Hyundai has recalled almost 800 Kona Electric small SUVs in Australia due to a potentially deadly fire risk.
According to the ACCC’s Product Safety Australia recall notice, the Kona’s 65kW lithium-ion battery may have internal damage, or the battery management system (BMS) control software may cause an electrical short circuit after charging.
The issue, which affects 77,000 cars worldwide, is believed to be the cause of at least nine Kona Electric fires reported around the world, though at this stage no such issues have been reported in Australia.
One such fire in Montreal Canada led to a serious explosion that gutted the vehicle (below) and caused extensive damage to the garage and adjoining house, including burning a massive hole in the roof.
The recall says that affected vehicles, built between 2018 and 2020, need to be parked in an open space and away from flammable materials and structures; that is, not in a garage.
Owners are also advised to only charge their vehicles up to 90 per cent of its battery capacity.
A Hyundai Australia spokesman said the company had already actioned the recall at the start of November, after seeking guidance from the company’s Korean headquarters in October. This confirmed vehicles sent to Australia were part of the affected production run.
According to the Korean media reports, the affected vehicles have batteries made by LG Chem, which has led Hyundai to source more batteries from rival firm SK Innovation.
What to do if you own a Kona Electric
The recall affects all Hyundai Kona Electric Elite and Highlander vehicles imported since it first arrived in Australia; the ACCC has published a list of vehicle identification numbers (VIN) of all affected cars.
Hyundai Australia is contacting owners of the affected cars directly to facilitate a fix, or customers can access the recall notice by clicking here.