Tuesday, April 20

Hyundai recalls 82,000 electric cars amid contention with partner LG

The Hyundai group has no choice but to recall nearly 82,000 electric vehicles, including 76,000 Kona, due to a fire risk. The annoying question of sharing the invoice between the manufacturer and the supplier (LG Chem in this case) resurfaces.

Korean automotive flagship Hyundai faces a delicate recall campaign of around 82,000 electric cars. The cause: a risk of fire in the battery. The system must therefore be replaced on 76,000 Kona produced between 2018 and 2020, including 25,000 sold in South Korea, but also some Ioniq and Elec City buses.

The Reuters press release mentions about fifteen fires involving the Kona in its native country, but also two others in Canada and one in Finland and Austria. The problem seems serious and a return to the fold is obviously inevitable to correct the situation and ensure the safety of customers.

The question of responsibility

This disappointment echoes another recall campaign that occurred at the end of 2020, which again concerned the Hyundai Kona. But above all, all this turmoil puts on the table a still delicate question: who is responsible? The manufacturer Hyundai or its battery supplier LG Energy Solution, a subsidiary of LG Chem?

Hyundai Kona electric

The Hyundai Kona electric seen from the back // Gamesdone: Yann Lethuillier for Frandroid

The latter was quick to defend its fat, and accuses Hyundai of having misapplied LG’s suggestions regarding the management of fast charging. For LG Energy Solution, the direct cause of the fire risks is unrelated to the battery cells. Faced with the important financial stakes of the business, the company wants to secure its position and buy an image.

LG questioned by the government

Still, the country’s transport ministry said that “faults were discovered in some battery cells produced at LG Energy’s Chinese plant“, Can we read on Reuters. In short: a deep disagreement is emerging between Hyundai and its partner.

According to analysts, the two entities would however have reached an agreement on the distribution of the bill – it is a question of 900 million dollars all the same here -, although the negotiations could continue if disagreements are still present. In any case, affected owners are advised to limit the charge to 90% while the battery is replaced.

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