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NIO recalls over 4,800 cars sold in China

Hu Yumo
NIO, a Shanghai-based electric car company, is recalling 4,803 vehicles sold in the Chinese market to replace new battery packs to eliminate potential safety risks.
Hu Yumo

NIO, a Shanghai-based electric car company, is recalling 4,803 vehicles sold in the Chinese market to replace the battery packs, the company said yesterday.

The recall, which started yesterday and will last for two months, involves NIO ES8 sports-utility vehicles that were manufactured between April 2, 2018 and October 19, 2018, the company said. The company said it received the approval to recall the vehicles from the State Administration for Market Regulation yesterday.

The decision was made after an ES8 vehicle caught fire in a residential area in Anting Town in Shanghai’s Jiading District on May 16. NIO said the company formed a special group of technology experts and suppliers to investigate the cause of the fire.

NIO said that the vehicle’s battery pack carries the module NEV-P50. It said there was a possibility that some of the voltage wiring harness in the module were compressed by the upper cover plate because of improper placement.

Under extreme conditions, the insulating materials covering the extruded voltage wiring harness are likely to wear out, causing short circuit.

The electric car company is voluntarily recalling the vehicles and will replace the old battery module with NEV-P102 for free. The car owners will be contacted and NIO staff will drive the car to the battery station or service center and replace the battery.

NIO said that only vehicles manufactured before October 19, 2018 with NEV-P50 battery modules will be recalled. The company said its ES8 and ES6 vehicles, which were manufactured after October 19, 2018, used NEV-P102 battery modules.

Hours after NIO said it was recalling the vehicles, Chinese battery manufacturer Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd (CATL) said it had supplied the affected battery modules NEV-P50.

CATL said in a statement that the reason was interference between battery container provided by NIO and NEV-P50 battery module provided by CATL. CATL added that the company will work with NIO to help the consumers.

Earlier this month, China ordered carmakers to conduct checks on vehicles after electric cars caught fire.

Xinhua news agency quoted the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and said that it had ordered companies to check for potential safety hazards with battery boxes, waterproof protection, high-voltage wiring harnesses, as well as onboard charging devices.

Two other ES8 cars also caught fire in Xi’an and Wuhan. An ES8 vehicle caught fire in Xi’an in April. NIO said the internal structure of the battery pack had been squeezed, causing a short circuit.

In June, an ES8 vehicle caught on fire in Wuhan and NIO said it was still investigating the case.

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