It took Tesla over a decade to only sort-of build its EVs right, and if you think that legacy automakers will be any better at it, I have bad news for you.
The Ford Mustang Mach-E is a good example. It’s a car that started with a lot of hype — even cool people on Twitter say it is “the best car I’ve ever driven” — but one that has also had its share of problems: a recall here, a completely failed charger there, delivery delays.
Now, according to the Verge some Mustang Mach-Es (Mustangs Mach-E?) are reportedly getting “bricked” because of an issue with the 12-volt battery on board. (EVs retain 12-volt batteries to run things like the audio system and power windows, same as gas-powered cars, and to operate some EV control components.)
The 12-volt battery powers many of the Mustang Mach-E’s systems (since the larger battery pack is high-voltage), and so when it dies, the electric SUV cannot be started. When this happens, owners have reported the FordPass app says the vehicle is in “deep sleep” mode. Some forum members have started referring to it as the “electric brick” problem.
Ford recently filed a technical service bulletin with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that confirms the problem has to do with the software on the powertrain control module. Ford wrote that this only affects Mustang Mach-E SUVs built on or before February 3rd, meaning it’s possible that dozens are affected.
Ford did tell The Verge that the problem will be fixable via wireless update “later this year” and that Mustang Mach-Es currently coming off the line should not be affected.
Ford isn’t the only legacy automaker that has had issues with its early EV efforts; just look at Volkswagen and the hiccups with the ID cars. Somehow all of these issues have made me trust Tesla more with EVs, as at least by now they have lots of experience in making and diagnosing them. But so does GM, and I would expect fewer issues with the new Bolt EUV.
Buyer, in any case, beware.