American automaker Ford has had to temporarily halt sales of its plug-in hybrid crossover, the Kuga, amid concerns over battery pack safety.
Owners have been told not to charge their cars “until further notice,” but they can continue to use them on engine-only “EV Auto” mode, Autocar reports.
The suspension of sales relates to vehicles built before June 26, 2020. A statement issued by Ford says that four vehicle fires are likely to have been caused by high-voltage batteries overheating.
It’s believed that up to 27,000 cars could be affected.
According to Fleet News, Ford has admitted that overheating could occur when the vehicle is parked, unattended, or being charged.
There are some suggestions that the fault is related to the car’s battery charging module overheating. However, Ford is yet to confirm the specific reason for the fault or how difficult it will be to remedy.
It seems Ford is taking the situation seriously, as it should be. Recalling the vehicles is, at this point, a precautionary measure. With four confirmed fires out of 27,000 vehicles, right now the risk appears low.
Luckily for Kuga PHEV owners, they can continue to use their vehicles while Ford figures out what’s going on. But take all the safety precautions you can, and speak to your Ford dealer if you have concerns.
Vehicle recalls are nothing new, you can always check if your car has any outstanding recalls by speaking with its manufacturer or checking the National Highway and Transport Safety Authority (for US vehicles). For UK-based drivers, check with the country’s government website.
No doubt, more on this story will follow.
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Published August 12, 2020 — 13:46 UTC