VW has now confirmed to customers that some ID.4 electric SUVs were lost when the Felicity Ace cargo ship caught fire during its Atlantic ocean crossing.
(Update: 9am ET March 1st): Felicity Ace sank 220 miles off the coast of Portugal’s Azores Islands around 9 a.m. local time after being battered by waves
Earlier this month, Felicity Ace, a cargo ship transporting around 4,000 vehicles from Volkswagen-owned brands, including some of the most expensive Lamborghini and Audis in the world, caught on fire off the cost of Portugal while on its way to the United States.
The fire couldn’t be controlled within the ship, but the crew was safely evacuated.
The ship burned for days while boats sprayed water on the outside to try to cool it down. Felicity Ace is now in stable condition and is being towed back to Portugal.
Volkswagen released this comment last week:
We fear that the fire on the ship has damaged a large number of the nearly 4,000 Group-brand vehicles to such an extent that they can no longer be delivered to customers. More detailed information is not yet available. The ship’s cargo was destined for the American market. Brands and dealers have already begun informing their customers and finding individual solutions.
Volkswagen is very relieved that, according to reports from the shipowning company, no people were harmed in the fire and no oil spills were observed. The damage to the vehicles is covered by insurance. The shipowning company currently reports that there is no more smoke visible on the ship, a salvage team has now boarded the ship and tugs are towing the ship away.”
Now Electrek has confirmed that some VW ID.4 electric SUVs that were on the ship were lost.
Several customers reported receiving the following email from their local VW dealer:
“Last week, a third-part cargo ship transporting vehicles to the United states was unable to complete its voyage due to an incident on board. Most importantly all crew members are safe. However the ID.4 that you ordered was on this ship.
Getting you an ID/4 remains a top priority for us. We have already revised our production plan to put you at the front of the queue to receive a Model Year 2022 ID.4 which matches the configuration in your reservation.”
The good news is that owners now will get a 2022 model year, which comes with a few changes, including a slightly higher range.
However, the fire is expected to delay many orders, and not just for people whose cars were on the ship. Since those customers are now back at the front of the line, other people’s orders will get pushed back.
VW plans to start ID.4 production in the United States this year at its plant in Tennessee. This should alleviate some of the wait times.
It’s still not clear how many ID.4 electric SUVs were lost in the cargo ship fire. The entire value of the cargo was valued at over $100 million, according to insurers.
As a reminder, the cause of the fire is still unknown even though several media reports are trying to link it to the electric vehicles onboard.
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