Recall News: Hyundai Will Replace Battery Packs In All Kona Electric And Some Ioniq EV Models Due To Fire Risk

One Kona EV caught fire in South Korea last month

red 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric
Possible fire risks have led to a costly recall for Hyundai Motor Company as they replace tens of thousands of battery packs in their electric vehicles. (Photos: TFLcar)

Hyundai will replace battery systems in 82,000 electric vehicles globally.

Concerns over battery fire risks instigated a possible recall for Hyundai Kona Electric, Ioniq and EV bus models in South Korea over the past few weeks. Now, though, the automaker plans to replace battery systems in their electric vehicles globally. All in all, that means fixing some 82,000 vehicles as one of the first large-scale battery pack recalls launched by a major automaker, according to a recent Reuters report.

The South Korean government’s transport ministry said in an earlier statement that it had found defects with LG Energy’s China-manufactured batteries. LG Energy Solution, a division of LG Chem Ltd, said in a statement that Hyundai’s issues boil down to an issue in how the company applied LG’s fast-charging logic into the battery management system. After a recalled Kona Electric caught fire last month, South Korean authorities launched a probe into whether an earlier update to address that issue actually eliminated the fire risk. Hyundai did not comment on what caused the fires.

red 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric
This recall applies to pre-facelift Kona EV models built between 2018 and 2020.

As the company prepares for this $900 million campaign (1 trillion Korean won) though, the company is making a clear effort to ensure their current electric cars have no further issues. That’s important not just for the owners’ safety, but for trust in electric vehicles as a more prevalent means of transportation moving forward. “It’s very significant that both Hyundai and LG as we are in the early stages of the electric vehicle era,” said senior researcher at the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics & Trade Lee Hang-koo. “How Hyundai handles this will set a precedent not just in South Korea but also for other countries.”

The recall efforts include 76,000 Kona Electric models built between 2018 and 2020. Some Ioniq EV models and Elec City buses used in South Korea are included in the campaign as well. Until replacement battery packs are sourced and technicians can fit them into the affected cars, Hyundai recommends Kona and Ioniq EV owners do not charge their vehicles above 90 percent capacity.