Electric Van Maker Issues Recall, Halts Deliveries

Workhorse says modifications are needed to ensure the vehicle meets federal safety requirements.

Late last year, electric delivery van developer Workhorse Group — despite years on shaky financial footing — was riding high amid a global push to clean up last-mile logistics and its partnerships with high-profile companies.

But just nine months later, the company is beset by vehicle issues, a federal investigation and tumbling stock prices.

In the latest headline-grabbing snag, Reuters reports that Workhorse has issued a recall of its newly released van and suspended further deliveries of the vehicle in order to ensure it meets federal safety standards.

The decision, which would see 41 of the C-1000 vans recalled, follows the company’s admission last month that it would need to redesign the vehicle based on early customer feedback.

The recall, however, may represent just a small fraction of the turmoil faced by the company. A short-selling firm earlier this month issued a report disclosing an investigation into Workhorse by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The document reportedly included allegations of accounting fraud and false preorder numbers, as well as reports of complaints from the company’s customers, including logistics giants FedEx and UPS.

The company’s top leadership also recently turned over, and it has quietly backed away from a challenge to a multi-billion-dollar U.S. Postal Service contract for the next generation of postal delivery vehicles. That contract ultimately went to Wisconsin-based military vehicle maker Oshkosh Defense.

Workhorse, regarding the recall news, said it had not received any reports of safety issues from customers, and that it expects to complete the testing and modifications by the fourth quarter of this year.

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