Electric vehicles (EVs) may be the future of automobiles, but even they can experience problems on the road like their gas-based counterparts. And it can be dangerous if those problems lead to auto accidents, such as the issue plaguing certain Hyundai EVs.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is launching a preliminary investigation into nearly 40,000 Hyundai Ioniq 5 EVs after the agency received multiple consumer complaints that the cars allegedly decelerated while in operation.
Several consumers reported to the NHTSA that they heard a loud popping noise coming from their vehicle, followed by a warning signal on their dashboard and a sudden loss of power. The power loss ranged from reduced acceleration to complete stops in some cases.
The agency contacted Hyundai Motor Company, which revealed that the failure was related to the Integrated Charging Control Unit. The part provides power to the main electric vehicle and its 12-volt batteries. A review found that too much current in the unit can lead to damaged transistors, preventing the 12V battery from charging and causing power loss.
Dangers of sudden power loss in EVs
While the NHTSA reported no crashes or injuries related to the power loss issue, the problem can still lead to accidents in certain situations. A sudden loss of power on a freeway with high speed limits could raise the risk of a rear-end collision.
The most common injuries resulting from rear-end collisions include:
- Back injuries: Crashes from behind can cause painful sprains and musculoskeletal strains.
- Neck injuries: Rear-ends can also cause a person’s head to jerk backward and forward violently. Called whiplash, the motion can injure muscles and bones in the neck, and while not immediately fatal, it can still be excruciating.
- Spinal fractures and disc injuries: The most severe crashes can break or dislocate parts of the spine, leading to nerve damage and paralysis.
Treating these injuries can take multiple hospital visits over months or years, costing tens of thousands of dollars.
Compensation for injuries
Drivers who get rear-ended because their EV suddenly lost power could sue the other driver for damages and claim compensation for their medical treatment. But they can also sue the manufacturer of their car, especially if a defective part led to the collision.
However, auto manufacturers won’t take such lawsuits seated down. Against a product defect lawsuit where they can lose much money, auto companies could take the case to court to dispute the claim. Injured drivers might want to consult with an attorney in such cases. An attorney can represent their client in court and ensure adequate compensation.