Will the summer launch still happen?
Volkswagen has made huge efforts to rehabilitate its image following Dieselgate. The German automaker has embarked on a quest to be the world's leader in battery electric vehicles. The Tesla Model 3-rivaling VW ID.3, revealed last September at Frankfurt, is only the beginning. Although it won't be sold in the US, America is slated to receive a crossover version, potentially called ID.4. That debut is scheduled for this June at the 2020 Detroit Auto Show. However, new technologies such as all-electric powertrains and platforms bring with them a potential host of problems, such as manufacturing and supplier issues.
According to Germany's Manager Magazin, the ID.3 has another serious problem threatening to delay its planned summertime launch. It turns out VW is struggling with "massive" software problems.
The magazine's sources, apparently VW's own experts, claim this software was developed "too hastily," which has resulted in the vehicle's advanced system not being able to properly communicate with itself. Test drivers have reportedly been experiencing up to 300 errors a day. Over 10,000 technicians are working around the clock to fix the issues. Thing is, because this is new technological territory for VW, fixing everything isn't easy and requires time.
The report claims the ID.3's launch could now be delayed by up to a year. Clearly this is not the type of launch VW had in mind. What's more, because the ID.3 is built on the MEB platform, which will underpin several new EVs in the coming years, those other new vehicles could also be pushed back. It's a potential nightmare domino effect.
There's also another problem: ID.3 production has already gotten underway in Germany. This means that thousands of vehicles are being produced without a complete software suite. Once these software problems are resolved, each of the vehicles will have to be manually fixed in post-production. VW has not made any official announcement at this time regarding a potential delay, but it's running out of time to get things sorted.
Delaying the ID.3's launch will not only be a little embarrassing - although VW is 100 percent doing the right thing to fix the problems before customer deliveries - it will also be an extremely costly affair.