2022 Lucid Air Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electrical system, powertrain, and fuel-related issues are the main cause of complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones | Reviewer: Sergei Lemberg

Launched in the U.S. as a 2021 model, the Lucid Air is dubbed “the world’s most powerful and efficient luxury electric sedan.” Launching the 2022 model, the automaker states it sets new standards by being the “longest-range, fastest charging electric car on the market.” But complaints are mounting up. These include many different problems. But, above all else, there are serious drive system fault issues, specifically, the sedan going into limp or turtle mode.   

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2023

Most Common Problems with the 2022 Lucid Air

In terms of components and systems, the most common problems owners of the 2022 Lucid Air are complaining about relate to the electrical system, the powertrain, and the fuel/propulsion system. Many of these are interlinked, with owners blaming one or more of these components or systems in complaints.

Of these complaints, the most common is a problem that they refer to as “turtle mode.” Drivers suddenly get a warning that the driving power of the sedan is reduced, and they see an icon of a yellow turtle. The system tells them that they can drive the vehicle but warns that performance may be limited. Some complaints state that they see a hazard warning that states “Drive System Fault” and also states they should pull over and contact customer care.

Other areas of concern include airbags, the engine, forward collision avoidance, seats, and brakes.

One of the complaints to the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) about forward collision avoidance states adaptive cruise control does not slow for stopped highway traffic. “The adaptive cruise control will continue to speed at the set speed right into the rear end of stopped vehicles unless the driver disengages the adaptive cruise control.” This is rather scary for any driver since it could easily result in a high-speed rear-end collision. The complaint continues to say, “This needs to be fixed. The vehicle should slow and stop if necessary for stopped traffic.” It also claims that this is not a one-off occurrence. “This occurs all the time with all Lucid vehicles.”

In addition to the complaints, the NHTSA records that there are 4 recalls for the 2022 Lucid Air.

Recalls for the 2022 Lucid Air

One recall that may be related to the well-known turtle mode is NHTSA Campaign Number 23V110000. This states that “electric motors may shut down.” If they do, this will cause a loss of drive power and increase the risk of a crash.

This recall affects only 637 vehicles, and it isn’t clear whether the problem is in fact related to the turtle mode issue. The recall states that, “The electrically activated contact switches that transfer energy to the drive motors, may unexpectedly open, cutting off power to the electric motors.” The remedy is an update of vehicle software and replacement of contactor switches, which dealers must do free of charge.

2022 Lucid Air Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Electrical System
Power Train
Fuel/propulsion System
Forward Collision Avoidance: Adaptive Cruise Control
Unknown Or Other
Air Bags
Electrical System:12v/24v/48v Battery

Turtle Mode Problems

While only one of the complaints to the NHTSA mentions the “turtle mode,” this is clearly a huge issue. It is also part of an ongoing discussion in the Lucid Owners forum. People who have experienced it often describe it in one word: “terrifying.”

Unfixable Hard Failure

The NHTSA complaint that mentions the term “turtle mode” is listed as an electrical system/powertrain issue. It states that the Lucid Air “lost all ability to move forward except for a very weak crawl of 1 or 2 miles per hour.” It had stopped in the middle of traffic with no warning at all. “I had to slowly move the car to the shoulder across lanes of traffic while going 2 mph.” The dealer was able to reproduce the failure and confirm that it was “a hard failure” that couldn’t be fixed by rebooting the car.

The complaint also states that other drivers have reported the same issue on the Lucid Owners’ Forum. It ends by saying that the car “operated normally until the failure occurred. The speedometer was replaced with a red warning symbol and message: ‘Drive System Fault, Pull Over and Contact Customer Care’.”

Drive System Faults

Another complaint listed as a powertrain, service brakes, fuel/propulsion system problem states that there was a red “drive system fault.” The Lucid Air stopped accelerating. Still able to steer, the driver moved into the left lane, and “the dash and all internal screens went blank.” After pulling off the main road, “There was no power to turn on the flashers to warn other drivers existing on the main road.” This took about 10 seconds from the warning light to coming to a dead stop. “If this had occurred on a highway or a busy street, the car would have died on the main road WITHOUT any lights to signal other drivers.”

The dealership inspected the Lucid Air and couldn’t find any issues. But the next time the owner drove the sedan it happened again. The complaint states that if the driver hadn’t “instantly recognized what was occurring, I would not have gotten the car off the main road. It is likely that if this occurred on the highway, it would have caused an accident.”

An owner from Illinois states that the drive system of the 2022 Lucid Air “broke while going 70 miles per hour on the highway.” This caused the driver “to slow down instantly and gave me 30 seconds to pull over to the side of the highway.”

An owner from California stated that while driving at 60 mph the Lucid Air, a warning came on saying the sedan was going to shut off in 2 minutes. He was able to drive to a safe spot with the “brakes barely working” before the car shut down on the side of the road. The Lucid Air was only 6 weeks old and only had 1,089 miles. His primary concern was, “what happens at night on a highway?”

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Other Electrical System Problems

An unusual electrical system complaint states that while driving in “inclement weather” in a Lucid Air with 243 miles, lightning struck close to the vehicle. The driver assumed that this was the reason the sedan lost motive power.

According to the complaint, the sedan “inadvertently rebooted” and the driver was able to park the vehicle next to a residential garage. After turning it off, he couldn’t start it again. It was towed to the dealer who said that a battery pack had short-circuited and needed to be replaced. But the vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and informed the contact that the lightning strike was not related to the failure.

Another owner describes in a complaint how when “backing up and reaching 5 mph, the car brakes violently, causing me to make a three-point turn around so I go out facing forward.” As a result, there have been lots of software updates, but they haven’t worked. Issues include:

  • While driving in town the car starts to brake “warning me to pay attention and keep my hands on the wheel. All the while I have both hands on the wheel and I am driving the vehicle.”
  • When starting, the reverse camera often doesn’t work for up to 30 seconds.
  • There is an incorrect mileage range.

And then, there is a complaint that the drivetrain failed while the 2022 Lucid Air was in the owner’s garage. The owner, from Virginia, states, “There have been at least four other reports in which vehicles were on the road when this occurred.” In all of these, “the vehicles shutdown with little to no time to find a safe spot to pull over. This seems to be an issue with either the main EV battery or the 12V accessory battery.”

What to do if your 2022 Lucid Air is a Lemon?

If you think that your 2022 Lucid Air might be a lemon, the Lemberg Law team will be happy to assess your problems free of charge. We have many years of experience handling lemon law cases, and if we think your claim has merit, we can negotiate a settlement on your behalf. The law says that the automaker must pay your legal fees for lemon law cases, so it’s not going to cost you anything.

Call our Helpline now or fill out a contact form and we’ll get back to you.


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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