Nissan’s most recent foray into the electric vehicle (EV) world has not been a smooth one, with the Ariya facing its second recall this year. The first recall was because the steering wheel may fall off, and this time the problem is for a potential and sudden loss of drive power.
This latest recall affects nearly 11,000 units in Canada and the US. Fortunately this time the fix is a software update, but it will require a visit to the dealer for it to be installed.
According to the recall notices posted to both the Transport Canada and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) websites, Nissan first became aware of the problem in January 2022, when during a production trial a Nissan Ariya’s electric motor suddenly shut off right after the vehicle began moving at a slow speed. A diagnostic trouble code pointed to a short circuit inside the motor. However, upon closer inspection, Nissan found no visible damage.
Upon a more extensive investigation, Nissan discovered shavings of conductive fibrous material on the slip ring end of certain electric motors. These remnants, it turned out, were leftovers from the manufacturing process. When these conductive fibrous shavings interfered with the motor’s operation, they triggered a momentary short circuit, causing the inverter to go into fail-safe mode.
By April 2022, the company had inspected all affected motors and implemented measures to prevent the occurrence of conductive fibrous shavings in future production. However despite their efforts Nissan received another report from China regarding an Ariya motor shutting down at low speed in December 2022, eight months after the problem was supposedly fixed.
Then between January 2023 and April 2023, Nissan found that conductive fibers could still be produced by the slip ring in the motor, even after the initial fix. In response, Nissan introduced an enhanced fail-safe control logic software into Ariya production in April 2023.
But even after the introduction of the improved control logic, Nissan continued to receive reports of motor shut-offs between May 2023 and September 2023. So now Nissan is initiating a recall to install the latest version of the software in the hopes that it will finally fix the problem once and for all.
In Canada 994 units are being recalled, while in the US 9,813 are being recalled. All 10,807 owners will be required to take their Ariya to their local dealer to have the new software installed. This will of course be done at no cost to the owner.
You can read the full NHTSA recall notice below, and see the recall on Transport Canada’s website here.RCLRPT-23V657-1155