Software issues took nearly a year to fix.
Last February we reported Volkswagen discovered some significant software problems with its Tesla Model 3 fighter, the ID.3 hatchback. The issue was so significant that it threatened to delay the vehicle's planned summertime launch.
But now the German automaker has told Automotive News Europe these issues have been fixed. Although it is not sold in North America, the ID.3 shares its MEB architecture with the VW ID.4 crossover. The two also share all key software functions such as App Connect, which was the source of the problem. The first ID.3 customers in Europe began receiving their vehicles in September, but they all lacked the ability to use Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The software update means those owners can use those systems along with the augmented reality version with a head-up display that projects navigational directions onto the road.
Early ID.3 owners had to make do without the full software suite until VW had the necessary updates ready. Owners will soon be contacted by the automaker to schedule a dealership appointment sometime in the first quarter of 2021. However, the required software update is quite extensive and cannot be done in a matter of minutes, but rather several hours. Owners will need to leave their vehicles at the dealership overnight. VW is fully aware this will be an inconvenience for the customers in what's dubbed the "First Mover Club" and plans to offer incentives like fewer monthly leasing payments as compensation.
"We have seen with our First Movers they are proud of their car and they serve as brand ambassadors. The happier we can make them, the greater the chance they recommend the vehicle to their friends and acquaintances," said a VW source.
VW, like all automakers, is well aware Tesla does not utilize traditional paid advertising and relies instead on word of mouth, social media, and other news outlets instead to spread its message. Over-the-air updates have also eliminated the need to visit dealers and/or service centers. This major ID.3 update is hopefully the one-time exception.
VW also just announced it is increasing EV investments, autonomous driving, and other related technologies to $86 billion with the goal of having about 26 million all-electric vehicles in the US, Europe, and China by 2030. More than half will be built on the MEB platform and most of the others will utilize the performance-focused PPE platform being developed by Audi and Porsche.