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Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2021 1:08 am

QUESTIONS on Safety Recall for 2019-March2020 Kona EV's BATTERY

Thu Apr 15, 2021 3:36 am

Several days ago I saw the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Safety Recall notice # 21V-127 / Hyundai Recall #200 on the Kona EV's big battery, based on the battery fires in South Korea, Canada, and elsewhere, in Kona Electric EV's built in 2018, 2019, and up through March 2 2020. The problem is folded anode tab(s) in the lithium-ion battery which could contact the cathode and cause a short, possibly leading to a fire, and is estimated by Hyundai to affect 1% of the 4694 Kona EV's built during the listed dates and imported into the US. The recall notice was dated March 1, 2021. Here's the link:
https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/rcl/2021/R ... 7-1095.PDF

NOTE that the "Description of the Remedy" from the NHTSA recall notice 21V-127 (page 3) includes the following:
--Hyundai plans to notify owners to bring their vehicles to the nearest Hyundai dealership for replacement of the BSA (Battery System Assembly). (--bold emphasis added by DavidR)
--As an interim step, Hyundai plans to notify owners to bring their vehicles to the nearest dealership to have the battery’s state of charge limit lowered to mitigate risk. Owners will also be provided with instructions to manually lower the battery’s state of charge limit via the infotainment system.

Also noted in the NHTSA recall notice on page 3:
--The remedy battery will be produced with insulation coating on the cathode within the battery cells.
--The insulation coating was introduced into production on March 3, 2020.
--Dealers and owners will be notified in late April.

TODAY (Apr 14 2021) I got the Important Safety Recall (Interim Notice) - 2019-2020 Kona EV Lithium-ion Battery, undated, in the US mail from Hyundai Motor America. It cites NHTSA Recall number 21V-127 and Hyundai Recall number 200. In this notice, Hyundai states the following (under the "What should you do in the interim?" section):
--Hyundai is currently making preparations to implement the recall remedy.
--You will receive a second notification letter when the remedy is available, and the Battery System Assembly will be inspected, and replaced -- if necessary. (--bold emphasis added by DavidR)
--In the meantime, owners are recommended to perform the following:
----Adjust or confirm your vehicle's "Max. % Charge" level to 80%. This can be done manually at home using the infotainment system ... See instructional video www.youtube.com/watch?v=dk-FrxW5bRM
----If your vehicle is currently subscribed to Bluelink, Hyundai will attempt to remotely set your "Max % Charge" to 80% within the next week. You can verify the setting following the steps above.
----You must go to the dealership to verify or adjust "Max % Charge" level reduced to 80%. Once verified at the dealership you will receive a $200 gift card due to the inconvenience of reduction of range...
----If you cannot adjust or go to the dealership to achieve "Max % Charge" level to 80%, park and charge your vehicle outside and/or away from structures until the "Max % Charge" level has been reduced to 80%.
--If you have other questions, you may contact the Hyundai Customer Care Center at 1-855-371-9460...

MY QUESTIONS (as owner of a 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric EV):
(a) The NHTSA recall notice indicates that the remedy is "replacement of the BSA" which is the Battery System Assembly, whereas the Hyundai recall notice says that the remedy will be that the "Battery System Assembly will be inspected, and replaced -- if necessary". WHICH is it - automatic replacement, or possible replacement?

(b) The Hyundai recall notice states that the remedy replacement battery will have an insulation coating on the cathodes, which is how the Kona Electric EV batteries have been made since March 3, 2020. Model year 2019 Kona EV's have an unlimited time/unlimited mileage warranty on their batteries. Model year 2020 and later Kona EV's have a 10 year/100,000 mile warranty on their batteries. Will Hyundai warranty the replacement batteries in 2019 Kona EV's for unlimited time/unlimited mileage, as their original batteries were warranted? That seems only fair, since the unlimited battery warranty was a selling point and one major reason why people bought 2019 Kona Electric EV's versus another brand of EV.

(c) Charging rates for Kona EV batteries currently decrease at various points, notably at around 80% and perhaps again at 90% until 100% maximum charge is achieved. When the maximum charge is lowered to 80%, will the charging rate start decreasing at around 60% and perhaps again at 70% until 80% maximum charge is achieved, or will the charging rate continue as it has been until 80%? The latter seems perfectly in line with the fact that the 80% maximum level is a false maximum, and fully 20% at the top of the battery will remain uncharged, just as it would be currently when an owner voluntarily limits the maximum charge to 80%.

(d) How long before the training for inspection and either automatic battery replacement or "if necessary" possible battery replacement will become available to all Hyundai Kona EV dealers? What is the target date for completing the battery remedy for all 4694 of these affected US 2019 and 2020 Kona Electric EV's?

--DavidR, 2019 Kona Electric, Ithaca, NY

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Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2019 1:16 pm

Re: QUESTIONS on Safety Recall for 2019-March2020 Kona EV's BATTERY

Sat May 29, 2021 12:05 pm

Thank you David R. You ask all the key questions on your 4/15/21 post. But no answers seem to be forthcoming from Hyundai or on this forum. I have actually gone to my local dealership in Albany, NY, and have spent over four hours waiting for them to make their attempted fixes to this rather disturbing battery fiasco. The $200 payoff in no way compensates me for time spent trying to deal with this,, and the reduced mileage as a result of the 80% limitation is becoming increasingly annoying. What will be very off pissing is to have to sit for hours once again in their obnoxiously over loud dealerships (apparently the stupid music piped throughout their facility is mandatory from Hyundai corporate) and have them tell me all is fine with the current battery, and no replacement is necessary. But perhaps equally anxiety provoking would be their need to fully replace the battery, as I get the impression from their service folks that this is all new and foreign territory to them. Trust in their competence is waning.
And your final point concerning the lifetime battery warranty that was only offered to us 2019 owners, well, this was indeed a key reason for my opting to buy this vehicle. It still better remain the case. Not sure if we have any legal recourse, but this entire affair is becoming increasingly disturbing.
That all said and vented, I really do love this vehicle. I hope they quickly resolve the problem.

Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2018 3:39 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: QUESTIONS on Safety Recall for 2019-March2020 Kona EV's BATTERY

Sat Jun 05, 2021 5:59 am

(a) The NHTSA recall notice ...
For US owners the remedy chosen by the US importer appears to be a buyback, as reported by many owners on FB. In other countries no specific policy is in place that I'm aware of and I expect most owners are patiently waiting to get a replacement of the pack, IF any cells included in the pack are determined to be manufactured at the one Chinese LG Chem plant that made them with the defect. It's not clear as to what percentage that might be of the total, but it could be most, or even all those not made by SK Innovation. Some UK owners have been offered a buyback as well.

(b) The Hyundai recall notice ...
It's understood that the warranty the original owner had would remain with the car.

(c) Charging rates for Kona EV batteries currently ...
It's not that complicated. The charge rates are still much the same at each percentage SoC except there is a 10 minute pause at 82% and apparently one at just over 90%, the latter not confirmed by myself. It's possible those could go away with a future update after the pack replacement, no word on that however.

(d) How long before the training ...
As noted, it seems Hyundai USA has opted to buy back your car so the details of replacements don't matter. The rest of us, perhaps 95% of the total, are expecting new packs by the end of 2021, but we also are allowed to charge up to 90% while we wait.
2018 Kona Electric base model in white

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