ACT Government EVs hit by Hyundai recall over fire fears

Ian Bushnell 28 October 2021 17
Hyundai Ioniq

Under the hood: one of the first Hyundai Ioniqs to be delivered to the ACT Government in 2019. Photo: File.

Electric vehicles in the ACT Government car fleet have been caught up in a manufacturer’s recall due to concerns about fires sparked by defective batteries.

Hyundai has issued a global recall for its Ioniq and Kona models after incidents in which their LG Energy Solutions batteries overheated and caught fire while vehicles were parked.

It is replacing defective batteries, which have the potential to short-circuit and start a fire.

A government spokesperson said that of the 19 Ioniq EVs in the government fleet, eight had been impacted by the recall.

But leased vehicle provider SG Fleet had confirmed that there had not been any issues of overheating or fires within the fleet.

“Any affected government agencies with one of these vehicles will be contacted by Hyundai to arrange a battery replacement,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said the recall would not have any implications for future acquisitions or leasing given recalls occur for all vehicle types.

“The ACT Government considers a number of electric vehicles for inclusion in its fleet. The Hyundai Ioniq is just one EV in the mix,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson did not say how much the EV program cost, only that the adoption of electric passenger vehicles is by lease and replaces existing leases for internal combustion engine (ICE) passenger vehicles.

Hyundai provided advice via the Vehicle Recalls website, and SG Fleet relayed this information to the relevant areas of government.

General Motors, which is investing billions in EVs, is experiencing similar issues with its Bolt model, which also uses an LG battery.

But EV fires appear to be rare compared with ICE vehicles, although when they do happen, they can be more intense due to the lithium-ion batteries.

Under the government’s Climate Change Strategy, all newly leased vehicles now need to be zero-emission, as it transitions the fleet away from ICE vehicles.

At last count, there were more than 140 zero-emissions vehicles in the fleet, including 52 electric vehicles (Hyundai Ioniqs and Nissan Leafs), 70 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and 20 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (Hyundai NEXOs).

In May, the government was recognised for its move to a zero-emissions fleet, winning the 2021 Fleet Environment Award from the Australasian Fleet Management Association.

At the time, Minister for Emissions Reduction Shane Rattenbury said the award recognised the success of the government’s zero-emissions fleet transition and the benefits that this leadership can have in reducing emissions and encouraging industry transformation and broader changes.

The government is also transitioning the bus fleet to zero-emission vehicles by 2040. Ninety electric buses are expected to be on the roads next year.

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17 Responses to ACT Government EVs hit by Hyundai recall over fire fears
Peter Ball Peter Ball 8:03 am 30 Oct 21

At least they can always rely on the good old ICE technology to fall back on. 🤣 At least until they ban em! Then they can Flintstone their arses.

Randy Goldberg Randy Goldberg 12:15 pm 29 Oct 21

Not just electric cars. Here's a string of ICE vehicles with fire risk.

Denise Bourke Denise Bourke 11:00 pm 28 Oct 21

insurance'll cover that Shirley

John Killeen John Killeen 10:40 pm 28 Oct 21

At least the new electric fire trucks will always be first on-scene to a battery fire!

    Ross Charles Newmann Ross Charles Newmann 6:58 am 29 Oct 21

    John Killeen they will have to have a diesel motor backup or battery will go flat at a fire, we drive a hybrid toyota yarris

Capital Retro Capital Retro 9:25 pm 28 Oct 21

Once again, virtual signaling overrules commercial judgement and the ratepayers pick up the tab.

Stan Vizovitis Stan Vizovitis 7:00 pm 28 Oct 21

Image that supposed green cars spouting flames ♨

Julian Sortland Julian Sortland 6:16 pm 28 Oct 21

What is it about Korean batteries and fires?

Scott Abela Scott Abela 5:25 pm 28 Oct 21

this goes with the e-scooters that catch fire in Fyshwick when they're being charged, pumping all that lovely toxic smoke into the air we breathe...

    Daniel Trevarthen Daniel Trevarthen 8:55 pm 28 Oct 21

    Scott Abela except these ones catch fire even when they are just parked, not even charging!

Nick Anderson Nick Anderson 5:01 pm 28 Oct 21

Damn, I didn’t know Samsung made car batteries

Futureproof Futureproof 1:11 pm 28 Oct 21

It’s not just Hyundai EVs, it’s Hyundai in general. There have been worldwide recalls for vehicle fires on Hyundai ICE vehicles. If you buy a Hyundai, make sure you have fire alarms in your garage. Better still, park it outside

nobody nobody 11:00 am 28 Oct 21

Hyundai have recalled about 1,000 electric vehicles in Australia to replace the batteries, and about 82,000 worldwide. LG have also recalled about 5,000 home battery packs in Australia, and we don’t yet know how many of those have been installed in Canberra. In July this year 2 large Tesla battery packs at Gellong went up in flames which took 4 days to fully extinguish. There have been 2 fires in Fyshwick this year where they recharge the electric scooters. The ACT government is going to install the Big Canberra Battery across our suburbs to stabilise the grid. Perhaps the slogan Build Back Better will turn out to mean Constantly Replace Dodgy Batteries.

    gooterz gooterz 1:58 pm 28 Oct 21

    One doesn’t extinguish a battery fire. You just let it burn out of fuel.

    If you have an EV fire in your house there is no stopping it.

    Not sure how battery powered cars are zero emissions, aren’t they all made in China with little children digging up the cobalt?

    They’re still charged overnight using coal powerplants.

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