The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) told Teslarati earlier today that it is investigating 2020 and 2021 Porsche Taycan models for 12-volt battery issues that are leading to a “loss of motive power,” according to an Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) Resume document.
There have been nine total complaints from owners who have driven either 2020 or 2021 Porsche Taycans. According to the ODI document, the 12v battery is losing power and is causing the entire vehicle to halt operation. This has lead to a loss of motive power when the vehicle is in motion but has not resulted in any crashes, injuries, or fatalities, the document says. There have also been a few reports of the same issue from TREAD (Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation) field reports. The loss of motive power occurs at any speed without warning to the driver.
The NHTSA document states that the loss of charge in the 12-volt battery “may deactivate the entire electrical system and prevent the vehicle from operation.” An error message only occurred during or after the vehicle’s ultimate loss of power. Six owners stated that they could not restart the vehicle after the motive power was lost.
The Taycan’s 800-volt system utilizes an auxiliary 12-volt battery for things such as interior lights, windows, and media units. In a combustion engine car, it is used to start the engine. After the motor is started, the alternator takes over and handles the vehicle’s electrical needs for the duration of the drive.
The ODI does indicate that the Porsche Taycan investigation is in the preliminary evaluation stages. The real intention at the current time is to determine the scope and severity of the issue and “fully assess the potential safety-related issues related to a loss of motive power for the MY 2020-2021 Porsche Taycan.”
The NHTSA estimates that 12,146 Taycans are still active on the road in its jurisdiction, so less than .0008% of the Taycans that Porsche has on the road in the U.S. are affected by this issue. However, there could be something as simple as a software update or as invasive as a full-blown recall from Porsche to fix the issue. The important task at hand currently is identifying what is causing the problem and addressing it so that people do not have any potential safety hazards in the future to deal with.
Porsche revealed it delivered 20,015 Taycans in 2020, despite a six-week pause in production as the all-electric model was ramping up.