After multiple reports of batteries catching fire, Hyundai has issued a recall of many of its electric vehicles, joining other automakers that have recently experienced battery defects.
Hyundai is recalling approximately 82,000 vehicles that it manufactured between 2018 and 2020. The affected models include the Kona and the Ioniq, as well as some electric buses.
Recall for fire risk
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the battery in the Hyundai Kona and other electric models is at an increased risk of catching fire due to a short circuit in the lithium-ion cells.
Hyundai has faced some criticism from its customers for its handling of the issue, with many consumers reporting delays for repairs and a lack of clear communication from the automaker.
Battery defects in electric vehicles
Hyundai is not the only car manufacturer to have issues recently with the batteries in electric vehicles. Chevy, Audi and Nio all issued recalls over combustion risks, and Tesla fires have made national headlines. Some manufacturers are facing class-action lawsuits over battery problems.
The fires caused by the lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles are particularly dangerous because first responders are unable to extinguish them by regular means. The cells can easily reignite. Many first responders now undergo special training to address this new risk.
Owners of the Kona or Ioniq should contact Hyundai to verify if the recall affects their vehicle. In the meantime, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends that owners of these models park their cars outside and away from flammable structures.