Hybrids & Electrics

Don’t Buy Any VW Right Now: Software Problems Affecting Many Lines

Man, it seems VW can’t get its electronics act together. We have reported on the huge problems it is having with its first all-electric ID.3 sedans. Now comes word from German media that the new Golf Mk8 is having software problems. VW is continuing to produce the eighth-generation Golf sedan but is not delivering them to dealers. Instead, the assembled hatchbacks are piling up in lots waiting on a fix for the software. At this point, don’t buy any VW right now as software problems are affecting many lines, not just EVs.

VW’s first EV was being touted as a “Tesla killer.”

Credit: Volkswagen

This is a mighty fall for VW. Its first EV was being touted as a “Tesla killer.” Called ID.3 it is a hatchback that has been in production since November. But according to Manager Magazin, a German publication, ID.3’s software problems are so dire the software architecture isn’t even complete. Service teams have been using mobile computer stations installing fixed software in over 10,000 vehicles produced in 2019.

RELATED: MORE VW ID.3 SOFTWARE PROBLEMS LABELLED “DIRE” BY MEDIA

VW is currently doing the same thing now for another 20,000 ID.3 cars. And it plans on continuing to assemble new Golf sedans at its Wolfsburg, Germany, facility and do remedial fixes for the software problems as it has with the ID.3. “In exchange with the responsible authorities we will examine the further procedure for the affected vehicles,” a spokesperson says. Is this any way to run an auto company?

Each vehicle will sit there until a software update can be figured out

New Golf 8s will be driven immediately from the assembly line to a company holding lot. Each vehicle will sit there until a software update can be figured out and then installed. It remains to be seen if this will continue to be a trend at VW. If it can’t produce anything with functioning software what does it mean for the other vehicles it produces? 

This black eye comes after the emissions testing scandal known as Dieselgate. VW was found to be programming its Diesel cars with software that would turn off most emissions controls during normal use. When the software recognized a test being conducted it would turn on the controls. Once emission testing was complete the system would again be turned off.

Company executives have admitted publicly that Tesla has at least a 10-year lead

ID3 | Volkswagen
ID3 | Volkswagen

Company executives have admitted publicly that Tesla has at least a 10-year lead in not only EV development but also self-driving architectures and battery technology. VW was expected to hit the ground running with the ID.3. Especially since the platform would be the basis for multiple vehicles VW planned to roll out over the next several years.

VW also was making the EV platform available to outside manufacturers for them to produce their own vehicles. Now that program looks to be in jeopardy. We doubt there is much confidence from outside manufacturers in VW’s problem-plagued platform software.  

Some have speculated that the software problems stem from firings over Dieselgate

Some have speculated that the software problems stem from firings over Dieselgate. Software developers for VW’s diesel vehicles knew how to program. Once they were all fired there weren’t any A-list developers left. 

Whether true or not VW is having one hell of a time getting the software to function properly after all of these months. How long it will take and how well it will function is anybody’s guess.