Apr 7, 2021 - 04:50 pm

Kona Electric battery recall keeps troubling Hyundai

Hyundai’s recall of the Kona EV due to allegedly faulty cells supplied by LG continues to be a bumpy road. Some owners told Reuters of delays and poor communication, adding fuel to a long story that yet awaits an adequate solution.

To recap quickly – you can find the full story here as it developed – reports of Hyundai Kona Electric cars catching fires first made headlines in October 2020. Confusion followed over the incidents believed to involve faulty cells from LG Chem that remained undetected by the battery management system. Hyundai at the time seemed in denial and delivered poor communications across markets.

The company then agreed on a recall only to find new incidents occurring in vehicles that they had supposedly repaired this January again. Hyundai engineers had opted for a software update despite the issue turning out to be more complex. The Kona Electric uses the same batteries as GM’s Chevrolet Bolt, for which there was also a recall. GM had begun swapping the batteries that October, while Hyundai stuck with the software update as a final solution.

That was until the company had to give in this February when Korean media reported Hyundai was replacing the entire batteries of all 77,000 Kona Electric vehicles worldwide. These account for nearly 70% of the 111,000 units sold over the past three years in Hyundai’s major markets of Europe, the US and South Korea. A few days later, on 25 February, the manufacturer extended the recall to include not only the Kona Electric but also the Ioniq Electric and some Elec City e-bus units at the cost of $900 million following fires in 15 Kona EVs.

Still, the decision to finally replace the batteries sounded like good news, all things considered at the time. However, the new Reuters report points to Hyundai still not having sorted the problem and even less the communication.

Take the example of Kim, an EV owner in Seoul. He told the news agency: “When I asked Hyundai’s repair centre when exactly my Kona EV will be getting a battery replacement, they just told me that they would put me ahead in the line, but I haven’t received the exact date yet.” Kim then added, “There were only a few EV options when I bought my Kona EV back in 2018, but now that there are way more EV models available, I don’t think I would go for Hyundai again.”

And Kim is not alone. Already in November 2020, 173 Kona EV owners filed a class-action lawsuit, seeking 8 million won ($7,000) compensation each for what they consider a reduced value of their EVs.

Another Kona EV owner, surnamed Lee, also said the software update, designed to reduce the fire risk until the battery was replaced, had substantially reduced the battery’s charging capacity. He will never buy a Hyundai vehicle again.

It looks like Hyundai risks losing buyers just when it tries to accelerate growth in the EV segment with Ioniq 5 just released. The new model is the first in a planned family of electric vehicles built on the common e-GMP architecture that the carmaker hopes will propel it to become the third-largest global EV maker by 2025.

reuters.com

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22 Kommentare zu “Kona Electric battery recall keeps troubling Hyundai

  1. M.M.

    Hyundai has agreed to buy out my Lease after numerous strongly worded letters to Hyundai Consumer Affairs department. Waiting for the details from them.

    • GRRRR

      My inoperable Kona EV has been stuck at the dealership waiting for a battery replacement for 6 weeks, with no timeline ever provided from Hyundai on how long they expect me to wait, and no communication whatsoever from Hyundai Consumer Affairs for nearly a month! Bought the car based on great initial reviews and Hyundai’s reputation for quality, but I’m now on my third recall in 18 months of ownership, and my impression of Hyundai has been irreparably damaged. Glad the competition in the EV sector is stepping up, because I’m definitely looking elsewhere for my next EV purchase!

      • Eddie

        Yes I have the same problem
        It just wouldn’t go after charging one day had it towed to the dealer over two months ago. No updates as to when the battery will be replaced. Only 7300 miles on it. Still have payments. Big mistake
        Very disappointed

      • Macy

        My 2021 kona EV didn’t start one day, two and a half months ago.
        Hyundai Roadside assistance denied towing my car to the dealership.
        Had to then complain to the sales manager who took care of the towing. Horrible to have that added stress on top of dealing with a dead car.
        The 2.5 months-to date wait for my car back has consisted of the dealership trashing my car (ripped apart and left outside during extreme weather from forest fire smoke here in B.C.
        The entire time they’ve had it, they’ve been very discrete about the issue continually telling me they don’t know what’s wrong with it.
        How come it can’t be diagnosed? Yesterday they messaged me to tell me it’s ready-saying the issue was a faulty EPCU. Doesn’t add up that that takes 2.5 months to figure out.
        I don’t trust Hyumdai, I don’t think they’re telling the truth, I don’t want my car back.

  2. Brandy Grote

    I call the service department, they are unaware of anything. They say my car “has several recalls” – but I’ve ONLY driven to the dealership in the last YEAR – to get recalls fixed. They can’t tell me anything about this most recent one, and of COURSE never mentioned the $200 gift card “remuneration”. My car is paid off. Going lemon law won’t help much, I doubt I’ll get $50k even with just 4000 miles on it.

  3. No1UNO

    With Recall Campaign 196 done in November, 2020, I lost 20% of my full charge mileage range. Then while investigating that issue, my main traction battery died on March 21, 2021. Now I am providing documentation so that Hyundai USA can buy my car back but I am very concerned at the limited choices available now – plenty of SUV EV’s coming out later in 2021 and early 2022…but also at higher pricing. I am hoping Hyundai will work with me after the buy back to make me whole and put me into another SUV EV with similar mileage range and power / torque.

    • Bruce Geikie

      I have a 2021 kona . Has 9000 kms on it and have the same issue. I’m now getting 350 km range at a 100% charge. Down over 100 kms from the time I purchased it .

  4. Kimberly Zaldivar

    They are expecting me to Pay the monthly payment plus the gas that I need to pay for the rental car. I live and work over an hour away ONE WAY so two hours. I’m spending too much on gas and Hyundai has so ETA of when the battery will get here. Meanwhile, they haven’t given me the $200 Visa card. I’m thinking about sueing if I even can! I love my car but this isn’t fair

  5. Malcolm Ryder

    Kona 64Kwh – same problem as “Eddie” – no go after a charge. Towed to local agent (Verona, Italy).
    Currently, no news on time delay for battery replacement.
    Watch this space!

  6. Tina

    Same here. Kona EV wouldn’t start after a charge today, had to be towed to the local dealer in Ireland. This is my 2nd major issue with this 2019 car. I’d a crash in December when the brakes failed to engage. €4K of damage caused and Hyundai refused to accept responsibility even though there was a brakes recall for that very issue.

    A friend bought one on my earlier recommendation and has had this battery issue twice. Twice with the car off the road. I will never touch a Hyundai again. I’d rather walk. I’m so unimpressed with Hyundai Ireland and I tell everyone who asks me about my car that Hyundai are the pits to deal with. Things will go wrong with cars, it’s how a company resolves them that differentiates a good company from a bad.

  7. Malcolm

    In some ways, it is re-assuring to read of your problem, Tina. We are still waiting for any kind of communication from Hyundai Italia. The company seems to be in complete denial.
    We have been without the car now for nearly three weeks.
    How many others are out there with the same experience?

  8. Ted

    I’m in the USA. On June 11, my dealer’s service department called me to say they were ready to replace the battery on my 2019 Kona but that Hyundai was requiring that they have the car before they could order the battery. I delivered the car on the 14th and was provided a rental Ford. New 3 weeks later, they do not yet have an ETA on the replacement battery. I asked if I could get my car back until the battery was ready as was told that Hyundai considers it a “safety hazard” and wants the dealer to keep the car.

    They are paying for my rental but I’m getting tired of paying my Kona lease payments but driving a Ford!

  9. R.Pinheiro

    Hi. I am in Norway and have a 2019 kona. Just received a letter on the battery replacement that I am schedule for June 2022, an entire year from now, and more than 2 years after all the battery issues started! My last time with Hyunday, after having bought a Kona and a Tucson in the last 5 years.

  10. eleanor jane barone

    have a 2019 kona that i cannot go to work in since they have limited charging capacity to 80%. none of the dealers in my area can change the battery but i pay the monthly loan religiously…today the case manager peter had the nerve to tell me that the car drives and that when it is my turn to have the battery replaced they will figure out how to get it to where they can do the work…i told him that a car i cannot drive to work is worse than useless because i am paying a lot of money for it…am now talking to the loan people and lawyers

  11. Nizetic Srdan

    Hi there. My Kona electric is also on a “waiting list”for battery replacement since 07.06.2021. After reading the comments the only conclusion is that Hyundai is not going to fulfill it’s obligation (battery replacement) in reasonable time. I think that all affected owners should get in touch through social medias and start to organize themselves in order to get legal assistance. Here is a link I found
    https://www.carcomplaints.com/news/2021/hyundai-class-action-lawsuit-kona-ev-ioniq-ev.shtml
    Does anybody know if there is a “social media group”, or something similar, of owners who are planning to file a law suit in Europe? How about us contacting our EU parlament representatives to help us with the problem?! Has someone done that?

    • Malcolm Ryder

      We are now into week eight of our wait for any news of a replacement battery (Verona, Italy). Our wait is without the use of our car (see earlier postings).
      “Hyundai Italia” continues it’s total silence regarding our situation.
      We are not usually social media users, but we certainly agree that we will be a much stronger force if we work together.
      This forum currently gives us some very important support. Thanks to all of you .

  12. Srdan Nizetic

    Hi. Does anyone know if there is a group of Kona electric owners with faulty battery on any of the social medias? Were there law suits against Hyundai filed in Europe because of the Kona ev?

  13. KC

    I live in Colorado and have an appt today to get the battery in my 2019 Kona replaced. They need the car for 2 days. I’m very worried after reading about all these problems. ANYONE have a good experience?

  14. Dave Flinn

    7+ Weeks – Kona EV Battery Recall – HB, CA
    I took the car into Huntington Beach Hyundai on June 22, 2021. They kept the car and said it should be 2 weeks.
    It has now been 7 weeks, they will not release the car, and they have no date or timeline to give to me. I have written Hyundai Customer Service over a week ago and still have no reply.
    I call the dealership every week and they tell me they have no update and no timeline.
    This is now way past lemon law in CA (I have only 12k miles on the car).

  15. Justin C

    I have a Kona EV bought in 2018 in New Zealand.

    I too am finding communication from Hyundai re the battery replacement VERY bad … Hyundai New Zealand can’t even confirm that my car IS getting a replacment battery as they say they are waiting to hear from Korea what the VIN numbers of affected vehicles are. Huh? Surely the MONTHS and MONTHS since this problem was found have given Hyundai enough time to work out which vehicles are affected?

    Interestingly in New Zealand, I have only been told not to charge past 90% (mind you, only after I pointed out to them that that was advice I had read from overseas). I have been given no advice on where to park my Kona … not that I have anywhere else to park it than in the garage below my house *gulp*

    I love my Kona … but this battery issue and bad communication is very much putting me off buying another Hyundai EV.

  16. Jody Wiser

    I have the same issue, but also my estimated miles gage is very irregular. I’ll drive five miles and it will say I’ve used 20 miles of power, or it will do the opposite. I’ll drive five miles and it will add 20 miles to the expected range. Sometimes, when I start up, it will not start. But so far always has when I try again. I did get the $200 card but that doesn’t solve the issue. After reading this thread I now feel even more at risk.

  17. Rupert Allen

    I have my Hyundai kona EV over one yeat it work fine .
    Take it for the first service. Now it big problem
    No navigation for the last 3 months and every day I have to use a charger to started the car.
    I have AA out 4 time . As I write this I’m waiting for AA to out .my been into garage 3 time now
    It cost Mr hundreds of pounds in lost time

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Found on electrive.com
https://www.electrive.com/2021/04/07/kona-ev-owners-find-hyundai-mishandling-recall/
07.04.2021 16:45