Home » Here’s Why American Hyundai Ioniq 6 Owners Are Getting Shortchanged On Frunk Space

Here’s Why American Hyundai Ioniq 6 Owners Are Getting Shortchanged On Frunk Space

Hyundai Frunk Scandal
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Last week, I found myself participating in the AJAC EcoRun, an economy competition against several Canadian automotive journalists in some of the latest green models. While I enjoyed my time behind the wheel of the Toyota Crown Signia (you can read my take here), I found myself closing day one behind the wheel of a rear-wheel-drive Hyundai Ioniq 6 with small wheels and wonderfully temperature-defying cloth seats. It’s a brilliant spec because thanks to its 361 miles of rated range, range anxiety simply doesn’t exist. You’ll want a break before the car will, and that gives a chance for your mind to wander onto more important subjects, such as why the North American rear-wheel-drive Ioniq 6 gets shortchanged on frunk space.

As we stumbled upon last year, in the rest of the world, the lack of a front motor on RWD Ioniq 6 models allows space for a bigger frunk, boosting capacity from 0.53 cu.-ft. (15 liters) to a more usable 1.6 cu.-ft. (45 liters). While not as capacious as the 3.1 cu.-ft. (88 liters) you get in a Tesla Model 3, a 200 percent increase in frunk space is huge.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

In North America, however, all Ioniq 6 models get a small, shallow frunk. It’s big enough for a Level 1 charging cable, but only just, and it’d be difficult to transport much else up front. A full grocery run is pretty much out of the question, and a full roadside kit would have to be crammed in there like sardines.

Hyundai Ioniq 6 frunk

Since the frunk isn’t fully shrouded, it’s easy to see the sheer amount of space between the bottom of the plastic frunk tray and the hard parts under the hood of the rear-wheel-drive Ioniq 6. We’re talking about several inches before you’re even close to touching high-voltage componentry, and in the world of frunks, that’s a lot.

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Hyundai Ioniq 6 frunk

So why aren’t North American Ioniq 6 RWD models equipped with the deeper frunk? Well, it seems to come down to requirements for emergency frunk releases. See, NHTSA has something called Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 401, and it exists to prevent people — especially small children — from getting trapped in trunks and, um, dying.

Here’s how NHTSA defines a trunk as per FMVSS 401 testing requirements:

(a) means a space that:
(1) Is intended to be used for carrying luggage or cargo,
(2) Is wholly separated from the occupant compartment of a passenger car by a permanently attached partition or by a fixed or fold-down seat back and/or rigid partition,
(3) Has a trunk lid, and
(4) Is large enough so that the three-year-old child dummy described in Subpart C of Part 572 can be placed inside the trunk compartment, and the trunk lid can be closed and latched with all removable equipment furnished by the passenger car manufacturer stowed in accordance with label(s) on the passenger car or information in the passenger car owner=s manual, or, if no information is provided, as located when the passenger car is delivered. (Note: For purposes of this standard, the Part 572 Subpart C test dummy need not be equipped with the accelerometers specified in Part 572.21.) (b) Does not include a sub-compartment within the trunk compartment.

So, if a compartment is small enough that the test dummy cannot be placed inside the trunk compartment with the lid closed and latched, a glow-in-the-dark emergency release isn’t necessary. That explains why the Rambox available on full-size Ram pickup trucks has emergency releases, but the shallow little tray in the Ioniq 6 doesn’t. Hyundai didn’t include an emergency release, so this seems like a feasible workaround.

Hyundai Ioniq 6 2023 1600 D0

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However, some Ioniq 6 owners crave more frunk space, and a few have taken matters into their own hands, producing both good and bad news. The good news? The deep frunk has a part number that you can look up, 86710KL000. The bad news? Options for sourcing it may be somewhat limited. Owners on the Ioniq forums have been purchasing the deep frunk from a vendor called Spare Korea, and while the part itself is reasonable at $177, shipping is expensive because the frunk is a bulky item. Once you add the cost of shipping to America, you’re in it for $657.55.

Img 6271

Is it worth spending $657.55 for an extra 1.07 cu.-ft. of storage space? Probably not for most people, but for frunk enthusiasts, it’s nice to know the option exists. It’s totally possible to just unbolt the small North American frunk and bolt in the bigger one on Ioniq 6 models, and we suspect this is something we’ll see more Ioniq 6 enthusiasts doing in the future.

(Photo credits: Thomas Hundal, Hyundai)

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Jeff Hager
Jeff Hager
7 days ago

Can we just get a frunk large enough for a spare tire, jack and portable EVSE?

OnceInAMillenia
OnceInAMillenia
8 days ago

“extra 1.07 cu.-ft. of storage space”

Honestly, 99% of the time, that would be sufficient for the cargo I’m carrying in the car. I think OEMs seriously underestimate how often all people carry around is a backpack or handful of grocery bags, and don’t want them rolling around in a 35+ cu ft rear trunk/hatch area

Michael Rosenquest
Michael Rosenquest
8 days ago

Even if you were able to source the deeper frunk tub and install it, your vehicle would now be modified in such a way that it is out of compliance with federal standards.

Car insurance companies generally require policy holders to report any modifications, and they are highly likely to cancel your policy if that modification makes it non-compliant.

If you don’t report the modification, you risk it being found if you’re in an accident, and insurance companies REALLY don’t like discovering unreported modifications during an accident investigation.

Oh, actually they love it, because they can void your coverage on the spot and leave you SOL.

So as much as I’d like to encourage owners to take matters into their own hands and embiggen their frunk to its full potential, maybe don’t?

Peter Andruskiewicz
Peter Andruskiewicz
8 days ago

Oh, imagine the mess when the insurance company discovers the enlarged frunk space when investigating your claim for medical expenses for the child riding in the frunk in crash! Definitely the worst of your worries then!

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
9 days ago

I imagine if this is the case for the RWD Ioniq 6, then it’s also the case for the RWD Ioniq 5 and the Kia EV6.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
9 days ago

Put that in your Frunk and Wagnalls and smoke it.

Ed Friese
Ed Friese
9 days ago

Same issue has been noted on the Kia EV6 – the work-around I’ve seen, has been for owners to work-with folks across the pond to purchase the larger liner, and have them ship-it to the States.

The Ford frunk has dividers molded-in, so no one could “fit”

Last edited 9 days ago by Ed Friese
Genewich
Genewich
9 days ago
Reply to  Ed Friese

They ended up dropping the Mach-E dividers within the first year or so. They had a glow in the dark button, but the software didn’t work? Wasn’t approved? Something along those lines anyway.

Ben
Ben
9 days ago

Sounds like someone needs to publish a 3d model of it, split in such a way that it can be printed on a common 3d printer.

Church
Church
9 days ago

At the Worldwide Conference of Car Enthusiasts, the turn signal enthusiasts are an oddity, but generally harmless. The frunk enthusiasts, though, no one likes them. They’re like “hey, we’ve had storage at one end of the car for years, but now it’s at the whole other end!” Yup, super revolutionary there, guys.

Balloondoggle
Balloondoggle
9 days ago

Two thoughts:

1 – is a frunk really convenient to start with? I assume the hood still latches the same way as any other so more steps in less convenient places compared to the trunk.

2 – the Standard 3yo dummy. Is a standard 3yo child going to notice the glow-in-the-dark handle and think to pull on it if trapped in a frunk? What does it take for that 3yo to get in a frunk in the first place? Is that emergency release really needed in a space that small?

RidesBicyclesButLovesCars
RidesBicyclesButLovesCars
9 days ago
Reply to  Balloondoggle
  1. Yes, frunks are very convenient. Ours have come in clutch on a few road trips. My wife keeps her work out gear in the frunk to keep from funking up the rest of the car.
  2. I have a toddler. Mine will accomplish elaborate multi-step tasks with the end goal of falling head first off the couch. I have faith in his ability to both get himself into a frunk and grab a glowing thing in the dark to free himself.
Balloondoggle
Balloondoggle
9 days ago

I think my kids would have simply panicked and never discovered the release. But mostly I don’t think they would have ended up in there to start with. A hood release is more complex than that, and personally I’d probably only use it to store the EVSE anyway.

Beatle
Beatle
9 days ago

If you don’t work out, frunks are great for takeout.

Spikedlemon
Spikedlemon
9 days ago
Reply to  Balloondoggle

This made me think of the joke on motorcycle scooter design for the large space under the seat being referred to as a ‘pet carrier’.

Perhaps the frunk can become the toddler cavern

TheDrunkenWrench
TheDrunkenWrench
9 days ago
Reply to  Balloondoggle

Kids yearn for the mines. They have an unshakable call of the void to enter any and every small space they can wriggle into.

Considering most 3 year olds can operate technology with more ease than a lot of GenX folks, I’d like to think a glowing handle would, at very least, pique their interest.

S13 Sedan
S13 Sedan
9 days ago

When I was about middle school age, peak working in the coal mines age, they had started to clear the woods across the street from my neighborhood to build houses but the recession killed that before it could really get started. All that was left was the cleared out roadway and a bundle of those black plastic drainage pipes.

I used to squirm my way through those pipes just for the fun of it, they were narrow enough to where you had to have your arms at your side and couldn’t use them to help so you just needed to kind of push with your feet all the way through. I was the optimal size for squeezing into tight places to get coal and other valuable minerals. This was in NEPA too so I was born into yearning for the mines

Ricardo Mercio
Ricardo Mercio
9 days ago
Reply to  Balloondoggle

This is probably not the case for most vehicles, but in the Boxster, the frunk is far larger than the trunk, and I use it for anything that doesn’t fit in the rear.

It’s not as easy because I have to pop it with the lever in the door sill rather than with my fob (electric opening of the frunk was implemented later along with an extra button on the fob), but the latch is positioned in an easy-to-reach position, and because I open it more often than most people open their hood, it’s muscle memory now. I don’t think it’s any harder than finding the tailgate open button under a piece of trim in a modern SUV, between the license plate lamps but not quite centered.

That said, I (5’6″, 190lb) can fit in my frunk with the spare tire in place and the lid shut, or stand two 5-gallon buckets upright side by side, or a full ATX tower from Micro Center (I did have to unbox that before it would fit), so it’s clearly a far larger compartment than the Ioniq’s, and my trunk doesn’t fit any of that, so I have a lot more incentive to use it. Maybe if I had a big sedan trunk and rear seats, my frunk would go unused.

AlterId
AlterId
9 days ago
Reply to  Balloondoggle

There was an article back when the trunk release requirement was instituted. There was a development team that included testing on children of that age (presumably pleasant children, as they all were let out) to verify the design worked as intended.

MAX FRESH OFF
MAX FRESH OFF
9 days ago
Reply to  AlterId

I read that as “peasant children”

AlterId
AlterId
9 days ago
Reply to  MAX FRESH OFF

Yhey’re too busy working in Third World (like Alabama) supplier plants.

Genewich
Genewich
9 days ago
Reply to  Balloondoggle

I love my frunk, and it opens with a button on my phone or from my door keypad. It’s totally separate from the cabin, so great for gross sports equipment (like cycling shoes).

VanGuy
VanGuy
9 days ago
Reply to  Balloondoggle

Piggybacking on other answers here, it’s been mentioned that, say you’re moving a ton of stuff (helping friends/family moving, for example) and the vehicle breaks down–it’s nice if you can store your emergency supplies in the frunk so that you don’t have to take everything out first to get to (for example) under-floor storage in the cabin.

Uninformed Fucknugget
Uninformed Fucknugget
8 days ago
Reply to  Balloondoggle

Bought a Ford lightning 2 weeks ago. Very 1st thing to happen when I get it home is my 12yr old that is going into 7th grade climbs into the frunk and pushes the close button.
Then proceeds to yell their damn head off because it’s dark. I did immediately open it but considered letting them hangout there for a few minutes to learn the lesson. Not sure if the glow in the dark release was noticeable or not.

Spikedlemon
Spikedlemon
9 days ago

Rather than venting on the frunk, which I think is on-par with talking about cupholders, can we not focus on why this car is not a proper liftback so we could actually transport large/bulky items inside the cabin?

Beasy Mist
Beasy Mist
9 days ago
Reply to  Spikedlemon

That’s really the issue for me. I’ve been living with hatchbacks long enough at this point that anything without one is struck from the list no questions asked.

Cryptoenologist
Cryptoenologist
9 days ago
Reply to  Spikedlemon

That’s one of the best things about the BMW i4. I’m willing to overlook the beaver teeth for the rest of the package.

Nlpnt
Nlpnt
9 days ago

Buy it over the parts counter at a Canadian dealership, and install it before crossing back into the US?

TheDrunkenWrench
TheDrunkenWrench
9 days ago
Reply to  Nlpnt

Most Canadian cars are just US cars with more safety and more features. Our safety standards are pretty much in lockstep, I’m betting the Canadian frunk is the same.

i3 Driving Indicator Fetishist
i3 Driving Indicator Fetishist
9 days ago

Yup the RWD Cdn 6 only has the shallow frunk too.

Man With A Reliable Jeep
Man With A Reliable Jeep
9 days ago

And it’s an Ioniq,
Don’t you think?

It’s got the range for your commuting days
It’s an EV ride to fight the climate change
It’s the good advice that you finally did take
And who would’ve bought? It was me

Mr. Play-It-Safe was afraid to drive
He filled his tank and pulled away with a sigh
He waited his whole damn life for an EV ride
And as the fuel gauge crept down
He thought, “Well, isn’t this nice?”

And it’s an Ioniq,
Don’t you think?

It’s got the range for your commuting days
It’s an EV ride to fight the climate change
It’s the good advice that you finally did take
And who would’ve bought? It was me

Brandon Forbes
Brandon Forbes
9 days ago

You would think someone would do a group buy to get like a hundred of these things which would lessen the shipping dramatically and allow them to be sold for a more reasonable sum.

Andrew Wyman
Andrew Wyman
9 days ago
Reply to  Brandon Forbes

“Hi there, welcome to Forbes Frunk Autoparts! How can we help you?”

Sounds like you just need to apply for your LLC. Just think about the enthusiasts who would be all over it. Jason we know loves a good frunk.

Brandon Forbes
Brandon Forbes
9 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Wyman

Frunk that

Fix It Again Tony
Fix It Again Tony
9 days ago
Reply to  Brandon Forbes

$500 shipping … you can fly to South Korea to pick up a few and it would pay for your trip.

Brandon Forbes
Brandon Forbes
9 days ago

Yeah but surely it wouldn’t be that much to get a bunch, shipping a single item is expensive, shipping a bunch gets cheaper per piece quickly. But for some reason it’s supposedly 42kgs so maybe not in this case

NebraskaStig
NebraskaStig
9 days ago

Do they stack? Because if they stack there might be a side hustle for someone visiting Korea on the regular.

Dave Kell
Dave Kell
6 days ago
Reply to  NebraskaStig

I visit Korea on the regular, antone want a frunk?

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