Software Issues May Scrub Sales Launch of Volkswagen's Revolutionary EV

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
software issues may scrub sales launch of volkswagens revolutionary ev

Series production of the Volkswagen ID.3 began last November, but examples have yet to reach paying customers. The compact electric hatchback, seen as a people’s car for a new, greener age, is the vanguard of a massive EV product offensive from the auto giant. VW had hoped to give the model (which we won’t see here) a big, showy sales launch.

That launch, scheduled for Europe this summer, may not go ahead as planned. A report out of Germany claims the car contains so many bugs, an army of over 10,000 technicians is now tasked with fixing it.

It’s not the first time we’ve heard of software issues plaguing VW’s first ID-badged model. Reports emerged from Germany in December of “massive” software problems, with production models rolling off the assembly line requiring manual fixes. Now, the window of safety VW built into the model’s production schedule seems to be closing.

As reported by Manager Magazin (via Automotive News), the launch is in jeopardy as workers attempt to plug the many holes in the model’s software. Reportedly, the system controlling the vehicle’s many electric functions came together “too hastily,” leading to the ongoing issue. It seems many areas of the system don’t get along with each other.

The publication claims hundreds of VW test drivers have reported up to 300 errors a day. The ID.3 is VW’s first application of its MEB electric architecture and the software designed to make everything work; later models will include a crossover (ID.4), a microbus, and any number of sedans, SUVs, and perhaps even sports cars.

Following VW’s diesel emissions scandal, the automaker sunk mountains of money transforming itself into the world’s foremost purveyor of electric vehicles. As the first, smallest, and cheapest member of the ID line, the ID.3 has an important role to play. It will be the face of the new Volkswagen; the harbinger of a new era.

Should such problems find their way to the consumer, or if the ID.3 is delayed significantly, the potential for financial damage to VW through a lasting stigma and reduced sales could be enormous. The automaker knows it has to get this vehicle right.

[Image: Volkswagen]

Comments
Join the conversation
2 of 38 comments
  • Vulpine Vulpine on Feb 27, 2020

    I'm not surprised with these delays, especially when the new product is so different from their prior efforts. Don't forget that even the 'new' Jeep Cherokee from FCA saw significant delays while the 9-speed automatic transmission had to be fine-tuned in the changeover from a friction clutch to a dog-tooth version due to very harsh shifts early on. Now those shifts are almost imperceptible. VW will get these issues worked out... but how soon is anybody's guess.

  • Schmitt trigger Schmitt trigger on Feb 27, 2020

    Ok, I stand corrected about the BSoDs. I must be one lucky guy, I haven’t experienced them in a while. But I believe that my basic argument still applies: Developing a reliable complex software architecture, being used in thousands of different ways by thousands of different users, is a skill set that automotive companies have yet to master.

  • Jeff S Corey--We know but we still want to give our support to you and let TTAC know that your articles are excellent and better than what the typical articles are.
  • Jeff S A sport utility vehicle or SUV is a car classification that combines elements of road-going passenger cars with features from off-road vehicles, such as raised ground clearance and four-wheel drive.There is no commonly agreed-upon definition of an SUV and usage of the term varies between countries. Thus, it is "a loose term that traditionally covers a broad range of vehicles with four-wheel drive." Some definitions claim that an SUV must be built on a light truck chassis; however, broader definitions consider any vehicle with off-road design features to be an SUV. A [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crossover_(automobile)]crossover SUV[/url] is often defined as an SUV built with a unibody construction (as with passenger cars), however, the designations are increasingly blurred because of the capabilities of the vehicles, the labelling by marketers, and electrification of new models.The predecessors to SUVs date back to military and low-volume models from the late 1930s, and the four-wheel drive station wagons and carryalls that began to be introduced in 1949. The 1984 [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeep_Cherokee_(XJ)]Jeep Cherokee (XJ)[/url] is considered to be the first SUV in the modern style. Some SUVs produced today use unibody construction; however, in the past, more SUVs used body-on-frame construction. During the late 1990s and early 2000s, the popularity of SUVs greatly increased, often at the expense of the popularity of large [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sedan_(automobile)]sedans[/url] and station wagons.More recently, smaller SUVs, mid-size, and crossovers have become increasingly popular. SUVs are currently the world's largest automotive segment and accounted for 45.9% of the world's passenger car market in 2021. SUVs have been criticized for a variety of environmental and safety-related reasons. They generally have poorer fuel efficiency and require more resources to manufacture than smaller vehicles, contributing more to climate change and environmental degradation. Between 2010 and 2018 SUVs were the second largest contributor to the global increase in carbon emissions worldwide. Their higher center of gravity increases their risk of rollovers. Their larger mass increases their stopping distance, reduces visibility, and increases damage to other road users in collisions. Their higher front-end profile makes them at least twice as likely to kill pedestrians they hit. Additionally, the psychological sense of security they provide influences drivers to drive less cautiously. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sport_utility_vehicleWith the above definition of SUV any vehicle that is not a pickup truck if it is enclosed, doesn't have a trunk, and is jacked up with bigger tires. If the green activists adhere to this definition of what an SUV is there will be millions of vehicles with flat tires which include HRVs, Rav4s, CRVs, Ford Escapes, Buick Encores, and many of compact and subcompact vehicles. The green movement is going to have to recruit millions of new followers and will be busy flattening millions of tires in the US and across the globe. Might be easier to protest.
  • Sckid213 I actually do agree that most Nissans are ultimately junk. (I also think many BMWs are also). I was talking challenging the 3 in terms of driving dynamics. Agree all were failures in sales.
  • THX1136 More accurately said, we are seeing exponential growth in the manufacturing capabilities in this market. Unless, of course, all those vehicles are sold with customers waiting until more a produced so they can buy. Indeed, there are certainly more EVs being purchased now than back in 2016. Is demand outstripping manufacturing? Maybe or maybe not. I sincerely don't know which is why I ask.
  • ToolGuy The page here (linked in the writeup) is ridiculously stupid https://www.tyreextinguishers.com/how-to-spot-an-suvLike, seriously stupid, e.g., A) Not sure that particular Volvo is killing the planet as quickly as some other vehicles we might choose. B) A Juke is "huge"??? C) The last picture shows a RAV4 Hybrid?
Next