Ford has halted sales of its plug-in Kuga PHEV SUV after an investigation into fires caused by overheating batteries.
The hybrid version of Ford’s mid-size lifestyle bus has only recently gone on sale, but four fires have already been linked to examples screwed together before 26 June, according to an article in Autocar. It’s not yet known why the batteries are overheating, or why it’s only the Kuga PHEV that seems to be afflicted; it’s business as usual for the company’s other electrified cars.
While Ford mounts an urgent head-scratching initiative to sort the problem out, owners of Kuga PHEVs built before 26 June are being told not to charge their cars. Weirdly, for reasons not made public at the time of writing, examples built after this date seem fine. Around 27,000 cars across the world are affected.
Dealers won’t be allowed to sell any stock Kuga PHEVs that fall before the cut-off date; these will need to be fixed first. Bad luck if you’d just put a deposit down. It’s a particular blow for Ford dealers in Europe; the PHEV had quickly come to count for 50 per cent of all Kuga sales across the continent.
Early media reports had praised the car’s ability to maximise its battery-fed capability, delivering real-world efficiency that smashes even the most miserly diesel rivals out of the park. Ford will therefore be very eager to get its supply of pre-26 June models back on sale, but at the moment there’s no indication of how long it might take.