Wednesday, October 4, 2023
News Hyundai Tucson FCEV Owner Faces +100,000$ Repair Bill for Hydrogen Fuel Cell...

Hyundai Tucson FCEV Owner Faces +100,000$ Repair Bill for Hydrogen Fuel Cell Issue

A hydrogen-powered Hyundai Tucson owner encounters a substantial repair bill, emphasizing fuel cell technology challenges.

 

  • A hydrogen-powered Hyundai Tucson owner faces a 113,000$ US repair bill for a malfunctioning fuel cell.

  • Hyundai ix35, known as Tucson in the US, employed hydrogen power to generate electricity via a fuel cell.

  • Repair challenges stem from limited production volume, advancing fuel cell tech, and unique components.


 

Being an early adopter of advanced vehicle technologies can sometimes bring unexpected challenges, as recently evidenced by a Hyundai Tucson FCEV (Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle) owner in Germany. The owner, Till Westberg, found himself facing an astonishing repair bill of $113,000 US due to a malfunction in his vehicle’s fuel cell system.

 

Westberg had made his Hyundai ix35 purchase – known as the Tucson in North America – with a hydrogen-based powertrain seven years ago. This specific model harnessed hydrogen gas to generate electric power for its drivetrain through a fuel cell mechanism. Over the years, Westberg had enjoyed trouble-free driving, accumulating over 83,000 kilometers (52,000 miles). Unfortunately, the hydrogen-powered vehicle experienced a sudden breakdown, displaying an error message during startup and refusing to move.

In a bid to remedy the situation, Westberg approached Hyundai for assistance, only to be confronted with an astronomical repair estimate that far exceeded his expectations. This dilemma was exacerbated by the fact that the vehicle had surpassed its standard five-year warranty period.

Hyundai acknowledged the financial impracticality of repairing such vehicles produced in limited quantities. The fuel-cell ix35 was manufactured in a quantity of approximately 1,000 units between 2013 and 2018. Hyundai attributed the high cost of repairs to the combination of the relatively small production volume, the advancements made in fuel cell technology since then, and the unique components required for restoration.

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While Westberg’s scenario is distinctive, it underscores the broader apprehensions that can arise concerning novel vehicle technologies. These apprehensions encompass concerns regarding potential high repair costs and technical challenges, especially for technologies that are still in their evolutionary stages.

2022 Hyundai Tucson PHEV | Photo: Hyundai

Hyundai has progressed its fuel cell technology with the introduction of the Nexo fuel cell vehicle, which follows the ix35. Replacement fuel cells for the Nexo are offered at a more “reasonable” cost of approximately $45,000, boasting an extended lifespan and a comprehensive warranty.

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