Some owners of Hyundai Motor’s Kona electric vehicles say the automaker is mishandling a major recall involving the vehicles’ batteries. According to a Reuters report, the South Korean automaker is bungling the recall with delays and poor communication. Last month, Hyundai announced it would replace the battery systems in some 82,000 electric vehicles globally at the cost of $900 million following fires in 15 Kona EVs.
However, Hyundai has not yet communicated a clear plan to vehicle owners about when and how they can expect to have this potential problem fixed. One vehicle owner said that when they asked Hyundai’s repair center when their Kona EV will get a battery replacement, the automaker just said they would put this owner ahead in the line. But, the owner said they weren’t given a date yet.
Hyundai officials told Reuters that they are “striving to take necessary actions to prevent consumer inconvenience from the ongoing recall.” But they did not address questions regarding owners’ complaints and the lack of communications, Reuters reported. The lack of clarity had led owners to take to social media to vent their frustrations and seek compensation.
In November, 173 Kona EV owners filed a class-action lawsuit seeking $7,000 in compensation each for what they say is the reduced value of their electric vehicles and other losses. So far, there have been no reported injuries or fatalities as a result of EV fires.
In October, Hyundai offered a software upgrade to address the issue. However, after consumer outcry and at least one fire in a vehicle that had been recalled for the upgrade, Hyundai agreed to replace the batteries manufactured by LG Chem’s battery division, LG Energy Solution. Another Kona EV owner said the software update substantially reduced the battery’s charging capacity, which is also a significant problem and loss for owners.
Understanding Your Rights
If you are a vehicle owner who has suffered significant losses as the result of a defective auto or defective product, you may be able to band with other vehicle owners and file a class action lawsuit seeking compensation. If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of a defective auto, you can seek compensation for losses such as medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, and pain and suffering. An experienced auto defect lawyer who also has a successful track record with class-action lawsuits can help you better understand your legal rights and options.