Fire risks in vehicles are not limited to gas-powered models. Electric cars are also at risk of catching fire, especially when a component takes up heat beyond what the engineers intended.
Such is the case for the Hyundai Kona Electric crossover, for which the South Korean government recently issued a recall. In the United States, Hyundai is filing a voluntary recall with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
According to a report by Reuters, Hyundai and the transport ministry of South Korea have issued a recall order for 25,564 units of the Kona Electric with build dates between September 2017 and March 2020. All the vehicles in question are scheduled to be inspected starting October 16, with the software also set to be updated and battery packs replaced.
The recall was prompted by reports of 13 Kona Electric crossovers combusting, including one in Canada. Both Hyundai and its battery supplier LG Chem have conducted experiments to identify the cause of the combustion to no avail. But the companies suspect a possible short circuit due to faulty manufacturing of the cells.
Hyundai said the 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.”
It’s still unclear how many units of the Kona Electric crossover will be recalled in the US. But it’s interesting to note that Hyundai and its sibling company Kia are also part of a large recall in the US due to fire danger in some of their older models.