Hyundai 2019 Kona EV Car Photo: GaadiWaadi.Com

Hyundai to replace batteries of nearly 82,000 Kona EV cars due to battery-related fires

*Fifteen fire incidents involving the vehicle model have occurred on four continents in connection with the batteries

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

In view of over a dozen battery-related fires involving vehicles of the autobrand, Hyundai has announced that it will replace the battery systems in around 82,000 Kona EV cars.

The cost of replacing the batteries will come to about $900 million, but the automaker said its focus would be on mitigating the fire risk for its product consumers in the first place.

Fifteen fire incidents were reported to have occurred in connection to the batteries, 11 in South Korea, two in Canada, one in Finland, and one in Austria, Reuters report said.

Hyundai in a statement said: “Our priority is to dispel potential risks against customer safety despite the low possibility of fires and high financial burden.”

The autobrand’s battery replacement initiative follows its recall of the Kona EV in South Korea and North America, report noted.

After recalling the vehicles, Hyundai upgraded the Kona’s battery management system to cap charging at 90 percent to prevent overcharging.

A vehicle that had received the update yet recently caught fire in South Korea.

However, the cause of the fire incident is not yet determined, according to report.

The batteries in question were manufactured by LG Chem, which said it’s continuing to work with Korea’s Transport Ministry to determine what is causing the fires.

LG Chem in a statement explained that Hyundai “misapplied LG’s suggestions for fast-charging logic in the battery management system,” and said that adding the battery cell should not be seen as the direct cause of the fire risks.

Hyundai hasn’t commented on the cause of the fires as of the time of filing the report.

In the meantime, until a replacement battery system is installed, Hyundai urges Kona and Ioniq owners to limit battery charging to 90 percent of capacity.

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