Hyundai is expanding its recall of the Kona Electric globally as it probes the cause of battery fires.

    Korean news agency Yonhap reports Hyundai plans to recall more than 11,000 units in North America, over 37,000 units in Europe, and an additional 3,000 units sold in other countries.

    Hyundai Motor America has reportedly already filed its recall plan with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

    Hyundai Australia said last Friday it’s in conversation with the head office in Korea to determine if Kona EVs in Australia are also affected, but that there have been no instances of fire reported locally.

    The company today said it has no update on the recall’s status in Australia.

    The expanded recall follows the company’s recall of 25,564 Kona Electric models in South Korea. These were built between September 2017 and March 2020.

    The recall process will involve both software updates and battery replacements.

    In a statement, the company said the safety recall “is a proactive response to a suspected defective production of high-voltage batteries used in the vehicles, which may have contributed to the reported fires”.

    A total of 13 vehicles globally have ignited, including one each in Austria and Canada.

    Hyundai sources its batteries from LG Chem, who said the fires couldn’t be attributed to faulty battery cells.

    The battery manufacturer said a reenactment experiment conducted with Hyundai hadn’t led to a vehicle fire, and therefore the exact cause is unknown.

    It will continue working with Hyundai to investigate the issue.

    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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