When last we reported on Volkswagen’s first electric vehicle the ID3 hatchback, the German company was experiencing major software glitches threatening its release this summer. Well, there’s good news! The bug-plagued ID3 will still go on sale anyway this summer. Whatever software problems it has will be fixed at an undetermined time in the future once the engineers discover how to fix it. We’re up for that! Actually, we’re not. Nor should anyone else. How can VW offer up a compromised product with the promise it will fix it “when we figure it out?”
There’s more to VW’s software problems than just software fixes
In many respects, VW’s future is riding on the ID3, but there’s more. There will be heavy fines levied to manufacturers unable to meet tough new emissions standards. Not having the ID3 to offset other products could cost VW hundreds of millions of dollars. VW has to get the zero-emissions EV3 out the door, compromised or not. What a way to sell cars!
“Our target is to deliver the 30,000 ID3 first-edition pre-booked models to all customers,” said a VW brand spokesman to Automotive News Europe. “Vehicles built will be equipped with whatever version of the software suite is current at the corresponding time of their production and prior to their delivery to customers in summer will receive the latest version. Subsequent to the market launch the digital functions will then continue to be updated in regular increments in the following months,” VW said.
We will make it and you’ll like it until we can fix the problems
In plain English, that means “you’ll get the ID3 with buggy software as best as we can make it and you’ll like it that way until we can fix the problems.” VW is hell-bent on producing 300,000 a year of these EVs by next year at the latest. It has already started production at the Zwickau, Germany, plant where the ID3 is made after a shutdown for the coronavirus.
So here’s a question about this whole buggy caper, “What if the fixes for the ID3 software are never found?” VW has been cagy about exactly what software problems it is having but we know from a report in February they are major and widespread.
In February the problems were “massive” and by March they were “dire.”
In February we reported that the issues VW technicians were having were described as “massive.” This stopped production to find a fix before any more were produced. Exactly a month later we reported hearing that the problems were “dire” according to the German media. Is “dire” worse than “massive?” In other words, after a month of trying were the software problems improved at all or did they get worse?
So now we’re a month later from that last report we did and there is still no word if anything has improved. Instead, VW is saying it will just crank out ID3 hatchbacks in whatever state it may be in. Would you call this desperate, arrogant, or reckless?
We’ll keep you up to date on this weird way of selling cars
Of course, as this story continues to develop we’ll follow along to see what the next big move by the brainiacs at VW will be. We can’t imagine what it will be because we never expected it would make the move to just sell a hatchback with buggy software. But, here we are.