dparson
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 8:47 pm

Re: Error: Electrical System. Stop!

Thu Jun 10, 2021 2:15 pm

Really too bad about all of this, love the car but it seems like VW isn't quite ready to handle maintaining their electric vehicles, at least not this model. And I'm seeing now that maintenance cost savings are much less of a guarantee. Here's the story:

My 2015 eGolf with 79K miles had an "Electrical System Error: Service Required" error. The car would still drive but would not charge. VW replaced the 12V battery and that did not fix the problem, and that is all the dealership's personnel could do. A special electric car tech was sent for further troubleshooting and one of the main battery's sub-modules was found to have failed. Parts had to be ordered from Germany (car is in California) and 3.5 weeks later the repair was complete. I was told the fix would have been $5000 to $6000 if not for the warranty, which expires at 100K miles (corrected).

My thoughts are that this should have been an easy repair since the battery is modular and parts should at least be on hand somewhere within the US. Due to this experience, I am going to warn friends and family about purchasing an electric vehicle from legacy manufacturers for now. Since we're dependent on dealerships to maintain these vehicles, and since they have little to no experience with them, parts may not be in stock and the technical expertise will be missing for years to come. And the maintenance cost savings idea fails if a simple sub-module replacement costs that much.
Last edited by dparson on Thu Jun 10, 2021 7:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
2015 e-Golf SEL Premium

f1geek
Posts: 917
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2015 1:18 pm
Location: SF Bay Area

Re: Error: Electrical System. Stop!

Thu Jun 10, 2021 3:06 pm

Thanks for info. Isn't battery pack warranty 8 years or 100k miles? I think "easy repair" is relative. Dropping the pack doesn't look that easy to me. But I suppose Tesla would replace the entire pack instead of changing modules for Model S or X, but maybe not for Model 3 or Y.

Did you use OBDEleven or another OBD II software to look at cell voltages? Which module was replaced?

You might want to warn people away from cars with passively cooled battery packs, but I bet the vast majority of cars with liquid cooled packs do not have failures like this.
2017 e-Golf LE, Multi Coat White with Black Vegan Leather interior

dparson
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 8:47 pm

Re: Error: Electrical System. Stop!

Thu Jun 10, 2021 7:17 pm

You're right, I saw 100K listed online as well and called the dealer and they confirmed, thanks! The service consultant gave me the incorrect 80K mile warranty figure.

I don't have any diagnostic hardware but the service consultant said 1 of the 27 battery pack modules that make up the battery was replaced. The modular nature of the battery was a selling point VW made, and they explained how easy it would be to service the battery should any issue arise. Ironically the service consultant was mentioning this same selling point when I asked what it would have cost if not under warranty, and she reconsidered her statement when she looked up the price. It was a sobering moment for the both of us.

Unfortunately the type of battery cooling is not my concern, it's reasonable to think something drivetrain related will break and need to be replaced no matter the technology. It's really about manufacturers and their dealerships and whether or not they have access to parts, equipment, and training to service their electric cars for a reasonable price. Once VW got these 3 things in place, it actually took them less than 1 day to diagnose and fix the car. The problem is it took 3.5 weeks and $5000-$6000 to get there. I once helped replace an engine transmission and that was a relatively difficult job compared to what VW had to do, this job took 3 hard days and was half the quoted price of this comparably simple battery module replacement. I went into the purchase having been told maintenance will be cheap and easy, but this experience obviously shows otherwise. If the warranty had expired, this 1 simple issue would have cost more than all the maintenance of my previous gas car money-wise, and it did cost more time-wise than all the maintenance of my previous car. That was an eye-opener. So my warning is legacy manufacturers, at least VW, need more time to get service time and costs under control. Be prepared to help them with their transition on this front as well.
Last edited by dparson on Thu Jun 10, 2021 8:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.
2015 e-Golf SEL Premium

BayAreaeGolf
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Jun 11, 2020 3:20 pm

Re: Error: Electrical System. Stop!

Thu Jun 10, 2021 8:25 pm

I do believe within the next ten years electric cars will be cheaper to build and significantly more reliable than gas cars, besides being obviously cheaper to run. Clearly VW missed something when it came to reliability testing for the eGolf, which might be why it was discontinued. The fact that dealerships don't have the ability to quicky diagnose and address these issues is a big problem, as the previous post said, and VW is responsible for that.

f1geek
Posts: 917
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2015 1:18 pm
Location: SF Bay Area

Re: Error: Electrical System. Stop!

Fri Jun 11, 2021 7:21 am

I do hope it takes much less than 10 years for OEMs to get equivalent repair times as ICE (2-3 years, I hope). I agree cost and time are way too high. Consumer Reports found Nissan Leaf is the most reliable car you can buy, but of course those oil teat suckers then said it’s not exciting enough to drive. A well made EV should have much lower total cost of ownership and let’s hope the latest batch from Ford, Hyundai, VW, etc. are designed and built well.

I had hoped to get 150,000 miles out of the e-Golf but if I start commuting by train, due to my job moving locations, it may sit unused quite a lot.
2017 e-Golf LE, Multi Coat White with Black Vegan Leather interior

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