Hyundai thought it could manage EV battery fires with some software updates, but then one of the "repaired" vehicles caught on fire. So now the company finds itself staring down the barrel of an all-out battery replacement program for 76,000 Kona EVs worldwide (that's a $900 million dollar barrel, FWIW).
Also included are some Ioniq EVs and Electric City buses that have also run the risk of being torched. The recall will begin in South Korea before expanding to other countries. There is no official word on a North American recall, but it's only a matter of time.
About the Recall ∞
More information on carcomplaints.com
- Hyundai blames the problem on LG Chem's batteries. LG Chem blames Hyundai for not properly applying their battery management suggestions. Now the two companies will engage in a toddler-esque finger pointing battle to determine who pays how much.
- All 11,000 Kona EVs sold in the US and Canada were recalled late last year and offered a software update to limit the battery's charging capacity to 90%. It was believed that a short-circuit was triggering the fires as the battery was charging and approaching a 100% full capacity.
- Hyundai isn't the only automaker quibbling with LG Chem. Cheverolet recalled 70,000 Bolt EVs after five of those caught on fire too. A similar software fix sparked (sorry, not sorry) multiple lawsuits claiming the temporary solution is causing range anxiety and diminishing the car's resale value.