Audi Preemptively Recalls Its First Electric Vehicle Due To Risk Of Battery Fire

Audi has preemptively recalled its first electric vehicle, the E-Tron SUV, due to risk of battery fire, according to Bloomberg. No Audi E-Tron fires have been reported.

The company issued the voluntary recall of approximately 540 electric vehicles sold in the U.S. due to a risk of moisture that can seep into the battery cell through a wiring harness glitch, according to company spokesman Mark Dahncke. 

The E-Tron went on sale in April and is Audi's first full electric vehicle. While EVs are reportedly "no more prone to accidents or fires" than traditional internal combustion engine vehicles (and may even be less prone according to the NHTSA), battery technology is still evolving and there is not yet a consensus on a standardized safe system design. 

Audi said that there have been 5 instances globally where a battery fault light has come as on as a result of the moisture issue. It began to contact owners last week, prior to a warning from automotive regulators, and expects to have a fix available by August.

Audi is offering E-Tron owners loaner vehicles and an $800 cash card to cover gas and incidentals during the recall period, in addition to free roadside assistance. 

"This is how responsible companies treat design flaws," famed Tesla short seller Jim Chanos commented on Twitter.