VW just can't seem to steer clear of controversy.
Unless you have been hiding under a rock for the last few years, you have likely heard about Volkswagen's Dieselgate scandal where the company was forced to buy back cheating diesel models and offer fixes for the affected cars. No recent automotive recall has had quite the same impact as Dieselgate, but it seems like VW is ready to move forward with new electric and plug-in hybrid cars in place of diesel technology.
It appears as though a focus shift to electric and plug-in vehicles was not enough to keep VW out of controversy, because Wirtschaftswoche reports that the company may be forced to recall every car in its EV and plug-in lineup - and yes, that does include Audi and Porshe as well.
The German Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (meaning Federal Motor Transport Authority) has discovered that VW models contain cadmium, a carcinogenic metal, in a section of their charging systems. This will impact all plug-in and electric VW models including the e-Golf, e-Up, Golf GTE, and Passat GTE, and there will likely be some Audi and Porsche models impacted as well. Each car has around .008 grams of cadmium, which would not be harmful to a consumer because it is well-insulated. Unfortunately, the cadmium will have a damaging effect on the environment when the car reaches the end of its useful life and is scrapped.
"Volkswagen has stopped the series production and delivery of the corresponding vehicles immediately, replaced the affected component by that of another supplier and resumed production," said a Volkswagen spokesman. VW says that the data submitted by its original supplier did not contain any information about the use of cadmium. Fortunately for VW, its electric and plug-in cars are nowhere near as popular as its diesel models where, so this should only affect around 124,000 cars. We will still have to wait for an announcement from VW to see how the company will deal with the electrified cars that have already been delivered to consumers.