Kona EV owners say Hyundai mishandling recall for battery fires, Auto News, ET Auto

Rodolfo Schellin

The burnt wreckage of a Hyundai Kona electric vehicle is seen after it caught fire in Daegu, South Korea, October 4, 2020. Picture taken October 4, 2020. Daegu Fire &THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. MANDATORY CREDIT
The burnt wreckage of a Hyundai Kona electric powered automobile is noticed just after it caught hearth in Daegu, South Korea, October four, 2020. Picture taken October four, 2020. Daegu Hearth &THIS Impression HAS BEEN Equipped BY A Third Celebration. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. Obligatory Credit

By Heekyong Yang

SEOUL: Some homeowners of Hyundai Motor’s Kona electric vehicles say the South Korean automaker is bungling a major remember with delays and poor communication, and hazards losing buyers as it targets the No.3 location in the fast-rising sector.

Hyundai said past month it would swap the battery methods in some eighty two,000 electric vehicles globally at a cost of $900 million subsequent fires in 15 Kona EVs.

But Hyundai has but to convey a obvious system to homeowners on when and how they can expect to have a probable hearth hazard they are driving fixed, some of the homeowners have complained.

“When I questioned Hyundai’s fix centre when specifically my Kona EV will be obtaining a battery substitution, they just advised me that they would put me forward in the line, but I haven’t acquired the specific day but,” a 34-year-previous Kona EV operator in Seoul surnamed Kim advised Reuters.

Homeowners who spoke to Reuters declined to give their whole names, citing issues about privacy and a probable backlash from Hyundai.

“There were only a few EV selections when I bought my Kona EV again in 2018, but now that there are way much more EV models readily available, I do not consider I would go for Hyundai once again,” Kim said.

Protection Precedence

In reaction to Reuters queries, Hyundai said the basic safety of consumers was its major priority.

“Hyundai will keep on striving to get important steps to avoid client inconvenience from the ongoing remember,” it said, without addressing issues about operator issues about delays and a lack of communication.

Hyundai has said battery replacements would be readily available in South Korea setting up future 7 days.

But the lack of clarity has led homeowners to change to social media to air their frustrations and to request payment.

In November, 173 Kona EV homeowners filed a course-motion lawsuit, trying to find 8 million received ($7,000) payment just about every for what they say is the lessened value of their EVs and other losses.

Lee Cling-koo, an government adviser at the Korea Automotive Engineering Institute, said there could be probable difficulties with battery provides and the automaker really should connect much more evidently with homeowners.

“Hyundai really should be straightforward with its people and allow them know what is heading on – whether or not battery sourcing has been complicated,” Lee said, noting levels of competition in the EV industry is obtaining fiercer. “If Hyundai falls at the rear of on this EV race, that would be problematic. In that sense, they really should assessment how they treat their consumers.”

Hyundai’s Ioniq five, released past month, is the first in a planned family members of electric vehicles (EV) created on a widespread platform that it hopes will propel it to develop into the 3rd-major world wide EV maker by 2025.


The automobile fires, dating from within weeks of the Kona EV’s 2018 start, have brought about no accidents or fatalities so considerably.

In October, Hyundai made available a computer software enhance to tackle the concern. But subsequent a consumer outcry and at least a person hearth in a automobile that experienced been recalled for the enhance, Hyundai agreed to swap the batteries, designed by LG Chem’s battery division LG Electrical power Alternative. [nL4N2K10FO]

The seventy five,680 Kona EVs affected by the remember account for almost 70{7e488363c11ee5ef50445c8c4fa770b6e6e4f99e57faea264a05ac52abb3ffe0} of the 111,000 models marketed more than the previous 3 decades in Hyundai’s major marketplaces of United States, Europe and South Korea.

Yet another Kona EV operator, a 35-year-previous engineer surnamed Lee, said the computer software update experienced substantially lessened the battery’s charging potential and he will hardly ever invest in a Hyundai automobile once again.

Hyundai, in a statement on its website, said the limiting the batteries’ charging potential to 90{7e488363c11ee5ef50445c8c4fa770b6e6e4f99e57faea264a05ac52abb3ffe0} until eventually the battery was replaced was an successful way to cut down hearth hazards.

Lee said he experienced even been refused company at a community charging station when striving to recharge his Kona EV.

“These recollects by now have by now wasted my time and I have to demand my car worrying about hearth hazards,” Lee said. “On major of that, I have to worry about what other people consider about my car.”

($1 = 1,132.2800 received)

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