Hyundai EVs hit with sweeping global battery recall

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Words: Matthew Hansen
25 Feb 2021

In a story of somewhat poor timing, Hyundai has issued an international recall regarding issues with batteries in its electric cars — approximately 82,000 cars around the world having been impacted.

Little has been reported as to the recall’s specific concerns, although it has been linked to the numerous fires that have been reported among Hyundai’s EV products in recent years. These include a Hyundai bus that caught fire last week in Korea. Business Korea reports that 15 Kona Electric battery fires have occurred in Korea since the compact SUV’s launch.

Among the few details reported is that the recall involves a full battery pack replacement in each vehicle. This makes it one of the first mass battery recalls of its kind and of its scale. It’s reported that the exercise is set to cost US$900million to undertake.

The recall is poor timing as it comes a day after Hyundai unveiled one of its most anticipated projects of recent years; the Ioniq 5. The futuristic EV represents the brand’s first model in its new Ioniq electric car sub-brand — receiving plenty of positive press for its unique cabin and styling.

It is unclear whether the recall will impact any Hyundai vehicles in New Zealand. Last October, the Kona Electric was recalled in Australasia over similar fire risk concerns. The issue at the time was linked to faulty battery cells and software concerns, with potential for short circuiting to occur.

In that instance, approximately 700 cars were recalled locally and 796 cars in Australia — specifically examples built between October 2017 and March 2020. It’s unclear to what degree the two recalls are connected.

NZ Autocar has contacted Hyundai New Zealand for comment, and will update this story when they respond. Speaking to CarAdvice, Hyundai Australia is unsure about if the recall impacts any local vehicles.

“The matter is under investigation by [Hyundai Motor Corporation]. We can’t say at this point whether or not vehicles in Australia will be affected,” they said.

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