Lucid Motors is recalling certain 2022-2023 Air electric vehicles in the US because of a potential power loss issue that may shut down the electric motors.

There are 637 Lucid Air vehicles potentially affected by this issue, which may increase the risk of a crash because of a loss of drive power. According to the company, only 6 percent of the recalled vehicles are estimated to have the defect.

Lucid says the problem is caused by the electrically activated contact switches, or contactors, which may unexpectedly open. Since the contactors transfer energy to the drive motors, power to the electric motors will be cut off if that happens.

To fix the issue, Lucid Service Centers will update the vehicle software and replace the contactor switches as necessary, free of charge. The automaker will mail notification letters to customers on April 21, 2023.

Contactors are electrically activated switches that close upon vehicle startup to transfer energy to the drive motors, and open when a vehicle is shut down.

Lucid started investigating this issue in May 2022, when a vehicle was brought for service following a loss of motive power. At that time, testing a vehicle for the spring force issue required connecting a measuring device to the vehicle during vehicle startup to observe the contactor closing signature. 

A double-dip closing signature indicates a risk of a contactor opening, though Lucid says many contactors with a double-dip signature have not had unexpected openings. 

The EV maker and supplier Sensata Technologies determined that in a small population of contactors the spring force may overcome the magnetic holding force, opening the contactors.

Replacement contactors have been redesigned to have increased magnetic holding force and have undergone additional quality screening to ensure they do not exhibit double-dip current signature when closing.

Lucid says vehicles experiencing a contactor opening may coast to a stop and should restart after a vehicle shutdown. The automaker notes these vehicles continue to have functional driving displays, power steering, and power brakes.

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