Back in August, Ford issued a stop-sale and recall for its European Kuga PHEV after a handful of models caught fire. At that time, the automaker said that it believed the fires were likely caused by the overheating of the vehicle’s high-voltage batteries caused by a lack of ventilation.
Now, Ford has discovered that the cause of the issue was actually battery cell contamination in the supplier’s production process, which caused a glitch in the plug-in hybrid. To correct the problem, Ford has determined that the best course of action is to replace the battery pack in affected Kuga PHEV models.
Ford will contact Kuga PHEV owners in November to make arrangements to replace their battery packs, a process that’s expected to begin in late December and be completed by March of 2021. Until then, the automaker is reiterating that owners should not drive the car in electric-only mode or charge the battery externally.
The problem, which is believed to affect up to 27,000 models, has had far-reaching repercussions as well. Ford recently announced that it would be looking to join an open pool with other automakers in Europe to meet the region’s 2020 emissions regulations after the recall threw the company off its projected track to meet its CO2 target of 98 grams per kilometer for the year.
Additionally, the North American version of the Kuga PHEV, the Ford Escape PHEV and its Ford C2 Platform mate, the Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring, were both delayed as a direct result of the stop-sale and recall. Those models are now expected to go on sale in January of 2021 after a previous delay caused by the COVID-19 pandemic-induced production shutdown.
Both the The Escape PHEV and Corsair Grand Touring were originally scheduled to enter production at the Ford Louisville Assembly Plant this past spring and summer, respectively.
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