Why Electric Vehicles Get Recalled So Often
If you’ve been paying attention to the news, you may have heard about two significant car recalls in the past few months. Both the Chevy Volt and the Ford Mach-E, two well-known electric vehicles (EVs), have been recalled for serious safety concerns. These are far from the first EVs to get recalled, but they demonstrate the continuing trend of EVs turning out to be dangerous.
The idea behind EVs is sound. There are plenty of electric cars on the road that are perfectly safe. So why are the Bolt and the Mach-E considered dangerous? Keep reading to learn the reason behind these recalls, why EVs are recalled so often, and how to choose a safe EV.
The Problems with the Chevy Bolt
GM has recently recalled all Chevy Bolt EVs and the Bolt EUVs manufactured between 2017 and 2022, including those that have already been recalled. The recall is due to the cars’ high-voltage battery pack. These cars can be charged through a built-in plug, but the fast-recharge program has been shown to have a major problem. Specifically, if the battery is charged too long, it can catch on fire.
This announcement comes after several other recalls which didn’t affect 2019-2022 models. However, these prior recalls and remedies didn’t resolve the problem for good. People who parked their cars indoors or charged their Bolts overnight were at risk of burning down their garage and completely destroying their vehicles after the battery ignited. For obvious reasons, this was unacceptable, and GM was forced to issue a recall.
The Problems with the Ford Mustang Mach-E
On the other end of the problem spectrum, Ford has recently recalled 5000 Mustang Mach-E electric SUVs after it was shown that the panoramic glass sunroof is at risk of falling off. This problem appears to have been caused by improper construction. The glass panel was not correctly attached to the body of the vehicle. Similarly, the windshield on other Mach-Es could fall off in a crash, potentially causing severe injuries.
This series of recalls is particularly embarrassing for Ford. The company’s head of development had just recently hyped up the Mach-E series in comparison to other electric vehicles, stating, “The doors fit properly, the plastics and other materials color-match, the bumpers don’t fall off, the roof doesn’t come off when you wash it, the door handles don’t get stuck in cold weather…”
The comment was about the significant compromises in quality found in other electric cars. To perform a recall for precisely that issue demonstrates that Ford’s production quality is not actually ahead of the competition like they claimed.
Why Electric Vehicles Are Recalled So Often
The biggest reason for electric vehicles to be recalled is simple: batteries catch on fire. EV batteries are some of the most powerful batteries in existence. They have to be to store the energy to power a car for hundreds of miles of driving.
The problem is that these batteries are also incredibly new. The technology to store that much electricity has only been around for a few years. It simply hasn’t been tested as rigorously as standard car batteries. That means when a new line of EVs is produced, it’s likely that the battery hasn’t seen the kind of road testing it will experience when thousands of drivers use their cars every day. Basically, these batteries aren’t tested enough, and problems like fires are inevitable in a certain percentage of new batteries.
The other reason behind EV recalls isn’t unique to these cars. Many EVs are entirely new models designed from the ground up to run on batteries. To justify higher prices, these cars also tend to lean on cutting-edge “luxury” elements, like the Mach-E’s panoramic windshield. Like the batteries, these new features haven’t been tested the same way as those with a long history. The manufacturers discover rare or hard-to-spot problems when drivers spend every day in their cars.
How to Choose a Safe EV
So, if electric vehicles run into so many problems, are they always bad cars? Of course not. An electric vehicle can be just as safe as any other vehicle on the road. As long as the car model has been tested appropriately and driven by others, you can have a good idea about whether it’s safe. You can buy an EV you trust by following three simple rules.
- Avoid cars with recalls. Recalls take place when a manufacturer knows for a fact that some of the vehicles it’s producing are lemons. If you’re considering buying a new car, never buy one that’s been subject to a recall unless the manufacturer has proven they’ve fixed the defect.
- Read safety reports. Even cars that haven’t been subject to a recall can be less than safe. Before you buy an EV, make sure you research the make and model. For example, the Chevy Bolt was out for multiple years before the current recalls took place. The signs that these cars were at risk of dangerous fires were obvious long before Chevy took action. By doing your research, you can avoid risky vehicles and stay away from potential recalls and lemons.
- Avoid first model years. Don’t make yourself a guinea pig for car manufacturers. The first model year of any car is going to have problems. If a new car model is released, wait until the second model year to buy to ensure any hidden issues have been discovered and fixed.
Don’t Get Stuck with a Dangerous Electric Car
Electric cars can be just as safe as any other car you drive. You just need to be careful when you’re making your purchase. Of course, you could follow all the rules and still wind up with an electric car that’s dangerous. For instance, the 2022 Chevy Bolt was the sixth model year, hadn’t had any recalls, and it’s easy to dismiss one or two safety reports as a coincidence. If you’ve bought an EV that’s not safe, you should hold the manufacturer accountable. Reach out to the Lemon Law Guys to discuss your situation and learn how to resolve your lemon problems today.