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

Posted: Thu Apr 15, 2021 3:36 am
by DavidR
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