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Old 8th October 2020, 19:00   #1
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Default Hyundai to recall Kona EV over faulty battery cells which can cause fire

Hyundai to recall Kona EV over faulty battery cells which can cause fire-hyundai-kona-electric-car.jpg

Starting Oct. 16, the recall, which includes software updates and battery replacements after inspections, involves 25,564 Kona electric vehicles (EVs) built between September 2017 and March 2020, South Korean transport ministry said in a statement.
Quote:
SEOUL: Hyundai Motor Co will voluntarily recall its Kona electric vehicles as a possible short circuit due to faulty manufacturing of its high-voltage battery cells could pose a fire risk, South Korea's transport ministry said on Thursday.

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", the company said, adding that it will deploy all necessary measures to identify the cause of the fire and address customers' needs.

Some 13 incidents of fire involving the Kona EV, including one each in Canada and Austria, were documented so far, according to a statement by ruling party lawmaker Jang Kyung-tae's office on Thursday.

Kona EVs use batteries made by LG Chem Ltd. An LG Chem spokesman said the company did not have an immediate comment.

Hyundai's shares fell 1.4 per cent, reflecting investor concerns that the recall and battery replacements could be costly, as the battery takes up about 30 per cent of an EV's price, analysts said.

In contrast, LG Chem shares rose 1.8 per cent.

The Kona Electric is the South Korean automaker's first long-range subcompact SUV EV.
Posted it here because this can be relevant to Indian Kona EVs too, request moderators to remove it if it's irrelevant to Indian Kona EV.

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Old 8th October 2020, 21:03   #2
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Default Re: Hyundai to recall Kona EV over faulty battery cells which can cause fire

Knew it was coming. Also, recently launched in India not for commercial gains, but to earmark its territory on the EV space, Hyundai did a remarkable job. Going by the old adage "the early bird gets the worm", Hyundai launched the Kona with a high price tag. But this old adage of the "early bird" is seemingly becoming difficult to apply to today's complex commercial practices and methodologies used.

This recall of the product of a reputed company for defects that could cause fires, amply proves the fact that the EV technology is still at a nascent stage. It will entail many, many guniea pigs for research and near perfection of the present, existing technology (incl its batteries) till one very sangiunely swaps his or her ICE vehicles for EV's.

We also expect the policy makers (most suffer from a "foot in mouth" disease) to exercise restraint in announcing deadlines, till the technology is nearly fool-proof and the infrastructure is fully readied.

Last edited by anjan_c2007 : 8th October 2020 at 21:05.
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Old 8th October 2020, 21:33   #3
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Default Re: Hyundai to recall Kona EV over faulty battery cells which can cause fire

Good to see that Hyundai might have identified the fault which has caused the infamous Kona blast in Canada last year. I also read that Hyundai pushed a software update for reducing battery accidents.

Having said that, we should also understand that EVs are safer than ICE, this should be taken as a problem specific to a company, like the BMW fires.

Between 2014-2016 there were 171,000 vehicle fires reported in US for a total of 280M cars which gives us 0.02%. Hyundai having 13 incidents for 25,000 cars produced or 0.052% which is considered high and we have a fix and recall.

Last edited by SKC-auto : 8th October 2020 at 21:36.
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Old 9th October 2020, 12:03   #4
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Default Re: Hyundai to recall Kona EV over faulty battery cells which can cause fire

Quote:
Originally Posted by anjan_c2007 View Post
This recall of the product of a reputed company for defects that could cause fires, amply proves the fact that the EV technology is still at a nascent stage.
So, I assume all ICE vehicles does not pose any fire risk and there were no recalls for those as they are a century old and very matured technology?

Here are some very recent fire risk recalls on ICE vehicles from different major manufacturers: Just google for "<carmaker> fire risk".
There were 1.74 lakh vehicles fires in US in 2015, almost all of them came from fuel powered vehicles. But EV news gets more prominent coverage.

https://in.mashable.com/tech/11586/i...ch-on-fire-too

https://www.crsautomotive.com/how-pr...catching-fire/

I am not defending EVs against ICEs. But to say that EVs pose more risk than ICEs just because they are nascent technology does not make sense.
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Old 9th October 2020, 13:09   #5
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Default Re: Hyundai to recall Kona EV over faulty battery cells which can cause fire

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Originally Posted by SKC-auto View Post
Between 2014-2016 there were 171,000 vehicle fires reported in US for a total of 280M cars which gives us 0.02%. Hyundai having 13 incidents for 25,000 cars produced or 0.052% which is considered high and we have a fix and recall.
Correction: The 171,000 is for each year, I read wrongly and assumed for 3 years. This makes the ICE fires at 0.06% which are higher than the Kona here. I went back and read after seeing @sri_tesla post.
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Old 10th October 2020, 18:22   #6
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Default Re: Hyundai to recall Kona EV over faulty battery cells which can cause fire

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Originally Posted by sri_tesla View Post
So, I assume all ICE vehicles does not pose any fire risk and there were no recalls for those as they are a century old and very matured technology?

I am not defending EVs against ICEs. But to say that EVs pose more risk than ICEs just because they are nascent technology does not make sense.
Thanks for your analyses of EV versus ICE recalls.

We must know about ICE vehicles as nearly 134 years old (petrol/gasoline) and diesel engines as nearly 110 years old. These are like the conventional and age old illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, blood pressure, pneumonia, bronchitis and so on. The causative factors, symptoms and treatment methods are well known to doctors, though new knowledge gets added from time to time.

Coming to EV's, this is new technology intended for mass use and the lithium cobalt oxide cathode and a graphite anode that go into the battery, we commonly call lithium-ion battery is a 1979 invention. It is only during the recent two decades that the technology is being perfected. Though non-lithium ion battery powered EV's are in existence since the mid 19th century. Now this (new EV) is much like the SARS-CoV-2 virus that has made it's entry into the global medical encyclopedia in December 2019. Nothing much was known about the traits, behaviour, characteristics, attributes, treatment, antidotes and even about preventive measures for this dreaded virus. Every few days, something new is emerging.

Also, if a Tesla Model S or it's other models catch fire somewhere around the globe, the news gets highlighted in all continents. Not so for an ICE vehicle. If an ICE vehicle catches fire it's local or at the most state/ national news.

New technology is always and has always been under scrutiny, till it reaches near perfection.

And lastly, I have not at all said that ICE vehicles do not pose any fire risk anywhere, as you have "assumed" from my post.

Last edited by anjan_c2007 : 10th October 2020 at 18:39.
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Old 12th October 2020, 18:47   #7
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Default Re: Hyundai to recall Kona EV over faulty battery cells which can cause fire

Hyundai to recall 77,000 Kona electric cars over risk of battery fire, fights LG Chem over cause.

The recall is now worldwide, including North America, most of the vehicles are in Europe.

Quote:
Hyundai is reportedly preparing to recall 77,000 Kona electric cars worldwide over the risk of a battery fire as the automaker is fighting with LG Chem, the battery supplier, over the cause
Quote:
However, different reports are coming to different conclusions.

One is putting the blame on the battery cells while another is concluding that it has to do with the battery pack:

Link

Last edited by volkman10 : 12th October 2020 at 18:50.
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Old 13th October 2020, 17:31   #8
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Default Re: Hyundai to recall Kona EV over faulty battery cells which can cause fire

It's better to wait for another decade before taking a plunge into EV's I feel. While I'm someone who wants to test latest in technology, the current EV's available in India in an affordable price range haven't been convincing when compared with the ICE counterparts. Kona was the one which could be suggested, albeit a costly one, but this recall will put doubts into many potential buyers. LG chem is a big player in the battery cell space, so that doesn't sound good either. I feel there should be some technology which should stop the vehicle from functioning the moment smoke is detected inside a car and automatically unlock doors and windows. I have installed a window breaker and seat belt cutter in the car, but is always wary about whether one will get the presence of mind in case a fire erupts. Besides even in the advanced countries, if a fire erupts the fire engine/retardant won't reach the place fast enough to save precious lives.
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Old 14th October 2020, 00:03   #9
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Default Re: Hyundai to recall Kona EV over faulty battery cells which can cause fire

There has been zero outreach from Hyundai to India Kona owners. To be expected, but none the less disgusting.
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Old 17th October 2020, 12:49   #10
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Default Re: Hyundai to recall Kona EV over faulty battery cells which can cause fire

The silence from Hyundai India is quite deafening really.
While we can rationalise and debate the ICE fires v/s EV fires - it is the lack of clarity and the silence from the company that is irking. I would expect that Hyundai is hard at work trying to figure out what is happening. But from whatever is in the public domain, I can draw the following conclusions:
1. Car fires are known - both in ICE and EV's.
2. It is possible that the involved Konas were too damaged to make a rapid cause assessment.
3. There seems some friction between LG Chem and Hyundai, wonder if some finger pointing is going on!
4. The boss of Hyundai in Korea has stated that the fix they are offering should reduce the risk of these fires "in most instances"....so this too appears to be a fix rather than a solution. Perhaps time will tell.
4. It appears that the LG Chem plant in China also supplies the fuel cells to Tesla China for their cars. The basic fuel cell should not be very different I guess. I always thought that Tesla's IP was in configuring these cells and the power management.

However, Hyundai india has made no effort to try and reassure its customers - who are early adopters-buying a new product, at high cost, with little infrastructure in place. For that alone, I would expect Hyundai India to be more interactive. That is disappointing , especially from a company that prides itself in its customer care operations.
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