Jun 11, 2019

Why Audi's small electric vehicle recall matters

An Audi E-Tron electric SUV is displayed during the May London Motor and Tech Show. Photo: John Keeble/Getty Images

Audi yesterday announced a small and voluntary recall of its first fully electric vehicle in the U.S., the luxury E-Tron SUV, due to a fire risk.

Why it matters: Yes, recalls happen in the car industry. But it's coming at a sensitive time as the EV market is still getting off the ground.

  • Cars with a plug are still a tiny share of U.S. sales. Tesla has already had a number of fires, so more incidents with models from any automaker could create consumer doubts.

Driving the news: The VW unit said it's pulling back roughly 1,640 of the vehicles, including 540 already in customers' hands.

  • The problem is a "potentially faulty" seal that could allow water to enter the battery compartment, creating risks of short-circuits or even a fire, Audi said.
  • "We are applying an abundance of caution as no such incidents have been reported globally," Audi of America said.

What's next: Audi said they will be able to resolve the problem in the coming 6-8 weeks for affected customers. The company is offering loaner cars and a $800 cash card to cover costs.

Go deeper: Read Bloomberg's story on the recall.

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The new labor movement

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The coronavirus pandemic has had a big impact on working people, who are increasingly banding together to put pressure on employers and raise public awareness about health and safety issues they're facing on the job.

Why it matters: After years of declining union membership, a new labor movement is rising, amplified by the power of social media and fueled by concerns that workers deemed essential during the crisis are putting their lives at risk to ensure the well-being of others.

Medicaid will be a coronavirus lifeline

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Medicaid will be a lifeline for droves of Americans affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: Medicaid has long been the safety net that catches people during hard times, but a crisis of this magnitude will call upon the program — and strain states' budgets — like never before.

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Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index: Rich sheltered, poor shafted amid virus

Data: Axios/Ipsos survey. Margin of error ±2.8 points for full sample. Margin for subgroups ranges from ±5 to ±9 points. Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

The coronavirus is spreading a dangerous strain of inequality.

  • Better-off Americans are still getting paid and are free to work from home, while the poor are either forced to risk going out to work or lose their jobs.

Driving the news: This sobering reality emerges from Week 3 of our Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

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