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WARNING: Gotway Nikola production (assembly) issue [Solved]

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At the very least this reinforces two things for me; 1) Wait until the second or third batch of new release wheels before buying; and 2) Buy from a trusted seller who makes me confident in after-sales service.

I'd still buy GW for sure though, following the above rules. 

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I too am staggered that a TO22x package would be seen on an EUC. My ebike uses a bank of 6 and that's only 250w!!. Plus they are pasted to a heatsink - so I am surprised that the Nikolas are even lasting as long as Marty's did tbh.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Jason McNeil said:

Apologies for the late attendance to the party. Since receiving a 2nd board failure (this case was different, it was powered on from a stand still & didn't respond), including Marty's, within two weeks of shipping out the first batch of Nikolas, I've reached out to Linnea on Thursday to try to come up with an action plan to see what options are available to greatly reduce/eliminate the risk of these MOSFET thermal overload events.

The evidence from both of these failures has marked similarity in outcome (see below), where this glue may be acting as a thermal barrier, not helped by the absence of thermal paste on the underside of the metal heat transfer surface. One option being explored, is to recall the boards. remove this glue, & apply the thermal paste. To date Gotway have shipped 600 units; they say they have not received reports from other regions of this failure—it's likely more will trickle in in time. Putting out an official recall is not something to be taken lightly; in their defense, they're probably looking for a few other reports, before taking this step.

Gotway have a lot of experience with building high power motor vehicles; they had gone through several rough patches, particularly with reliability of earlier generation boards, with the weaker MOSFETS, but at least then they were pretty consistent with applying liberal quantities of thermal paste to this underside. It was baffling to me why they would go back to an inferior TO22x FET package AND now we learn about the lack of thermal paste. From my experience, such oversights are usually not the result of penny-pinching, but execution on the production line, where the factory needs a ruthless eagle-eyed floor manager, to see that every step of assembly is done by the book. 

The silver-lining to all this, is that an early finding in the production cycle is a necessary facet to a small-scale non-ISO production facility, where the manufacturer's financial pain of having to deal with a crisis, means that they will be imbued with a sense that this situation must never occur again. 

For all current Nikola owners, please hang in there, we should have an action plan in the next few days. 

EDIT: To anticipate questions on the 100V Nikolas, they are using the TO247 MOSFET package, the first production of these special edition 1845Wh variants is still underway, there is assurance that in light of this episode, they will getting the thermal paste treatment!

uc?export=view&id=1YkbgpMpESOtmhsYpqSFfb

 

@Jason McNeil is this a picture of my board ?   i was hoping for a little more info on the replacement of my board and what caused the failure . .. its running like a caddy now btw  so smooth   i love this wheel  thank you so much for getting it back to me so quickly as it is my main transportation for about 20 miles or more a day...  i really hope they just produce a replacement board with thermal paste and the larger to247 MOSFET for us to update our first edition crap boards but right now my nikola is running amazingly  i loooooooove riding this wheel   i am keeping it under 45km/h tho.....for now . 

Edited by Lucas Alexander Oliver

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7 hours ago, Lucas Alexander Oliver said:

@Jason McNeil is this a picture of my board ?

Yep, this his charred remains of your controller :) 

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7 hours ago, Lucas Alexander Oliver said:

is this a picture of my board ?

So what stress did you put on your wheel if any, have you got any info please as I'm sure we'd like to know thanks in advance 👍

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7 minutes ago, Hatchet said:

Where were you during GlueGate 2019?

I like the sound of that :thumbup:

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10 hours ago, Jason McNeil said:

Yep, this his charred remains of your controller :) 

Wow. That’s insane. And scary.

 

10 hours ago, stephen said:

So what stress did you put on your wheel if any, have you got any info please as I'm sure we'd like to know thanks in advance 👍

I only had about 60 miles on it. Mostly chill riding getting to know the wheel.. I had just gotten used to it and was riding through a local park on a gravel path and went up a lil hill maybe 30 or 40 meters long and I got to the top and stopped. Laid the wheel on its side and it beeped and disengaged the motor.  When I picked it back up it wouldn’t re engage no matter what I did.  It was soo weird   I can’t believe it burned up like that. Must’ve been some kind of crazy power surge or something right ? 

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, Lucas Alexander Oliver said:

Wow. That’s insane. And scary.

 

I only had about 60 miles on it. Mostly chill riding getting to know the wheel.. I had just gotten used to it and was riding through a local park on a gravel path and went up a lil hill maybe 30 or 40 meters long and I got to the top and stopped. Laid the wheel on its side and it beeped and disengaged the motor.  When I picked it back up it wouldn’t re engage no matter what I did.  It was soo weird   I can’t believe it burned up like that. Must’ve been some kind of crazy power surge or something right ? 

Re-read this thread and my post. It burned up because there was hot-glue separating the MOSFETs from the heat sink. Had nothing to do with a crazy power surge :)

Edited by Marty Backe

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1 minute ago, Marty Backe said:

Re-read this thread and my post. It burned up because there was hot-glue separating the MOSFETs from the heat sink. Had nothing to do with a crazy power surge :)

I understand that I guess I assumed it had to have something weird for it to burn up when I wasn’t riding.  That was my observation. But yeah  the whole glue thing is ridiculous. 

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I’m still riding my repaired nikola and it’s riding great. Going up the hills around Seattle with no issues at all.  It feels even better than it did with the first board in it.  I love riding this wheel.       Anyone have any guesses about what if anything will be done for us about our unsatisfactory boards ?? 

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9 minutes ago, Lucas Alexander Oliver said:

I’m still riding my repaired nikola and it’s riding great. Going up the hills around Seattle with no issues at all.  It feels even better than it did with the first board in it.  I love riding this wheel.       Anyone have any guesses about what if anything will be done for us about our unsatisfactory boards ?? 

Have you opened-up your replacement board and looked for glue?!!!

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Michael Tucker said:

Have you opened-up your replacement board and looked for glue?!!!

No I am not going to mess with it. I’m scared to not be able to get it back together perfectly .  I’ll wait and let the professionals take apart my 2000$ wheel.   Lol.   I am riding totally geared up all my protective equipment on and I’m keeping it at 25 and under so if It does fail my hope is that I’ll be able to walk away from it.. but I’m hoping I have better luck with this one and it lasts for me until we have a permanent solution :) 

Edited by Lucas Alexander Oliver
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5 minutes ago, Dzlchef said:

I’m with you on continued riding, just hope that I don’t pay for it!  I will say that the wheel behaved beautifully today in 20+ miles up and down the steep hills, both paved and dirt, under serious power all with perfect grace.  I hit my top speed at 31.6mph trying to catch up to the leaders, so smooth didn’t realize I was going that fast. 

I would normally ride in a skate helmet but worn my full gear due to some trust issues.  Love to get a new control board that’s been built properly.  I really don’t want  to help prove Chinese poor build quality with my current set-up. 😔

Yes at least I’m not the only one who loves the nikola so much I’m gonna keep on riding it as much as possible. Lol.  It rides so good. Not a hint of over/under power or overheating.   The voltage/current looks normal.  Hovering around 55/60 mostly.  Even up hills it barely hit 90 amps ever.   But like you I don’t want to pay for my willingness to ride so let’s hope our nikolas hold up for us 🤞🏻

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