Currently reading: Ford to replace Kuga PHEV batteries following system fires
Fix confirmed for firm's first PHEV, which customers have been discouraged from plugging in since August
News
2 mins read
30 October 2020

Ford will begin issuing recall notices to owners of the new Kuga PHEV, having approved a fix for a potentially dangerous battery fault that came to light in August. 

The company earlier halted sales of the hybrid SUV due to concerns about overheating battery packs, advising owners to leave their vehicles in EV Auto mode and avoid plugging them in. At the time, Ford said "information from the field indicates that four vehicle fires are likely to have been caused by the overheating of the high-voltage batteries" and halted the sale of all Kuga PHEV models built before 26 June 2020.

Now, the company has agreed on a fix for the problem and will carry out the necessary repair to all affected vehicles between late December 2020 and March 2021. The process will involve the replacement of the traction battery pack and will be rolled out to cars in the order in which they were sold, with older models the first to be recalled, and as yet undelivered, pre-26 June models remaining in Ford's hands until the fix is carried out. 

An official statement said: "The root cause has been identified as a battery cell contamination issue in our supplier’s production process and we have determined that the best course of action for the safety of our existing customers is to replace the drive battery pack." 

Until affected customers have had the fix carried out, they are advised to leave their car in EV Auto mode and continue to not plug it in. Ford has provided extended warranties or £500/€500 fuel vouchers in compensation. It is believed up to 27,000 cars globally are affected, but it remains unclear why the problem only affects cars built in that date range.

Fires in combustion-engined vehicles are nothing new, but they're rarer in electrified vehicles, due to their relatively small numbers. EV fires can be volatile, however, with first responders and firefighters now provided specific EV training to ensure the high-voltage power system is switched off as a priority. 

No injuries are reported to have occurred in the four fires that alerted Ford to the problem.

READ MORE

Ford Kuga PHEV ST-Line 2020 review

New BYD Blade EV battery stands up to extreme durability tests

Ford: 2035 combustion ban unfeasible without PHEVs

Advertisement
Advertisement

Find an Autocar review

Join the debate

Comments
24
Add a comment…
JJ BLADE 31 October 2020

Is This The Beginning of the End for electric cars

all this carbon neutral propulsion..,.what happened when all the hardware involved was made and then is disposed of and the censored amount of hawks killed by wind turbines, all BS. 

xxxx 31 October 2020

Cost

there is also a reputation cost and apparently the new Escape phev has now been delayed a year. I suspect most would want another 500 quid if you have to wait till March so that is a 27 million cost alone.

If this was the states maybe you could just hand the car back, not fit for purpose. 

xxxx 31 October 2020

Escape - Kuga

Meant US version of Kuga phev delayed

xxxx 31 October 2020

expensive

This is gonna be an expensive fix and probably wipe how any profit on the car, Ford are down 500 quid before the fix was announced.  If Ford and Bmw cant build a phev without it catching fire people will start to worry about any future bevs they cobble together.

Citytiger 31 October 2020

xxxx wrote:

xxxx wrote:

This is gonna be an expensive fix and probably wipe how any profit on the car, Ford are down 500 quid before the fix was announced.  If Ford and Bmw cant build a phev without it catching fire people will start to worry about any future bevs they cobble together.

Will it cost Ford anything, it appears the problem lies with the manufacturer/supplier of the batteries not with how Ford have used them, so I suspect it will Ford very little if anything. 

Perhaps its the battery manufacturers who need to sort their act out, if they cant produce safe ones, why are they not being taken to task about it. 

Jimbbobw1977 1 November 2020

Citytiger wrote:

Citytiger wrote:

xxxx wrote:

This is gonna be an expensive fix and probably wipe how any profit on the car, Ford are down 500 quid before the fix was announced.  If Ford and Bmw cant build a phev without it catching fire people will start to worry about any future bevs they cobble together.

Will it cost Ford anything, it appears the problem lies with the manufacturer/supplier of the batteries not with how Ford have used them, so I suspect it will Ford very little if anything. 

Perhaps its the battery manufacturers who need to sort their act out, if they cant produce safe ones, why are they not being taken to task about it. 

 

My thoughts exactly third party supplier of the battery pack like a lot of manufacturers do these of parts such as Bosch ECU's etc... 

The issue has become apparent and they are doing something to fix it. It happens, technology is still in its early days.

Find an Autocar car review