Hello all, been off the i3 forums for awhile using my little time I've had hanging out on the Jag F-Pace forum (uh, getting a F-Pace). It's nice to come back and see so much useful information regarding so many things.
Yes, I'm back because I too got my first "Drivetrain malfunction but you can still drive the car" notice. So after reading so much here, I'm going to make an educated guess that it is just common sense and condensation as the culprit, at least for me.
I rarely use the Rex, normally less than 20 minutes when it does come on. My i3 has been problem free except for the preconfiguring app never working. I've only used my Rex for more then 20 miles one time I think, went about 90 miles and in around 60 to 70 degree weather. No problems. So here a few days ago, we decided to go to the beach and it was a 140 mile trip. Cold weather and heater use made me get about 55 miles of electric. Went Rex the rest of the way. Got there no problem. We came back a few days later. Same thing, about 55 miles back, the Rex kicked in. Went about 70 miles and then got the Drivetrain malfunction notice driving down the freeway. It was raining. In fact the weather was the kind of day when it fogs up inside your car in a hurry. You can't leave the fan off for more than a minute before it starts to fog up. Error stayed there for the next 24 hrs, we gave it a full charge and it spent it's time in our garage. After 24 hrs it went away, and hasn't been back.
So after reading the posts, it sure seems to me like a common sense issue. You have a Rex generating heat, it's wet out or very moist air outside. The steam created by the Rex in such a small little place forces condensation to appear in places that it shouldn't. Electronics are very touchy when it comes to moisture. It seems like if this is the problem, delicate electronics shouldn't be anywhere near the Rex. Condensation happened, giving an error, it dried up, things are cool. at least this is what it sounds like what happened to me.
I've been around long enough to see dealers replacing tons of things that didn't need replacing so it scares me when I read some of these posts with guys having their cars in for weeks and dealers replacing other items because of ineptitude. Maybe I'm just lucky.