German media is reporting that Volkswagen is experiencing serious software issues with its ID.3 EV hatchback. This is the first of what will be numerous EVs VW will debut in the next few years. The ID.3 was supposed to start production this summer but news of serious problems from the development of the software being “too hasty” could thwart those plans. VW is manufacturing ID.3 vehicles with the initial software version and are being stockpiled. When the new software is finally sorted out these finished vehicles will be updated before their release.
Insiders say that the ID.3 software problems were from developing too quickly
That is the plan right now, but according to anonymous insiders talking to sueddeutsche.de there are mounting problems with the software. They are saying that the basic software architecture was developed too quickly. Sources are quoted as saying the system “did not cooperate efficiently leading to dropouts.” But that’s not all.
Compounding the problems is the lack of programmers to solve software issues. Also, a number of managers involved with the development and specifically the software for the car have left the company. Sources are making comments like: “It’s no longer a laughing matter,” It’s an absolute disaster,” and “We just can’t get the people.”
Insiders say the ID.3 is not even close to seeing production
One German newspaper says, “Company insiders apparently consider (the comments) an understatement. “It’s no longer a laughing matter,” they write. The car is far from being ready for the market, according to the source. Another source is also of the opinion that the company is “not even close to an industrial production process at ID.3.” VW CEO Herbert Diess will definitely have a few cars to show this summer, “but we’ll tinker them by hand so that something is there.” This has nothing to do with series production.“
What this portends is that the summer deadline to release the ID.3 to dealerships isn’t going to happen. Even in the remote chance that it does some features probably won’t be functional. At a later time, an update will be available and the owner will be given the notice to return the ID.3 to a local dealer. Still, it seems like this will not be a good first impression of the VW EV future.
Some in the media are suggesting VW form an alliance with Mercedes
Some are suggesting that VW should forge a software alliance with Mercedes Benz. However, Mercedes is already talking to BMW about a similar software development partnership. “A meeting at board level has apparently already taken place without informing the supervisory board or works council. Among other things, it is said, it was discussed whether Daimler and VW could jointly develop an operating system for cars.”
Unfortunately, at the beginning of 2020 VW CEO Diess was touting that VW’s software combined with its mass production capabilities would be VW’s advantage over other companies in the EV segment. So, ironically, software development has become the Achilles heel in its vast plans to conquer the EV market.
VW has also made bold claims in the past that have not come to fruition.