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Volkswagen recalls almost 21,000 ID.4s for software fix

A silver VW ID.4 next to some power lines
Enlarge / Early VW ID.4s will need to visit a dealership for a software update.

Jonathan Gitlin

Volkswagen is the latest OEM to issue a recall for some of its electric vehicles. This time the problem afflicts the MY2021 ID.4, VW’s EV crossover. The problem concerns the battery management control module, as well as the pulse inverter control module. This version of the battery management control unit software can be too sensitive and reset itself in some circumstances, and the pulse inverter control module can, under rare conditions, deactivate if there’s a software failure.

VW first had an inkling there was a problem in July 2021 when reports started coming in of potential problems with the high-voltage battery management software. By September 2021, VW had concluded there was no unreasonable risk to drivers but continued studying the problem. By January 2022, VW’s supplier told it that the pulse inverter software had problems, too.

Last summer VW went through feedback questionnaires from ID.4 owners and found that “some reports from the US market indicated that the battery management software issue could have led to stalling allegations.”

A reset of the modules while driving won’t lead to a loss of steering or braking or make the car otherwise uncontrollable, but in late January VW decided to initiate a recall for 20,904 ID.4s built between May 26, 2020, and January 20, 2022. Newer vehicles are unaffected, as they use a newer software version.

The fix is new software for both the high-voltage battery management control unit and the pulse inverter control unit. Although the ID.4 gets over-the-air software updates—the most recent one added a charger routing function to the navigation system and “auto hold” so drivers don’t have to keep their foot on the brake at a stop—this fix will be performed at dealerships. ID.4 owners will be contacted toward the end of March by VW dealers to schedule the work.

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