PHEV Loss of Km Range with Battery.

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Acgm
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Re: PHEV Loss of Km Range with Battery.

Post by Acgm »

I’m currently in discussions with MMA re battery in a less than 5 year old from sale 2014 model PHEV with less than 90k km travelled that has battery at dealer confirmed more than 30% SOH degradation. Awaiting further response from MMA thus far but keen to hear from others with this experience how it went for them (J Cooper we have connected with each other on this already recently and nothing new to comment from my experience yet).
live2fly
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Re: PHEV Loss of Km Range with Battery.

Post by live2fly »

Hi,

I'm in a similar position and I would appreciate any advice you can offer about who to contact at MMA and the best order in which to do things.
I'm currently in WA but will be moving to VIC in a few weeks.

Rolf
vjake
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Re: PHEV Loss of Km Range with Battery.

Post by vjake »

Hello,
We have been trying to negotiate this with MMA since November last year with no resolution, most recently I have involved our state office of fair trading and MMA are still denying any claim that there is a problem and that battery degradation of 37% is normal. I have provided the old website information, and explained that this level of drop is almost double what was expected when we purchased it second hand in 2017. They aren't budging, if anyone has had recent success I would really appreciate assistance with the wording and the best way to approach this. The office of fair trading has suggested we take it to QCAT (the independent tribunal in Qld), I'm still deciding how best to proceed. I certainly would not have purchased this car if I had known how quickly the battery would fail.
live2fly
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Re: PHEV Loss of Km Range with Battery.

Post by live2fly »

I have now contacted MMA and indicated that the battery degradation was excessive. They responded that it was normal and that the battery needed to be tested by a dealer. This was done this week with the result showing that it was down to about 64% after less than 50,000 EVkms. This is clearly not the 20% loss over 10 years. This is also a clear indication that either the battery was manufactured from sub standard materials or that the BMS has ruined the battery. Either way the fault has to lie with Mitsubishi for designing a car that failed.
It does not matter if he degradation was due to the BMS overcharging or over-discharging the battery as these parameters are set by Mitsubishi.
It does not matter if the battery was damaged by high temperatures as Mitsubishi designed the cooling system.

I have worked with batteries of many chemistries for decades and I can tell you that for example with LIFEPO4 a good quality battery will deliver between 2000 and 5000 cycles at 80% DOD before it loses 20% of it's capacity. My PHEV battery has had only 1000 charge cycles and it is already below 65%.

I can understand that MMA are running a business and that they want to maximize their profit and minimize their expenses.

But, the average life expectancy of most cars is close to 20 years and even then the fuel consumption and features should be close to new.

If the Outlander PHEV only has a useful life of 5 years an a PHEV and then becomes just a HEV the extra weight of he battery now increases fuel consumption.

When you consider the manufacturing energy cost this vehicle needs to operate for about 7 years to offset it's initial extra carbon emissions when compared to an equivalent combustion engine vehicle. I think that if Mitsubishi care about the environment and have any intent to deliver a vehicle that results in a better outcome for the planet, they have no choice but to replace batteries that have degraded to the point where they make the vehicle unusable as a PHEV.

I appreciate that Mitsubishi were one of the first to produce a PHEV that was widely available, I also appreciate that they took a risk in leading the market as there were unknowns regarding battery life, however this risk was taken by a massive corporation, not by the current owners of the vehicle.

All manner of EVs and battery storage systems have proved beyond any doubt that the lithium chemistry is capable of at least 2000 charge cycles before there is more than 20% degradation, if these batteries show more than that then they are defective.

I will continue to push for MMA to do the right thing by replacing the battery, I can only hope that the new batteries or BMUs have software improvements that result in a better life.

If the short life is due to inadequate cooling or demanding too much power from the pack then the issue is likely to re-occur.

I think Mitsubishi produced a great vehicle and I think they got many things right. I believe that they will do the right thing and rectify these issues.

I will keep pushing MMA for a resolution to the issue and continue to escalate it as necessary.

Many owners in Australia have had their batteries replaced once they demonstrate an unreasonable loss of capacity, I think MMA should prefer to deal with each owner on a case by case basis.
However if they start refusing to cooperate the next option would be a class action by owners. This would result in tremendous bad PR for MMA and they would be be in a worse position at the end of it, I don't believe they would choose this path.

I'm happy to discuss this with anyone, PM me for my email address.
Darkflow
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Re: PHEV Loss of Km Range with Battery.

Post by Darkflow »

They've obviously decided that stonewalling is going to be their new approach. I've yet to start down this path, and my 2014.5 vehicle is low-use with battery only just under 80% anyway, but will be watching with interest. A serious class action threat may well do wonders, but would take some organising, particularly as most owners will have no idea that there is even an issue.
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Re: PHEV Loss of Km Range with Battery.

Post by zzcoopej »

live2fly wrote: Sat, 13 Feb 2021, 18:00 But, the average life expectancy of most cars is close to 20 years and even then the fuel consumption and features should be close to new.

If the Outlander PHEV only has a useful life of 5 years an a PHEV and then becomes just a HEV the extra weight of he battery now increases fuel consumption.
It sounds like staff changes may have altered the MMAL response to battery warranty claims. Don't give up.

I have a copy of a letter from MMAL (referenced in the "Unplugged EV" uTube channel) to do with the warranty battery replacements which states -

"For the avoidance of doubt MMAL considers the life of a vehicle to be ten years".

This relates to the original claim on the PHEV website that -

"The battery is not a service item which is expected to need replacement during the vehicle's life ...."

Are you dealing with MMAL in Adelaide either by email or letter so you have a documented history of discussion?
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live2fly
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Re: PHEV Loss of Km Range with Battery.

Post by live2fly »

Yes, I am dealing with MMAL in Adelaide.

As they put Private and Confidential into the email message I won't copy and paste it here, but I can summaries their points.

Their current website contains a disclaimer that the battery is not a service item, that it degrades over time, that degradation is normal for batteries and that it does not affect the use of the vehicle (beyond making it pointless to own as an PHEV).

Their current website does not state that the vehicle would operate like new for 10 years.

There is no evidence of a manufacturing defect and so there is no possible claim.

Obviously I can't agree with any of these points.

What is on the current website is irrelevant, that was on their website then the vehicle was initially sold is the only important thing.

A precedent has been set, not just in Australia, but globally for batteries to be replaced if they degrade to the point where they are no longer able to provide 80% of the design range of the vehicle within the first 10 years.

As I mentioned before the life of this battery depends on how it is treated, 2000 cycles @ 80% DOD is normal for this battery chemistry. Having nearly 40% loss after just 1000 cycles is not.

They mention Temperature and charging equipment as reasons for degradation, but again I have to point out that the BMU and BMS is responsible for looking after the battery, it will limit charge and discharge current to levels set by the manufacturer. In the same way the BMS will limit use based on temperature to protect the battery. If the BMS has failed to protect the battery it can only be due to the manufacturer having programmed it with incorrect parameters.

You can't blame a customer for driving a car in the way it was advertised or for charging it with the supplied charger.

I totally understand that it would be unreasonable not to expect deterioration from a 10 year old car or a car that has done 200,000kms. But to lose 40% of the battery capacity in the first 5 years and 50,000kms is clearly not reasonable degradation.

I will keep pushing back with these arguments.

I think the manufacturer needs to look at vehicles on a case by case basis, and take into account the age and mileage of each vehicle, this still gives them some control over the process and limits them to only replacing batteries that have degraded significantly.

But I am quite serious that if they absolutely refuse to be reasonable a class action would be the next option.
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zzcoopej
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Re: PHEV Loss of Km Range with Battery.

Post by zzcoopej »

live2fly wrote: Mon, 15 Feb 2021, 12:47 As they put Private and Confidential into the email message I won't copy and paste it here, but I can summaries their points.
Is this the same wording as you received? If so, nothing has changed.


Thank you for your concern regarding reduced EV range in your vehicle.

Due to the nature of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, it is normal to experience a gradual reduction in drive battery capacity over time. This does not necessarily indicate a manufacturing concern with the battery, but more a gradual change in the lithium-ion battery’s internal chemical composition. The rate at which this degradation occurs is based on the usage conditions, storage conditions, and charge/discharge cycles experienced by the battery.

There are two main types of degradation – Cyclic Degradation (degradation due to discharge/charge) and Calendar Degradation (degradation due to time). Factors that accelerate cyclic degradation are high discharge/charge rates, high energy demands at high/low battery state of charge, and complete battery discharge situations. Factors that accelerate calendar degradation are amount of time in service, high ambient temperatures in storage (when the vehicle is not in use) and high battery state of charge when in storage.

Degradation occurs when the Solid Electrolyte Interface (SEI - a thin layer formed between the battery electrodes and battery electrolyte) grows due to normal electron transfer within the battery (during discharge or charging operations). As this SEI increases in size, it not only inhibits electron flow within the battery, but the growth itself is due to the SEI consuming some of the battery’s active materials (reducing capacity and performance).

When calculating battery degradation, the remaining capacity of the battery recorded in the Battery Monitoring Unit (BMU), with the EV battery at full charge, is compared to the new battery capacity amount. As EV range estimation (in the combination meter) is continually changing depending on driving history, it cannot be used to accurately determine degradation or remaining battery capacity.

As the vehicle’s EV battery is monitored by a Battery Monitoring Unit (BMU), any abnormal degradation of individual cells will be identified by the BMU and a warning light illuminated to alert the driver to a concern with the EV battery system. Degradation that occurs evenly across the EV battery cells is considered normal. As such, it will not be indicated as a concern by the BMU and does not indicate a manufacturing defect.

As the cause of this concern is not considered a manufacturing defect, replacement of the battery is not covered under the terms and conditions of the manufacturer’s warranty.

We understand your concerns and take them seriously, as such, the first step is to have an authorised Mitsubishi PHEV dealer provide a BMU data snapshot to confirm the level of degradation.

Please let us know when the vehicle is booked in so we can contact the Service Manager.
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live2fly
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Re: PHEV Loss of Km Range with Battery.

Post by live2fly »

That was the first response, the second one is different wording.
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Re: PHEV Loss of Km Range with Battery.

Post by vjake »

Yes, we also received the same response initially and they then gave another one when pushed by the qld office of fair trade
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