Hyundai’s recall of 82,000 electric cars is one of the most expensive in history


The recall will price Hyundai 1 trillion Korean received, or $900 million. On a per-vehicle foundation, the common price is $11,000 per automotive — an astronomically excessive quantity for a recall.

Replacing a whole battery is an excessive measure, requiring an identical quantity of work and expense as changing a whole engine of a standard inner combustion-powered automotive. Very few recollects of gasoline powered cars require a whole engine to get replaced. One of the few examples was a 2014 recall of 785 of the Porsche 911 GT3 sports activities cars. Porsche didn’t launch the price of that recall, but it surely is definitely extra expensive on a per-vehicle foundation than this Hyundai recall.

Still, a recall costing greater than $11,000 per automobile is extraordinarily uncommon. Precise figures aren’t accessible as a result of most automakers don’t disclose the price of their recollects.

Because there are such a lot of extra gasoline-powered cars on the highway than EVs, the whole price of their recollects can simply exceed the $900 million price of this Hyundai recall. For instance General Motors not too long ago took a $1.2 billion cost for the cost of replacing Takata airbags, however that coated 7 million autos, which means the recall price lower than $200 per automobile. The common price of an auto recall over the final 10 years was about $500 per automobile, in accordance with Mike Held, a director in the automotive and industrial observe at AlixPartners, a world consulting agency.

“Overall, battery safety and durability will be increasingly important if auto companies want to avoid some of the large battery-recall costs that have befallen the consumer-electronics industry,” he mentioned.

The price of Hyundai’s recall is one other indication of simply how expensive EV batteries are relative to the the price of the total automotive. Until the price of the batteries come down, by means of larger manufacturing worldwide and economies of scale, the price of making electric autos will stay increased than comparable gasoline cars.

Once the batteries do develop into cheaper, as predicted for the coming years, EVs might become much cheaper to assemble as a result of they’ve fewer shifting components and as a lot as 30% fewer hours of labor wanted for meeting.

The fewer components on the EVs might additionally imply that recollects needs to be much less widespread than for conventional inner combustion-powered cars. But in the close to time period, there could possibly be vital prices if battery fireplace issues trigger battery replacements.

Battery fires

No one was injured in any of the fires, many of which came about after the cars had been shut off and the cars had been empty. None of the fires came about in the United States. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated final October there are 6,700 electric Hyundai Konas, the US model of the affected autos, on American roads.

Hyundai mentioned an investigation of the fires confirmed the cars’ faulty LG-made battery cells might brief circuit.

The recall additionally covers the Ioniq EV, and Elec City autos in South Korea. The recall consists of 27,000 Korean autos and 55,000 elsewhere in the world.

Fires involving EV batteries aren’t distinctive to those autos. GM (GM) is additionally recalling an earlier model its electric Chevrolet Bolt as a result of of fireplace issues attributable to its personal LG battery, though a distinct mannequin that the one in the Hyundai recall.

GM is not changing the batteries in 68,000 Bolts being recalled globally. Of that whole, almost 51,000 are in the United States. While the automaker is not saying how its drawback might be addressed, it is more likely to be dealt with with a software program replace.

Tesla (TSLA) additionally had an issue with battery fires early in its history, however that was tied to wreck to the batteries from debris on the road kicking up. The batteries of most EVs are throughout the backside of the automotive. Tesla handled the drawback by installing more shielding for the batteries.
Gasoline or diesel cars additionally current fireplace dangers, sometimes after accidents when drivers and passengers are nonetheless in the automotive, which poses a greater safety threat.

Hyundai mentioned it is nonetheless in talks with battery provider LG Energy Solutions, as to which firm might be chargeable for how a lot of the price. The Korean Transport ministry appeared in charge LG for the fireplace drawback in its assertion on the recall, attributing them to a misaligned battery cell.

But LG’s assertion, which mentioned it should cooperate with the Korean Transport Ministry’s ongoing investigation, denied it was the cause for the fires.

“The fire was not recreated in the lab test, and the issue was an early mass production problem in Hyundai Motors dedicated line,” mentioned LG’s assertion. It mentioned it “will further strengthen safety in all processes from product plan to manufacture and inspection.”

— CNN’s Gaewon Bae contributed to this story



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