Hyundai to recall 77,000 Kona electric cars for battery fire risk and LG Chem fight for cause

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Hyundai is reportedly preparing to recall 77,000 Kona electric cars around the world over the risk of battery fire as the automaker battles battery supplier LG Chem for the cause.Last summer, a Hyundai Kona EV caught fire inside a garage near Montreal, Canada.

Since then, there have been about a dozen other Kona EV fires, which have led to inquiries into the matter.

In an official investigation into the problem in Korea, Hyundai claimed to have found the problem (via Korea Times):

In Thursday’s National Assembly audit, Hyundai Motor Chairman Seo Bo-shin, who is in charge of quality control, said the company ‘admits to vehicle defects’ and’ has found a solution. “To fix faults” is not perfect. “

However, different reports come to different conclusions.

One puts the blame on the battery cells while another concludes that it has to do with the battery:

The ministry said it had discovered that ‘the battery cell separator was damaged due to errors in the manufacturing process,’ indicating that LG Chem’s battery cell could be the cause of fires. The National Forensic Service also came to a similar conclusion that “electrical problems in the battery assembly” are believed to have caused the fires. “

The Kona EV battery is manufactured by HL Green Power; a joint venture between Hyundai Mobis and LG Chem, where the latter produces the battery cells and the former assembles the batteries.

LG Chem denies that the cause could be the battery cells.

Hyundai has already confirmed a voluntary recall of more than 25,000 Kona electric vehicles in Korea and the recall is now expected to expand to more than 77,000 vehicles. electric vehicles around the world, including North America, most vehicles are in Europe.

Kona EV owners are expected to stay tuned for an official announcement via NHTSA.

There is no statistical evidence that shows that electric vehicles catch fire at a faster rate than gasoline vehicles. There are more than 200,000 gasoline vehicle fires reported each year in the United States alone.

However, as electric vehicles are an emerging technology, there is a lot of caution around the technology and a lot of interest when such incidents do occur.

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