Hyundai and Kia recall 170,000 EVs in Korea, is the US next?

Hyundai and Kia will recall around 170,000 EVs in Korea, the largest since they launched. The recall is over a software issue impacting Hyundai’s IONIQ, Genesis, and Kia EVs. Meanwhile, there’s an open NHTSA investigation in the US.

Hyundai and Kia recall 170,000 electric vehicles

The South Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport announced the recall on Thursday. Twelve models from Hyundai, Kia, Stellantis Korea, and Tesla Korea were found to have defects.

Hyundai and Kia accounted for most of the recall, with around 170,000 EVs impacted. Of them, 113,916 Hyundai models, including the IONIQ 5, IONIQ 6, Genesis GV60, GV70, and Electrified G80.

Kia is recalling 56,016 EV6 models, while 136 Tesla Model 3’s will be updated due to pedestrian warning sounds. Meanwhile, several hundred Jeep Cherokee and Wranglers were also recalled.

The Hyundai and Kia EVs were found to have a software glitch in the ICCU that could affect power to the battery. This can cause charging issues or possibly a loss of power while driving.

Hyundai and Kia will issue a software update once they receive the recalled models. If there’s still a faulty code, they will replace the ICCU.

The new Hyundai IONIQ 5 facelift (Source: Hyundai)

In the US, the NHTSA opened an investigation on June 8, 2023, over several reports of loss of ICCU power in NY 2022-2023 Hyundai IONIQ 5 models. The 2022 Kia EV6 is also being investigated over loss of power complaints.

Although the 2023 IONIQ 6 is not being investigated, several complaints have been filed with the NHTSA due to charging issues.

Hyundai IONIQ 6 Black Edition (Source: Hyundai)

Hyundai Motor Group said in a statement (via Reuters), “Hyundai Motor and Kia will take prompt actions to prevent customer inconvenience and will continue to prioritize the safety of our customers and their vehicles.” The recall in Korea is set to begin on March 18.

The news comes after Hyundai introduced a new trade-in program in its home market, offering new discounts to encourage drivers to switch to electric vehicles.

Kia EV6 GT (Source: Kia)

Electrek’s Take

Despite the significant recall, Hyundai is plowing ahead in the EV market. Last year, Hyundai was the fourth best-selling EV brand in the US. Including Kia, Hyundai Motor topped Ford and GM for second place in the US EV market, trailing only Tesla.

Hyundai is one of many automakers with software issues. For example, GM just lifted the Chevy Blazer EV stop-sale this week after nearly three months over a software quality issue.

After a two-year delay over software, Porsche finally unveiled its all-electric Macan EV in January.

Hyundai is expected to launch its first three-row electric SUV, the IONIQ 9, later this year, which could help boost sales in the US, its largest market.

South Korea also introduced a new EV subsidy plan that benefits domestic automakers like Hyundai and Kia while penalizing cheaper batteries from China.

Hyundai aims to be a top-three EV maker by 2030, but it will need to get back on track as the recall could derail its momentum this year. The automaker is planning to open its first EV and battery plant in the US by the end of 2024, which is expected to enable vehicles built at the facility to qualify for the $7,500 EV tax credit.

Source: The Korean Economic Daily

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