Nikola Voluntarily Recalling Class 8 Battery-Electric Vehicles


Following a June truck fire at its Phoenix headquarters, Nikola Corp. says it working with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to voluntarily recall 209 of its Class 8 Tre battery-electric vehicles (BEVs).

Nikola had initiated a third-party investigation with Exponent, whose preliminary findings were issued last week. Exponent found that a coolant leak inside a single battery pack was found to be the probable cause of the fire. These findings were further corroborated by a minor thermal incident that impacted one pack on an engineering validation truck parked at the company’s Coolidge, Ariz., plant.

No one was injured in either incident.

Internal investigations from Nikola’s safety and engineering teams indicate a single supplier component within the battery pack as the likely source of the coolant leak, and efforts are under way to provide a field remedy in the coming weeks.

Tre BEV trucks may remain in operation, the company says, but for optimal performance and safety, the Nikola team encourages all customers and dealers to place the main battery disconnect switch into the “on” position at all times to enable real-time vehicle monitoring and safety systems operation. Nikola also says customers and dealers should consider parking trucks outside to allow for over-the-air updates and better connectivity with Fleet Command, Nikola’s truck monitoring system.

The company’s software systems are being used in real time to monitor trucks in the field closely and continually assess risks.

Thus far, only two battery packs have experienced a thermal event, out of more than 3,100 packs on trucks produced to date (less than 0.07%).

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