Investigation Initiated Amidst Consumer Complaints
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has begun a preliminary investigation encompassing the 2022 model-year Hyundai Ioniq 5 EVs. This follows the receipt of 30 consumer complaints alleging a sudden loss of acceleration while driving. Reports detailed a conspicuous popping sound followed by a dashboard warning, leading to a swift power loss ranging from a decrease in acceleration to a total halt.
Potential Cause Traced to Integrated Charging Control Unit
NHTSA announced its findings from Hyundai Motor Co that the problem might stem from the Integrated Charging Control Unit, which powers the main electric vehicle and the auxiliary 12-volt batteries. According to NHTSA, an early review suggests that excessive current in the unit can damage transistors, preventing the recharging of the 12V battery. Owner interviews conducted by the agency confirmed a spectrum of power loss scenarios and varying intervals between the warning display and power loss.
No Crashes or Injuries Reported Yet
Despite the serious concerns, NHTSA has not reported any accidents or injuries related to this issue. Hyundai Motor Co has yet to provide its comment on the situation.
Real-World Incidents Highlight Potential Dangers
One particularly concerning incident involving a driver traveling at 75 mph on a highway, using advanced highway assist, who reported the car became "completely unresponsive." The driver was sandwiched between semi-trailer trucks and had to coast the unresponsive car to a stop on the highway. Another complaint in February noted a loud pop sound, followed by a swift reduction in speed from 55 mph to 22 mph on a highway in Santa Maria, California. These real-world incidents underline the potential hazards linked with the power loss issue.