Nikola recalls Tre BEV Trucks to fix battery-related issue
Nikola Corporation, the Arizona-based manufacturer of heavy-duty commercial battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), has confirmed that it is recalling more than 200 Tre BEV trucks to investigate an issue that caused fires in multiple units. The Phoenix, Arizona-headquartered automaker, which produces and sells battery-powered and hydrogen-powered Class 8 rigs, revealed that it recalling a total of 209 units of the Tre BEV truck. Additionally, a temporary hold has been issued on new sales of the battery-powered commercial vehicle.
The recall has been announced after a third-party investigator Exponent published the findings of its probe on incidents of the truck fires that happened in June this year at Nikola’s Phoenix-based headquarters. At the time, media outlets reported that multiple parked Tre BEV trucks caught fire. However, the source of the fire remained unknown for a long time. The vehicle producer said that it suspected foul play after a vehicle was observed around the premises in close proximity to the trucks at the time of the fire.
Now, that hypothesis is dead because an investigation revealed that a coolant leak inside the battery packs was the possible cause of the fires. The company also said that the findings of the investigation were further verified by a minor thermal incident that impacted one battery pack on an engineering validation truck, which caught fire while parked at the automaker’s Coolidge, Arizona-based assembly plant on 10th of August.
The electric truck startup explained that it identified a single supplier component within the battery pack as the likely source of the coolant leak. The company also stressed to state that efforts are underway to provide a remedy within the next few weeks. After those findings, the company quickly announced the recall to fix the battery-related issue.
Confirming the recall, Nikola Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Steve Girsky said, “At Nikola we take safety very seriously. We stated from the beginning that as soon as our investigations were concluded we would provide an update, and we will continue our transparency as we learn more.”
Meanwhile, the affected vehicles can still be used but truck owners/driver have been suggested to immediately take the following actions to prevent fires: the Main Battery Disconnect (MBD) switch needs to be placed in the “ON” position at all times, and trucks should be parked outside to allow for over-the-air (OTA) updates and better connect with Nikola’s truck monitoring system called Fleet Command.