• Wed. May 18th, 2022

Safety agency moves to ensure recall of faulty automotive batteries

ByElla E. Kidwell

Apr 6, 2022

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced on Tuesday that it is initiating a review to ensure that all defective batteries produced by LG Energy Solution have been recalled by automakers.

The auto safety agency noted that Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler-parent Stellantis, General Motors and Hyundai Motor have issued recalls since 2020 due to internal failures of high-voltage vehicle batteries that pose fire hazards.

NHTSA said the equipment request covers 138,324 vehicles and will contact LG “and other companies that may have purchased the same or similar equipment from LG, notify them of this defect in all vehicles they have manufactured and will ensure that thorough safety recalls are carried out where appropriate.”

A spokesperson for LG Energy Solution said in a statement that the company understands NHTSA’s request is a follow-up action, adding, “LG Energy Solution will cooperate fully with the investigation.”

Among the recalls cited by the agency were GM’s recalls of its Chevrolet Bolt EV that prompted it to halt sales and production of new models in August.

In October, LG Chem Ltd 051910.KS, owner of LG Energy Solution, said it would take a 620 billion won ($510 million) charge to its third-quarter results in connection with the GM Bolt recall.

NHTSA noted in February that Stellantis recalled 16,741 2017-2018 Pacifica plug-in hybrid electric vehicles after the automaker said LG-produced hybrid batteries were implicated in 12 reports of vehicle fires.

The automaker said it “has not yet determined whether the batteries were defective or the root cause of the fires.”

NHTSA also cited a March 16 Volkswagen recall of 351 model year 2021 ID4 vehicles over batteries that may contain insufficient solder points and potentially unreliable connections inside the high voltage battery. VW said the vehicles could break down while driving, which could lead to an accident.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

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