Hyundai recalls electric models with EPCU problems


Fountain Valley, Calif. – Sept. 20, 2017 – Hyundai Motor America has recalled more than 200 vehicles believed to contain defective electronic power control units, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2017 Hyundai Ioniq plug-in electric sedans with production dates ranging from Nov. 17, 2016 to March 30, 2017. Hyundai suspects just 2 percent of the vehicles named in the recall contain the defective fixtures.

The Defect

Hyundai Ioniq sedans are equipped with aluminum-encased EPCU devices that transform alternating current power into direct current power for charging the battery system. The vehicles named in the campaign could contain EPCU devices whose aluminum shells feature small voids that allow coolant to leak onto EPCU circuit boards, leading to stalling. These cracked casings increase the likelihood of an accident – especially at high speeds – and therefore poses a serious danger to occupants. However, Hyundai has not received reports connecting the problematic EPCU coverings to any accidents or injuries.

Timeline of Events

In June 2017, the South Korean automaker received a field report outlining an instance in which an Ioniq owner was forced to tow his vehicle to a dealer after it stalled on the road. In this instance, the “check electrical vehicle system” light illuminated. Hyundai received another field report later in the month describing a similar situation.

In July, the car company collected parts from both vehicles and delivered them to engineering staff for evaluation. Personnel immediately spotted the cracked EPCU casings and diagnosed the root cause of both breakdowns. Hyundai then contacted the Korea-based parts provider responsible for delivering the defective aluminum fixtures. The company, Hyundai Mobis, traced the defective EPCU coverings to a manufacturing process revision made in April 2017. Hyundai quality assurance personnel reviewed all the available information related to the cracked EPCU housings and decided conduct a voluntary safety recall Aug. 17.

The car company notified owners of the action Sept. 1.

The Solution

Hyundai has directed dealers to inspect and replace the EPCU units in affected vehicles free of charge, according to a recall acknowledgement document from the NHTSA. The automaker plans to notify owners via first-class mail Sept. 29. Those in need of more immediate assistance can contact Hyundai customer service at (800) 633-5151. Callers should use the internal recall identification code 166. Owners can also reach out the NHTSA directly via its Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

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