Industry Case Study

Top Electric Vehicle (EV) Manufacturers Who Recalled Their Units Due to Battery Concerns

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Some of the top electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers who recalled their units due to battery concerns were BMW, Hyundai, Ford, BAIC, Audi, Nio, and Volkswagen.

Electric Vehicle (EV) Battery Fires and Recalls

Year: 2020

15 October 2020

  • Vehicle: BMW plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs)
  • Location: Globally
  • Status: Recall
  • Battery: Samsung
  • Brief overview: BMW recalled around 26,700 cars globally due to battery fire risks, while the majority of the cars have not been delivered to the owners yet.
  • Cause: The company found foreign contaminants in the battery packs that may have entered inside by themselves during the manufacturing process. This could lead to short-circuits in the battery when it is fully charged, and eventually could lead to a fire.

8 October 2020

  • Vehicle: Hyundai Kona electric vehicles (EVs)
  • Location: Globally
  • Status: Voluntary recall
  • Battery: LG Chem Limited
  • Brief overview: Hyundai Motor Company, a South Korean automotive manufacturer, recalled its Kona electric vehicles (EV) voluntarily in South Korea after some fire incidents involving the batteries since 2018. The company is going to make software updates and battery replacements in 25,564 Kona EVs. Later in the month, the company extended the recall in other regions such as the United States, Europe, China, New Zealand, and Australia.
  • Cause: The Kona EV vehicles could possibly face a short circuit due to a suspective fault in its high-voltage batteries, which may have caused a fire in the previous incidents.

4 October 2020

26 September 2020

  • Vehicle: Hyundai Kona electric vehicle (EV)
  • Location: Jeju Island, South Korea
  • Status: Fire in the parked vehicle while being charged
  • Brief overview: The car burst into flames while being charged in the parking lot of an apartment in Jeju Island.
  • Cause: The case was sent for investigation in September. However, when the company announced for recall in October, it was found that the Kona EV vehicles could face a short circuit due to a suspective fault in its high-voltage batteries, which may have caused a fire in the previous incidents.

28 August 2020

  • Vehicle: Hyundai Kona electric vehicle (EV)
  • Location: Jeonbuk, South Korea

11 August 2020

  • Vehicle: Ford Kuga
  • Location: Europe
  • Status: Recall
  • Battery: Samsung (According to Auto Express UK, Ford and BMW have the same battery supplier for their electric vehicles.)
  • Brief overview: Ford of Europe recalled around 20,808 Kuga cars after four fire incidents were reported involving these cars.
  • Cause: The company has found a potential overheating issue of the high-voltage battery that sometimes may lead to a fire in the battery. When a water leak is caused by a damaged charging module or connector, it could lead to a short-circuit that in turn could result in overheating of the batteries.

29 May 2020

  • Vehicle: Hyundai Kona electric vehicle (EV)
  • Location: Daegu, South Korea
  • Status: Fire after being charged over 90%
  • Cause: When the company announced for recall in October, it was found that the Kona EV vehicles could face a short circuit due to a suspective fault in its high-voltage batteries, which may have caused a fire in the previous incidents.

Year: 2019

17 September 2019

  • Vehicle: Hyundai Kona electric vehicle (EV)
  • Location: Austria
  • Status: Fire while being driven
  • Cause: When the company announced a recall in October 2020, it was found that the Kona EV vehicles could face a short circuit due to a suspective fault in its high-voltage batteries, which may have caused a fire in the previous incidents.

13 August 2019

  • Vehicle: Hyundai Kona electric vehicle (EV)
  • Location: Sejong City, South Korea
  • Status: Fire while being charged
  • Brief overview: The car caught fire and was completely destroyed while being charged in a parking lot of an apartment.
  • Cause: On investigation, it was found that an explosion of the high-voltage battery at the bottom of the car caused the fire. In October 2020, it was found that the Kona EV vehicles could face a short circuit due to a suspective fault in its high-voltage batteries, which may have caused a fire in the previous incidents.

9 August 2019

  • Vehicle: Hyundai Kona electric vehicle (EV)
  • Location: Bucheon, South Korea
  • Status: Fire in the parked vehicle
  • Brief overview: The car caught fire by an explosion in the battery with no external shocks.
  • Cause: The possible cause of this fire incident was found in October 2020 when a global recall of Hyundai Kona electric vehicles (EV)s was announced. It was found that the Kona EV vehicles could have faced a short circuit due to a suspective fault in its high-voltage batteries.

26 July 2019

  • Vehicle: Hyundai Kona electric vehicle (EV)
  • Location: Montreal, Canada
  • Status: Fire in the parked vehicle
  • Brief overview: A parked car in a residential garage in Île-Bizard, Montreal, Canada, exploded while the garage door went flying off the street.
  • Cause: It was suspected that high temperatures may have overheated the batteries and could have led to an explosive fire.

12 July 2019

  • Vehicle: BAIC’s electric vehicle (EV) unit BJEV’s — Weiwang 407EV model
  • Location: China
  • Status: Recall
  • Brief overview: The company’s recall program affected around 1,389 minivans in China after three fire EV incidents took place in the first quarter of 2019.
  • Cause: The battery of the minivans had the possibility of overheating during use that in turn could pose a fire risk.

10 June 2019

9 August 2019

15 May 2019:

Year: 2018

16 June 2018

13 May 2018

  • Vehicle: Tesla Model S
  • Location: Switzerland
  • Status: Fire after crash
  • Cause: The external impact by car crash could have led to ‘thermal runaway,’ which means a sudden increase in temperature. This could have led to the destruction of the battery.

Year: 2016

15 August 2016

  • Vehicle: Tesla Model S
  • Location: France
  • Status: Fire during a test drive
  • Cause: The car displayed a “charging problem” warning with a loud noise. The company stated that the bolted electrical connection was not tightened properly and was tightened by humans instead of robots.

29 March 2016

Energy Storage Systems (ESS) Battery Fires

Year: 2020

16 September 2020

  • Location: Liverpool, England
  • Brief overview: The fire incident took place in Liverpool at the Carnegie Road battery energy storage system (BESS).
  • Cause: Since the incident took place recently, the investigations are still on and results are yet to come.

Year: 2019

15 October 2019

  • Location: MF ferry Ytterøyningen, Norway
  • Brief overview: The passenger ferry witnessed a small fire on October 10, 2020. The passengers and the crew members were evacuated on land. However, there was an explosion below deck the next morning due to a battery fire along with a gas explosion.
  • Cause: The fire may have been caused due to a “thermal runaway” that caused battery meltdown and released explosive gases.

23 April 2019

  • Location: APS Battery Facility, Arizona, United States
  • Cause: “The cell thermal runaway began due to “intense heating” caused by a heat source “such as external electrical arcing” on one of the battery racks.” This may have been the possible cause of fire and explosion.
GLENN TREVOR
Glenn is the Lead Operations Research Analyst at Simple Manifestation with experience in research, statistical data analysis and interview techniques. A holder of degree in Economics. A true specialist in quantitative and qualitative research.

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