Audi issues second electric car recall due to fire risk

The federal transport department has issued an urgent recall of 123 Audi e-Tron vehicles.

The federal transport department has issued an urgent recall of 123 Audi e-Tron vehicles. Photo: AAP

More than 100 electric vehicles have been urgently recalled in Australia due to a serious battery fault that could “lead to a vehicle fire”.

The federal transport department issued the urgent recall for 123 Audi e-Tron vehicles on Friday in what is the second major recall for Audi electric cars this year.

However, the government also warned that software to address the fault was still being developed and vehicle owners may have to wait months for a fix.

The latest Audi recall was issued for its e-Tron 55 and 55 Sportback SUVs manufactured between 2018 and 2022, with concerns its battery could catch fire.

“Due to a manufacturing defect, the high-voltage battery may experience a thermal overload if charged over 80 per cent capacity,” the recall said.

“If this occurs, the battery could overheat and lead to a vehicle fire.”

Vehicle owners are advised to schedule an appointment with Audi to have their vehicle’s battery inspected, and to “temporarily limit the charging target to 80 per cent capacity”.

The recall noted that Audi had yet to develop a software fix for the battery defect, and owners may have to return their vehicle “every four months” for inspection until one is available.

An Audi spokeswoman told AAP affected vehicle owners would be contacted by the company to organise an inspection and potential hardware repair.

“The recall requires the high-voltage battery data to be checked and in some cases it may be necessary to replace battery modules,” she said.

“Isolated cases of the issue have been reported by customers in other countries and no cases have been reported within the Australian market.”

The fault is the second major safety issue identified in Audi’s electric cars this year in Australia, with the manufacturer recalling 222 Audi e-Tron GT vehicles in January due to a problem with the sealing around their batteries.

Despite concerns about electric vehicle safety, Australia has recorded only six electric car fires since 2010, according to EV FireSafe, including one case of arson, two collisions, and three that were parked near a blaze.

EV FireSafe chief executive Emma Sutcliffe said electric car owners should take care to note all safety recalls, however, and take action if their electric car was damaged.

“If I’ve been in a collision, if my vehicle has been submerged in floodwaters, if my vehicle is on recall for battery fire risk or if the car has been exposed to a bushfire, we know there’s a higher risk there,” she said.

“Don’t take it somewhere in an enclosed space or start driving it.”


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