Ford apparently can’t get the battery problems of the Kuga PHEV under control. After the manufacturer stopped sales of the part-time electric vehicle in August due to concerns about battery overheating, Ford is now recalling all Kuga models with plug-in hybrid drive to garages across Europe.
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At first, it was thought that the issue only extended to models built prior to June 25, 2020. However now, Ford has extended the recall to include all Kuga PHEVs due to fire risk of the batteries. Last month, Ford recalled around 20,000 Kuga PHEV units across Europe. With In the UK alone, this is estimated to affect around 5,046 drivers. Because of the problems, Ford is also postponing the start of series production of the next plug-in hybrid model Escape PHEV until next year because the vehicles share some components.
“Because we share components with Kuga PHEV, including battery cells, we are moving production to next year, while we work with the battery cell supplier to resolve the issue affecting Kuga PHEV in Europe,” a company spokesperson in Europe said.
Whether manufacturers just hopped on the bandwagon to admit their battery problems, or this is a curious coincidence is unclear, but given that Hyundai as well as BMW just announced issues with their plug-in hybrid vehicle batteries and issued partial recalls, the timing is uncanny.
Update 31 October 2020: According to several news sites, a Ford spokesperson said that the company has found the cause of the battery problems in the Kuga PHEV. Impurities in the cells caused the batteries to overheat. The cells apparently came from Samsung SDI. For all of the approximately 33,000 delivered Kuga models with plug-in hybrid drive, the battery sets must therefore be completely replaced. According to the reports, these problems will cost the US company at least 400 million dollars.