Hyundai Hit With Class-Action Lawsuit Over Faulty EV Plugs
Customers are complaining that their charge ports overheat and throttle charge speed.
Electric Hyundai owners have been struggling to charge their cars at home, as the ports can overheat and prevent the car from charging at its full capacity. So much so that Hyundai is now being hit with a class-action lawsuit, which claims its customers deserve compensation.
A Hyundai representative released the following statement to The Drive: "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."
The issue stems from the charging port and level 2 charging plug that come with the car. When charging at home, the port overheats and, according to some customer complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), it can even get too hot to the touch. When that happens, the charging rate dramatically decreases to 28-amps, much lower than its 48-amp capability, or even stops completely. It will start charging again at its normal rate once it cools down but, by then, it's already wasted time and energy.
If customers don't realize what's happening, they come out to their car in the morning without enough battery juice to get them to work. Not only that but affected customers' utilities bills are spiking, as they're paying for those longer charge times.
In March, Hyundai issued a software update that was supposed to fix the issue. However, according to the lawsuit, instead of fixing the problem, the update just caps the car's charge rate to 23 amps, if it detects overheating, which is even lower than its 28-amp charge rate when it overheats.
"Hyundai and Kia advertised these vehicles as charging at a rate of 48 amps, a far cry from the 23-amp rate trigged by the pervasive overheating defect. Purchasers and lessors paid for this capability, and these vehicles do not perform at a level even close to what was advertised," said automotive law firm Hagens Berman, who's representing the plaintiffs.
According to Hagens Berman, Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis violated consumer law by not addressing this issue and continuing to sell cars that are known to have this flaw. I assume Hyundai will eventually release a recall for the affected vehicles but we'll have to see how the lawsuit plays out for any customer compensation.
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