Will Hyundai and Kia’s 170,000 EV Recall Extend to the US?

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Hyundai and Kia are set to recall approximately 170,000 electric vehicles (EVs) in South Korea due to a software problem affecting the Integrated Charging Control Unit (ICCU). This recall is the largest for the two Korean carmakers since they began selling EVs. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport announced the recall on Thursday, which also included models from Stellantis Korea and Tesla Korea.

The defective software in the ICCU can lead to power supply issues to the battery, causing potential charging difficulties or even a loss of power while driving. Hyundai is recalling 113,916 vehicles, including the IONIQ 5, IONIQ 6, Genesis GV60, GV70, and Electrified G80 models. Meanwhile, Kia is recalling 56,016 EV6 models. Additionally, 136 Tesla Model 3s will be updated to address pedestrian warning sound concerns, and some Jeep Cherokee and Wrangler models are also part of the recall.

In the United States, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened an investigation in June 2023 regarding power losses in the ICCU of 2022-2023 Hyundai IONIQ 5 and 2022 Kia EV6 models. The NHTSA is looking into several reports of power loss in these vehicles. Although the IONIQ 6 is not currently under investigation, there have been complaints about charging issues with this model as well.

Hyundai Motor Group issued a statement (via Reuters) stating that they will promptly address customer inconvenience and prioritize safety. The recall in Korea will start on March 18. Despite the recall, Hyundai continues to be aggressive in the EV market, ranking as the fourth-best-selling EV brand in the US in 2022. In the US market, Hyundai and Kia combined to surpass Ford and GM, coming in second place behind Tesla.

However, Hyundai is not alone in experiencing software issues. GM recently lifted a stop-sale on Chevy Blazer EVs after nearly three months due to a software quality issue. Porsche also experienced delays in launching its all-electric Macan EV due to software concerns.

Hyundai aims to become a top-three EV manufacturer by 2030, and the company is planning to open its first EV and battery plant in the US by the end of 2024, which should qualify vehicles built at the facility for the $7,500 EV tax credit. The South Korean government also introduced a new EV subsidy plan that benefits domestic automakers, including Hyundai and Kia, while imposing penalties on cheaper batteries from China.

Source: The Korean Economic Daily