Consumer Anxiety over EV Repair Costs on the Rise | Be Korea-savvy

Consumer Anxiety over EV Repair Costs on the Rise

This photo provided by Hyundai Motor shows the carmaker's electrified version of its Kona subcompact SUV.

This photo provided by Hyundai Motor shows the carmaker’s electrified version of its Kona subcompact SUV.

JEJU, Oct. 6 (Korea Bizwire)Along with an increase in the number of electric vehicle (EV) battery breakdowns and accidents, consumer anxiety is growing about the repair cost of EVs, which sometimes adds up to tens of millions won.

Late last month, an electric version of the Kona subcompact SUV caught fire while being charged at an apartment parking lot in Jeju City, the largest city on the southern resort island of Jeju.

The local fire department estimated that the accident caused property damage of about 25.4 million won (US$21,880).

Investigators from the fire department and the National Forensic Service are now investigating the cause of the accident. It’s estimated that it may take more than two months before the results are published.

Eight days later, another Kona EV caught fire in Daegu. It marked the 12th fire accident since the Kona EV was first released in April 2018.

Hyundai Motor Co., the maker of the Kona EV, has said that compensation will only be made when it is proven that the accident was caused by a product defect.

If the accident is not proven to have been caused by a product defect, owners will have to bear the entire burden of what are likely to be hefty repair costs.

There are other cases where electric car owners have had to bear huge repair costs when batteries have had to be replaced due to minor or major shocks or for other unknown reasons.

A 31-year-old man living in Jeju has been driving a Kona EV for two years. Recently, he saw the Kona’s battery alarm lamp turn on during driving. He made a repair inquiry at the service center.

The service center said the vehicle’s battery needed to be replaced, at a cost of roughly 20 million won.

Fortunately, the EV was insured, thereby helping reduce the burden on the driver. Nonetheless, the driver will see his insurance premiums increase by more than 10 percent from next year.

J. S. Shin (

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