Hyundai will recall 82,000 electric cars globally to replace their batteries after 15 reports of fires involving the vehicles. Despite the relatively small number of cars involved, Hyundai’s recall is one of the most expensive in history, signaling how electric car defects could create hefty costs for automakers — at least in the near future.
The recall will cost Hyundai 900 million dollars. On a per-vehicle basis, the average cost is 11,000 dollars — an astronomically high number for a recall.
Replacing an entire battery is an extreme measure, requiring a similar amount of work and expense as replacing an entire engine of a traditional internal combustion-powered car. Very few recalls of gasoline powered cars require an entire engine to be replaced.
No one was injured in any of the Hyundai fires, many of which took place after the cars were shut off and sitting empty. An investigation showed the cars’ defective LG-made battery cells could short circuit.