2 more Hyundai Motor Kona Electric SUVs catch fire

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2 more Hyundai Motor Kona Electric SUVs catch fire

Firefighters attend to a Hyundai Motor Kona Electric that caught fire in February in Daegu. [YONHAP]

Firefighters attend to a Hyundai Motor Kona Electric that caught fire in February in Daegu. [YONHAP]

Hyundai Motor Kona Electric SUVs are spontaneously combusting in and out of Korea once again despite a massive fire-related recall initiated early this year.
 
A Kona Electric SUV was found to have caught fire in Boryeong, South Chungcheong, on June 18. The vehicle was equipped an LG Energy Solution battery but was not a model subject to the earlier recall.  
 
PR teams from Hyundai Motor and LG Energy Solution both said Thursday they are cooperating with partners and state-run Korea Automobile Testing & Research Institute (Katri) to figure out the cause of the fire.  
 
The vehicle was parked and wasn’t charging when it caught fire, according to a local fire station.  
 
Another Kona Electric SUV was reported to have caught fire in Oslo, Norway, on June 21st, according to U.S. media outlet InsideEVs. It reported the vehicle appears to have been parked and was not charging. Firefighters, after spraying water on the vehicle, submerged it in a large container filled with water, according to the news outlet.  
 
Whether the vehicle was a model subject to recall and whether it had an LG Energy Solution’s battery have not yet been confirmed.
 
Hyundai Motor said Thursday it is currently looking into the incident through its European operations.  
 
Including the latest two cases, a total of 17 Kona Electrics caught fire globally since 2018.
 
Hyundai Motor initiated a recall earlier this year after the country’s transport ministry found a defect in the vehicle’s battery cells that could lead to fire. The battery cells in question are those made by LG Energy Solution at its Nanjing, China, factory from Sept. 2017 to July 2019.  
 
Those cells were installed in Kona Electrics that were manufactured between Nov. 2017 and March 2020.  
 
The model that caught fire in Boryeong was sold after March 2020.  
 
A total of 770,000 Hyundai Motor Kona Electrics were subject to recall, with entire battery packs and related components replaced.  
 
It was part of 1.4-trillion-won recall that includes two other electric models from Hyundai Motor equipped with LG’s battery cells.  
 
Hyundai Motor suspended selling Kona Electrics in Korea since March despite it being the carmaker’s most popular electric model.
 
  

 
 
 

BY JIN EUN-SOO [jin.eunsoo@joongang.co.kr]
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