Hyundai plans to recall 77,000 Kona EVs globally, as the automaker and its battery supplier, LG Chem, spat over the cause of the incident. Hyundai previously recalled 25,564 Kona EVs built between September 2017 and March 2020 in South Korea over a potential fire risk that may be caused by a defective battery. It has now expanded the recall worldwide.
- Hyundai will replace the battery systems and update any battery-related software of the affected vehicles.
- An investigation of the battery fires from South Korea’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport found that the separator in the battery cell was damaged due to errors in the manufacturing process.
- A separate investigation from the National Forensic Service found electric problems in the battery pack assembly.
- LG Chem denied responsibility for the fires, saying the recall was issued without a clarification of the root cause of the fires. It said that the experiments conducted with Hyundai to find the cause of the fires were inconclusive.
- The recalls come as Hyundai looks to diversify its EV battery suppliers away from LG Chem. The automaker has reached agreements with CATL and SK Innovation for EV batteries.
- Hyundai operates a joint venture with LG Chem on batteries called HL Green Power. Hyundai EV battery packs feature LG Chem battery cells and Hyundai’s Mobis battery management system.