After some fires, Hyundai will exchange batteries in all Kona, Ioniq EVs, and Elec Metropolis buses. GM house owners marvel in the event that they’ll get the identical factor, whereas most think about a software program repair.

As we broke the news last week, Hyundai has now formally introduced that they will exchange all their LG batteries in:

  • 75,680 Kona EV electrical vehicles
  • 5,716 Ioniq electrical vehicles
  • 305 Elec Metropolis buses

It could seem that the Ioniq hybrids have been spared.

That is following a tough six-month interval. There have been 15 reported circumstances of Kona EV fires, together with 11 in South Korea and two in Canada. Whereas a short lived software program repair was utilized, its efficacy was questionable; one other Kona with the repair caught hearth simply final month.

Till Hyundai can exchange the battery, they’re recommending to house owners to not cost previous 90% capability. If this sounds acquainted, it’s as a result of GM did the exact same thing with the Bolt EV.

Hyundai breaks their silence

We praised Hyundai for this initiative and reached out for remark. They replied again with an official assertion:

Hyundai Motor Firm has determined to voluntarily recall sure Kona Electrical, Ioniq EV, and Elec Metropolis automobiles in Korea for full battery (BSA: battery system meeting) replacements. The choice displays findings from an investigation led by the Korean authorities, which has revealed the potential of brief circuits in sure faulty battery cells produced in LG Vitality Resolution’s Nanjing plant resulting in fires.

Actions might be taken promptly to forestall any buyer inconvenience and the corporate will proceed putting its utmost precedence on the protection of its prospects. Comparable bulletins might be made for affected automobiles in different markets, in compliance with native rules and tips.

Hyundai’s official assertion on the matter

What’s responsible?

Sadly, Hyundai wouldn’t present any particulars because the trigger or rollout scope. We anticipated an announcement final Friday; they are going to now anticipate the Korean transport ministry’s probe into the difficulty to be accomplished. The suspicion is the cell separators are to blame – learn our earlier protection for an in depth evaluation.

The battery replacements are anticipated to be worldwide. Nonetheless, as we beforehand reported, that it might take as much as one to 2 years to supply and exchange all affected batteries.

LG Vitality Options (LGES), the LG Chem division that builds the cells, is being spun off. They’ve redirected criticism for the difficulty again to Hyundai, claiming that the battery cell isn’t the reason for the fireplace. As a substitute, they insist, Hyundai misapplied LG’s recommendations for fast-charging logic within the battery administration system.

Who’s gonna pay?

It looks as if the 2 firms could also be locked in a protracted battle over price sharing of the recall. One can assume that they may contain the cell separator producer as properly.

The estimated price to Hyundai is about 1 trillion gained ($900 million USD, $1.13 billion CAD). That’s lower than earlier estimates, which have been double that. Maybe Hyundai and LG have already settled on a 50/50 cut up; sadly, the precise particulars are prone to be stored secret.

Setting a precedent within the trade

LG’s deflection is considerably to be anticipated; in the event that they admitted fault, they might probably be on the hook for different maker’s replacements as properly. Regardless, that is prone to create an expectation within the trade for battery replacements.

GM remains to be going through their very own recall, however has opted as an alternative (no less than in the intervening time) for a software fix. Hyundai’s resolution to interchange the batteries stands in begin distinction to this. Nonetheless, if the beforehand reported trigger (cell separators) is definitely the case, that could be why. GM has knowledgeable us that they don’t use the identical separator as Hyundai. This will likely clarify why GM is satisfied {that a} software program repair will be sufficient.

A tumultuous time

GM is at a really fragile level in its historical past proper now. The corporate simply introduced its refreshed Bolt EV, and brand new Bolt EUV. GM has dedicated to going all electric by 2035, with 30 new automobiles anticipated by 2025. They merely can’t afford any errors proper now with out dropping billions sooner or later.

Hyundai has additionally simply introduced their new Ioniq 5 lineup. Whereas the specs look spectacular, the worth is certain to match.

Apparently sufficient, these two bulletins might function complementary as an alternative of competitory; they are going to probably serve completely different value factors and segments. Each GM and Hyundai are very dedicated to their electrical future. That is positively a tough factor for them to be doing proper now. We are able to hope that stepping as much as exchange all battery packs will construct loyalty and instill religion in Hyundai’s model.

GM house owners appear to have religion

A casual ballot on the Chevy Bolt EV and EUV Owners Facebook group paints an attention-grabbing image. Almost 700 individuals have responded over three days, though this was earlier than Hyundai introduced their alternative resolution. Regardless of some early Bolt adopters being very vocal and demanding replacements, 58% are comfortable with having a software-only repair. One other 24% want to have extra data earlier than making a choice. Whereas not a proper ballot, this does strongly point out one thing. So long as GM can provide a passable rationalization of how they’re fixing the issue, no less than 80% of householders might be okay with out battery replacements.

Electrek’s Take

That’s the crux – can GM give a very good rationalization? Will that be sufficient? Will they compensate house owners?

The 80% satisfaction might simply slide right down to 50/50 if GM isn’t open with their house owners. Both method, except there’s some monetary compensation, GM could have created animosity amongst their house owners whereas Hyundai is taking the upper highway.

It’s nice that Hyundai is stepping up and going forward with the replacements, and they need to be applauded for this. Regardless of LG’s rationalization, it’s unlikely that so many platforms (together with their very own stationary battery merchandise) would all have systematic charging points. Occam’s razor absolutely applies right here: LG’s cells are the frequent issue. It’s a giant hit for Hyundai to take for one thing that in the end wasn’t their fault.

Whereas the EV market is small, early adopters have been very understanding that they’re, successfully, on beta platforms. Homeowners have put up with plenty of bumps alongside the way in which. It’s good to see an organization rewarding their house owners with new batteries. This could alleviate the issues and prolong the lifetime of their automobiles.

Both method, hopefully it will shut the chapter on these battery fires. So long as no extra happen, we are able to hope for clean crusing into their all electrical futures.

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