Felicity Ace’s Return Sparks Recall Nightmare for Volkswagen Group

Porsche Electric Car Blamed for Cargo Ship Fire and Car Loss in Two Lawsuits

Volkswagen is currently embroiled in a legal battle in Germany over the Felicity Ace incident. It has been alleged that a Porsche electric vehicle, most likely a Taycan, was responsible for the explosive fire that led to the sinking of thousands of expensive cars in the Atlantic Ocean in the year 2022.

According to a spokesperson from the tribunal, Bloomberg discloses that a legal case has been initiated by a group of complainants such as Mitsui OSK Lines, who operated the ship, and Allianz SE, an insurance company for the car carrier that met its demise.

In 2023, a case was supposedly filed but was put on hold due to discussions for mediation regarding another court case. Nonetheless, both legal actions are predicted to continue if an agreement is not reached. The accusers assert that the outbreak of fire originated from a lithium-ion battery in a Porsche electric car. Additionally, they contend that the German car company failed to inform them about the risks involved in transporting electric vehicles and the necessary measures to ensure their secure delivery.

The presiding judges of the respective court cases have yet to thoroughly examine the evidence, while the involved parties are diligently examining the necessary collateral in order for the case to move forward. Volkswagen has acknowledged the existence of these lawsuits, but has declined to provide any further statements on the situation.

In February of 2022, the Felicity Ace was engulfed in flames near the Azores islands in the Atlantic Ocean. The Portuguese naval forces quickly responded to save the 22 individuals aboard the burning vessel, while leaving behind the unmanned ship carrying valuable vehicles from VW Group manufacturers. Fortunately, there were no casualties in this incident.

Around 4,000 automobiles met their fate at the bottom of the sea, with some holding a greater significance than others. The sunken vehicles included over 1,000 Porsches, numerous Lamborghinis (including 15 Aventador Ultimaes), and a total of 189 Bentleys.

After the majority of the recently purchased automobiles on board were replaced, the Felicity Ace still held a small number of previously owned cars that were permanently ruined. Based on ImportInfo, a database accessible to the public which tracks imports, multiple older vehicles – such as a Japanese-spec Honda Prelude and a BMW 750Li (E66) – were also ravaged in the blaze.

The estimated total cost of damages is approximately $500 million. After the fire incident, Mitsui OSK Lines announced that it will discontinue the transportation of used electric cars. Nevertheless, hybrids will continue to be allowed on their existing fleet of car carriers.

The shipping company’s spokesperson stated, “We have chosen to reassess our criteria for accepting previously owned vehicles and have made the decision to temporarily halt the acceptance of [bookings] for used battery electric vehicles.”

In the previous year, the Fremantle Highway freighter was also engulfed in flames, leading to the ruin of numerous automobiles.

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