Hyundai Motors recalls their electric car models due to battery replacement. This recall is going to cost the company almost a billion US dollars.
So what prompted Hyundai Motors’s recalls? The Korean car manufacturing giant is going to replace the battery systems of about 82,000 electric cars. Hyundai is not just doing the recall in Korea but all over the world. The said replacement is due to fire risks. This is the first recall in the automotive industry that involves battery replacement by a major car manufacturing brand.
This replacement would cost Hyundai more than 3 billion won, which is equivalent to about 2.7 billion US dollars. The next question is how would they (Hyundai) and the battery makers are going to split the bill, should the problem arise. According to reports, LG, another famous Korean tech brand, is responsible for making the batteries.
Which Hyundai cars, you may ask. The recall is intended for their electric vehicles, namely the Kona EV, which is their best-selling electric vehicle to date. In addition, the company is going to recall more than 75,000 units of Kona EVs made between 2018 and 2020. Out of that amount, about a third are coming from South Korea. Apart from the Kona EV, Hyundai also recall units such as the Elec City buses and Ioniq EV models
As of writing, there have been 15 cases of fires already which in involved the Kona EV. Out of these 15 cases, 11 happened in South Korea. Two cases came from Canada, one in Finland, and one in Austria. Just a few months ago, Hyundai also made a recall on this specific model due to a software upgrade after a surge of reports involving fires. In fact, one of the recalled Kona EVs caught fire in January. This incident prompted Korean authorities to launch an investigation on whether or not the first recall was enough.
LG Stays Away From The Fire
Without haste, the division of LG Chem Ltd that produced the batteries for Hyundai didn’t take the criticism lightly. The representatives of LG Energy Solution stated that Hyundai ignored their suggestions for the fast-charging feature in the battery management system and placed it their way. Thus, LG can’t take the blame for the addition of the battery cell and the battery itself.
The transport ministry has condition report findings opposite to LG’s claim. In their own statement, the ministry said that a number of defects were found in battery cells that were produced in LG’s China factory. Until now, Hyundai hasn’t made any comments on both LG’s and South Korea’s transport ministry’s statements. They only said that they will wait for the ministry’s final report of their investigation.
About The Hyundai Kona EV
The Kona EV is the second electric car coming from Hyundai, following the Ioniq. It was first launched in 2018 in Europe and it’s home country, Korea. A year after, the Kona EV became available to the American public. In September of last year, Hyundai updated the Kona EV’s look for their original SUV and its N Line, adding more cargo capacity and legroom in the rear seat.