Hyundai will stop making the Kona EV for South Korea after the battery recall

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Hyundai is shutting down its first electric SUV for the general public, the Kona EV, in South Korea following a massive recall due to a fire hazard in the battery pack, the The Yonhap news agency reports. The carmaker will instead turn its attention to the upcoming Ioniq 5 (and the EVs that will follow it), although Hyundai will still sell the Kona EV in the United States, according to Roadshow.

More than a dozen reports of fires in Kona EV battery packs have been documented since 2019, so Hyundai decided to spend nearly $ 1 billion in February to recall 76,000 Kona EVs in its home country (although battery supplier LG Chem is a major contributor). It also recalled some Ioniq sedans and electric buses that used the same battery technology. Sale of the Kona EV dropped drastically after the recall, and some owners have said that the The process of getting the battery replaced has been a mess.

Hyundai officially started the recall process for the Kona EV in the US in March, and the company has been notifying owners since early April.

One of the reasons Hyundai may still be exporting Kona EVs to places like the US is that, just before the original February recall, it announced a renewed version of the electric SUV with a facelift and various technical upgrades. It is also still one of the more affordable electric vehicles on the market in North America with a range of over 400 kilometers.