The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has launched a safety investigation into approximately 40,000 units of the Hyundai Ioniq 5 following numerous reports from owners about a complete loss of power in their vehicles. The NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) has received over 30 complaints regarding the 2022 model year Ioniq 5 electric vehicles, describing incidents where the cars experienced a sudden loss of motive power.

According to the NHTSA’s Open Investigation statement, many consumers reported hearing a loud popping noise followed by a warning displayed on the dashboard, after which they experienced a significant reduction or complete loss of motive power. The ODI conducted interviews with several owners, confirming that there was a range of power loss scenarios and varying time intervals between the warning message and the loss of power.

Hyundai has informed the ODI that the failure is related to the Integrated Control Charging Unit (ICCU), which is responsible for supplying power to both the hybrid system and the low voltage 12V battery. The issue stems from an over-current condition within the ICCU, which is causing damage to the transistors and consequently preventing the 12V battery from recharging.

Approximately 39,559 Ioniq 5 vehicles from the 2022 model year are estimated to be affected by this power loss issue. While there have been no reported crashes or injuries associated with this problem, one owner mentioned that their vehicle was traveling at 75 MPH on the highway with the advanced highway assist feature activated when the vehicle suddenly became “completely unresponsive.” The driver had to coast to a stop on the side of the highway due to the loss of power.

The NHTSA’s investigation aims to thoroughly examine the root cause and scope of the power loss issue in the Hyundai Ioniq 5. Once the investigation is complete, the NHTSA will determine whether a recall or other corrective actions are necessary to address the problem and ensure the safety of the affected vehicles and their occupants. Hyundai is expected to cooperate with the investigation and work towards finding a solution to rectify the ICCU-related power loss issue in the Ioniq 5.