Well, that's what they call a false start. German car manufacturer, Audi, has been forced to recall its first electric vehicle to launch in the United States because the battery poses a fire risk. Around 540 E-Tron SUVs are now subject to a voluntary recall.
According to the Volkswagen AG brand, there is a risk that moisture can seep into the battery cell through a wiring harness glitch, increasing the risk of sparking a fire. No actual fires have been reported yet, and no injuries have occurred as a result of the glitch, but Audi is taking no chances here. The wiring flaw affects 1,644 models, according to spokesman Mark Dahncke. He added that there have been five instances globally where a battery fault light turned on because of the moisture issue.
The Audi E-Tron went on sale in the US in April. It is the company's first fully-electric vehicle to launch in the region, where it plans to take on the likes of Tesla for market share. Audio began contacting E-Tron owners last week about the issue, offering to repair the fault by August.
In a statement, the company said: "We are applying an abundance of caution as no such incidents have been reported globally."
E-Tron owners who have been affected by the issues are eligible for a cash card to cover gas or incidentals during the recall period, with a value of up to $800. Not all E-Tron's sold are affected by the wiring glitch, and Audio was keen to stress that it still has perfectly fine models available for sale.
With a number of high profile Tesla fires doing the rounds on the internet recently, and Jaguar's decision to recall its first all-electric car, the I-Pace, in the US, it makes sense that Audi is expressing extreme caution here.
Would you still buy an Audi E-Tron in the US?