- Nikola is voluntarily recalling its battery electric trucks because of a fire hazard issue tied to a battery pack component, the company announced Friday.
- The manufacturer is alerting the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about the 209 Tre BEVs affected by the issue and is currently placing a hold on new sales of the Class 8 truck.
- Nikola brought in a third-party investigator to examine the issue after a battery pack caught fire at its Arizona headquarters in June. The outside firm found the fire was likely caused by a coolant leak inside the pack.
The recall provides some clarity over the June 23 truck fire at the company’s headquarters in Arizona, in which the company initially said it suspected foul play. A "minor thermal incident" also affected an engineering validation truck parked at its Coolidge, Arizona, plant on Aug. 10.
Nikola monitors its trucks with real-time systems, and the company said only two battery packs have caught fire out of over 3,100 packs on trucks produced to date.
“Efforts are underway to provide a field remedy in the coming weeks,” the company said in a statement, adding that repairs are also expected in that timeframe.
The Class 8 trucks can remain operating, but those in possession of the vehicles should keep the Main Battery Disconnect switch in an on position at all times and park the BEVs outside, according to the company. The measures are meant to allow real-time data monitoring for safety.
Nikola’s hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles, are unaffected by the issue, due to a different design.
The OEM isn’t alone in fire risks connected with electric truck batteries. Volvo Trucks North America began recalling 172 VNR Electric vehicles late last month, and Volvo Group’s Mack Trucks subsidiary did the same for nine LR Electric trucks because components could over-tighten, causing a short circuit and leading to a fire.