American customers sue Hyundai over faulty charging BEV models

Hyundai and Kia face a class action lawsuit in California over charging faults with some battery-powered cars. Overheating issues at the charging port may result in a discontinued or fragmented charging process. A group of customers dissatisfied with the results from an update is now bringing the case to court.

The problem that the Ioniq and EV6 owners are experiencing concerns charging disruptions at 11 kW (48 amps in the US) with domestic level 2-wall box connections. After 30 to 45 minutes, the car quits the charging progress because of overheating the charging port. The affected models are the Ionig 5, Ioniq 6, Kia EV6, and the GV60 from Genesis’s luxury brand. The situation has been going on for about a year.

Unsatisfying update

In reaction to the defect, Hyundai issued an update – not over the air, but at its dealerships – in March. This only partly cures the issue as the upgraded car continues to charge at a much lower speed, considerably affecting charging times and not resolving discomfort for the owners.

From the published 48 amps (approximately 11 kW), the value after the upgrade sinks to 23 amps, doubling the downtime of the car, which is officially seven hours at the best possible speed for the Ioniq models, and a little under six for the technically affiliated Kia EV6.

The slowdown protects the charging port against overheating while maintaining the charging flow. Still, many owners feel unfulfilled about this fix attempt and demand substantial compensation or a buyback.

A matter of safety

The exact number of affected cars remains unclear. According to the American legal news publication Legalscoops “tens of thousands” cars of the South-Korean brands cope with severely reduced charging times at level 2 domestic sockets. Youtuber, The Ioniq Guy, claims in a dedicated video that one-third of his followers experience this issue.

The disgruntled owners not only point to the inconvenience and unmet expectations, claiming they’re not getting what they paid for, but also point to the involved safety issues: finding out that your car hasn’t charged, or insufficiently, in an emergency might be a matter of life and death.

What about Europe?

In an official reaction to the news portal The Drive, Hyundai said: “Hyundai is aware of isolated reports of charging interruptions with the Ioniq 5 when used in connection with certain level 2 home chargers. A software update is available for Ioniq 5 owners encountering this issue that reduces the likelihood of a stopped charging session by slowing the charging rate in response to charging temperature increases. Hyundai is further investigating the issue to determine the root cause and evaluate other possible solutions.”

On Hyundai forums, some customers reported having their charging ports swapped, effectively curing the problem. This might reveal a quality issue at the supplier.

The national importer stated that no comparable cases were reported in Belgium. Reaching out to the European head office, a similar reaction followed: “Hyundai Motor Europe is aware of isolated charging interruption events that have been reported in North America currently regarding Ioniq 5 when used in connection with certain level 2 home chargers. At this time, there have been no reported cases in Europe.”


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