LG Energy faces US scrutiny for electric-car battery fires

(Photo by Bloomberg)

(Photo by Bloomberg)

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(April 6): US regulators have asked LG Energy Solution about electric- and hybrid-vehicle fires involving batteries made by the company.

The probe covers an estimated 138,324 vehicles that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said are at risk of catching fire when parked or in use, according to documents posted Tuesday on the agency’s website. NHTSA opened the probe, known as an equipment query, on April 1. 

The regulator -- which can deem cars defective and order recalls -- said it launched its probe after receiving complaints about cars made by Stellantis NV, Volkswagen AG, General Motors Co, Hyundai Motor Co and Mercedes-Benz Group AG. 

The agency aims to contact South Korea-based LG and its customers to “notify them of this defect in any vehicles they manufactured, and to ensure thorough safety recalls are conducted where appropriate,” according to the posting.

LG said it is cooperating with the inquiry. “We understand NHTSA’s latest request is a follow-up procedure to determine if the same or similar batteries involved in the recalls were supplied” to other carmakers, the company said in a statement.