Battery packs with pouch cells from LG Chem continue to cause problems and recalls at car manufacturers who purchase them for their EVs. Latest in row are Porsche and Audi, globally recalling 6 766 vehicles over a possible leak inside the battery pack that could lead to sparks.
The affected models are from the Taycan series and the E-Tron GT, a sporty four-seater initially developed by Porsche and later rebadged by Audi as its high-end EV. Dräxlmaier assembles the packs from these cars, but the 800-volt cells are supplied by LG Chem, the Korean cell manufacturer that faced claims after fire incidents with cars using their packs.
Sealing the problem
Porsche has been aware of the issue. The liquid ingress in some cases was reported last year, on which the sports car brand reacted by introducing a sealant in the production process at Dräxlmaier to remedy the possible failures. However, as incidents also kept occurring with fixed battery packs, the assembly was revised again with an enhanced sealant version.
As this hasn’t completely stopped the notifications of possible leaks, Porsche and Audi are forced to recall models from the model year 2023. There are 4 777 Taycans involved of all body styles and 1 899 E-Tron GT’s with an Audi badge.
The dealers will inspect the packs and test them for potential leakage. Porsche and Audi are leaving nothing to chance, as they have ordered their dealers to replace the entire battery in case of a doubt, an extremely costly procedure.
The estimated price of the 93kWh packs is roughly 47 000 euros. But it represents a calculated risk as, according to the manufacturers’ guesstimate, only three percent of its cars are affected.
Customers are notified about the issue by a yellow warning light on the dashboard, turning red if the problem persists and worsens. They can also contact their local dealer to determine if their car is on the recall list.
Cell maker LG Chem has been on a rough ride concerning fire cases with EVs equipped with its battery packs. Jaguar faces a class-action lawsuit over fire incidents with some i-Paces in the United States, a model that uses LG Chem batteries.
The South Korean technology giant had to pay General Motors $1,9 billion over Chevrolet Bolt EV fire risks, a sum reserved for fixing the affected cars.