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Hyundai Kona Electric recalled over fire risk

By David Bonnici, 19 Nov 2020 Car News

Hyundai Kona Electric with charger

ACCC issues recall notice for Kona EV over battery fault linked to several serious fires

Need to Know:

  • The recall affects 796 vehicles in Australia and 77,000 worldwide

  • The issue is linked to at least nine fires around the world

  • Avoid parking your Kona EV in a garage or charging it beyond 90%

  • Kona EV owners should contact their local Hyundai dealer

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.

Hyundai Kona EV catches fire, blows up garage

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.

MORE Why a recall isn't all bad news

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.

MORE What is your VIN and how do you find it?

Hyundai Australia is contacting owners of the affected cars directly to facilitate a fix, or customers can access the recall notice by clicking here.

NOW READ What to do if your car is recalled