Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (VW) will be asking a small number of 2021 VW ID.4 electric crossover SUV owners, to return to their dealerships because of a problem affecting the solder connections inside the HV battery of their vehicles. This defect could result in a stall and may increase the risk of an accident. A fix for this problem is still under development by the manufacturer.

VW became aware of the defect in January 2021 when the first known field case occurred outside the U.S. VW quality and safety departments began to monitor the field reports for the nature and frequency of the non-starting condition and found reports of similar problems in other brand vehicles using the same or similar battery systems. During a multi-brand clearing committee meeting, impacted brands shared information on the potential stall while driving cases and decided to conduct a recall. Volkswagen will be conducting a recall on 351, 2021 VW ID.4 vehicles in the U.S. that contain the potentially affected parts.

According to the defect report, a manufacturing problem with the high voltage (HV) battery may have caused incorrect soldering on specific points of the flexible printed circuit assembly (FPCA). The amount of solder contact points of the FPCA is not sufficient and the thickness of the solder layer is out of tolerance parameters. The result is an unreliable connection inside the HV battery that could lead to a breakdown or stalling while driving. If this issue is present in the vehicle, the driver will be alerted by a high voltage system warning message in the instrument panel.

Owner notification letters about the defect are expected to be mailed by May 13, 2022. Volkswagen’s number for this recall is 9302 and the NHTSA campaign number is 22V-1562.

Are you experiencing repeated problems with your hybrid or electric vehicle? Do you think it could be a lemon? If you have any questions about your rights and the California Lemon Law, please call our office at 888-395-3666 and get some great Lemon Law advice!

If you are a Chevy Bolt owner living in California and you received a recall notice for battery fires, you may find it difficult to park your vehicle.

General Motor’s recent recall of certain 2017-2019 Chevy Bolt EVs is caused by the presence of two manufacturing defects in the N2.1 battery cell produced at their Korea facility. The problem is aggravated by charging the battery to a full or nearly full state of charge after it has been substantially depleted. The battery could overheat, emit smoke and catch fire, causing damage to vehicle components and structures around it. As a temporary solution, GM have asked owners to reprogram their hybrid propulsion control module to limit a full charge, but some owners say they are experiencing problems.

The safety recall from the NHTSA states the following:

As an interim remedy, dealers will reprogram the hybrid propulsion control module to limit full charge to 90%. Until this interim is completed, customers should enable either “Hilltop Reserve” (for 2017-2018 model year vehicles) or “Target Charge Level” (for 2019 model year vehicles) using their vehicle’s infotainment center. These two features will limit the vehicle’s state of charge to 90% until the HPCM2 software re-calibration is applied. If customers are unable to successfully make these changes, or do not feel comfortable making these changes, they will be advised to not park their car in their garage or carport until after they have visited their dealer.

What options does that leave you? Possibly parking your car on the street or driveway which has problems in itself. Most charging cables are not long enough to reach the street, the cables could be damaged or stolen or someone could trip on them. Also in some cities there are restrictions against parking in the street and driveways.

If you own a Chevy Bolt and are concerned, we will be glad to talk with you. Please contact us today at 888-EX-Lemon (888-395-3666) for a free consultation or complete the short form at the top of this page.

Hyundai Motor America will be asking owners of certain 2020 Hyundai Ioniq Electric and 2019-2020 Hyundai Kona Electric vehicles to return to their dealerships because of a problem affecting the lithium-ion battery.

In March 2019 Hyundai received three reports of Kona electric vehicles catching fire while parked. All vehicles involved were reportedly parked with a fully charged battery. Further investigation found several similar incidents which initiated an investigation into the problem. As a result of this investigation, a campaign was launched to upgrade the BMS software for early detection of abnormalities in the battery while the vehicle is parked. The software update was developed as a fail safe countermeasure as they continued their investigation

In February 2021 Hyundai became aware of a Kona EV. with the updated software. that caught fire while at full state of charge. Further investigation into the cause found an internal short within the battery cells caused by a folded Anode tab could result in Lithium plating on the Anode tab to contact and short circuit to the Cathode. Based on this information a safety campaign will be conducted to replace the Battery System Assembly (BSA)

Once parts are available, dealers will replace the Battery System Assembly (BSA). Owners are advised to park their vehicles outside and away from structures until the recall is complete. The recall is expected to begin end of April. Hyundai’s number for this recall is 200 and the NHTSA campaign number is 21V-127.

In October 2020 the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) started an investigation of the Chevrolet Bolt EV because of potential battery fires while charging. In November, Chevrolet announced a recall affecting 2017-2018 and select 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EVs manufactured by LG Chem’s Ochang Korea facility. More than 68,000 Chevy Bolt EV’s have been recalled.

The safety recall from the NHTSA states the following:

As an interim remedy, dealers will reprogram the hybrid propulsion control module to limit full charge to 90%. Until this interim is completed, customers should enable either “Hilltop Reserve” )for 2017-2018 model year vehicles) or “Target Charge Level” (for 2019 model year vehicles) using their vehicle’s infotainment center. These two features will limit the vehicle’s state of charge to 90% until the HPCM2 software re-calibration is applied. If customers are unable to successfully make these changes, or do not feel comfortable making these changes, they will be advised to not park their car in their garage or carport until after they have visited their dealer.

The final remedy is still under development. Owners were notified of the interim repair beginning November 17, 2020. A second notice will be mailed when the final repair becomes available. GM’s number for this recall is N202311730 and the NHTSA campaign number is 20V-701 .

If you own one of these vehicles and are concerned or have questions about your recourse under the California Lemon Law, please contact the Law Office of Barry L. Edzant at 888-395-3666 to speak with the attorney.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have opened an investigation into certain 2017-2020 Chevrolet Bolt electric cars after several complaints of vehicle fires. The NHTSA says it was contacted by two owners who reported that their Bolt EVs caught fire while parked and unattended. In one case the vehicle was plugged into a charger in the owner’s driveway when it caught fire. The second vehicle was parked but not plugged in approximately 20 minutes after being driven, before it caught fire. Additional research by the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) found a third vehicle, a 2017 Bolt EV with a similar burn patterns.

In all three cases, fire damage appeared to come from the battery compartment with fire passing into the passenger compartment from under the rear seat. The root cause of the fires is unknown and the ODI is opening a “preliminary evaluation” into the matter. If the investigation results in a vehicle recall, approximately 78,000 Chevy Bolt EVs would be affected.

Tesla has acknowledged a problem affecting certain Universal Mobile Connectors (“UMC”) NEMA 14-50 adapters used to charge Tesla Model S vehicles. According to the recall report, a variety of factors such as corrosion, physical damage to receptacles, or inappropriate installation of electrical outlets can cause higher than normal electrical resistance. Electrical resistance heating in the adapter or at the wall socket could lead to melting of the adapter, cord or wall receptacle. There is also the possibility of electrical arcing that could lead to fire. Continue reading