Hyundai Battery Problems Lead To Class Action Lawsuit

The Hyundai Kona Electric was a promising electronic vehicle with high demand but it might not be the case anymore. The battery problems in Hyundai Kona EV and Hyundai Ioniq EV models have caused a class-action lawsuit that alleges the automaker falsely advertised the range and safety of the electric vehicles.

15 Cases of fire have been reported so far, including 2 in Canada. After this, Hyundai has recalled over 76,000 units globally, 4,375 of which are in Canada. The plaintiff alleges the lithium-ion batteries and management systems are defective which causes the batteries to catch fire.

In 2019, California plaintiff Sebastien Friche purchased a new 2019 Hyundai Kona EV and when he learned about a battery recall, his wife took the vehicle to a Hyundai dealership. After repair, the dealer reduced the battery range by 20% to decrease the risk of a battery fire. June 2021, Hyundai issued a remote software download to decrease the battery range to 205 miles, another 10% drop in range capacity.

On July 20, 2021, the plaintiff’s wife took the Kona EV to the dealer to fix a tire, but the dealer asked her to impound the vehicle for a battery issue. The service advisor allegedly said the vehicle could possibly be held six months or longer because of the fire risk.

“The service representative made various representations to Plaintiff’s wife while seizing the vehicle, including asserting that ‘if anything happens, your insurance will not cover anything.’ Hyundai also refused to provide her with a loaner automobile, though it finally helped her procure a rental.” — Hyundai battery class action lawsuit

“Since Hyundai seized the Vehicle, Plaintiff has continued to contact Hyundai to determine when it will be released. Hyundai has not told Plaintiff when it plans to replace the battery, how it plans to replace the battery, or when it will ever release the Vehicle. Hyundai has told Plaintiff that even after it replaces the battery, the battery will be covered by a different warranty with a term that lasts only ten years.” — Hyundai battery lawsuit

The plaintiff claims Hyundai now refuses to talk to him.

The Korean automaker finally agreed to replace the high-voltage battery on all affected units 2018-2020 model years, and this decision will cost over $1 billion. But according to Reuters and several media outlets, Many owners are complaining that there are delays and a lack of transparency in the process. 

The automaker has also stopped production of the Kona Electric for the local market of South Korea permanently. The Kona Electric continues to ship overseas but some minor interior and exterior revisions which are planned for 2022.

The Hyundai battery problem class-action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California: Sebastien Friche, v. Hyundai Motor Co., et al.

If you or a loved one, a friend or co-worker drive a Hyundai Ioniq or Kona and are experiencing any of these issues, please call (833) LEMON-FIRM for a free consultation or fill out this link and a case analyst will contact you within 24 hours.

About the Author
Sepehr Daghighian is a partner with CCA that is well-versed in all aspects of lemon-law litigation. A 2005 graduate of Loyola Law School, Mr. Daghighian has been practicing litigation throughout the state of California for over 13-years. In this time, Mr. Daghighian has advocated on behalf of California consumers in hundreds of lemon law cases throughout our great state. Mr. Daghighian has also successfully tried numerous such cases to verdict in both Federal and State Court.