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124,000 electric and PHEV cars from VW, Audi and Porsche could be recalled due to poisonous cadmium

The Volkswagen group confirmed that it might have to recall as many as 124,000 electric and hybrid cars from its VW, Audi and Porsche brands due to poisonous cadmium finding its way into a charger component. 

Following a report from the German magazine Wirtschaftswoche, VW has confirmed that it is currently in discussions with Kraftfahrtbundesamt (KBA), the German road authority, over the potential recall.

A spokesperson for the German automaker said:

“A corresponding recall order by the KBA is currently in clarification,”

The issue is that a heavy metal called cadmium, which can be dangerous and is largely prohibited in auto parts, has been found in a charger supplied to the group for all-electric and plug-in hybrids made by VW, Audi, and Porsche from 2013 and up until last month.

The automakers have briefly halted production of all affected vehicles until it could use a new part, which has already been done, according to VW.

VW informed KBA last month that the part contained 0.008 grams of cadmium per device.

The KBA is reportedly pushing for the recall, but the German automaker says it wouldn’t affect the health of passengers or drivers because it is “installed in a solid housing inside the charger, which in turn is enclosed by a solid housing.”

Yet, the regulatory group is worried about where the material would end up at the end-of-life of the vehicles.

They have yet to officially issue a recall and inform the owners of the affected vehicles, which could be 124,000 electric and hybrid cars.

Electrek’s Take

In the early days of electric vehicles, there were some worries about having to sit on top of such a powerful battery pack with a lot of different materials in there. Those worries have been mostly dispelled by studies, but things like that certainly don’t help the case.

Fortunately, it should be possible to simply replace the part and therefore, it shouldn’t result in some sort of major setback for electric vehicle deployment since we are talking about a fairly big number here.

We will keep you informed about how the recall plays out.

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