The manufacturers of Australia’s second-highest selling electric vehicle, the Hyundai Kona, have issued a recall for the car in the company’s home country of South Korea, as well as in the US, after a spate of battery fires.
Reports from Reuters late last week said Hyundai had voluntarily recalled the Kona in South Korea to investigate a possible short circuit due to what may be faulty manufacturing of its high-voltage battery cells that could pose a fire risk.
A recall had not been issued in Australia at the time of publication, but a statement from Hyundai to The Driven said that the motor company was working to establish the situation for cars with regional specifications, including the Australian market.
The South Korean and US recalls – the latter confirmed by CNET’s Roadshow news site, here – follow 13 documented incidents of fire involving the Kona EV, including one each in Canada and Austria.
In Korea, Reuters reports that the recall, which will commence on October 16, will affect 25,564 Kona EVs built between September 2017 and March 2020 and will include software updates and battery replacements after inspections.
Hyundai said the safety recall was “a proactive response to a suspected defective production of high-voltage batteries used in the vehicles, which may have contributed to the reported fires.”
In its own statement, LG Chem, which supplies the batteries for Hyundai Kona EVs, said the exact cause of the fires had not been determined and a reenactment experiment conducted jointly with Hyundai had not been able to replicate the problem, so the fires could not be attributed to faulty battery cells.
In Australia’s still relatively small pure electric vehicle market, the Hyundai Kona currently holds number two spot for sales, with 342 sold for the year to September.