Nikola Corp. will voluntarily recall 209 of its Class 8 Tre battery-electric vehicles as a result of a third-party investigation into the fire that destroyed five vehicles at its Arizona headquarters on June 23. The announcement came after an impressive second-quarter finish by Nikola and a week of new developments.
“Following an August 10 presentation of preliminary findings…a coolant leak inside a single battery pack was found to be the probable cause of the truck fire,” the statement said. “The findings were further corroborated by a minor thermal incident that impacted one pack on an engineering validation truck parked at the company's Coolidge, Arizona, plant on Aug. 10. No one was injured in either incident.”
New BEV sales are also on hold until a solution can be put in place. The vehicles can still be driven but with the following precautions: Keep the main battery disconnect (MBD) switch in the "On" position at all times, and park trucks outside for over-the-air updates and better connectivity with Fleet Command, Nikola's truck monitoring system.
Of the more than 3,100 Nikola trucks produced thus far, only two have had an issue (less than 0.07%). The battery packs were made by Romeo Power, which Nikola purchased last year and is currently in the process of liquidating.
The company’s fuel cell electric trucks are not affected by the recall, since they use two battery packs made by Proterra Inc. (which recently announced its bankruptcy) instead of the BEVs’ nine packs made by Romeo.