2020 Porsche Taycan Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Engine, battery and serious electrical issues are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owner

Updated on Author: Brian Jones | Reviewer: Sergei Lemberg

When it comes to luxury cars, few are as recognizable as the first ever 2020 Porsche Taycan. The automaker’s tagline is “there is no substitute,” but some customers have been actively searching for one. With defective electrical systems, malfunctioning engine configurations, and various safety concerns, this expensive EV is eliciting an increased number of consumer complaints.

Click on other model years to view more problems: 2021   2022

What are the Most Common Problems with the 2020 Porsche Taycan

Porsche’s first electric vehicle, the 2020 Taycan, made its official debut in September 2019. According to a Porsche media release, by December 2020, they had sold more than 4,000 cars. By October 13, 2020, complaints were being filed with the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA). That year there were only 4, but they were all linked to engine and/or electrical problems. By December 12, 2022, there were another 44 complaints, 31 about the electrical system, including battery issues, and 12 about the engine.

In terms of numbers, 7 powertrain issues are next on the list. But more than half of these are also categorized by consumers as being electrical and/or engine problems. Additionally, the fuel/propulsion system and brakes have attracted 3 complaints each, and forward collision avoidance and steering 2 each. Most of these are mentioned in at least 2 categories, including the electrical system and engine.

One complaint listed only in the fuel/propulsion system category states that the high voltage battery failed without warning. The driver couldn’t put the car into gear or move it. At the time of the complaint, the car had been with Porsche for 47 days with no resolution.

There are also complaints about:

  • Back-over prevention A highly distorted backup camera that is considered to be a hazard for pedestrians.
  • Visibility/wiper Another complaint about the backup camera being highly distorted and a hazard to those walking across the backup path of the car.
  • Equipment Safety concerns about the mobile charger overheating and becoming a fire risk.
  • Vehicle speed control Acceleration issues that almost led to an accident.

There are also complaints on other platforms, including Edmunds. Then there are the recalls and an NHTSA Office of Defects (ODI) investigation.

Complaints on Edmunds

While half of the complaints on Edmunds give the car five stars, the rest have awarded 1-3 stars, effectively dropping the average rating to 3.6. Most of the complaints are about constant software problems, the battery of the car, as well as brakes failing, the charger overheating, and poor support or service from Porsche. They “continue to ship new cars knowing there are major faults,” says one 1-star complaint dated October 17, 2021.

A 2-star complaint from December 2021, states: “The car drives well, but the software is so problematic that Porsche should stop producing cars until they replace all the hardware and software of the cars. Porschegate. Shame on them that they try to keep it (a) secret.”

Recalls and Investigations

There are a total of 7 recalls on the 2020 Porsche Taycan, the first of which relates to the electrical system and engine. This warns that potentially, 10,373 Taycans have a software error that causes a loss of motive power. If the monitoring software incorrectly detects a fault, it can shut down the powertrain increasing the risk of a crash.

Other recalls relate to back-over prevention, exterior lighting, the seats, seat belts, service and hydraulic brakes, and suspension.

The investigation, which was open from May 17, 2021, until December 23, 2021, was initiated by the ODI because of complaints received alleging a loss of motive power at any speed without any warning. All the complaints also stated that a battery fault displayed during or after the car stalled.

And it wasn’t only the 2020 model that was affected. The investigation included the 2021 model year as well.

It turned out to be a software malfunction caused by a pulse-controlled inverter mounted on the drive modules on the front and rear axles. The ODI states that the software was designed to continuously monitor between the safety-related electronic control units (ECUs). If the ECUs malfunction, they can “set an error memory entry, and trigger a shutdown of the powertrain, resulting in loss of motive power. If this occurs, the affected vehicles display the warning message ‘Motor control error. Stop vehicle in a safe place’ in the instrument cluster.

Porsche corrected the software malfunction in all new cars and launched the safety recall mentioned above on June 29, 2021. However, the NHTSA states that it “reserves the right to take additional action if warranted by new circumstances.” With NHTSA loss of motive power complaints still a reality, many people are wondering when and if this will happen.

2020 Porsche Taycan Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Electrical System
Electrical System:propulsion System
Power Train
Fuel/propulsion System
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
Service Brakes
Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
Unknown Or Other

Electrical System Problems

As an electric vehicle, it’s a given that the electrical system in every single Taycan would be top-notch. But the problems Taycan drivers are experiencing place serious doubt on this assumption..Not surprisingly, NHTSA complaints about the electrical system focus on a loss of motive power and battery failures. As recently as December 2, 2022, a driver from New York was faced with an error message: “Electrical system error Park vehicle in a safe place.” This is similar, if not the same, as the error message noted by the ODI during its investigation into loss of motive power.

Another electrical system complaint from someone in Illinois mentions the same  as this. This happened in April 2022, and the complaint states: “ I had to exit the freeway and shut down the vehicle and the error went away. I am hesitant to drive the vehicle, I am in the process of having the vehicle flat bedded to my dealer.”

An owner from Washington says that on April 17, 2022, his car suddenly showed an “electrical system error”. Then he was unable to get it to move. “Luckily it was parked in my garage. I can’t imagine if it was on (the) highway when your vehicle suddenly lost power. I don’t remember how many times my Taycan was recalled in (the) past year, but it looks (like) Porsche still hasn’t figured it out. Maybe it’s still a prototype.”

A complaint from California states that a Taycan S has “had all the instrument cluster displays go blank for 20-30 sec then reboot.” while driving on the freeway during the day. “Very disconcerting at best… dealer tells me this is normal! (It’s) hard to believe it’s normal. For me it’s a safety issue.”

Powertrain Affected by Electrical Issues

An owner in California experienced “Total electrical shutdown of the drivability of the car” in May 2021. It came to a sudden stop while driving in traffic and was difficult to restart. He maintains the problem is due to a powertrain control module and doesn’t mention “loss of motive power” as such.

The complaint continues, stating “I have had the car in multiple times for PCM related issues and software updates. During the most recent update they had to replace the entire PCM with a new one. The car was running fine then, then this issue happened. Porsche is continually having issues with this car all related to the PCM. It appears that the car is unsafe and my wife refuses to be in the car.

“I asked Porsche if they were aware of this problem and they said yes. Then, I asked Porsche for them to look at this car as a Lemon law car, they call this a Buy Back Program. I am still waiting to be told what is next. Porsche is saying the car is safe and has had no accidents, but they know that this car could cause an accident when shutting down with no notice. How is that considered safe? No message appeared till after the car (had) shutdown.”

Problems with the Battery

Some, but not all, electrical system complaints mention battery failure. Many say their batteries have had to be replaced.

NHTSA Complaints

The complaint from an owner in Illinois states that on two separate occasions, “the car had catastrophic failures due to the 12 V battery draining for no reason. And, (on) one occasion the car had a catastrophic failure due to the main battery system having a failure. All of this happened in the first four months of ownership. At all times the vehicle was stationary.”

Reporting that his Taycan’s 12-volt battery appeared to fail, an owner from Colorado states that he was unable to move the vehicle. “I have tried to charge the 12-volt battery but the car remains undrivable. I had the car towed to the dealership and they have said that the car needs a new 12-volt battery, but it is on backorder and that they continue to work with the factory to resolve the issue.”

An owner from Arizona also experienced “Complete battery failure. Luckily (it) occurred in a safe location and while parked.”

An owner from Texas states that the Taycan had an electrical error, lost power, and then came to a complete stop. This happened in December 2020. “I was unable to get out of the vehicle because it locked me inside. This is a safety hazard and, had I not taken precautions to exit the freeway, I may not have survived. This needs to be investigated as from what I’ve read, this has been a common issue with this vehicle. It happened first on December 16th and then again (on) December 25th. Software and the 12V battery were replaced the first time. The day after the car was picked up from service, it happened again.”

Forum Discussions

In November 2021, a 2020 Taycan owner on the Taycan EV Forum told members that after getting the “electrical system error” with his 11-month-old car, his dealer said at first that he “couldn’t find anything wrong.” But when the problem recurred a week later, he said that “the battery needs a complete overhaul.” They said Porsche was flying in an engineer from Atlanta to take it apart “and attempt to fix it.” The company did provide him with a loaner because the overhaul was going to take 6-8 weeks. He said that a month later, the battery was fixed.

Another member had the same problem and said a technician was flying in to fix “one pouch of the battery” the dealership said was faulty.

In a different thread on the same forum, a member tells how, in June 2022, he got the electrical system fault message and couldn’t drive the car. So, the dealer replaced the high voltage onboard charger under warranty. But 20 days after the “fix,” it wouldn’t start and was towed back to the dealer. The dealership decided to replace the main battery under warranty. Delivery took a month and installation a day. “Car is running fine now.”

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Engine Problems

Even though most electrical system complaints are more recent than those filed under Engine, it’s clear that Porsche Taycan electrical and engine problems are linked.Engine issues mentioned in NHTSA complaints include stalling, abrupt stopping, and losing power as described in the loss of motive power issue. Some drivers complain they were unable to restart their cars after losing power.

An owner from South Carolina emphasizes the “safety risk of having the car’s motor completely lose power on the road/highway is high, as you are then left powerless.” He describes the incident, saying: “The car shut off while driving and gave a ‘Motor control error’. The car’s interior electronics stayed on, but the car had no drive power at all. There were no warning signs or problems prior to this issue occurring”

When it happened, their first stop was their local Porsche dealer. He “looked at it and said it was a ‘one off’ type of malfunction” Additionally, the dealer “could not find any issue with the car when we brought it in.”

Complaints from California

An owner from California complained about losing “all power and control” of his Taycan on May 21, 2021, which was just after the ODI opened its loss of motive power investigation.

“I had to wrestle the vehicle to the side of the road and narrowly avoided a cliff face off into the ocean. My entire family was in the car and could have been killed. This was after Porsche was unable to fix safety systems like my active cruise control and lane keep assist which were bugging out and trying to take over control of the car. I towed it to Porsche who attempted to address the problem and claimed it was fixed with a patch. There is no way to validate the work. Porsche did not communicate during the issue and offered little in the way of resolution.”

Another owner from California complained about the engine, brakes, and steering about the same time. “I was driving on (the) freeway at 70 mph and (the) car suddenly lost power… we were in (the) furthest lane and (I) had to attempt to get the car to safety on a busy LA freeway by crossing 4 lanes. (It was) extremely scary as (I) had my children in the car… My family now refuses to get in the car for safety concerns. Thankfully traffic wasn’t at its peak as if it was, I dread to think what would have happened.”

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

When faults and malfunctions affect the use and value of a vehicle, there’s a possibility that it’s a lemon. If it is, the auto manufacturer may settle and buy back, replace, or trade in the vehicle. It happens often.

The law makes Porsche pay legal fees. So, if you think that your 2020 Porsche Taycan is a lemon, consider contacting a lemon law firm like Lemberg Law. You can call our Helpline or fill out a contact form and we will assess your problems free of charge.


Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

See more posts from Brian Jones

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