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Ford halts car sales of its Kuga PHEV after overheating battery packs cause fires

Thu, 08/13/2020 - 09:45 -- paul Crompton

A series of fires thought to have been caused by the vehicle’s battery has forced car maker Ford to ‘temporarily’ stop sales of its Kuga plug-in-hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV).

Owners of the cars have also been told not to recharge their vehicles after overheating of the battery’s charging module was thought to be the cause of the fires.

The issue could affect up to 27,000 Kugas globally.

Ford has said it will temporarily suspend the sale of Ford Kuga PHEVs built prior to 26 June 2020.

It has also initiated a safety recall for all affected Kuga PHEV and ask customers driving one of the vehicles not to charge the battery, and to use the vehicle only in the “EV Auto” drive mode, the vehicle’s default drive mode, until the update has been made.

A Ford statement said: “We have identified a potential issue with the overheating of the high voltage drive battery, which in certain circumstances could result in a fire in the battery area.

“The overheating can occur when the vehicle is parked and unattended or is charged. Ford is writing to customers and asking them to contact their Ford Dealer so that a rework may be carried out.

Ford told BEST it would not “disclose our supplier details” when asked who supplied the batteries for the Kuga.

However, in June, Chinese battery maker BYD secured a deal to supply Ford with batteries, with the company’s China venture Changan Automobile seeking government approval to build PHEV models. 

In 2009, Ford chose Johnson Controls-Saft Advanced Power Solutions as the lithium-ion battery supplier for its first commercial plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, that hit dealerships in 2012.

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