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Audi’s First Electric Vehicle Recalled Over Fire Risk

It’s not good PR for a brand hoping to snap up wary would-be converts, but it does suggest that Audi’s quality management apparatus is at least partly up to snuff.
On Monday the German automaker announced a voluntary recall of 540 E-Tron SUVs sold in the United States out of fear that a glitch could spark a large and hard-to-control fire. The E-Tron, a fully electric midsize SUV with a (happily) conventional appearance, saw its first full month of U.S. sales in May, moving 856 units.
As reported by Bloomberg, the automaker is concerned moisture could enter the battery compartment through a faulty seal, potentially leading to a short circuit or even a serious fire. Audi calls the latter scenario an “extreme case.” Lithium-ion battery cells are highly volatile if breached by air or moisture; the resulting fire, as seen in several recent Tesla Model S incidents, can erupt quickly and prove very difficult to extinguish.
In total, 1,644 E-Trons are under recall for the issue. Through the end of May, Audi sold 1,109 of the EVs in the U.S., with the model going on sale in April.
While no fires or injuries have been reported as a result of the flaw, Audi claims five instances of battery fault lights turning on because of moisture seepage. The company began informing owners last week, with a fix available starting in August, Audi claims.

“We are applying an abundance of caution as no such incidents have been reported globally,” the company said in a statement, referring to fires.
Not all of the Brussels-built E-Trons assembled thus far contain the flaw, apparently. The automaker claims the model remains available, and it doesn’t appear that there is a stop sale order in place for the vehicle.
As they await a fix, affected owners are being told they’re eligible for an $800 cash card to cover gas purchases, rentals, and other costs stemming from the recall. Free roadside towing has been extended to these owners, too.
As for Tesla, the automaker continues investigating the cause of a rash of car fires spanning the globe. Following the most recent fire in Antwerp, Belgium, the company issued an over-the-air update to the charge and thermal management settings on Model S and Model X vehicles.
Getting ahead of any serious problems and being transparent about it is key to ensuring consumer trust in any product, and Audi seems to know this. The company has three more electric E-Tron models waiting in the wings, with even more poised to enter the fray in years to come.
[Images: Audi AG]

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Steph Willems – 2019-06-10 19:43:30
The Truth About Cars

EV Hot Rodders create 800 hp electric E36 BMW M3

Back in the day, hot rodding was hugely popular. The idea was simple: take an ordinary car, stuff a monster engine up front and strip out as much weight as possible. Now, there’s a new style of hot rodding that’s starting to get popular — EV hot rodding. Basically, you take an ordinary car, replace its engine with an electric powertrain and strip out weight. In this new video from Fully Charged, we get to see an E36 BMW M3 given the EV hot rod treatment.
The people behind this EV E36 BMW M3 are EV West, the California-based electric tuning company, headed by Michael Bream. What Bream and his team did was take an E36 M3, strip it out, fit it with a proper roll cage and stuff an 800 hp electric powertrain from a wrecked Tesla into it. EV West actually used this electric M3 to take on Pikes Peak, which is impressive and kind of scary sounding.
It’s scary once you see just how violent its power can be. Admittedly, it’s as docile as a Prius around town and, aside from its completely stripped-out cabin, easy enough to drive everyday. However, just flex your right foot and the rear tires will break loose in a huge cloud of tire smoke. It’s hilarious and also sort of scary. Imagine driving something that powerful on Pikes Peak? No thanks.

It is awesome, though. With around 800 hp and only around 2,700 lbs (with perfect 50/50 weight distribution), it has a pretty incredible power-to-weight ratio. So even the very fat rear tires stand no chance at harnessing all of that power and putting it to the road. Which is why EV West fitted it with a super-fast steering rack, so that when the rear end does break lose, the driver has quick enough steering to catch it.
While most car enthusiasts might prefer stuffing a massive engine under the hood of an E36 BMW M3, such as the famed LS-swap, electric motors can be just as exciting, if not more so.

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Nico DeMattia – 2019-06-10 11:59:47
BMW BLOG