Sean Szymkowski June 11, 2020 10:42 a.m. PT
One fire occurred last year in Canada, while the more recent fire was in South Korea.
The Hyundai Kona Electric has reportedly received a battery update of some sort following reports of two fires, one in Canada and another in South Korea.
Hyundai told Roadshow Thursday the South Korean automaker pushed a software update available to all owners to tweak the battery management system. The update “contains additional diagnostic health monitoring of the high-voltage battery and cells to ensure continued quality performance of the vehicle” and increases the battery’s “performance and longevity.”
When Hyundai pushed the update isn’t totally clear. The Kona Electric fire in Canada occurred last year, while the fire in South Korean happened on May 29 of this year. According to South Korean news agency SBS News, the Kona Electric was parked and charging when the fire began. EV fires are notoriously difficult to extinguish, due to the way a lithium-ion battery burns. According to the report, the entire car was lost in the blaze. An investigation remains ongoing but a Hyundai spokesperson did not comment on the matter.
As for the fire in Canada, the CBC reported last year that the vehicle’s owner first heard an explosion before the fire began and the garage partially collapsed with the Kona Electric inside. It’s not clear if the electric car was charging at the time. The investigation remains ongoing, according to a Hyundai spokesperson.