Ford has halted sales of its Kuga SUV plug-in hybrid for now because of fears that its battery may overheat and start a fire.
In a statement, the manufacturer says sales of Kuga PHEVs that were made before June 26 this year have been suspended for the time being because ‘information from the field indicates that four vehicle fires are likely to have been caused by the overheating of the high-voltage batteries’.
Those already with the PHEV have been told they shouldn’t charge the high-voltage battery until further notice and instead should keep the vehicle in EV Auto mode, Autocar reported.
A safety recall has been issued and customers are being contacted to get the problem sorted once heat shield and manifold parts are available. Up to 27,000 Kuga PHEVs could be affected around the world.
No injuries are understood to have been caused by the fires, nor is it known why only the cars built before June 26 have the problem.
The plug-in hybrid Kuga has been a massive success for Ford since going on sale this year, comprising half of all Kuga sales across Europe in this year’s second quarter.
Ford’s statement says: ‘The sale of Kuga PHEV vehicles built prior to June 26, 2020 has been suspended temporarily.
‘Ford also recalls all vehicles with customers to update them with an additional heat shield and manifold according to the current manufacturing status, and informs customers of all affected Kuga PHEVs in service not to charge their vehicle’s high-voltage battery until this update is made.
‘As part of Ford’s ongoing quality and safety processes, a potential concern has been identified with the high-voltage drive battery in these vehicles. Information from the field indicates that four vehicle fires are likely to have been caused by the overheating of the high voltage batteries.’
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