First Audi E Tron Recall – Fire Risk

by Jack

The Audi E Tron was set to be Audi’s entry into the new age electric car market. The electric SUV was talked about for years leading up to the release. Now, after just a few weeks of deliveries, Audi has announced their first recall for the E Tron.

“Audi of America takes the safety of its customers and the quality of our vehicles very seriously. In order to ensure the highest levels of safety and quality for our customers, we have issued a voluntary recall affecting approximately 540 e-tron vehicles that have been delivered to customers and 1,644 in total. The recall is in response to a potentially faulty seal that may allow moisture to enter the battery compartment which could lead to a short circuit or in extreme cases to a thermal event. We are applying an abundance of caution as no such incidents have been reported globally. The recall repair is expected to become available in August 2019.

Customers are being contacted directly to inform them of the recall and our dealer network is fully engaged to deliver the best customer-service possible. We regret any inconvenience caused to our customers and reservation holders as we work with all parties toward a positive outcome in the weeks ahead. Audi e-tron vehicles unaffected by the recall remain available for delivery and our reservation system remains open to receive customer reservations.”

This recall will only affect 540 owners which is minimal when compared with the 925,000 BMWs recently recalled over another potential fire risk. Ford, GM, Hyundai, and Kia have all had similar large-scale problems recently.

Fun Fact: Electric vehicle fires are not any more likely than traditional car fires.

It should be re-noted that no actual incidents have been reported. The company has detected this defect on just five vehicles thus far. Audi’s software detected the problem and notified its owners through a “check engine light”, or in this case, a “check battery light”. This is a voluntary recall and Audi is just taking precautions in case this minor issue could result in a fire. It’s good to see Audi take lead in customer safety and take a stance before another electric vehicle catches on fire leaving an avalanche of negative press towards the industry.

The actual problem lies on a faulty seal on the wiring harness placed between the battery pack and charge connector. In theory, moisture could make its way into the battery pack and short circuit a component and start a fire.

This Audi E Tron recall could potentially delay deliveries as it affects some undelivered cars as well. Audi has already resolved the issue and is producing new cars with no known fire hazards.

Since this is a voluntary recall, owners are not required to bring in their cars. If you happen to own an E Tron and see a yellow battery light, Audi recommends you to stop driving and call roadside assistance. Do not, under any circumstance, try to charge your electric car while it reports an issue with its battery.

Customers will receive a loaner and $800 for bringing their E Tron in. They will also receive Audi Care or a reimbursement if they already paid for it. Clearly, Audi doesn’t want any bad press from potential electric vehicle fires. It would be nice to see other electric vehicle manufacturers take such drastic and necessary measures.

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