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Hyundai Motor to recall overseas Kona EVs over potential battery fire risks

All News 19:29 October 11, 2020

SEOUL, Oct. 11 (Yonhap) -- Hyundai Motor Co. has decided to voluntarily recall its Kona all-electric models sold overseas, industry insiders said Sunday, after the automaker vowed to take the same step on the home turf over potential battery fire risks.

Hyundai will globally recall some 77,000 Kona Electric models manufactured between September 2017 and March, 2020, industry insiders said.

The recall comes after 13 fires in the model have been reported since 2018.

The South Korean automaker already decided to recall 25,564 Kona electric vehicles (EVs) sold in the domestic market after the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport on Thursday pointed out that a possible short circuit in the faulty battery cell system may start a fire in the pure EV model.

Hyundai's U.S. unit reportedly filed its recall plan to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently.

Hyundai reportedly plans to recall more than 11,000 units of Kona Electric in North America and more than 37,000 units in Europe, as well as 3,000 units sold in other countries, industry sources said.

In South Korea, the carmaker will start updating the battery-related software program for the EV vehicles subject to the recall from Friday and replacing the battery system.

Hyundai is expected to offer similar services overseas.

Meanwhile, LG Chem Ltd., which supplies lithium ion car batteries to Hyundai Motor, has rebutted the transport ministry's findings, saying that the exact cause of the recent fires in the Kona Electric car has yet to be determined and that the company will jointly investigate with Hyundai on the cause of the incidents.

This file photo provided by Hyundai Motor shows the Kona Electric model. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

kdon@yna.co.kr
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