Hyundai to replace battery systems in costly new electric car recall

By Reuters Time of article published Feb 24, 2021

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SEOUL - Hyundai says it will replace the battery systems in some 82 000 electric vehicles globally due to fire risks, a problem which combined with an earlier recall is likely to cost the carmaker an estimated $900 million (R13 million).

Most of the latest recall applies to its best-selling electric car, the Kona EV, which was first recalled in October for a software upgrade after a series of fires. However there are no implications for South African motorists as none of the company’s electric vehicles are currently sold here.

In January, one of the recalled vehicles caught fire and South Korean authorities launched a probe into whether the first recall had been adequate.

LG Energy Solution, a division of LG Chem Ltd which manufactures the batteries, said in a statement that Hyundai has misapplied LG's suggestion for fast-charging logic in Hyundai's battery management system and that the battery cell should not be seen as the direct cause of the fire risks.

The new recall applies to roughly 76 000 Kona EVs as well as some Ioniq EV and Elec City models.

There have been some 15 cases of fires involving the Kona EV - 11 in South Korea, two in Canada and one each in Finland and Austria, according to the transport ministry.

Hyundai said in a statement that of the total 1 trillion won in estimated recall costs, some 38.9 billion won was due to the first recall.


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