Volkswagen Stops ID. Buzz Production Over Battery Issues

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
volkswagen stops id buzz production over battery issues

Volkswagen has suspended production of the all-electric ID. Buzz model in Hanover, Germany, with local media citing problems with the battery system.

Since Buzz production commenced earlier this month, VW Commercial Vehicles has manufactured about 500 examples. However, it has not yet delivered any to customers, making the situation vaguely similar to the Japanese recall affecting the Toyota bZ4X and Subaru Solterra. Though the sibling EVs from Asia were afflicted by faulty wheel hubs, Volkswagen’s van is reported to be cursed with problem battery cells. Considering the issues the company has had with battery suppliers in the past, one would think that VW would be well-positioned to deal with this problem. Unfortunately, the automaker has confirmed that these are new cells from a different supplier that is currently used exclusively on the ID. Buzz.

Early reporting on the issue was conducted by Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung, before being picked up by Electrive for the English-speaking world. The good news is that there don’t appear to be any fire risks or defects so serious that the vehicles have been rendered undrivable. Instead, reports have suggested that the 82 kWh battery (77 kWh usable capacity) is underperforming – noting voltage drops that might affect range and acceleration.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that the unit was eventually supposed to be slotted into other MEB-based products that have already suffered production delays. This presumably includes the ID.4 ( which suffered software gremlins and a limited battery recall) and the ID.5 (which couldn’t get enough wiring harnesses in from Ukrainian suppliers).

From Electrive:

A spokesperson for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles confirmed to that only the ID. Buzz is affected – although other MEB models in the ID.3, ID.4 and ID.5 series with a battery with 77 kWh of usable energy content are also on offer. “It is a new battery cell from a different supplier that is currently only used in the ID.Buzz,” the spokesperson said. “Therefore, only the production in Hanover is affected, but not other locations.” However, he said, the new cell will later be used in other MEB models. The spokesman would not disclose which manufacturer was involved when asked.

This year, [Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles] targets producing up to 15,000 units of the ID.Buzz Pro and ID.Buzz Cargo EVs. After the ramp-up, up to 130,000 vehicles per year can be produced in Hanover in the future. Sales of both models reportedly began on 20 May. The passenger car variant ID.Buzz Pro starts at a gross list price of €64,581. The ID.Buzz Cargo is available for a net list price of €45,740 and €54,430 (gross).

It may be pure coincidence that currently, yet another battery problem with an MEB model became known – it is an isolated case. Norwegian eMobility Youtuber Björn Nyland recently had to abort a range test in a VW ID.5 GTX because the battery could only retrieve around 65 kWh of energy content. Usually, 77 kWh is the usable net energy content; gross, 82 kWh are installed in the vehicles. In the case of Nyland, VW Norway justified the measurements with a defective battery module.

For a company that seems to have bet everything on electrification, Volkswagen seems to be having a lot of trouble with its battery packs. But it would be unfair to say it was the only company facing headwinds. General Motors, Hyundai Motor Group, Mercedes-Benz, Stellantis, and Volkswagen have all issued battery-related recalls since February of 2020. In some cases, those recalls involved the manufacturer recommending against parking the vehicle in garages to minimize any additional risks posed by a potential fire hazard. LG Energy Solution has frequently been a supplier of note in these events. But we’ve seen other battery purveyors being similarly being blamed for what are becoming uncomfortably familiar issues.

The silver lining for VW is that the MEB platform makes it relatively easy to swap units. That should make the issue relatively easy to deal with, assuming the supplier is the one to blame. But things will be a little tougher if these problems come down to lapses in Volkswagen’s own quality assurance.

[Images: Volkswagen]

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  • SnarkIsMyDefault SnarkIsMyDefault on Jun 29, 2022

    So will this battery issue affect Ducati E-bikes? (to raise the important question)

  • Wjtinfwb Wjtinfwb on Jun 29, 2022

    Possibly the most over-hyped new car intro ever, it's been threatened as an actual product for 10 + years. Supra and Bronco pale in comparison. And every update seems to contain a thread of pending disappointment for the ID.Buzz. And with VAG group's customary quality and electrical concerns, I'll pass, despite how appealing the package is.

  • El scotto None of them. The auto industry is full of people with huge egos. It's a case of huge ego = never ever being wrong.GM: The true believers end up at Bowling Green. A fast rising GM executive that just didn't quite make it: Truck & Bus, Fort Wayne isn't really that far from Detroit!Ford: Billy Ford once again, and it seems perpetually, convincing his doubtful relatives not to sell their preferred stock. I give VW a 50/50 shot at buying out Ford; a family buying out another family.Tesla: Straight from Elon: "My Tesla has hidden compartments for handcuffs, ask my latest girlfriend where they're located"Stellantis: Get used to flying to Schiphol. You'll have luggage, lots of luggage.None of the Big 3 will ever admit they were wrong. Tesla will just keep gaining market share.
  • SCE to AUX A question nobody asks is how Tesla sells so many EVs without charge-at-home incentives.Here are some options for you:[list][*]Tesla drivers don't charge at home; they just squat at Superchargers.[/*][*]Tesla drivers are rich, so they just pay for a $2000 charger installation with the loose change in their pocket.[/*][*]Tesla drivers don't actually drive their cars much; they plug into 110V and only manage about 32 miles/day.[/*][/list]
  • SCE to AUX "Despite the EV segment having enjoyed steady growth over the past several years, sales volumes have remained flatter through 2023."Not so. How can EV sales be increasing and flatter at the same time? and H/K/G are all up for EV sales, as are several other brands.
  • ToolGuy Here is an interesting graphic, if you're into that sort of thing.
  • ToolGuy Nice website you got there (even the glitches have glitches)