"It's an absolute disaster."
The all-electric Volkswagen ID.3 is, perhaps, the most important new model the German automaker has launched in decades. Following everything that went wrong regarding Dieselgate, VW has been on a quest to remake its image as a leader for electric vehicles and all related technologies. The ID.3 hatchback is the first attempt at doing so. North America will soon receive the VW ID.4 electric crossover, which shares its platform and many other components with the ID.3. Chances are, it also shares a vast majority of its software. And therein lies the problem.
Last month, we reported that VW was experiencing serious software problems in the ID.3. Supposedly, this software was developed "too hastily" and now the vehicle's system can't properly communicate with itself. Unfortunately, not only is this problem still not resolved but it's also worse than everyone thought.
German-language publication sueddeutsche.de has confirmed with a VW spokesperson that "Things are not going great. It is no longer a laughing matter."
Furthermore, sources are claiming the ID.3 is not even close to being ready for the market, despite its planned summertime launch. Production has already gotten underway. The already assembled units will need to be fixed "by hand so that something is there." Why can't VW get these issues worked out and why are they happening so close to production?
The answer seems to be a lack of qualified personnel, specifically programmers and related software specialists. "It's an absolute disaster. We just can't get the people," another source said. In a case of industry irony, VW is now rumored to be seeking help from one of its biggest rivals, Daimler.
Daimler and BMW were reportedly already in talks about the possibility of co-developing vehicle software. VW executives supposedly recently had a meet with their Daimler counterparts to discuss the matter. Whether anything comes from this is anyone's guess at the moment. In any case, VW seems to have a problem on its hands that needs to be resolved quickly and correctly.
Perhaps VW should give Tesla a call instead. It knows a thing or two about software and over-the-air updates in all-electric vehicles.