The road to the global adoption of EVs is a bumpy one.
Porsche AG will reportedly issue a global recall of its all-electric Taycan vehicle to repair a software issue linked to drivers experiencing a sudden loss of power, according to insider sources who spoke in an initial report from Bloomberg.
This comes on the heels of reports claiming Porsche's entry into the EV industry switches suddenly to emergency mode, which led to an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in May, the report says.
Porsche to announce global Taycan recall in the coming days
The official announcement from Porsche is due to come in the following days, and no injuries or accidents have surfaced from the software glitch. Naturally, this serves to remind everyone of the high technical challenges automakers face in pivoting to all-electric vehicles, in the wake of Tesla's success. The software and gadgets needed to run EVs are superlatively sophisticated, especially when implemented on a massive scale. Officials ordered Tesla to make repairs to software in more than 285,000 of its vehicles in China, to safeguard customers from the risks of a potentially faulty autopilot system.
The Taycan is powered via a complex 800-volt battery architecture, but the issue seems to be with the vehicle's conventional 12-volt battery, used to supply power to auxiliary functions. Porsche's first EV loses power when the 12-volt battery loses its charge, creating a system-wide loss of driving power, making the car immobile. The NHTSA filing from May details how this error progresses through the vehicle without error or warning signals, and even includes a few cases when the car fails to restart after losing power.
Software fix could come over-the-air, or require a dealership visit
Porsche's Taycan debuted to the world in 2019 as the auto manufacturer's first completely battery-powered model to answer the industry's seemingly wholesale shift to all-electric vehicles. Notably, Porsche's profits are crucial for its parent company, Volkswagen AG, with first-quarter sales nearly matching those of the automaker's classic 911 sports car. While this is unfortunate news for Porsche and its customers, it's not completely unexpected amid the industry-wide pivot away from fossil fuels.
In January, NHTSA officially told Tesla to recall roughly 158,000 vehicles because of reported media control unit failures. These were older Model S sedans and Model X SUVs that comprised roughly 10% of all vehicles the company had produced. The media control units failing was a critical issue because drivers need to use the rearview camera display when the vehicle is backing up, and it's also the only way for Tesla's Autopilot system to achieve situational awareness while controlling the vehicle. Compared to these issues, Porsche's Taycan is doing just fine, but it remains unclear whether the firm's software fix will happen via over-the-air updates, or call for its owners to physically return their cars to dealerships.
This was a developing story and was regularly updated as new information became available.