VW Group’s Past Returns: The Tale of the Felicity Ace Saga

Porsche EV Blamed for Massive Cargo Ship Fire and Car Loss in Dual Lawsuits

Volkswagen is being confronted with a lawsuit in Germany over the Felicity Ace incident. Claims have arisen, indicating that a Porsche electric vehicle (most likely a Taycan) was responsible for the explosive fire that led to the sinking of numerous luxury cars in the Atlantic Ocean in 2022.

According to a representative from the tribunal, as reported by Bloomberg, a legal complaint was filed by multiple claimants, including Mitsui OSK Lines and Allianz SE, a company that provides insurance for the sunken car carrier.

According to reports, a lawsuit was filed in 2023 but has been temporarily suspended as mediation discussions are taking place for another court case. However, it is anticipated that both legal actions will move forward should a resolution not be reached. The complainants assert that the fire originated from a Porsche electric car’s lithium-ion battery. Additionally, they contend that the German car manufacturer failed to inform them of the hazards associated with transporting electric vehicles and the necessary precautions for their safe shipment.

The presiding judges of the ongoing lawsuits have yet to analyze the evidence, while the concerned parties continue to examine the necessary guarantees before the case can progress. Although Volkswagen has acknowledged the presence of these legal actions, they declined to provide any statements regarding the issue.

During the month of February in 2022, a fire erupted on board the Felicity Ace as it sailed near the Azores archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean. The crew, totaling 22 members, were swiftly rescued by the Portuguese navy, who were quick to take action in the face of this disastrous situation. As a result of the blazing inferno, the ship was left to drift aimlessly, carrying valuable vehicles from various brands under the VW Group name. Despite the grave circumstances, all individuals were fortunately saved and no lives were lost.

Around 4,000 automobiles were consigned to a submerged resting place, with some being more exceptional than others. Within the collection of ruined vehicles were over 1,000 Porsches, numerous Lamborghinis (including 15 Aventador Ultimaes), and a total of 189 Bentleys.

Although the majority of the recently purchased cars on board the ship were replaced, a small number of pre-owned vehicles on the Felicity Ace were forever lost. ImportInfo, an online database for import records, reports that a few aged cars, such as a JDM Honda Prelude and a BMW 750Li (E66), were among those destroyed in the blaze.

The cost of damages is approximately $500 million, as calculated by experts. In the aftermath of the fire, Mitsui OSK Lines announced its decision to discontinue the shipping of secondhand electric cars. However, they will continue to allow hybrids to be transported on their carriers.

“We have decided to review our standards for accepting used vehicles and have decided to suspend accepting [bookings] of used battery electric vehicles for the time being,” stated a spokesperson for the shipping company. This decision was made in response to the growing concern over the safety and reliability of used electric vehicles. The company has recognized the need to reassess their standards and ensure that they are meeting the highest level of quality and safety for their customers. As such, they have temporarily suspended the acceptance of used battery electric vehicles until further notice. This move reflects the company’s commitment to providing the best service possible and prioritizing the satisfaction and safety of their clients.

In the previous year, the Fremantle Highway cargo vessel was also engulfed in flames, resulting in the complete destruction of countless automobiles.

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