Volkswagen Says ID.3 Still Coming, Even If It Isn't Ready

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
volkswagen says id 3 still coming even if it isnt ready

Running a little behind in its electric vehicle program, Volkswagen plans to resume production of its battery-powered ID.3 hatchback this Thursday. This is part of its revised strategy aimed at helping the company endure the bleak outlook created by coronavirus countermeasures that upended the global economy.

Like most automakers, VW will be on the hook for sizable fines in Europe if it fails to improve fleet-wide emissions this year, and it’s now losing cash as factories remain shuttered and consumers hone their social distancing skills.

With the latter problem almost completely out of its grasp, Volkswagen is focusing on making sure the ID.3 lands on the market this summer — even if that means rushing it out the door in a less-than-ideal state. Back in February, it was reported that the model suffered from a glut of software issues (an oddly common issue with the brand’s pre-production EVs) that could force VW to delay the ID.3’s launch. That apparently won’t be an issue, as it’s just going to run with whatever code it has at the ready.

On Wednesday, a Volkswagen informed Automotive News that the converted Zwickau facility it now uses to build electric vehicles for the VW, Audi and Seat brands is a go for assembly. The site will resume production later this week so the ID.3 official debut can move ahead as planned.

“Our target is to deliver the 30,000 ID.3 first-edition pre-booked models to all customers at the same time,” a spokesperson explained.

“Vehicles built will be equipped with whatever version of the software suite is current at the corresponding time of their production and prior to their delivery to customers in summer will receive the latest version. Subsequent to the market launch the digital functions will then continue to be updated in regular increments in the following months.”

Based on the severity and frequency of February’s claimed software glitches, we’re curious to see how the first batch turns out. Thousands of those cars have already been built and are reportedly being held in storage while employees address technical issues. Worryingly, being manufactured without over-the-air updates seems to have been one of the problems, but our thoughts remain focused on how consumers will respond to this solution. Is this really how people are going to want to buy their cars moving forward?

Volkswagen is asking a lot by delivering a potentially broken product it plans on gradually remedying through months of remote updates. Tesla has shown some of the benefits of connected cars by issuing meaningful over-the-air overhauls that add features or improve performance. That said, Tesla has also shown how easily a corporation can use those same tools against consumers by charging for updates that never come (FSD) or digitally neutering cars on the secondhand market. VW’s willingness to use cutting-edge technologies to deliver an unfinished-sounding product seems wholly unnecessary and sets another lousy precedent for the industry.

Even if the ID.3’s launch isn’t a disaster, Volkswagen still expects customers to pay for the privilege of beta testing its latest model.

[Images: Volkswagen]

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  • Victor Victor on Apr 23, 2020

    Come on people, this is VW. They'll just put a TDi down there with enough sound deadening and say it's an EV.

  • RHD RHD on Apr 23, 2020

    With every article I read, I feel better and better about buying used and paying cash. No lease headaches, no software glitches, no black box tracking, no potential on-the-road hacking, no Comprehensive insurance, no German Engineering, no monthly payments... and I can do all the maintenance and minor to moderate repairs myself for just the cost of the parts.

    • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Apr 23, 2020

      RHD, when I finish a repair job, I like to buy myself a tool. The 'reward' tool will often come in handy for the next repair - I haven't regretted any yet. (And my "Black Friday" tool purchases seem to always pay off.)

  • Jeanbaptiste Any variant of “pizza” flavored combos. I only eat these on car trips and they are just my special gut wrenching treat.
  • Nrd515 Usually for me it's been Arby's for pretty much forever, except when the one near my house dosed me with food poisoning twice in about a year. Both times were horrible, but the second time was just so terrible it's up near the top of my medical horror stories, and I have a few of those. Obviously, I never went to that one again. I'm still pissed at Arby's for dropping Potato Cakes, and Culver's is truly better anyway. It will be Arby's fish for my "cheat day", when I eat what I want. No tartar sauce and no lettuce on mine, please. And if I get a fish and a French Dip & Swiss? Keep the Swiss, and the dip, too salty. Just the meat and the bread for me, thanks. The odds are about 25% that they will screw one or both of them up and I will have to drive through again to get replacement sandwiches. Culver's seems to get my order right many times in a row, but if I hurry and don't check my order, that's when it's screwed up and garbage to me. My best friend lives on Starbucks coffee. I don't understand coffee's appeal at all. Both my sister and I hate anything it's in. It's like green peppers, they ruin everything they touch. About the only things I hate more than coffee are most condiments, ranked from most hated to..who cares..[list=1][*]Tartar sauce. Just thinking about it makes me smell it in my head. A nod to Ranch here too. Disgusting. [/*][*]Mayo. JEEEEZUS! WTF?[/*][*]Ketchup. Sweet puke tasting sludge. On my fries? Salt. [/*][*]Mustard. Yikes. Brown, yellow, whatever, it's just awful.[/*][*]Pickles. Just ruin it from the pickle juice. No. [/*][*]Horsey, Secret, whatever sauce. Gross. [/*][*]American Cheese. American Sleeze. Any cheese, I don't want it.[/*][*]Shredded lettuce. I don't hate it, but it's warm and what's the point?[/*][*]Raw onion. Totally OK, but not something I really want. Grilled onions is a whole nother thing, I WANT those on a burger.[/*][*]Any of that "juice" that Subway and other sandwich places want to put on. NO, HELL NO! Actually, move this up to #5. [/*][/list=1]
  • SPPPP It seems like a really nice car that's just still trying to find its customer.
  • MRF 95 T-Bird I owned an 87 Thunderbird aka the second generation aero bird. It was a fine driving comfortable and very reliable car. Quite underrated compared to the GM G-body mid sized coupes since unlike them they had rack and pinion steering and struts on all four wheels plus fuel injection which GM was a bit late to the game on their mid and full sized cars. When I sold it I considered a Mark VII LSC which like many had its trouble prone air suspension deleted and replaced with coils and struts. Instead I went for a MN-12 Thunderbird.
  • SCE to AUX Somebody got the bill of material mixed up and never caught it.Maybe the stud was for a different version (like the 4xe) which might use a different fuel tank.