David Miles (Miles Better News Agency) reports.
Just as my road test reports about the new Ford Kuga PHEV had been published Ford announced it has halted global sales of this model due to concerns about overheating battery packs.
The plug-in hybrid SUV arrived in showrooms only recently but has proved popular, accounting for 50% of Kuga’s European sales for the second quarter of the year. Around 7,000 Kuga PHEV units in the UK are affected by this recall, other versions of the new Kuga are not affected.
Ford has released a statement admitting the sale of Kuga PHEVs built prior to 26 June 2020 has been suspended “temporarily”. The statement also says “information from the field indicates that four vehicle fires are likely to have been caused by the overheating of the high-voltage batteries”.
The “potential concern” has not only led to deliveries and sales of new models being stopped; buyers who have received their cars have also been contacted and told not to charge their high-voltage battery “until further notice”. They have been asked to keep the car in its “EV Auto” drive mode.
The brand has now issued a safety recall for all affected models, and is writing to customers to book vehicles in for remedial work from later this month once the required parts are available.
It’s not yet known how difficult the problem will be to resolve, with unverified suggestions claiming it’s related to the battery’s charging module overheating. Ford admits that this overheating can occur “when the vehicle is parked and unattended or is charged”.
Although it’s not believed that any injuries have been reported as a result of the fires, the fact that multiple fires have been reported on a relatively new car is cause for concern.