Crossover & Midsize

Recall Alert: Certain Hyundai Konas Are Mysteriously Catching Fire.

Cars always have the potential to catch fire. Whether fuel or batteries, heat is a common by-product of energy, and cars require a lot of energy. Fire is pretty much the worst-case scenario for any vehicle, and as of now, around 25,000 Hyundai Kona EVs have been recalled for just such a scenario. 

Which ones are being recalled?

Car and Driver reports that South Korea’s transport ministry officially recalled 25,564 Hyundai Kona EVs due to 13 confirmed examples, thus far, that has mysteriously caught fire. The recall applies to models made from September 2017 through March 2020. The recall service will include a software update and battery replacement. LG Chem, the company that makes the battery and Hyundai, has investigated and has yet to conclude what is starting the fires, says Car and Driver. 

An Hyundai Kona Electric Highlander is seen in Sydney
Hyundai Kona EV | Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

After many tests, the two companies have failed to recreate the fires. Car and Driver says Hyundai and LG Chem speculate that the problem may be coming from a short circuit due to faulty cells. According to Car and Driver, Hyundai said that the recall “is a proactive response to a suspected defective production of high-voltage batteries used in the vehicles, which may have contributed to the reported fires.” 

So far, the recall hasn’t been issued in the U.S. However, Hyundai said in a call with Roadshow that they are filing the paperwork to issue a voluntary recall for this side of the pond. 

There’s still a 2021 Hyundai Kona EV coming

 The 2021 Hyundai Kona EV is coming in hot. Car and Driver have the 2021 Hyundai Kona EV at the top of their electric SUV list. It comes in $2,000 under the runner up Kia Niro EV. The 2021 model isn’t any different than the 2020 model, but it’s likely to have the fire issue resolved with the newer models. 

2021 Hyundai Kona EV

As EVs become more popular, the range issue is getting closer and closer to useable. The Kona EV still has a little longer to go in that regard, though. The full charge range tops out at 258 miles. That’s ok, but most gasoline cars are going to get much further per tank. It’s hard to argue that milage for anything outside of a city commuter. 

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Car and Driver advise the midtier appointments as the best-equipped without blowing the budget. The Limited Kona EV has a sunroof, leather, LED Exterior lighting, auto high-beams, wireless phone charging pad, auto-dimming rearview mirror. 

The 2021 Hyundai Kona EV only has 201 hp, but can still rip a 0-60 in 6.4 seconds. I won’t say that’s very fast, but for only 201 hp, that’s not so bad.

The Kona is well priced but is it worth it?

Eh, hard to say. Without the fiery recall, maybe, but the Kona doesn’t seem to be an exhilarating ride, and at this point, EVs aren’t developed enough to go with such a sensible option like this, in my opinion.

EVs are still very much in the trial period. We are trying to figure out how to live with them as the makers are trying to figure out how to make them live with-able. Until we all figure out what we need from EVs, skip the fire and try a more exciting EV or a sensible gasoline-powered car.