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.…keep reading article "An EV Battery Replacement Program is Coming After Software Fixes Didn't Prevent Fires"
Hyundai is recalling 11,000 Kona Electric SUVs and asking the owners to park outside after reports of 13 battery fires.
Hyundai believes an electrical short-circuit is being triggered in the lithium-ion batteries as they charge and approach 100%. Most of the fires happened while the SUVs were parked and charging. While the root cause is still under investigation, electrical deficiencies in the LG batteries or software issues in the battery management software are likely to blame.
More About This Recall ∞
- In March, Hyundai issued a Kona Electric service campaign to upgrade the battery management system software to detect abnormalities in the battery while the vehicle is parked. But over the last 7 months an additional 7 fires were reported.
- Now an interim repair will limit the battery's maximum charging capacity to 90%, which removes the risk of fires but will limit the owner's range until a more permanent solution is available.
- Recall #196 expected to begin in Devember 2020. Because of the nature of the recall, Hyundai strongly emphasizes that owners need to park outside and away from any structures that could catch on fire.