Hyundai has named the reason for the massive fire in Kona Electric electric cars. The automaker shared the findings of a commission from the South Korean Ministry of Transport, which found that the fires were due to problems with LG Chem batteries.
Experts from MOLIT (the South Korean ministry that regulates land, property, infrastructure and transport issues) in their own investigation concluded that the bent anode tongue on the traction battery was the cause of spontaneous combustion.
The Ministry of Transport established that due to a manufacturing defect, the contacts of the lithium-ion battery were closed, which, under certain conditions, could lead to a fire. The commission emphasized that all defective batteries came from LG Chem’s factory in Nanjing, China.
Representatives of the battery supplier LG Chem do not admit their guilt and state that they are not yet familiar with the official results of the MOLIT commission. The battery manufacturer insists that in the course of numerous cell tests, the problem was not reproduced, and the spontaneous combustion of crossovers is a result of incorrect operation of the control software developed by Hyundai for fast charging.
As Hyundai has made the decision to replace traction batteries on all EVs at risk, the parties will have to invest about $ 1 billion in a massive recall campaign.
The relationship between Hyundai and LG Chem is ruined: the new electric vehicles of the South Korean concern will use batteries from other suppliers – SK Innovation and CATL.