Chinese EV firm WM Motor is facing scrutiny amid rumors of reduced electricity storage, causing the cruising range to decline significantly. The firm refused to respond, causing many car owners to take legal measures to safeguard their rights. As of 15:00 on February 10, WM Motor had not made an official response to the matter.
WM Motor carried out a New Year-related activity from December 23, 2021 to January 15, 2022. According to the stipulations, lucky car owners randomly selected “will receive a comprehensive vehicle inspection and a 200-yuan JD.com shopping card.” However, many people found that after the comprehensive inspection, the cruising range of their vehicles was greatly reduced.
One WM Motor EX5 consumer took to social media, saying that after participating in the activity, the car’s available electricity consumption decreased significantly. The venting voltage of the battery increased from 333 V to 340 V while the full voltage decreased from 407.5 V to 396 V. The actual battery life decreased by nearly 20%. The consumer also said that the car with a battery life of 403 km now only has a battery life of only over 200 kilometers in winter, which is far from enough for meeting daily needs.
According to Jiemian News, on January 10, 173 car owners jointly sent a lawyer’s letter to WM Motor, demanding that the car company admit to its “locking electricity,” stop false promotion within seven days and stop infringing users’ rights and interests. They require the car company to take responsibility, make up for major safety defects and compensate car owners for losses. WM Motor is also required to apologize publicly, and actively respond to users’ legitimate demands.
“Locking electricity” refers to automobile companies restricting battery power by rewriting the battery management system (BMS) to change the battery capacity and the charging and discharging speed. This would limit the charging capacity and total discharging power of the battery, which eventually leads to a significant decrease in vehicle’s cruising range.
Some has assessed that WM Motor’s “locking” of its vehicles’ electricity may be for safety reasons. It is reported that WM Motor EX5 has had many battery safety incidents last year. On December 20, 2021, a WM Motor EX5 in Zhengzhou, Henan province, spontaneously ignited during charging. On December 22nd and 23rd, two WM Motor EX5s caught fire in Hainan province.