A123 Systems plans to hire 400 in Michigan

At its peak last year, A123 employed 1,020 in Southeast Michigan. That’s now down to 781 employees.

Waltham, Mass.-based A123 began recalling auto batteries in March after it isolated an incorrect calibration of one automated welding machine in Livonia. The defect was noticed after a Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid fitted with an A123 battery failed during a test by Consumer Reports.

The company reported that five automotive customers received batteries with potentially defective cells. CEO David Vieau told analysts on a conference call last month that A123 would complete shipments of replacement batteries over the next several quarters. Replacing the defective batteries is expected to cost A123 $66.8 million.