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Ford Issues Kuga PHEV Recall Over Battery Fire Risk

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Known as the Escape in the United States but essentially the same vehicle under the skin, inside, and in terms of exterior design, the Kuga has seen better days. Over in the United Kingdom and Europe, the Ford Motor Company has issued a stop-sale order and a recall for the plug-in hybrid powertrain to the tune of 27,000 units.

“Information from the field indicates that 4 vehicle fires are likely to have been caused by the overheating of the high-voltage batteries." Potentially affected vehicles were manufactured in Germany before June 26th at the automaker’s Valencia plant in Spain. The question is, what’s there left to do now?

Customers who have yet to take their plug-in hybrid crossovers to service techs are advised to keep the Kuga PHEV in EV Auto at all times. This driving mode alternates between internal combustion and e-assistance without any input from the driver, minimizing the risk of the battery getting hotter than normal.

“Unverified suggestions” are claiming that the problem is related to the battery charging module, and Ford claims the overheating can occur when the vehicle is parked or charging. At the present moment, it’s not known when the required parts will arrive at authorized dealerships to perform the servicing per se.

This isn’t the first time, however, that the Kuga PHEV has been recalled. On July 2nd, the plug-in hybrid crossover was listed on the British automotive recalls website with potential damage to the BCCM. To the point, more than 25,000 units may have been built with damage to the Battery Control Charge Module. If a failed inspection occurs, Ford will gladly replace the BCCM and the charging cable.

As a brief refresher, the Kuga with this powertrain develops 225 PS (222 horsepower) and 200 Nm (147 pound-feet) of torque, which is about the same as Escape PHEV sold stateside. Both feature a 14.4-kWh battery pack, and the official driving range ratings are pegged at 34 and 37 miles (55 and 60 kilometers).

 

Source: https://www.autoevolution.com/news/ford-issues-kuga-phev-recall-over-battery-fire-risk-147260.html

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5 hours ago, jcartwright99 said:

There was no Escape PHEV sold in the US, right?

 

Yes, was released for sale very recently.

 

 

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10 hours ago, jcartwright99 said:

There was no Escape PHEV sold in the US, right?


You’re thinking of Explorer which is only available in Europe.

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So maybe that explains why no plugin Escape has arrived yet. Ford has released prices and fuel mileage data, but still not at dealers yet. I keep looking for a you tube review, but still nothing. Looks like the plugin Corsair won't even make it for the 2020MY.

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6 hours ago, FordBuyer said:

So maybe that explains why no plugin Escape has arrived yet. Ford has released prices and fuel mileage data, but still not at dealers yet. I keep looking for a you tube review, but still nothing. Looks like the plugin Corsair won't even make it for the 2020MY.

I have one on Order since June 18th but still no VIN, maybe this is why.

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Fords quality keeps getting worse and worse. They just recalled 500,000 Edge and Lincoln MKX.

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I believe all companies have recalls for their vehicles anyway.

Toyota, among others, has had recalls for cracking engine blocks, of late.

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I don't understand why Ford should be having this problem, they have been building plug in hybrids for many years - they really should have this drivetrain and its components nailed down and perfected at this point. Perhaps they brought in a new supplier for one of their subsystems or controllers?

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When  I go in the garage which is very hot and humid where my Escape hybrid is parked, sometimes I hear an electric motor running for a few minutes. Not the electric fan, but probably a motor moving coolant around the battery to keep it cool. I would think the plugin would have this with more powerful battery.

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One day after I put a deposit down for an Escape PHEV (last week), I saw stories in the UK auto press about the Kuga PHEV fires and the resulting recall and suspension of Kuga sales.  I had same thought, maybe that explains the delay in delivery as much as covid, which is what the dealer told me.  I now see notice of a second EU recall on the PHEVs over battery leaking hot gases that are not vented and therefore pose another risk of fire in these vehicles.  Yikes!  I'll attach link to the second recall issue below if I'm allowed to do that here -- new to forum so not sure what's supported.  So question to all of you who know autos better than I do:  are these just a couple of bumps in the road that can be fixed and forgotten, or should I consider canceling my deposit and at least giving it more time to see how things shake out?  Got myself excited about the Escape PHEV but am now having serious second thoughts.

 

https://car-recalls.eu/recall/ford-kuga-phev-hot-gas-battery-fire/

Edited by SA550
typo

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9 minutes ago, SA550 said:

One day after I put a deposit down for an Escape PHEV (last week), I saw stories in the UK auto press about the Kuga PHEV fires and the resulting recall and suspension of Kuga sales.  I had same thought, maybe that explains the delay in delivery as much as covid, which is what the dealer told me.  I now see notice of a second EU recall on the PHEVs over battery leaking hot gases that are not vented and therefore pose another risk of fire in these vehicles.  Yikes!  I'll attach link to the second recall issue below if I'm allowed to do that here -- new to forum so not sure what's supported.  So question to all of you who know autos better than I do:  are these just a couple of bumps in the road that can be fixed and forgotten, or should I consider canceling my deposit and at least giving it more time to see how things shake out?  Got myself excited about the Escape PHEV but am now having serious second thoughts.

 

https://car-recalls.eu/recall/ford-kuga-phev-hot-gas-battery-fire/

 

I wouldn't worry about it to much. It's just some teething problems they are going through. I'm sure everything will be fine. Just make sure you have fire insurance on your home, along with smoke detectors.😁

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It’s just a flesh wound...

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2 hours ago, jpd80 said:

It’s just a flesh wound...

That's reassuring, unless you're referring to the "just a flesh wound" scene from Monty Python.

 

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Have there been any Escape PHEV reviews? I feel like I've been in the dark on this model of the Escape.

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19 minutes ago, jcartwright99 said:

Have there been any Escape PHEV reviews? I feel like I've been in the dark on this model of the Escape.

If you search for escape phev review you'll see some "first look" reviews such as on kbb.com and if you search kuga phev you'll see UK reviews on the EU version.  From what I've read, the 2020 escape and kuga are essentially the same.  Consumer reports and edmunds have reviews on the regular hybrid escape but not the plug-in variant.

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BTW, found full text of Ford's notice in Europe recalling the Kuga and it says the fix for the problem related to the 4 vehicle fires in UK will include installation of a heat shield and manifold.  Don't know whether that addresses the issue of hot gases being vented from the battery as that appeared to be a separate notice.  Here's the Ford statement per one of the news outlets:

 

“The sale of Kuga PHEV vehicles built prior to 26 June 2020, has been suspended temporarily. Ford also recalls all vehicles with customers to update them with an additional heat shield and manifold according to the current manufacturing status, and informs customers of all affected Kuga PHEVs in service not to charge their vehicle’s high voltage battery until this update is made. As part of Ford’s ongoing quality and safety processes, a potential concern has been identified with the high voltage drive battery in these vehicles. Information from the field indicates that four vehicle fires are likely to have been caused by the overheating of the high voltage batteries.”

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1 hour ago, SA550 said:

BTW, found full text of Ford's notice in Europe recalling the Kuga and it says the fix for the problem related to the 4 vehicle fires in UK will include installation of a heat shield and manifold.  Don't know whether that addresses the issue of hot gases being vented from the battery as that appeared to be a separate notice.  Here's the Ford statement per one of the news outlets:

 

“The sale of Kuga PHEV vehicles built prior to 26 June 2020, has been suspended temporarily. Ford also recalls all vehicles with customers to update them with an additional heat shield and manifold according to the current manufacturing status, and informs customers of all affected Kuga PHEVs in service not to charge their vehicle’s high voltage battery until this update is made. As part of Ford’s ongoing quality and safety processes, a potential concern has been identified with the high voltage drive battery in these vehicles. Information from the field indicates that four vehicle fires are likely to have been caused by the overheating of the high voltage batteries.”

 

Any kind of "fire" problem is always scary when you have an attached garage or worse yet a bedroom over a garage. Still no plugin Escape in sight. I would think they are built and sitting in a holding lot until fixed and probably show up in CA first.

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1 hour ago, FordBuyer said:

 

Any kind of "fire" problem is always scary when you have an attached garage or worse yet a bedroom over a garage. Still no plugin Escape in sight. I would think they are built and sitting in a holding lot until fixed and probably show up in CA first.

 

I suspect you're right about Escapes being held up for modification prior to shipment.  We have a deposit on one that dealer said is showing up in Ford system as built but not yet shipped. The longer it sits in KY, the more likely it seems that Ford it building Escapes that have the same problems as the Kuga, with the parts to repair not readily available.

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Ford UK is now saying the company has not yet figured out a fix for the Kuga PHEV problem and that a solution could still be "months" away.  I'm sure the same issue applies to Escape PHEVs in the U.S.  The first post on this page includes a youtube link to Ford's full video statement.  https://www.kugaownersclub.co.uk/threads/video-message-from-lisa-brankin-on-the-phev-recall-acting-manager-ford-uk.18265/#post-181652

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2 hours ago, SA550 said:

Ford UK is now saying the company has not yet figured out a fix for the Kuga PHEV problem and that a solution could still be "months" away.  I'm sure the same issue applies to Escape PHEVs in the U.S.  The first post on this page includes a youtube link to Ford's full video statement.  https://www.kugaownersclub.co.uk/threads/video-message-from-lisa-brankin-on-the-phev-recall-acting-manager-ford-uk.18265/#post-181652

 

I wouldn't take any dealers word as to what is actually wrong with it going by that forum post.

 

 

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On 9/8/2020 at 11:25 AM, jcartwright99 said:

Have there been any Escape PHEV reviews? I feel like I've been in the dark on this model of the Escape.


Looks like we all are going to be in the dark for a while:

 

https://www.autoblog.com/2020/10/14/ford-escape-phev-delayed-europe-kuga-recall-fire-risk/

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5 minutes ago, FR739 said:


Looks like we all are going to be in the dark for a while:

 

https://www.autoblog.com/2020/10/14/ford-escape-phev-delayed-europe-kuga-recall-fire-risk/

 

I wonder what the issue is with this. Is it an engineering issue or manufacturing? I believe (correct me if I am wrong) these are made in Valencia, Spain which doesn't have the best track record. Does this impact the Corsair PHEV or are they different designs?

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Not sure what the issue is, but the Corsair GT is different.  It's a plug in hybrid.  The rear wheels are powered only by electric.  But the Corsair GT is AWD only.

 

On the Kuga/Escape regular hybrid AWD, it's mechanical drive shaft like previous gen to the rear.

 

Escape plug in hybrid will be FWD only.

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