According to an article in German media, Volkswagen is still having massive software problems with ID.3. There is apparently some risk that the market launch of the first MEB model will have to be postponed. The group’s subsidiaries Audi and Porsche are also having their own troubles, only with batteries.
Only a few weeks after the first reports about massive software problems with the VW ID.3, Manager Magazin in Germany claims that many problems are still not solved and new ones keep popping up. The publication quotes VW experts, who are saying that the basic architecture of the software was developed “too hastily”. As a result, many system parts do not understand each other, which leads to dropouts.
“Hundreds of test drivers”, who collect kilometres in the evening and at night, reported new bugs regularly, some employees mentioned up to 300 bugs in a single day. Every morning around 50 and up to 100 technology and software experts meet to discuss the latest problems. This crisis has prompted Manager Magazine to title their report: “Showdown in Hall 74,” after Hall 74 where these daily meetings are held. The dramatic headline is underlaid with pessimistic internal scenarios that assume a delay of up to twelve months.
However, confidants of corporate and brand boss Herbert Diess have described a possible delay as “complete nonsense”. When electrive asked, high-ranking VW experts assured us that the German carmaking giant is sticking with the intended target of an ID.3 market launch this summer. That being said, summer is a reasonably vague date. Late summer can still be considered September. So far, first deliveries are currently planned for August at the earliest, as electrive has learned from talks with several car dealerships.
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A delay of several months would of course also have consequences for Diess, the major driver behind the MEB and thus the ID.3. It remains to be seen whether the radically new electrical kit can only work well with a software architecture developed from scratch or whether the new software was one step too many. Even the major investors from the Porsche and Piëch families are said to have expressed their displeasure during “talks in a close circle”.
The possibly internally tilting mood against Diess’ electro offensive leads the report to speculate about personnel: “Looking ahead” Diess has already expanded the VW brand board of directors by several heads – for example, head of development Frank Welsch has been joined by Matthias Rabe as Chief Technology Officer. “With a large ID.3 delay, he could fire various board members,” Manager Magazine reports. In other words, if one of the managers had to withdraw, in the case of Welsch and Rabe there would be no power vacuum in the development department. Diess could dismiss some of the board members to protect himself, or so the article speculates.
At least the ID.3 is not having problems with the availability of battery cells. This problem has been plaguing many an electric car manufacturer lately and is currently affecting the Audi subsidiary and the production of the e-tron in Brussels. The main supplier for the battery cells of the e-tron with the 95-kWh battery is LG Chem, where there are problems with the production ramp-up in Korean battery giant’s Polish plant. The cells for the smaller 71 kWh battery come from Samsung SDI, but are reported to be “not yet of the necessary quality”. According to Manager Magazine, this has caused friction at Audi and Porsche who are arguing among themselves about the available battery capacities. In the group board of directors, Diess spoke out in favour of Porsche, which is why the production of the e-tron is currently paralyzed and not that of the Taycan. Although this turn of prioritising one brand over the other has not been confirmed, the story of an internal battery struggle adds up with information from battery experts with whom electrive editors have spoken.
With reporting by Sebastian Schaal, Germany.
manager-magazin.de (paywall, in German)
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