June 8, 2023


Complete News World

Software update: – Volkswagen is recalling a large number of electric vehicles

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(Elbil24): If you have an electric car, or intend to buy one, you can learn some buzzwords first and foremost. OTA is one of them, and it stands for Over The Air. It’s all about the car’s ability to receive software updates wirelessly, just like your mobile phone. Simple yet complex.

VW customers notice this especially well during the day, when wireless updates aren’t completely wireless.

A year ago, Volkswagen announced that existing customers of ID models had to go to a workshop to get a new update. This update actually had to be done in a workshop, simply because it involved changing to a larger 12v battery in the car.

The reason the battery had to be replaced was for the car to have enough power to accept major updates in the future, which would also require more power from the 12-volt battery while the update was in progress.

Now is the time to go again.

Electric cars losing maximum range in the Easter cold

Oldest first

Owners of VW ID models now again find that they will receive updates to a new software, version 3.2, and once again find that they have to go to a workshop to get the job done.

This means waiting, and maybe more waiting. Especially if you’ve already had a relatively new version — 3.0 or later — before. Then you’re last in the queue, because Elbil24 knows that VW seems to prioritize those with older versions of the software first.

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This in itself is normal, as not everyone has updated to the latest version as the battery also needs to be replaced. But the fact that those who have already done so have to be logged in goes against the theory surrounding the OTA functionality, which is precisely that you don’t have to be logged in.

However, Elbil24 is now learning that time perspective specifically is used as a reason why cars must enter, and that it will go faster that way.

World's first: Volkswagen announced itself as the world's first volume manufacturer with OTA updates.

World’s first: Volkswagen announced itself as the world’s first volume manufacturer with OTA updates.
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At least a year ago, Volkswagen stood up at the annual convention and announced that it was the first volume manufacturer to offer OTA technology in its cars. Now, a year later, they’ve been stopped in OTA functionality and size, at least in Norway.

The Volkswagen ID Series is built on the Volkswagen Group’s common MEB platform, a platform it shares with other brands, Audi, Skoda and Cupra. As far as other brands are concerned, nothing has been revealed yet that these should go in for a physical software update, but it could still happen. There are far more cars on the road than Volkswagen with this platform, so the large number may be a direct culprit in this regard. This is a bit backwards in the bird’s box, as the whole point of an OTA is to make operations easier, for both owners and the car manufacturer.

Ioniq 6 on a long trip: - You've never experienced this kind of consumption!

Ioniq 6 on a long trip: – You’ve never experienced this kind of consumption!

Many layers and levels

OTA updates are a recurring buzzword we talk about a lot in the auto industry. Tesla was early on, and is releasing updates on road cars almost monthly.

But then Tesla was also early on creating a car built around the same software, unlike with cars on the MEB platform. Here, they’re still putting software into cars as a secondary device, with far greater limitations and challenges than, say, Tesla and their similar expertise.

We constantly meet car manufacturers who choose to feature OTA as a function, but in most cases it has to do with updating infotainment systems and map systems for navigation. Few delve into the depths in the same way as a certain American.

Difficult childbirth

Volkswagen has struggled since day one when it comes to software, and heads are getting in the way within the German company. With ID.7 they’ve taken a big step in the right direction, but here it’s also the platform itself that sets limits. So far the first Volkswagen to actually be built around the program has been said to be on the market in 2026, and has so far been referred to as the new Trinity project, but changes along the way have also been announced here.

Meanwhile, other companies will take action much faster, not least Chinese manufacturers. We recently drove a new generation of Xpeng this week, in the form of the upcoming G9 SUV. This is a car that, like Tesla, is software-driven, and it’s like stepping into a completely different world.

No, 800V charging is not automatically faster than 400V charging

No, 800V charging is not automatically faster than 400V charging

The first sketches of the MEB platform were drawn in 2015, eight years ago. We are already seeing signs of wear and tear, simply because development in competitors is so fast, and because the MEB platform has obvious limitations.

We wouldn’t go so far as to call the MEB platform obsolete, but it has to go through major upgrades in order to keep up with the rapid development on other fronts, when cars have to come in for those upgrades.

So it remains to be seen if Volkswagen will manage to keep up with the race in this area, or if it will have to hit the big reset button earlier than initially planned. As for the VW Group, it still has plans to launch more MEB cars, and it will be launched with the intention of living in a model generation of cars, which has historically been seven years in the automotive industry.

What is certain today is that development from here will continue at a rapid pace, so it remains to be seen who will be able to keep up. In any case, the solution in the future will not be to travel to a workshop for an OTA. It simply defeats the whole point of OTA updates.