Hyundai has recalled the 2018-20 Kona Electric due to the potential risk of a battery fire.

    This recall affects 615 vehicles in total, and follows a recall of 796 vehicles in November 2020.

    “This is part of a global recall action and is associated with the first recall from last November,” said a spokesperson from Hyundai Australia.

    “The first recall was for a software check. This is a different software check, linked to a potential hardware issue, and it applies to a smaller number of vehicles (615 on this occasion).

    “If an issue is identified, the battery will be replaced.”

    Essentially, if the software check reveals a particular hardware issue that could pose a fire risk, Hyundai will replace the battery.

    The previous recall included the instruction to owners to stop their vehicles from being charged beyond 90 per cent, and advised them to park their vehicles in an open space.

    Hyundai Australia says there have been no incidents of battery fires in Australia.

    Overseas, there have been 15 reported cases of Kona Electric fires, including 11 in South Korea and two in Canada.

    The company announced a global recall campaign in February 2021 for over 80,000 Kona Electric vehicles.

    General Motors has followed suit, announcing a recall of every Chevrolet Bolt it has ever made plus the recently introduced Bolt EUV – more than 73,000 vehicles in total.

    Like Hyundai, GM sourced batteries from LG Chem. It has confirmed it’ll “[pursue] commitments from LG for reimbursement of this [recall] action”, set to cost the American automaker upwards of US$1 billion (A$1.38 billion).

    GM said the issue in its vehicles was a torn anode tab and folded separator, present in the same battery cell, which increases the risk of fire. It has paused sales of the two models indefinitely.

    Reuters reports LG Chem shares closed down 11.1% on Monday following GM’s announcement and it lost more than US$6 billion in market value.

    The recalls come at an inauspicious time for the company, which has been preparing an initial public offering (IPO) for its battery unit, LG Energy Solution.

    MORE: Everything Hyundai Kona

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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