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Discussion Starter #1
Fred Lambert -- October 12th 2020

Hyundai is reportedly preparing to recall 77,000 Kona electric cars worldwide over the risk of a battery fire as the automaker is fighting with LG Chem, the battery supplier, over the cause.

Last summer, a Hyundai Kona EV burst out into flames inside a garage near Montreal in Canada.

Since then, there have been about a dozen more Kona Electric Vehicle fires — prompting investigations into the matter.

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

“During the National Assembly audit on Thursday, Hyundai Motor President Seo Bo-shin, who is in charge of quality control, said the company “admits the defects in vehicles” and “has found a solution” to fix the defects, “though it is not perfect.””

However, different reports are coming to different conclusions.

One is putting the blame on the battery cells while another is concluding that it has to do with the battery pack:

“The ministry said it found “the separator in the battery cell was damaged due to errors in the manufacturing process,” indicating LG Chem’s battery cell could be the cause of fires. The National Forensic Service also came up with a similar conclusion that “electric problems in battery pack assembly” are assumed to have caused the fires.”
The Kona Electric Vehicle battery pack is made by HL Green Power; a joint venture of Hyundai Mobis and LG Chem, where the latter produces the battery cells and the former assembles the battery packs.

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

Read the full article at: Hyundai to recall 77,000 Kona electric cars over risk of battery fire, fights LG Chem over cause - Electrek

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Are there any recalls on the Ioniq electric cars for defects like this?
 

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Touch wood. None that we heard for Ioniq (28kWh nor 38kWh version).
 

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2018 Hyundai Ioniq Electric Premium SE Black
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I have had a warning light come on after rapid charging sometimes, but that seems to be enough for Hyundai to want to replace the entire battery, charging module and cooling fan with new for my 2018 Ioniq 28kWh as of yesterday. The car still works perfectly driving and charging which makes me think it's just the cooling fan that isn't working properly. It's definitely spooked them.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It is good customer service in my opinion by Hyundai. Only twelve cars out of 77,000 have had the fire problem thus far for the Kona electric cars. If 193 cars had the problem that would be 0.25% of the cars but it is only twelve so far. Hopefully they fix the problem.
 

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There are more brands that have to call back their EV or Plug In Hybrid cars due to fire risk problems:
  • 12 BMW types; see also here
  • the Mini
  • Ford even stops production of their Kuga and Escape Plug In Hybrids as they are not able to solve the problem soon
All these are not good advertisements for EV cars.
 
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My 2017 Ioniq here in Chile is subject to a recall of August 2018. I assume this is only for Chile?

It says: "Podrían encenderse las luces de advertencia en el tablero de instrumentos y producirse un mal funcionamiento del motor eléctrico, aumentando el riesgo de accidente." I think it means something like "the hazard lights may turn on in the instrument cluster and produce a bad functioning of the electric motor, increasing the risk of accident".
Source: Alerta de seguridad: Vehículos Hyundai, modelos Ioniq EV, años 2016-2017 - Portal SERNAC

I bought the car a few months ago. The previous owner must have been unaware of the recall or decided not to bother with it. I found out about it after doing a number plate check before buying the car.

They said last month they would order the part so I am actually waiting now. They are going to inspect and probably change the EPCU (Unidad de Control de Energia Electrica). 19 vehicles affected (including mine). No accidents reported.
 
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