Jaguar announced that it is recalling all I-Pace electric vehicles in the US over a battery fire risk. The recall comes a year after we warned Jaguar about the issue.
Last summer, we released a report highlighting our suspicion that Jaguar might have a battery problem similar to the Chevy Bolt EV in its I-Pace.
In the report, we described four separate battery fires that had similar conditions as the battery fires that led to the Chevy Bolt EV recall.
Considering the I-Pace is a fairly low-volume car, we noted that the four fires were even more statistically significant than the dozen of Bolt EV fires. On top of that, Jaguar also used battery cells from LG Energy, which were identified as the source of the problem in the case of the Bolt EV.
At the time, we contacted Jaguar and asked them whether or not they have considered that their I-Pace had a similar problem, but the automaker didn’t answer our questions.
A year later, Jaguar is now recalling all “2019-2024MY Jaguar I-PACE vehicles built at the Graz Vehicle Assembly Plant from June 5, 2018.”
The automaker described the issue in the NHTSA recall notice:
Vehicles have experienced thermal overload which may show as smoke or fire, that may occur underneath the vehicle where high voltage traction battery is located. Investigations are continuing.
In the notice, Jaguar also identified LG Energy as a supplier involved in the recall.
To further confirm our suspicion that Jaguar has a similar problem as the Bolt EV, the automaker is taking a similar software-based “remedy” approach of limiting battery state-of-charge.
Jaguar wrote in the “remedy” section of the recall notice:
Recalled vehicles will receive an update to the Battery Energy Control Module (BECM) software that will monitor the battery pack assembly operational status that indicates where the battery contains conditions which may lead to thermal overload condition. This software provides an enhanced level of driver warnings in relation to battery condition and where the software determines a risk exists, the High Voltage battery charging capacity is limited to 75%. The warning message and associated Owner Guide instruction directs the driver to take their vehicle to a Jaguar retailer for diagnosis and, as required, repair. The retailer will inspect and, if necessary, replace the affected battery module/pack. There will be no charge to the owners for this repair. Customers who have paid for a repair of this defect will be reimbursed by the Jaguar Land Rover reimbursement plan, subject to the usual terms and conditions.
With the Bolt EV, it ultimately led to a full battery recall across the board.
It’s disappointing that Jaguar wasn’t on top of this issue when the Chevy Bolt EV recall happened or when we warned them of the issue last year – it might have prevented a few fires.
Also, the news is coming out just has Jaguar is announcing a rebrand. Coincidence?