Hyundai is in the hot seat.
In a report by CBC, a Hyundai Kona EV was revealed to have caught fire before exploding in the owner’s garage near Montreal in Canada. The car was completely destroyed, while the garage door reportedly blew off to the other side of the street and a hole was created on the roof due to the explosion.
According to the owner, Piero Cosentino, he saw smoke coming from his garage just moments before the explosion.
“As soon as I saw that, I immediately turned off the breaker,” Cosentino told CBC. Cosentino also shared that he bought the Kona in March and could not explain as to what caused the fire and eventual explosion. However, there have also been conflicting reports about whether the vehicle was plugged in and charging or not when the incident happened.
In a statement to Automotive News, Hyundai Canada’s spokesperson Jean-François Taylor said, “We are working with authorities and fire investigators in Montreal to understand the root cause of the incident, as this is not yet known. As is always the case, the safety of our customers is our first priority and we will push to fully understand the issue as quickly as possible.”
Louise Desrosiers, Division Chief of the Montreal Fire Department, also told Radio Canada about the course of their investigation.
“It was a fully electric vehicle, and there was nothing around that could have caused the explosion. We will be following up closely with the owner to understand the problem in anticipation of other cases,” she said.
While nothing has been confirmed as to the cause of the fire, the incident dampens the progress on development of electric vehicles in the market. It also fuels customers’ anxiety on the new technology.
There have been instances in the past where gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles caught fire, but when an EV does, it is harder to put out the fire due to the nature of the battery technology used. Hyundai Konas are also not the only EVs that have caught fire while parked. Previously, at least eight different Teslas have reportedly gone up in flames while stationary.