Volkswagen is recalling a small number of its new ID.4 electric crossovers due to an electrical issue with the 12V battery, which is not related to the electric powertrain.
The recall affects rear-wheel-drive models of the ID.4 produced for the 2022-2023 model years, as the charging cable for the 12V battery may rub against the steering column and potentially cause a short-circuit if the insulation becomes worn. This issue could potentially result in a fire risk if left unaddressed. All-wheel drive models are not affected by this recall.
“On affected vehicles (rear-wheel drive only), the 12V battery charging cable may contact the steering column shaft, causing the cable insulation to wear through,” VW’s recall report said. “If this happens, it may result in a short circuit. A short circuit can lead to a loss of motive power while driving which increases the risk of a crash. A short circuit in this case also increases the risk of a vehicle fire. The affected cable is a low-voltage cable; therefore there is no risk of a high-voltage electric shock to occupants or servicing technicians. A risk of potential damage to the steering system (due to electrical current passing through) cannot be ruled out.”
VW has identified that the issue with the electrical system in the recalled ID.4 electric crossovers is caused by a bend in the charging cable not being located correctly during production, which can allow it to come into contact with the column shaft.
Only certain parts were produced in this way, which is why the recall population is small. RWD models may display warning messages regarding the 12V battery, indicating that the problem has progressed to the point where the insulation is damaged and a short circuit is occurring. In severe cases, there may be a burning smell or smoke, in which case the car should be parked until it can be repaired.
It is important to note that this defect only affects the low-voltage system, which powers non-traction systems in the car, and there is no risk of electrocution associated with this issue. Owners of affected RWD models should expect to receive notification of the recall by the end of February.