Initially announced at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit earlier this month, Hyundai’s Lifetime Hybrid Battery Replacement Guarantee applies to all US 2012 model year Sonata Hybrids and is the first-of-its-kind in the industry.
The Hyundai Lifetime Hybrid Battery Replacement Guarantee ensures that if the 2012 Sonata Hybrid lithium polymer battery fails, Hyundai will replace the battery and cover recycling costs for the old battery pack free of charge to the original owner. The coverage is not transferrable, and does not apply to lease and commercial vehicles or vehicles serviced outside the US.
Even with all the hybrid vehicle options on the market today, there is still limited demand for these vehicles because of barriers to customer adoption such as uncertainty about the technology and performance. By offering the Lifetime Battery Replacement Guarantee, Hyundai is addressing customer concerns and demonstrating our confidence in the durability of our product.—Michael O'Brien, vice president, Corporate and Product Planning
The Hybrid Sonata, with Hyundai’s Hybrid Blue Drive technology, features a lithium polymer battery pack. The lithium polymer cells, developed with Hyundai’s partner LG Chem, use a manganese spinel chemistry that provides a balance between power delivery, energy density and thermal stability. Thermal stability is critical to ensuring durability, eliminating the need to replace the battery pack during the normal lifespan of the vehicle. The electrodes in older lithium ion chemistries expand and contract with the heating and cooling that occurs during charging and discharging. This thermal expansion causes cracks in the electrodes which ultimately reduces the cell's ability to hold a charge. Manganese spinel lithium polymer cells have much lower expansion rates and are thus able to go through tens of thousands of charge cycles even without having to use a heavier, liquid cooling system, Hyundai says.