2021 Hyundai Kona may have same battery issues as 2019-2020 models

Discussion in 'Hyundai Kona Electric' started by livingthecadream, Aug 31, 2021.

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  1. livingthecadream

    livingthecadream New Member

    We purchased our 2021 Hyundai Kona EV in May. The charging was inconsistent. The car has 3200 miles on it, and it will not start. We had it towed to the dealership, and the whole EV battery is bad. It has the same LG battery as the 2019-2020 models that have the recall. Hyundai quit selling the car in the Korean market, but decided to keep selling it elsewhere. I encourage owners with battery issues to report a case on https://www.nhtsa.gov/. I reported a case. The 2021 needs to be included in the recall. This is a very dishonest company. There is no ETA of a fix/new battery.

    I am very disappointed, as my husband and I liked the power and appearance of the Kona. It was a great vehicle until this issue. We're looking at the lemon law in our state. The lawyer that I spoke with yesterday indicated that Chevy Bolt only had the 2019-2020 models recalled initially. Now, the later models are included. She thought the same may happen with the Kona. This was our first and last Hyundai.

    Also, there is significant depreciation on these vehicles, most likely because of the battery issues.
    DelRider, NextEv, Ronny and 1 other person like this.
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  3. Very similar situation here.
    Bought the 2021 Kona in March 2021 in Canada. No recalls here for the 2021 or 2022. But yes, they have the same battery as the previous generations. Apparently the battery packs "changed" slightly as time went on (March 2020 seems to be the date they found some folded anode issues and started upgrading BMS software).
    So, 7 weeks ago my Kona died. Wouldn't start. Had it for 3 months and had 13000km on it. DEAD. Dealership was very sympathetic at first but say their hands are tied. Called Hyundai Canada and they promised to expedite a battery. I figure this is the "Cheque is in the mail answer".
    Loved the car right up until it died and they can't fix it. That is the other issue. The dealership I bought it from doesn't have the equipment or a replacement battery. The lineup is long for batteries and there is no information. Dealership I bought it from can barely look me in the eye anymore....
    So to sum up. Same cells made by LG Chem and assembled by HL Greenpower (Hyundai/LG). All supposed to not have any issues and yet it died just like all the others (at least all the others that didn't catch fire first).
    and I suppose that is the good news. The good news being that their BMS software can now detect a battery issue before the fire starts. However, a KONA electric at the dealership for 2 months with no end in sight is TERRIBLE. I didn't sign on to be a BETA tester. We did our research and everything pointed to this being a 2019/2020 issue...
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2021
    DelRider, navguy12 and apu like this.
  4. What kills me is that the current Hyundai and GM production packs despite being assembled in different LG facilities all seem to be experiencing the same production issues. Without further clarification its quite possible some of the recall replacement packs may still have issues. I anticipate continued fires in current production and replacement packs. What I don't understand is short of a xray inspection I don't know how a software evaluation by the dealer can find bent anodes, separator problems in the pouch cells and consequentially how some recall owners are being told everything is good without actual replacement of their packs. I reminds me when my Kona bricked with the battery failure code and the dealer with HYTAC's instruction just erased the code and reflashed my BMS and said all was good. I have lost all confidence that Hyundai knows what is going on and beyond serving its own interests has little actual interest in the well being of its consumers. I wish Hyundai was at least as communicative as GM. That's a pretty sad statement given how dodgy GM has been in the past around similar safety issues.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2021
  5. Danhen

    Danhen Active Member

    Are these isolated problems with the 2021's, or are a significant percentage of 2021 owners experiencing this? I now know 7 people who own 2021's and each of those cars have been trouble free. Of course 7 owners is a tiny sample size.

    And how sure are we the problems described here are related to the fires with the earlier cars?

    Not trying to dismiss those who are having issues. Even if these issues are isolated and unrelated to the fires, they should not be happening at all and if they are isolated issues that does not help those who are experiencing them.
    cwerdna, DelRider, Mattsburgh and 3 others like this.
  6. XtsKonaTrooper

    XtsKonaTrooper Well-Known Member

    I'd suggest composing a good letter and send it everywhere.
    Look at my magical results today, call battery will be here Friday and installed next week. Several other hrs later, gift card email.
    I'm still not going to be comfortable with the replacement battery till it has real world experience.
    I think the simple fact is, they can't get these batteries fast enough.
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  8. Shark

    Shark Active Member

    Seems like the pronouncement that 21's have the same battery issues as the earlier cars might be premature. Does not sound like the same symptoms. I also know more than 1/2 dozen '21 owners and the cars have been 100% problem free.

    On the other hand hopefully these two reports are not the start of a new round of widespread battery problems.

    As for getting battery replacements, it's obvious Hyundai is currently scrambling to replace thousands of batteries from the earlier cars. Not a good situation, and it sounds like you are caught up in the middle of it. No doubt part of the issue is the worldwide shortage of many things and worldwide shipping delays too. But that's Hyundai's problem to solve, not yours.

    Are your dealers or Hyundai at least offering to provide loaner cars or pay for rental cars?
    Kirk, cwerdna, Mattsburgh and 2 others like this.
  9. I am by no means a battery expert. But I have looked around for any info I can find on the battery issue.

    Here is some sort of a timeline so that others can form their own thoughts on whether or not they think this is related to the previous issues:
    1. March – August 2019. Hyundai received reports of vehicle fires (Korea, Canada and Europe).
    2. September 2019. Joint investigation with HMC and KATRI. the Korean safety authority.
    3. March 2020. Hyundai releases update for the Battery Management System. BMS software updated to detect early abnormalities in the battery state while the vehicle is parked. Software update developed jointly with LG chem. Hyundai starts collecting and analysing battery packs collected during the campaign.
    4. March 3, 2020. LG Chem has “remedied” the folded anode issue by adding extra insulation. google report "RCLRPT-21V127-1095" This date is important as it is the cut off for all of the recalls. Essentially the safety authorities say the "fire issue" has been solved if you battery is manufactured after this date.
    5. April – October 2020. Additional reports of fires (7). HMC continues review and study with KATRI. Looking like electrical shorts. Confirmed that previous software update was successful in early detection of internal short and disable vehicle. This seems to be what happened to my 2021 Kona.
    6. June 11, 2020. The battery management system is upgraded and applied to older konas and all new production? https://insideevs.com/news/428159/hyundai-updates-battery-monitoring-system-fire/
    7. October 8, 2020. Hyundai voluntarily recalls 25000 Kona’s in Korea. https://www.electrive.com/2020/10/08/hyundai-recalls-25000-kona-models-in-korea/
    8. October 2020. US mandatory recall to update BMS software and inspection of battery packs. Advisory to park outdoors. Affects 77000 vehicles manufactured up to March of 2020?
    9. October 9, 2020. Hyundai QC admission? https://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/tech/2020/10/129_297311.html
    10. October 13, 2020. Business details about Hyundai, Mobis and HL Green power over the recall. http://www.businesskorea.co.kr/news/articleView.html?idxno=53040
    11. November 2020. My 2021 KONA Battery was made. Has HL GreenPower on the label. H stands for Hyundai and L for LG. Hyundai is still making the batteries for Konas with the same LG cells (although perhaps mods to catch production issues and a better BMS to stop fires before they start?).
    12. November 16, 2020. Some info on Hyundai’s plan for Mobis and HL Green Power. https://english.etnews.com/20201116200003
    13. Jan-Feb 2021. A Kona with updated BMS caught fire at 100% charge. Found internal short. Folded Anode in cell.
    14. February 12, 2020. Rumor from electrek. https://electrek.co/2021/02/12/cause-of-lg-battery-fires-rumored-to-be-found/
    15. February 23, 2021. LG Chem separator cell issue was discovered? (world wide? Except canada) North American recall of all potentially affected vehicles. Only includes 2019 and 2020. This is the battery replacement recall. But does NOT include 2021 and later model years. http://www.thelec.net/news/articleView.html?idxno=2420 This article and the excerpt form the ministry of transport in Korea seems to place the blame on the battery anodes. LGChem denies this as it had corrected that problem long ago and tried to replicate the problem but was unable to start a fire.
    16. April 21, 2021. Hyundai to stop making Kona’s in Korea. https://www.theverge.com/2021/4/21/22396480/hyundai-discontinue-kona-ev-korea-battery-fire-recall
    17. May 28, 2021. Closes July 2021. Hyundai Mobis buys all of HL green power. upload_2021-9-1_9-14-58.png
    18. LG Chem buys battery separator company. https://www.econotimes.com/LG-Chem-enters-battery-separator-game-by-acquiring-LG-Electronics-CEM-for-525-billion-1614001
    19. August 3, 2021. Looks like a KONA in korea caught fire after having the recall updates and a replacement battery. https://www.carindigo.com/news/hyundai-kona-ev-catches-fire-after-getting-back-from-official-company-recall
    20. August 20, 2021. GM recalls ALL Chevy BOLTS for battery replacement. They also use LG Chem cells, different, but similiar manufacturing process?. Found 2 issues, but don’t specify (folded anode and separator?) https://my.chevrolet.com/how-to-support/safety/boltevrecall upload_2021-9-1_9-17-36.png Looks like GM is upfront that they may be providing "refurbished batteries" to bolt owners...
    21. LG Chem just lost 8 billion dollars of share price. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lg-gm-recall-idTRNIKBN2FO00H
    22. Did GM just find the problem with their batteries. Folded separator? https://arstechnica.com/cars/2021/08/misaligned-factory-robot-may-have-sparked-chevy-bolt-battery-fires/
    23. Here is a great story of why GM suddenly had to do something about the bolts. https://verticallobby.com/chevy-bolt-ev-catches-on-fire-after-receiving-both-of-gms-software-fixes/

    Here is something posted on June 2020...
    So. The "fix" seems to be to disable the vehicle before it starts a fire. This is what the transport authorities want to prevent and why there are safety related recalls. So, lets assume the BMS has fixed the fires...now the only issue is a disable Kona which becomes a owner issue and a warrantee issue NOT a safety issue. There will be no recalls unless more of these replacement batteries with updated BMS start to catch fire. See previous point 19.
    Hyundai seems to have cancelled the Kona in Korea and then "re-distributed" them around the planet...Not dangerous...just potentially inconvenient when they shut down to prevent a fire and the owner has to wait months to get a replacement or make noise to force the company to do what is right.
    This looks like the "not perfect solution". See point 9 above.
    Presumably, all of us Kona Electric owners currently have warrantee coverage on our batteries. How will you feel when the warrantee runs out? Seems to me that these batteries cost $30K plus install...
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2021
  10. Sue

    Sue New Member

    I turned my 2019 Ultimate in to avoid the wait for a battery replacement for a 2021 Ultimate and it is now at the dealer waiting for a battery replacement. I was duped and I am not happy about it. It’s been 3 weeks so far…
    ColoradoKonaEV and NS KONA Elec like this.
  11. Danhen

    Danhen Active Member

    You certainly have the right to suspect anything you want, but the title of this thread is misleading in claiming it's a fact the new cars have the same battery issue as the old ones.

    LOTS of speculation here, the most conspiracy theory like is that somehow the Kona not being sold in Korea has something to do with the batteries.

    Not saying you are not having issues with your car, but I think it needs to be pointed out your attempting to link those issues with your car is mere speculation at this point. It might turn out you are absolutely correct and Hyundai is trying to mislead us, but at this point it's clear your suspicions are far from being proven.

    Perhaps the title of the thread should be "Does the '21 Kona still have the same problems?"
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  13. livingthecadream

    livingthecadream New Member

    I may try an email, as I've been experiencing radio silence from the specialist, who is supposed to call me back (and call to his number route to an loop where I cannot leave a voicemail). I'm not comfortable with battery, unless they switch out the LG for the SK battery, one that so far, doesn't have any known issues. I think that they are using this on their new EV.
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  14. Danhen

    Danhen Active Member

    I'll add another conspiracy theory. For 2022 Hyundai lowered the price of the Kona EV while at the same time raising the price of it's cousin the Kia Niro EV, which does not use LG batteries. Is this because the Kona is not selling well given the negative publicity?
    NS KONA Elec likes this.
  15. Danhen

    Danhen Active Member

    Are you thinking there may be future issues with the SK battery too? They have been using it in the Niro EV for three years now, apparently with very few issues.
    NS KONA Elec likes this.
  16. Yup, that behavior sounds familiar.

    Hopefully someone will correct me if I am wrong...
    The only SK batteries in a KONA are made for the European market and made in Czech. I can find no reference to any Korean made Kona's having SK batteries installed pre or post recall. Hyundai has switched to SK battery packs for all new Ioniq models going forward though
  17. No known issues with the SK battery cells. Can anyone tell me if they are being installed in Kona's made in Korea (only Czech). I wish I had bought a Niro...
  18. I just checked with my Canadian dealership. Yup, they are reduced in price....curious
  19. Why is that surprising? Pretty common in the industry as a model ages esp if it is going to be discontinued and replaced by brand new models. Having said that the Kona still has some pretty good specs and features compared to the new entrants. So it is not exactly obsolete just yet. But the EV technology is evolving quickly, and do expect the price to come down much further in the next few years. That's one of the risks with being an early adopter.
    Jolee and navguy12 like this.
  20. Simple...It is surprizing because the Kia Niro is a model that has been around just as long with similar features and the price is increasing, not decreasing.
    DelRider likes this.
  21. Again, not really surprising given no SK battery fires. No question Kona has a bad rep right now, as does the Bolt. And this will endure until these battery replacements are done and no more fires.

    And probably a lot of EV buyers that might have considered the Kona, now are buying Niro's. To be honest, if I didn't already have my Kona and looking for a new car, I would be thinking the same. But at the time, April/May of 2019, the Niro was not even available (where I live), and even Kona's were very hard to get. So there were not a lot of choices available to me. But the Kona did meet what I was looking for, and if this battery issue is resolved, I will continue to be happy with it.
    Kirk and navguy12 like this.
  22. Well said. I also started my first post with how awesome I felt about my Kona. Right up to the point when it wouldn't start.
    I would like to be happy with my 2021 Kona as well...as you said. "...if this battery issue is resolved".
    DelRider likes this.
  23. livingthecadream

    livingthecadream New Member

    So far, I have not heard anything about the SK battery. My thought is that if there are no known issues with that one, why is Hyundai not using it vs. the LG one in the Konas.
    I haven't heard anything about SK batteries. I am just wondering why Hyundai would not use them in the Kona instead of the LG ones that have issues. My trust in Hyundai doing the right thing/having integrity with their consumers is 0.
    NS KONA Elec likes this.

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