The Ford Kuga PHEV has only been on sale in the U.K. for a few months now, but sales have been swift thus far. In fact, as we reported yesterday, the plug-in hybrid variant of the Kuga was the tenth best-selling vehicle in the U.K. in July. Regardless, Ford has issued a recall and temporarily suspended global sales of Kuga PHEVs produced prior to June 26th, 2020 after a handful of them have caught fire.
“Information from the field indicates that four vehicle fires are likely to have been caused by the overheating of the high-voltage batteries,” the automaker said in a statement. Additionally, buyers of these vehicles have also been contacted and instructed not to charge their high-voltage battery “until further notice,” and to keep the vehicles in EV Auto drive mode.
Currently, Ford is working to secure the parts needed to correct this issue, and is asking customers to schedule repairs beginning in late August. Ford hasn’t said what, exactly, is causing the problem, but it stated that overheating can occur “when the vehicle is parked and unattended or is charged.”
Up to 27,000 Kuga PHEV models are potentially affected by this problem globally, but luckily, no injuries have been reported yet. The Kuga is a rebadged version of the Ford Escape on sale in global markets outside of the United States, and rides on the same Ford C2 Platform as the Escape, Ford Focus, Lincoln Corsair, and the forthcoming Ford Bronco Sport.
It’s worth noting that just this past March, Ford came to an agreement to reimburse 56 South African 2014-2017 Kuga owners whose vehicles had also caught fire. That problem was traced to a failure in the cooling system of Ford 1.6L EcoBoost I-4 models manufactured in Spain specifically for the South African market.