Hyundai Motor sued over EV battery fires

Hyundai Motor is being sued over a string of battery fires in its electric vehicles.

Some 200 people have filed a class-action suit in South Korea, according to lawyers involved.

That is over incidents involving the brand’s Kona EVs.

The plaintiffs want Hyundai to replace the battery packs - the most expensive part of the car.

And one lawyer says they want about 7,200 dollars each, to compensate for what they say is the reduced value of their vehicles.

Hyundai has already recalled more than 74,000 Konas.

The news comes after General Motors said last week it was recalling over 68,000 EVs, after five reported fires and two minor injuries.

Batteries for the affected vehicles are made by South Korea’s LG Chem, which also supplies Hyundai.

Now analysts say the stories could dent demand for EVs, just as sales of the green vehicles are starting to soar worldwide.

Right now though it’s Hyundai and LG Chem with the biggest headache.

Industry experts say they could face costs of up to 540 million dollars if they have to replace all the affected batteries.

In a statement to Reuters, Hyundai said the cause of the fires was unclear.

It says it is investigating with the help of suppliers and the transport ministry.