactors, a double-dip in current takes place. This spring force can lead to an engine shutdown while the vehicle is in use.

Fortunately, the solution is relatively simple

Lucid has utilized an over-the-air software update to analyze vehicles based on the affected behavior and has identified 273 at-risk vehicles as well as 336 vehicles that haven't had the software update and therefore haven't been remotely inspected. The automaker has developed a relatively easy-to-implement solution for affected owners. If your car is one of the affected Air models, you'll simply need to bring it into a service center for a free part swap and a simple software update. 

The recall advisory notes that "replacement contactors have been redesigned to have increased magnetic holding force and have undergone additional quality screening to ensure they do not exhibit a double-dip current signature during closing." Lucid has made it a priority to contact both affected vehicle owners and those who haven't yet updated the software in their vehicles in order to remedy this safety hazard as quickly as possible. Drivers who own a Lucid Air and fall within either of these two groups should expect a letter to arrive by first-class mail. Alternatively, if you are a Lucid Air owner and haven't updated your car's software, you should initiate this update in order to ensure that your vehicle has been evaluated for the potential defect.