The Hyundai Motor Company made a huge splash in the automotive market with its Kona electric vehicle. It’s the biggest-selling product in the EV line for the brand, which had a recall after several reports of fires to get a software upgrade.
Hyundai is now spending $900 million on another recall because the battery systems in over 82,000 EVs sold globally have unacceptable fire risks.
Not only is this issue a significant hassle for owners, but it also shows the divide between battery makers and automakers about how to split the charges when problems appear with this technology.
One of the Recalled Vehicles Caught Fire in January
LG Energy Solution quickly deflected criticism of its technology when a recalled Hyundai caught fire in South Korea. The battery manufacturer said Hyundai misapplied their suggestions for fast charging within the management system, suggesting that the cells shouldn’t be listed as a direct cause of the increased fire risk.
The deflection might have worked some for investors. When Hyundai shares tumbled nearly 4% after the recall news, LG Chem closed just 2.8% off its open in the broader market.
About 25,000 of the Kona vehicles were sold in South Korea. The recall applies to the 2018, 2019, and 2020 model years, along with the Ioniq EV and some Elec City buses.
The $900 million figure includes the amount that Hyundai spent on the initial recall effort.
Since the Kona EV reached the global market, 15 fires have been reported with the vehicle’s setup. A total of 11 incidents were discovered in South Korea, with two in Canada and the others in Europe.
If you own a Kona or an Ioniq today, Hyundai advises that you limit your battery charge to 90% of capacity while using the vehicle. It would help if you also considered getting the recall serviced as soon as possible.