High-end electric car recalled due to battery fire risk

Hundreds of high-end electric sports cars have been recalled in Australia due a problem with battery protection that could lead to a high-voltage fire.

More than 230 Porsche Taycan electric vehicles are subject to the warning, issued on Tuesday, that affects all variants of the model.

The recall comes weeks after two significant electric vehicle battery fires in Australia, and following a recall issued for an Alfa Romeo hybrid SUV that also raised battery safety questions.

The latest recall affects Porsche Taycan vehicles from 2022 and 2023, with the federal transport department warning a fault could see water enter its battery.

“Due to a manufacturing issue, there is a possibility of insufficient sealing between the high-voltage battery casing and battery cover,” the recall said.

“If a sufficient amount of moisture enters the high voltage battery, arcing can occur which increases the risk of fire causing injury or death to vehicle occupants, other road users or bystanders.”

Vehicle owners are urged to contact Porsche to organise an inspection and potential repair of their car.

The Porsche Taycan is the manufacturer’s first electric vehicle and one of the most expensive on the Australian market, with the price of affected models starting at $132,550 and reaching $363,800.

The fire warning follows a significant fire in Sydney in September, in which a damaged lithium-ion battery removed from an electric car caught fire in an airport holding yard and destroyed four nearby vehicles.

Firefighters were also called to extinguish a blaze in the NSW Southern Highlights in September after the battery in a Tesla Model 3 electric car was damaged by debris that fell from a truck.

No one was injured in the accident.

Despite the fires, data from Australian research group EV FireSafe found there were fewer than 50 verified electric vehicle fires around the world in the first six months of the year, and the vehicles were significantly less likely to catch fire than petrol or diesel peers.

Most electric vehicle fires were caused by a collision or debris, the group found, followed by a battery fault and submersion in liquid.

EV FireSafe chief executive Emma Sutcliffe said unlike e-bike or e-scooter fires that had become more common, electric cars posed a low fire risk.

“With cars, they’re subject to so much regulation – they’ve got to be crush-tested, they have to meet so many standards,” she said.


Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson
(Australian Associated Press)


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