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Nikola launches probe into 209 Tre BEV trucks, halts sales over battery safety issue

The zero-emissions truck company said that repairs are underway to provide a field fix in the upcoming weeks

The Phoenix-based truck manufacture, Nikola, who produces Class 8 trucks with battery and hydrogen power, is recalling 209 Tre BEV trucks and has temporarily stopped new sales.

The actions follow the investigation of a truck fire that occurred in June at Nikola’s headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona. The manufacturer said it was suspicious of foul play since a vehicle was seen near the property close to the time of the incident, but at the time, the cause of the fire is still unknown.

However, the theory that several Tre BEV trucks caught fire outside has been debunked since the results of the initial inquiry indicate that a coolant leak within a single battery pack was most likely what started the fire. Nikola claims that a tiny heat incident involving one pack on an engineering validation vehicle parked at the business’s Coolidge, Arizona, facility on August 10 further supported the findings.

Sales have been temporarily halted until the Arizona-based company completes the voluntary recall file with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The zero-emissions truck company said that repairs are underway to provide a field fix in the upcoming weeks and that a single supplier component within the battery pack was identified as the likely source of the coolant leak.

“At Nikola, we take safety very seriously,” said the company’s CEO Steve Girsky. “We stated from the start that as soon as our investigations were finished, we would provide an update, and we will continue our transparency as we learn more.” 

Although the affected vehicles can still be utilized, Nikola urges all customers and dealers to act right away in the following ways:

  • Consider parking trucks outside for over-the-air updates and better contact with Fleet Command, Nikola’s truck monitoring system.
  • Keep the Main Battery Disconnect (MBD) switch in the “ON” position at all times. 
  • Additionally, the problem does not affect the company’s hydrogen fuel-cell trucks, which are now in production and whose deliveries are scheduled to start in Q3.

Only two battery packs out of more than 3,100 packs on trucks made to date—less than 0.07 percent—have encountered a “heat incident,” according to Nikola, whose software tools are being utilized in real-time to monitor trucks in the field.

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Jaelyn Campbell
Jaelyn Campbell
Jaelyn Campbell is a staff writer/reporter for CBT News. She is a recent honors cum laude graduate with a BFA in Mass Media from Valdosta State University. Jaelyn is an enthusiastic creator with more than four years of experience in corporate communications, editing, broadcasting, and writing. Her articles in The Spectator, her hometown newspaper, changed how people perceive virtual reality. She connects her readers to the facts while providing them a voice to understand the challenges of being an entrepreneur in the digital world.

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