Fountain Valley, CA – March 31, 2021 – Hyundai North America (NASDAQ:HYMTF) has recalled 4,696 vehicles equipped with lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. The batteries may short circuit and potentially cause an engine fire. The recall includes Hyundai Kona 2019 and 2020 Electric vehicles (EV) and 2020 Hyundai Ioniq EV sedans.
Due to a manufacturing error, the Li-ion batteries in these Hyundai Ioniq Electric and Hyundai Kona EVs may short-circuit and lead to an engine fire.
The U.S. recall is being conducted as part of a global recall announced by the manufacturer last month. Among the included countries is South Korea that recently launched its second recall on the back of at least 11 Kona EV fires.
In 2019, three parked Hyundai Kona EV sedans caught on fire in Korea, two in Canada and one in Europe. In each case, the parked vehicle had a full battery charge. Seven more fires were reported in 2020. In each case, Hyundai suspected that the fire was caused by an electrical short in the Li-ion battery. The cause of the issue was identified earlier this year and turned out to be incorrectly folded battery cells.
South Korean recall and subsequent fire
In October of last year, the manufacturer issued a recall South Korea for more than 25,000 Kona Electric vehicles due the risk of fire. After a recalled and repaired Kona caught fire, Hyundai issued another recall in the country.
The electrical short may take place when the vehicle is parked or while driving. The driver may smell smoke or a burning/melting odor when a battery fire occurs. Additionally, the malfunction indicator (MIL) or the battery lights may come on.
A fire can injure occupants and a crash due to a fire may injure other drivers or pedestrians. For tips on what to do in the event of a fire, please refer to this recent article about a different Hyundai recall.
The recall is set to begin on April 30. In the short-term, the repair is a software update that the owners can conduct themselves or through their dealer.
The long-term repair is for dealers to replace the Battery System Assembly (BSA). This work will be performed once parts are available. It is important to note that the recalled Kona EV that caught fire in South Korea only received a software update, but not the battery replacement, according to press reports.
Until the repair is completed, do NOT park your car inside. Instead, park it away from structures, including your home, garages and carports.
Is your vehicle part of this recall?
Over 4,600 vehicles are included in this Hyundai recall. To perform a Hyundai recall check, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.