After software update, error warns EV owner “Vehicle may not be drivable”

“The rear doors wouldn’t open and I could see that as a problem if there was an accident.”

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An over-the-air software update has temporarily transformed a Lucid Air owner’s luxury electric vehicle into an expensive piece of steel and aluminum, Lucid initiate reportsforcing it to wait for a fix.

Technically speaking, the vehicle could still be put in and out of gear, but the owner was unwilling to take any chances given the worrying error this caused him.

A image uploaded by the Arizona-based owner, who goes through Alex on the lucid owners forum, displays a warning message on the console stating “software update failed, vehicle cannot be driven”, accompanied by a large red warning triangle.

This kind of message does not really encourage trust. Either a vehicle is “drivable” or it is not – a confusion that could potentially lead to an accident.


The incident highlights some strange new issues for software-driven connected vehicles. Just like software bugs that plague other personal electronic devices like smartphones or laptops, a faulty software update can also crash your next drive.

That’s largely because electric vehicles in particular are becoming increasingly reliant on sophisticated software designed to handle everything from opening the glove compartment to semi-autonomous driving on public roads.

For Alex, the saga lasted quite a while.

“I patiently waited 3 or 4 hours thinking the update was still in progress,” he wrote. “The car was totally dead to the extent that I couldn’t unlock the doors with any method.”

Alex then climbed into the trunk of the vehicle and crawled to the front seat to “mechanically” open the doors.

“The rear doors wouldn’t open and I could see that as a problem if there was an accident,” he wrote.

Fortunately, the problem seems to have resolved itself.

“Everything looks normal on the car,” Alex wrote in an updatethe service center advising him not to try “another update if it gets pushed back until they get a better grip on it”.

With automakers becoming increasingly reliant on over-the-air updates, we’re likely to see many more incidents like this, to the detriment of early adopters who believe in an electrified future.

READ MORE: Live update turns a lucid air into a big shiny brick [Carscoops]

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