Hyundai Motor Co will replace batteries in approximately 82,000 electric vehicles worldwide due to the risk of spontaneous combustion. The operation will cost approximately $ 900 million, making it the largest mass battery replacement ever by a major automaker.
The recall mainly concerns the Kona EV, Hyundai's best-selling electric vehicle, which was first recalled late last year for a software update following a series of fires. However, one of the recalled Kona electric vehicles caught fire in January, and South Korean authorities launched an investigation to see if the first recall was adequate.
Battery manufacturer LG Energy Solution, a division of LG Chem Ltd, has denied all allegations. The company said in a statement that Hyundai misapplied LG's suggestions for fast charging logic in its battery management system, adding that the battery cell should not be considered a direct cause of the risk of fire.
In a statement from the South Korean Ministry of Transport, it said that some defects were found in the battery cells produced at LG Energy's plant in China. Hyundai did not comment on the cause of the fires.
Hyundai shares fell 3.9% and LG Chem shares fell 2.8%, in line with the broader market.
Hyundai declined to comment on LG Energy's statement or provide details on when the company will calculate the costs, saying it will first wait for the results of the Department of Transportation's investigation.
Kona and Ioniq owners are advised to limit battery charging to 90% capacity until the battery is replaced, Hyundai said.