According to an investigation by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, there is a high possibility that an internal short circuit caused by defective battery cell manufacturing (folding of the negative electrode tab) is the cause of subsequent fires in Hyundai Kona Electric Vehicles (EV).

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport announced today (24th) that it will voluntarily take corrective actions (recalls) as manufacturing defects were found in 26,699 units of three car models, including Kona electric cars manufactured and sold by Hyundai Motor Company.

The recall targets total 26,699 units, including 25,000 Kona EVs, 1,314 IONIQ electric vehicles (AE PE EVs), and 302 Eleccity (electric buses and LK EVs).

According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, some of the high-voltage batteries initially produced at LG Energy Solutions' Nanjing Plant in China (September 2017 to July 2019) among the batteries used in these three vehicle models have been confirmed to have a possibility of fire due to internal short circuit due to cell manufacturing failure.

As a result, these three models will begin corrective action (recall) to replace all high voltage battery systems (BSA) starting on the 29th of this month.

The Korea Transportation Safety Authority's Automobile Safety Research Institute (KATRI) has been conducting fire reproducibility experiments along with detailed investigations of high-voltage batteries collected from recalls from October last year until recently.

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport explained that it has confirmed the possibility of a fire due to misalignment inside the cell as a result of a detailed investigation of battery disassembly.

However, he added that the experiment is still in progress as the fire reproduction test cannot directly confirm this.

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport reported that Hyundai Motor Company and LG Energy Solutions have not completed the defect investigation by the Korea Automobile Safety Research Institute, but decided to replace the existing high voltage battery system (BSA) with improved products to protect consumers.