Volkswagen Stops ID. Buzz Production Over Battery Issues

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 electrive.net 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.

  • Bryan Raab Davis I briefly dated an Australian fellow who was mad for Aspires; one of his better characteristics, if I’m honest.
  • ToolGuy Check out Ferrari's market cap:https://companiesmarketcap.com/automakers/largest-automakers-by-market-cap/
  • ToolGuy • Not sure who you get when you call the "Company phone" number listed on the recall report, but confident that it ISN'T Ferrari (someone either screwed up or made a conscious exception; recall might need a recall; where is my excellence in government that all of you are funding?).• 99% of them are fine.• On later models, additionally, a message will also appear on the vehicle’s dashboard that reads as follows: “Brake fluid level low, Go to dealer slowly”. That right there is classic.• Anyway, this is what happens when you build to a price point... (ba dum tsh!)
  • Art Vandelay And what a giant pile of sh!t ths new format is. Great job guys, way to run off the last of the die hards.
  • Theflyersfan If you ever want a review on a 2022 Mazda MX-5 GT RF, I'll be more than happy to type up a few thousand words and add in some great pictures in front of Churchill Downs for y'all!In a nutshell, I agree with this review. I didn't have a chance to try the Recaro seats because the only test drive available was with another GT that someone backed out in buying so it was being used as a demo. But from what I was told, if you're larger than a 38 waist or taller than 5'10", it gets tight. But with the standard seats, and I'm 5'10" and maybe 20 pounds from the 38 waist, I fit fine. Now getting in and out with the roof up after shoulder surgery (especially leaving the surgery center with most of the right arm under a nerve block) is the total opposite of graceful!!! The look on the nurse's face when the MX-5 pulled up and I'm partially wrapped up like a mummy was priceless.I've had mine since the middle of April and have already put 6,700 miles on it, including round trips from Louisville to Chicago and the Philadelphia suburbs. Averaged 38-39 mpg at a steady 75 mph, and it wasn't a torture chamber. The metal top helped a lot. The standard seats are a bit thin on padding, and there was a bit of squirming by around hour 8 on the Philly drive, but it's possible. But even though this design was released in 2015, I still get compliments from total strangers at stoplights, carwashes, gas stations, restaurants, etc. The Soul Red Metallic paint just makes the car pop. I wish it was available with the Terra Cotta leather (the gray above is available with it), and that it didn't have the standard all in black, because it gets thermonuclear in there with the top down and the sun beating on you, but a minor quibble. But it's just fun. Pure driving fun. The best stick shift in any car today. Solid brakes, excellent handling, a sane amount of power to where you aren't going to get into anything reckless and stupid. After a 12+ hour day at work, there's nothing better than dropping the top and driving the 20 minutes home with the better than I thought it would be Bose stereo playing Moby into my ears through the headrest speakers. Mazda has already announced there will be an NE model so I can't wait for that. It'll be interesting how they will keep the weight down with the expected changes to eke more MPG out of what is already an efficient car.
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