— A Hyundai class action lawsuit includes 2019-2020 Kona Electric and 2020 Ioniq Electric vehicles in California with defective battery systems that caused Hyundai to recall the SUVs and cars.
According to the Hyundai class action lawsuit, the automaker should refund 2019-2020 Kona Electric and 2020 Ioniq Electric owners and lessees in California based on California's Lemon Law.
The Hyundai class action lawsuit alleges Kona EV and Ioniq EV customers have complained about the battery systems just to be told there were no repairs available.
Until Hyundai replaces the batteries, Kona Electric and Ioniq Electric vehicle owners have been offered software updates to "have the battery's state of charge limit lowered to 80% to mitigate the risk of fire."
Owners and lessees were warned to park outside and away from things that could burn, but the plaintiff says all of this has done nothing to repair the battery defects.
The lawsuit alleges Hyundai knew of the battery problem and how serious it was before the first recall was issued in October 2020 for 2019-2020 Hyundai Kona Electric vehicles. Hyundai said at the time it was investigating at least 13 battery fires but hadn't confirmed the root cause of the problem.
According to Hyundai, the electric vehicles were recalled because they were equipped with battery cells manufactured at the LG Energy Solutions China (Nanjing) plant.
Hyundai said the negative anode tab can be folded in the battery cell which could allow the lithium plating on the anode tab to contact the cathode and cause an electrical short-circuit. The battery may catch fire while the vehicle is charging, parked or while traveling on the roads.
The October 2020 Konda Electric recall, known as Hyundai recall 196, was followed by recall 200 which included 2020 Ioniq EVs and allegedly added remedies for the battery problems.
Hyundai announced in March 2021 the root cause was traced to short circuits in the battery cells that caused at least 15 fires in Kona Electric vehicles. However, Hyundai said in March no fires had been reported in the U.S.
Hyundai says it is still getting ready to replace the battery system assemblies, but a dealer should be notified if a Kona EV or Ioniq EV customer sees a warning light.
The automaker says replacement batteries will be built with insulation coating on the cathodes in the battery cells to prevent electrical shorts and fires.
According to previous statements from Hyundai, the recall could cost about $900 million to replace the Kona Electric and Ioniq Electric batteries, with about 70% of the cost to be paid by LG.
The Hyundai class action lawsuit was filed in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles: Siamak Kermani, v. Hyundai Motor America, et al.
The plaintiff is represented by O'Connor Law Group, Wirtz Law APC, and Reallaw APC.