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Volkswagen recalls e-Golf for...stalling?

Thanks to some overly sensitive electronics, VW's all-electric runabout could stop running without warning.

In total, this recall affects 5,561 cars, which is a drop in the bucket compared with other recent recalls of note.

Wayne Cunningham/Roadshow

Green-minded individuals like to tout electric vehicles as being more reliable than their gas-powered brethren, if only because there are far fewer moving parts. But both types of car have humans building them, and humans tend to make mistakes. Thus, we end up with a recalled electric vehicle for a problem that gas-powered cars fall prey to -- stalling.

Volkswagen issued a recall for the 2015 and 2016 e-Golf, a fully electric compact hatchback. The affected vehicles have a build date between May 21, 2014, and March 1, 2016.

According to the data sheet sent to dealers, the issue lies with the car's diagnostics system. It's overly sensitive, and it might treat a brief power surge as a "critical battery condition." If that happens, the whole high-voltage system shuts down, leaving the car without a working drive motor. At that point, you're boned -- either on the side of the road or at speed.

Thankfully, other systems like the power steering, power brakes and airbags won't deactivate, because they exist on a separate, low-voltage system. The fix doesn't require any parts swapping. Instead, it's a simple reflash of the battery-management software. Owners are being notified as of this writing, and as with all other factory recalls, the fix is free.

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