NHTSA Shows It Has an Eye on LG Energy Solution After Multiple Fire-Risk Recalls

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In the 20th century, Lucas made a reputation for itself in the electric components business – not necessarily a good one. Any car equipped with its parts – mostly British cars – was sure to have electrical problems. LGES (LG Energy Solution) may be on the same path for batteries, as the latest review from NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) demonstrates.
According to Reuters, the American agency wants to make sure all battery packs made by the Korean supplier and involved in recalls have been duly replaced. NHTSA’s equipment query will check 138,324 vehicles, a number that goes way beyond all the Chevrolet Bolt EVs and the Hyundai Kona Electrics with defective LGES cells in the U.S.

Stellantis also had 16,741 units of the Chrysler Pacifica PHEV, with the model years 2017 and 2018 involved in similar recalls. Reuters also mentioned that Mercedes-Benz had problems with LGES batteries but did not mention which vehicle was involved with it. In Europe, we know that the Ford Kuga (called Escape in the U.S.) also had LGES battery packs and had to have them replaced. About 27,000 units were included in the recall.

LGES told Reuters it understands the NHTSA’s concerns and that it “will fully cooperate with the inquiry.” The American agency intends to talk to the supplier “and other companies that might have purchased the same or similar equipment from LG.” GM's Ultium batteries are a joint venture with the Korean supplier.

That clearly shows that NHTSA wants more than just to ensure the recalled vehicles have been appropriately fixed. The agency also wants to verify if any other automaker installed LGES batteries that are prone to catching fire. The list of the Korean supplier’s customers is quite extensive.

Ford uses LGES batteries on the Mach-E. Volkswagen has them on all ID family vehicles, including the ID.3 that burned to a crisp in Groningen, in the Netherlands. So far, it is the only case that we are aware of involving an electric vehicle from the German automaker. Dutch authorities did not care about it, and Volkswagen seems to be the only party trying to understand what happened. In the U.S., so is NHTSA regarding LGES cells.
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About the author: Gustavo Henrique Ruffo
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Motoring writer since 1998, Gustavo wants to write relevant stories about cars and their shift to a sustainable future.
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