Hyundai is complementing its standard 10-year, 100,000-mile warranty by adding a "lifetime battery replacement guarantee" for the Sonata Hybrid, the only hybrid the South Korean automaker sells.

Hyundai said Monday that, in the event of breakdown of the Sonata Hybrid's lithium polymer battery, the company will replace the battery free of charge and pay for its recycling costs. Hyundai, which co-developed the lithium polymer battery with LG Chem, says the Sonata Hybrid's drivetrain can hold up under more than 300,000 miles of driving with "minimal degradation."

Hyundai continues to pitch its cars' reliability and fuel efficiency as a way to boost U.S. sales. For the model year 2010, the most recent year the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency tracked fleetwide fuel efficiency, Hyundai achieved a fleetwide fuel-economy level of 25.9 miles per gallon, best among the 14 largest automakers. Hyundai boosted U.S. sales by 20 percent last year to a record 645,691 vehicles, with the Sonata as its best-selling line. The company doesn't break out sales numbers specifically for the Sonata Hybrid, which is rated by the EPA to get 37 miles per gallon combined.

Hyundai has been offering a 10-year, 100,000-mile warranty on all of its vehicles since 1999.
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HYUNDAI FIRST AUTOMAKER TO OFFER HYBRID LIFETIME BATTERY REPLACEMENT GUARANTEE

Lifetime Battery Replacement Guarantee covers 2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Batteries Far Beyond Hyundai's Industry Leading 10-Year, 100,000-mile Warranty

COSTA MESA, Calif., Jan. 9, 2012 – Hyundai today added to its Sonata Hybrid coverage a Lifetime Battery Replacement Guarantee to expand the benefits of Hyundai Assurance, the industry's most comprehensive warranty program. The coverage applies to all 2012 model year Sonata Hybrid models over the life expectancy of the vehicle and thousands of miles beyond the average duration of new-car ownership. The first-of-its-kind protection ensures that if the Sonata Hybrid lithium polymer battery technology failes, Hyundai will replace the battery and cover recycling costs for the old powerplant free of charge to the owner.

Hyundai tested Sonata Hybrid and its Blue Drive hybrid drivetrain for more than 300,000 miles with minimal degradation of its output or duration of operation, providing Sonata Hybrid owners with confidence that their investment will continue to pay dividends well into the future.

"The Hyundai brand was built on outstanding quality backed by the industry's best protection program which we call Hyundai Assurance," said Michael O'Brien, vice president, Corporate and Product Planning. "Expanding Hyundai Assurance to include Lifetime Battery Replacement Guarantee was another opportunity for us to demonstrate our confidence in the durability of our product, and pass that peace-of-mind on to our owners."

The heart of Hyundai's breakthrough Hybrid Blue Drive technology is its remarkable lithium polymer batter pack. Hyundai is the first automaker in the world to incorporate this remarkably efficient battery technology into production vehicles. Automotive duty cycles, with temperature ranges from -40 to 120+ degrees Fahrenheit, and 10-year-and-beyond longevity requirements render the lithium ion batteries used in consumer devices unsuitable. Lithium polymer is the next generation of lithium ion technology and is ideally suited to automotive applications thanks to a robust and reliable chemistry.

The lithium polymers cells, developed with our partner LG Chem, use a manganese spinel chemistry that provides an excellent 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 MOTOR AMERICA
Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Costa Mesa, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through more than 800 dealerships nationwide. All Hyundai vehicles sold in the U.S. are covered by the Hyundai Assurance program, which includes the 5-year/60,000-mile fully transferable new vehicle warranty, Hyundai's 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, and five years of complimentary Roadside Assistance.

For more details on Hyundai Assurance, please visit www.HyundaiAssurance.com


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 35 Comments
      EZEE
      • 2 Years Ago
      Oh hell yes! Think about this - an auto maker says, you will never have to replace your engine, or your transmission, or your AC. this is the same thing. Batteries will go at some point, and to those (like me) who are paranoid and read the various consumer publications prior to buying a car on reliability, this takes a BIG weight off the paranoid factor. This is huge, and dare I say, one of the talking points of the anti EV/hybrid crowd. Great job Hyundai! In the past few days, we have had: * $19,000 Prius C * New Fusion Hybrid and Energi (didn't see that coming) * Hyundai battery replacement. It has been a good week, and only Wednesday.
        Pete K
        • 2 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        Plug-in Honda Accord Hybrid and Jetta Hybrid...
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 2 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        It has been a good week. We had a lull for a year or two in new green cars.. then bam... :) The future looks bright.
      nightthunder86
      • 2 Years Ago
      I personaly own a 2011 Sonata Hybrid. Best car I have ever purchased! Judging by the vin number my was number 200 off the line and havent had a sign issue with it. Though on the two oil changes its had now they preformed software updates. As far as my milage goes, I drive through the city for to/from work. Durning the week I aveager 35 mpg with all the stop and go. On the weekends when my driving is majority highway I average 45 to 50....and I tend to be "agressive" with my driving. Great job Hyundai...Keep up the good work.
      ____|____
      • 2 Years Ago
      Will Hyundai guarantee owners can at least once obtain the rated mileage in any of their vehicles?
      DaveMart
      • 2 Years Ago
      The battery is awesome. Approximate calculations show that the much larger, less stressed batteries in an EV should be good for around 1 billion miles, or 100,000 years, whichever is soonest! ;-)
      electronx16
      • 2 Years Ago
      300K miles is impressive for a small batterypack that gets the heck cycled out of it. It appears they are also very confident about calendar life for Li-ion (or at least their particular variant) which is great news too.
      DRstrangelove
      • 2 Years Ago
      This should shut up the diesel fanboys.
      ____|____
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hyundia needs to offer a LOT more than that. The Sonata Hybrid is one of the worst new cars on the market.
        JeremyD
        • 2 Years Ago
        @____|____
        The Sonata is selling quite well... so I guess many would disagree with you. I think the HSH is a great car, just not the greatest IMO.
          ____|____
          • 2 Years Ago
          @JeremyD
          Selling a lot has zero to do with a cars quality. I present you the largest car company in the world, GM as example.
          JeremyD
          • 2 Years Ago
          @JeremyD
          Dont hate on GM, they are doing much better after the windfall they received from the government... but I dont hold grudges... I went and bought one anyway. I love my GM product. My last cars were BMW, Lexus, Subaru, and Toyota... the BMW is the only car I ever had problems with.
      Ryan
      • 2 Years Ago
      How much does it cost to recycle the battery and 'make' a new one? If LG Chem has figured out how to do that efficiently, while making a 300,000 mile battery, that is impressive.
      Nick
      • 2 Years Ago
      Is it valid for the 1st owner only, or transferable? Hyundai knows few people keep their car more than 8 years anyway, and most will be trashed in accidents; crushed or sold for parts long before the battery starts having issues.
        PR
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Nick
        Nick -- It is darn near impossible to tell from their press release and the link they provide, because they don't even list this warranty coverage on their website yet. The closest piece of information is their Hybrid Vehicles warranty, which says their hybrid warranty IS transferable: "HYUNDAI HYBRID VEHICLES AND AMERICA’S BEST WARRANTY Our dedication and commitment to building vehicles of the highest quality knows no bounds. So, America’s Best Warranty is included on every new Hyundai hybrid vehicle. With an added advantage—the 10-Year/100,000-Mile Hybrid Components Protection coverage is transferable to subsequent owners. Hyundai’s Blue Drive Hybrid components consists of: • Hybrid Battery Pack Assembly • Hybrid Starter Generator • Hybrid Power Control Unit • Automatic Transmission including Traction Motor See the sections above or the Owner’s Manual for additional details on Hyundai’s hybrid vehicle warranty coverage." My best educated guess would be that since their current hybrid warranty that includes their battery IS transferable, then the "lifetime" warranty has a good chance of being transferable too. But until they spell it out in specific, there is no way to tell for certain. I agree that if it isn't transferable, then they are really just betting that car owners will sell their cars more often then every 10 years/100,000 miles. With that said, their current fully transferable hybrid warranty is already pretty damn impressive, so "lifetime" (how ever long that means) is just icing on the cake.
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PR
          With the warranty they give, the incentive to trade in is limited. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. With their extended warranties here in the UK a lot of Hyundai and Kia drivers simply keep them until it expires, way beyond the time they would normally be looking to trade in.
          EZEE
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PR
          Thanks for the research. You caught us speculating...
          Nick
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PR
          Thanks for the research.
        EZEE
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Nick
        Good question, but still a great selling point....
          EZEE
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          @nick It will, but you know - since Toyota had that program about the $2500 battery replacement, that whole concern was almost gone anyway. I mean - by 150,000 - 300,000 SOMETHING big is going to go. Engine, Transmission, AC... It sucks, but happens. On an old car, you realize that you may have to spend a few thousand dollars to keep it on the road. When the price for a battery dropped from $10,000 to $2,500...that was pretty much 'it' for me. When it goes from $2500 to 'free' - well, all I can say is, "Oh Hell Yea."
          Nick
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          Sure is. And it takes away the argument that hybrid batteries will cost their owners a fortune to replace.
      PR
      • 2 Years Ago
      I wonder how much of this is a move to attract Honda Civic Hybrid drivers who are involved in class-action lawsuits because the Honda IMA batteries keep failing prematurely (not to mention the dreaded MPG killing software update Honda pushed on everyone).
        Chris M
        • 2 Years Ago
        @PR
        That "MPG killing" software update, ironically, is to prevent the Honda IMA batteries from failing prematurely, by limiting the amount of discharge.
        EZEE
        • 2 Years Ago
        @PR
        @PR and Chris Wow, holy sh*t.... I didn't know that was the point of the update. That makes what Hyundai is doing all the more cool.
      mchlrus1
      • 2 Years Ago
      I still think the Fusion hybrid is a much better deal the 7 MPG difference between this and the Sonata hybrid makes it superior. I think the cars also have similar looks. If I wanted a hybrid mid size, the Fusion would be my choice.
        JeremyD
        • 2 Years Ago
        @mchlrus1
        I agree... and the 2013 FFH just spanks the HSH. One thing I really cant stand about the HSH is the wheels, ugly as hell... the rest of the car looks great though. If Ford can price the 2013 FFH similar to the Camry Hybrid (the current MPG segment leader) they will have a hard time keeping em on the lot! Especially the way gas prices will be. That said, I dont think this is currently the car to beat... the Camry is, but the FFH will be. 47mpg city is just insane.
      noevfud
      • 2 Years Ago
      Now build an EV with the same warranty and they will fly out the door. Even a 6/100K warranty would do it.
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