LG Chem, SK Innovation Spar Over EV Recalls In Trade Dispute: Report

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  • LG Chem filed its trade complaints against SK Innovation last year in the United States
  • It alleged secret theft and seeked to block SK from producing battery cells in the United States and from importing the components necessary to make them. SK has denied wrongdoing

As per a report by Reuters, South Korean battery makers LG Chem and SK Innovation are sparring over whether the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) should consider recent electric vehicle recalls in a trade secrets case. LG Chem filed its trade complaints against SK Innovation last year in the United States. It alleged secret theft and seeked to block SK from producing battery cells in the United States and from importing the components necessary to make them. SK has denied wrongdoing.

The report added that last month, SK asked the ITC to consider that “LG Chem batteries have been involved in a series of fires and explosions, raising substantial public interest concerns.”In the request, SK said General Motors Co and Hyundai Motor Co had each issued recent recalls for EVs with LG Chem batteries. The report added that the recalls “raise questions of public safety and underscore the critical need for SK batteries in the United States,” as per the company. It added that the fires are “compelling grounds” not to impede SK’s ability to manufacture batteries at its U.S. plant.

Voluntarily recalling its residential energy storage batteries in the United States

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As per the report, LG Chem in a response said that the filing was “untimely and irrelevant” and should not factor in the ITC review “because the electric vehicle recalls cited by SKI do not impact future-year battery models and do not impact EVs with batteries manufactured in LG Chem’s Holland, Michigan plant.”Last month, GM said that it was recalling 68,677 EVs worldwide for high-voltage batteries after five reported fires and two minor injuries. Hyundai recalled nearly 77,000 Kona EVs worldwide, saying possible defects in battery cells increased fire risks.

LG Chem said that it is voluntarily recalling its residential energy storage batteries in the United States over concerns of thermal issues after receiving five related reports added the report. The ITC is expected to have a decision on the dispute between the two South Korean battery makers on 10th December.

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