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Is Your Electric Car Safe? Jaguar I-Pace Failure Sparks Reliability Debate

Jaguar I-Pace runaway incident fuels fears about EV safety and reliability. Are we rushing electrification at the cost of our safety?

Imagine cruising in your £80,000 Jaguar I-Pace, once the pinnacle of modern electric luxury and the British automaker's flagship EV. Suddenly, it decides 100mph is the only sane speed, right after throwing a battery failure warning light on the dash and your frantic attempts to hit the brakes do absolutely nothing. That's not a nightmare or a scene from a Terminator-style movie, it's the chilling experience one driver recently faced driving down the M62 motorway which ended with a Hollywood-style heroic police chase, that used tactical manoeuvres to ram the out-of-control SUV to a halt, and preventing a potential disaster.

But here's the terrifying part: It's not an isolated incident. Jaguar may downplay it, but the I-Pace has a growing list of issues. Recalls in 2023 due to battery fire risks, and the removal of the pedestrian alert system due to confusion it caused, in-fact this very same car that made headlines was sent to the dealership less than a year ago for a very similar issue and returned in 24 hours. It paints a picture of a car rushed to market, where complex tech is failing in very public ways.

And for Jaguar, a brand already struggling with easily stolen Range Rovers and declining sales, this uncontrolled acceleration fiasco is a potential death blow to their reputation.

Jaguar Land Rover: Trouble on Two Fronts

Let's be honest, the I-Pace was never a runaway success story. It ticks the boxes for emissions targets, but real-world demand has been lukewarm. Now, forget getting folks into showrooms, this is how you actively drive them away. A potential design flaw that turns your luxury car into a runaway missile isn't just a headache, it's a major lawsuit waiting to happen. Plus, with JLR's mounting legal battles over easily stolen Range Rovers, this I-Pace disaster proves their quality control AND security systems desperately need an overhaul. 

Tesla Model 3 drives onto oncoming traffic - OpenAI generatedAre We Rushing This EV Thing?

It's not just Jaguar, though. Tesla's Autopilot is turning cars into rogue missiles. Instagram reels and videos about Teslas swerving into oncoming traffic, and leaping curbs, all while the 'self-driving' software merrily does its own thing have swarmed the internet in recent times. This isn't just "teething problems", it's fundamentally unready tech being unleashed on public roads. Sure, EVs can be great everyday cars, but these incidents scream one thing: we're treating our streets like a giant beta test, putting everyday people at risk in the process.

The Bigger Problem No One Talks About

The I-Pace incident, Tesla's autopilot woes, these aren't just software glitches. They highlight that modern EVs are complex and fundamentally different from the cars we're used to. Fly-by-wire controls, batteries with terrifying energy density if they go wrong, massive reliance on software that can be buggy even in a smartphone, let alone something that weighs well over two tons, the potential for catastrophic failure is higher than most are willing to admit.

Jaguar I-Pace JLR official press footageTalking Points

  • Jaguar's In Deep: The I-Pace was already a niche product, this could be its death knell 
  • Tesla's Not Immune: Autopilot proves even trendsetters can release half-baked tech
  • The Rush to Electrify: Are companies cutting corners to meet targets, safety be damned?
  • Future Headaches: How repairable, and reliable will EVs be long-term? And what happens to all those batteries?
  • The Price of 'Progress': Are we trading long-term reliability for short-term emissions gains?

The Long Game: Are EVs Really Ready?

This raises a question that goes beyond individual brands or models: how will these complex machines age? I love a classic car because there's always something you can fix, even if it means swearing and a scraped knuckle. An EV with fried control modules or a failing battery pack? That's an expensive paperweight, and a potential recycling nightmare. We tend to praise EVs as 'clean', and they are while running. But that end-of-life problem? No one has a good answer for it yet.

Jaguar I-Pace, Jaguar, Land Rover JLR media library

This isn't some anti-EV rant. The potential benefits are enormous, but we seem to turn a blind eye to the potential downsides. These incidents with Jaguar, Tesla, and others, they're like the proverbial canary in the coal mine. It's a harsh reminder that the tech isn’t fully cooked yet, and rushing it to market comes at a cost, potentially paid by the drivers brave enough to be early adopters.

Don't get me wrong, the shift towards EVs is most likely inevitable, and favors green mobility in the far future. But Jaguar's woes, Tesla's Autopilot chaos, these are a stark reminder that the journey there is going to be bumpy. So, fancy a gamble on a used I-Pace in a few years? Me neither. I'll stick with what I can fix, at least until these electric pioneers have proven they can handle the rough patches that come with real-world use, not drawn to big screens and bigger tech promises. Sometimes, being cutting-edge is a great way to get cut.

Bhavik Sreenath is an automotive expert, writer, and founder of Motolog Studio. With a Master's in Automotive Journalism and experience in publications like Bodyshop Magazine, he delivers compelling stories about the cars we love. From designing magazine layouts to reporting on eco-conscious practices, he brings a multifaceted perspective to automotive writing. His experience in Automotive Journalism makes him a vocal voice for car enthusiasts and industry insiders. Follow Bhavik on XLinkedInInstagram, and Facebook, to stay in touch and up-to-date with the latest EV and battery development news.



R Prendergast (not verified)    April 7, 2024 - 2:13PM

You should keep up with the news. The diver in question has been charged with dangerous driving, It seems he mistook the accelerator for the brake. Sorry to spoil your anti-JLR/Tata rant