Hyundai will recall 82,000 electric cars globally in order to replace their battery packs due to a fire risk.

The issue primarily affects the Kona Electric model. An estimated 75,000 vehicles are expected to get a new battery pack, as well as the Ioniq Electric.

Hot under the collar

There have been 15 cases of fires involving the Kona Electric, according to Reuters.

The number of vehicles to be recalled in the UK is yet to be confirmed, but in October 2020 1,672 Kona Electrics were recalled in the UK in order to have a software updated applied to their battery management system.

A statement issued by Hyundai said: “Hyundai Motor Company has decided to voluntarily recall certain Kona Electric, Ioniq EV, and Elec City vehicles in Korea for battery system assembly replacements. The issue is being investigated by the company, including to establish the situation in relation to the models sold in Europe.”

Guilty as charged?

LG Energy Solution, the battery manufacturer, claims that Hyundai misapplied its suggestions for “fast-charging logic in the battery management system”. It says the battery cell “should not be seen as the direct cause of the fire risks”.

The car maker and battery supplier are reported to be negotiating who should pay. It is estimated that the recall will cost £638m split between the companies.

Kia models, such as the Niro EV and Soul EV, which share similar architecture. However, they are unaffected by the recall as they use battery packs manufactured by SK Innovation.

In late 2020, Ford and BMW were forced to recall a number of plug-in hybrid models due to a battery fire risk. Those batteries were made by a different supplier to Hyundai’s.