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Feds investigating Lucid’s defroster recall software repair

The NHTSA is investigating Lucid Motors’ January windshield defroster recall because it’s “concerned” that the company’s over-the-air upgrade doesn’t cure the issue. Lucid told Eltrys the agency “understates the remedy being offered.”

The examination comes as several manufacturers increasingly use software upgrades to remedy issues that would ordinarily require a dealership or service center visit. The inquiry is not as high-stakes as NHTSA’s examination into Tesla’s Autopilot driver-assistance technology, but it indicates the agency is paying careful attention to manufacturers’ over-the-air update strategies.

The recall covers 2,042 Lucid Air cars with Webasto AG high-voltage coolant heaters that disable windshield defrost when they fail. Lucid sent an over-the-air update to detect vehicles with the component and alert drivers if it failed.

NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation is “concerned that by only providing a notification to drivers that their windshield defroster is not working, Lucid puts the driver in a situation where they could experience the failure during the same drive cycle as they receive the notification.” Drivers may not realize the capability is absent when they need to defrost their windshield; thus, they cannot seek a free replacement component until a failure occurs.

Jaguar Land Rover’s electric SUV, the I-Pace, temporarily utilized this Webasto heater, according to the agency. Jaguar informed all 668 affected customers and replaced the item for free in 2023.

Lucid calls their technique innovative. The business claimed the over-the-air update included a “diagnostic software feature” that actively monitors the heater for defects and “intends to demonstrate that the analysis underlying this approach is sound and that customer safety is assured.” The corporation is also sending impacted owners email and postal alerts so they won’t find out after a failure, as NHTSA recommended.

Eltrys Team
Author: Eltrys Team

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