The Audi e-tron and the Jaguar I-PACE were recently hit by twin recalls over potential safety concerns. Both companies have opted to proactively issue the safety recalls before reports of any untoward incidents concerning the vehicles emerged from owners.
In the case of the Audi e-tron, water can get into the all-electric SUV’s high-voltage charging port, which could then make its way to the vehicle’s electronics, resulting in a potential battery fire. Audi e-tron owner and ServiceNow director Michael Forson recently noted on Twitter that not all of the electric SUVs are affected by the major electrical fault, but the German manufacturer is nonetheless taking the issue seriously. With this in mind, it would not be surprising if Audi ends up inspecting most, if not all, e-trons that have been delivered to customers thus far.
The Jaguar I-PACE, on the other hand, was recently hit by a recall over the vehicle’s regenerative braking system. According to investigators, the I-PACE’s regen brakes could exhibit an “increased delay” between the point when a driver hits the brakes and when the vehicle actually begins slowing down. Jaguar is recalling all of the I-PACE that it has delivered so far, such as the 3,083 units it has sold in the United States.
While Audi is yet to issue a statement about a potential fix to the e-tron’s major electronic safety issue, Jaguar has announced that it already has a solution to the I-PACE’s braking fault. According to the British carmaker, a software update is expected to address the increased delay in the all-electric crossover’s braking system, though this would not be rolled out through an over-the-air update similar to Tesla. Instead, the software update will be distributed through Jaguar’s dealer network at no cost to I-PACE owners. Jaguar is expected to start implementing the firmware update next month.
Both recalls being faced by Audi and Jaguar for the e-tron and I-PACE involves features that are among the fundamentals of electric vehicles. Charging port protection and regenerative braking systems, after all, are basics that more experienced EV makers such as Tesla, and GM for that matter (thanks to the Volt), have learned and mastered over the years. Ultimately, these recalls all but show that designing and producing electric cars are not as easy as Tesla skeptics might think.
While credit must be given to Audi and Jaguar for recalling the e-tron and the I-PACE even before any untoward incidents happened, it should also be noted that Tesla had exhibited the same proactive reaction in the past. Last year, for example, the electric car maker voluntarily recalled 123,000 Model S built before April 2016 due to excessive corrosion in the aluminum power steering bolts supplied by Bosch. This issue, according to Tesla, could make steering the Model S heavier than usual due to the loss or reduction of power assist steering.