Hyundai to recall Kona EV over faulty battery cells: South Korea ministry

From Joyce Lee
SEOUL (Reuters) - Hyundai Motor Co will voluntarily recall its Kona electric vehicles because a possible short circuit due to incorrect manufacture of its high-voltage battery cells could pose a fire risk, the South Korean Ministry of Transportation said on Thursday.
As of October 16, the recall, which includes software updates and battery replacement after inspections, includes 25,564 Kona electric vehicles (EVs) built between September 2017 and March 2020, the Department of Transportation said in a statement.
The safety recall "is a proactive response to a suspected faulty production of high-voltage batteries in the vehicles that may have contributed to the reported fires," the company said, adding that all necessary measures will be taken to determine the cause of the fire and address customer needs.
According to a statement by the lawmaker's office of the ruling party Jang Kyung-tae on Thursday, 13 fire incidents have been documented with the Kona EV, including one each in Canada and Austria.
Kona electric vehicles use batteries from LG Chem Ltd. A spokesman for LG Chem said the company had not received an immediate comment.
Hyundai's shares fell 1.4% on investor concerns that battery recall and replacement could be costly as the battery represents about 30% of the price of an electric vehicle, analysts said.
In contrast, the LG Chem share rose 1.8%.
The Kona Electric is the South Korean automaker's first long-haul EV SUV.
In July, Euisun Chung, head of Hyundai Motor Group, stated that Hyundai Motor and sister company Kia Motors intend to sell 1 million battery-powered electric vehicles by 2025, representing more than 10% of the global market share for such vehicles.
(Reporting by Joyce Lee; writing by Heekyong Yang; editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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