German car manufacturer Audi is recalling its first all-electric vehicle rolled out in the US— the ‘E-Tron’— due to the risk of battery fires.
A spokesperson for the company, which is owned by Volkswagen, told BEST Battery Briefing “moisture could, in very rare cases, enter the high-voltage battery through the low-voltage wiring via the charging-socket grommet, due to production tolerances in the manufacturing of wiring harnesses”.
“If this moisture ingress occurs, the risk of a short circuit in the high-voltage system, potentially resulting in a fire, cannot be completely ruled out,” the spokesperson said.
Audi’s recall relates to E-Tron models manufactured from the start of production until and including week 11 of 2019. BBB understands the company is also in talks with German authorities about a potential recall of the model in Europe.
Audi has acknowledged receiving “complaints” from drivers about the issue, but said it was not aware of any incidences of battery fires.
Audi said the cars could continue to be used until an inspection has been carried out. However, if either of the yellow or red warning lights for the electrical system— or the ‘electrical system fault’ warning is displayed— “the car must immediately be stopped and parked safely in the open and must no longer be charged”.
“Absolute product quality is of the utmost importance to Audi for its first series-produced electric car, which is why we are meticulously investigating every complaint and analysing the potential effects intensively and very sensitively,” the spokesperson said.
The recall comes after Tesla said it was releasing a batteries software update to all its Model S and X cars in the wake of recent high-profile fires.