Toronto, Ontario — VinFast’s entry into the U.S. market meets some bumps on the road, while Ford EV drivers gain access to Tesla’s Supercharger network. This is the latest in electric and autonomous vehicles.
Slow start for VinFast
Bad news for early adopters of breakout EV automaker VinFast, as the company’s very first shipment of vehicles to the U.S. has been hit with a recall from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The NHTSA’s recall notice alleges that about 999 VF 8 vehicles recently delivered to the U.S. run the risk of having their central display system fail, thus preventing drivers from seeing their speedometer, warning notifications or having access to certain controls.
Adding further insult to injury, 111 of the models expected to be affected are already in customers’ hands, while an additional 153 have been delivered to fleet services.
This defect, which was first observed by VinFast directly on April 27, is expected to be fixed by an over-the-air update delivered last Thursday.
In a somewhat surprising turn of inter-industry collaboration from Tesla, the popular EV brand recently closed a deal with Ford that will see blue oval drivers given access to Tesla’s extensive supercharger network.
This partnership will see Ford make the switch from its Combined Charging System (CCS) to the North American Charging System (NACS) used by Tesla.
The first stage of this collaboration will see Ford F-150 Lightning, Mustang Mach-E and E-Transit vehicles fitted with the CCS port access to Tesla’s V3 Superchargers. Starting in 2025, new Ford vehicles will be able to access the chargers directly, without the need of an adapter, according to the company.
Going forward, Ford drivers will now be able to charge up at any one of the 12,000 Tesla Supercharger stations in North America, in addition to the 10,000 already working in Ford’s BlueOval Charge Network.
CIECA’s electric focus
CIECA will hold its fourth EV Committee meeting on June 7, where the group will discuss the business use case for electric vehicles in addition to workflow and intake processes for EVs.
Earlier this year, CIECA launched a new committee for electric vehicle education, designed to inform and prepare the aftermarket for vehicle electrification. Meetings are held on a monthly basis, where members of the industry are invited to discuss topics like safe repair of EVs, EV estimates, finding correct parts, data security and other subjects surrounding the electrification of the North American vehicle fleet.
The goal, says CIECA’s EV Committee, is to “identify, prioritize, develop and maintain messaging, data-sharing standards and codes to help all segments of the collision industry get access to and share data that enables commerce, communications and connectivity between segments.”
Responsibilities of the committee include identifying new data sources, access and sharing requirements, in addition to new connectivity methodologies, new terminology and new data requirements to “help drive the adoption and implementation of these new technologies into all collision industry segments.”
During the committee’s first meeting on March 1, 2023, the group defined the connected car and covered how its lifecycle differs from a traditional vehicle, including transfer of sale to total loss handling. How to find repair procedures, recycling industry intake processes and recycler battery safety were also discussed, among many other topics.
“[Intake] is a big problem in our industry—how to take in a vehicle that’s been damaged from a collision. We need to define the intake process and no manufacturer has a definition to take in a compromised EV after an accident,” said one participant. Another pointed out that the CIC Committee is working on a definition.
The second meeting in April kicked off with conversations on battery disposal, battery transport, specialized tools, safety, education and general recycling. In May, the group discussed how the supply chain is impacting EV adoption across the continent.
Monthly meetings are held on the first Wednesday of every month at 12 p.m. CST; the next meeting will be held on June 7—readers should note that CIECA has the workflow for the intake process of an EV and more on the meeting docket.