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October 9, 2020

Hyundai recalling Kona EVs after battery fires

Hyundai Motor will voluntarily recall Kona electric vehicles because a possible short circuit due to what may be faulty manufacturing of high voltage battery cells could pose a fire risk, South Korea's transport ministry told the Reuters news agency.

By Olly Wehring

Hyundai Motor will voluntarily recall Kona electric vehicles because a possible short circuit due to what may be faulty manufacturing of high voltage battery cells could pose a fire risk, South Korea's transport ministry told the Reuters news agency.

Starting on 16 October, the recall, which includes software updates and battery replacements after inspections, involves 25,564 Kona EVs built between September 2017 and March 2020, the ministry said in a statement cited by Reuters.

The safety 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", Hyundai said, adding it would deploy all necessary measures to identify the cause of the fire and address customers' needs.

Some 13 incidents of fire involving the Kona EV, including one each in Canada and Austria, have been documented, the office of ruling party lawmaker Jang Kyung-tae told Reuters in a statement.

LG Chem supplies the Kona EV batteries.

LG Chem told Reuters the exact cause of the fire had not been determined and a reenactment experiment conducted jointly with Hyundai had not led to a fire, so the fires could not be attributed to faulty battery cells.

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It would actively participate in future investigation with Hyundai to find the cause, LG Chem added in a statement.

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