Hyundai is recalling its Kona EV over potential battery fire risks

It affects 25,564 vehicles built between September 2017 and March 2020.

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Steve Dent
October 9, 2020 11:55 AM
Hyundai Kona EV recall
Engadget

Hyundai has issued a recall for 25,564 Kona EVs in South Korea following reports of battery fires, according to Reuters. It’s also in the process of filing a recall with the the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), CNET reported, though it has yet to say how many US vehicles are affected.

The issue came to light after a Kona EV caught fire while charging in South Korea and another one exploded in Montreal. In June, Hyundai issued a software update for the vehicle’s battery monitoring system, saying it was designed to improve battery performance and longevity while adding diagnostic health monitoring features.

Hyundai’s battery supplier LG Chem told Reuters that it wasn’t able to pinpoint the cause of the fire after running a reenactment experiment. However, it added that the tests led it to conclude that the battery cells themselves weren’t to blame.

At the same time, Hyundai said that the recall “is a proactive response to a suspected defective production of high-voltage batteries used in the vehicles, which may have contributed to the reported fires.” As such, the recall procedure could entail total battery replacement on top of software upgrades, something that could be time-consuming for owners and costly for Hyundai.

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