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Ford Issues Kuga PHEV Recall Over Battery Fire Risk

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3 hours ago, jcartwright99 said:

 

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?

According to freep article today, it's a supplier issue that they are working on now. So Ford is waiting for them to find the problem and resolve it. I suspect LAP built a couple thousand that are waiting for OK and then stopped building them until supplier comes up with fix. Ford put out mileage and pricing months ago, so they probably started producing them before they had to halt. 

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Conflicting information on the issue of the underlying problem, though I'm sure there is much interplay between the design and component specs.  Story in Britain includes the following statement: "A Ford spokesman said that initially it believed the issue was with the shielding between the battery and the fuel tank, but it had subsequently decided the problem was more to do with the proximity of the two."   https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/cars/article-8832347/Ford-recalls-thousands-plug-hybrid-Kuga-SUVs-fire-concerns.html

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If the issue is proximity then it would affect Corsair GT too. 

 

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1 hour ago, FordBuyer said:

According to freep article today, it's a supplier issue that they are working on now. So Ford is waiting for them to find the problem and resolve it. I suspect LAP built a couple thousand that are waiting for OK and then stopped building them until supplier comes up with fix. Ford put out mileage and pricing months ago, so they probably started producing them before they had to halt. 

 

They actually built very few, about 30, not thousands of Escape PHEV's that are at the plant. With Ford cancelling all the unscheduled 2020 Escape PHEV orders, I doubt the few 2020's built will ever be shipped to Dealers.   

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5 hours ago, 92merc said:

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.


Despite being quite different vehicles, it would be interesting to see how much of those power trains are shared (or not shared). 

 

33 minutes ago, ice-capades said:

 

They actually built very few, about 30, not thousands of Escape PHEV's that are at the plant. With Ford cancelling all the unscheduled 2020 Escape PHEV orders, I doubt the few 2020's built will ever be shipped to Dealers.   


That seems to indicate this issue is bigger than maybe we’re being led to believe?  

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11 minutes ago, FR739 said:


Despite being quite different vehicles, it would be interesting to see how much of those power trains are shared (or not shared). 

 


That seems to indicate this issue is bigger than maybe we’re being led to believe?  

 

My source was a national search in Ford's Vehicle Locator. All the units were destined for dealers in the Los Angeles region. 

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On 8/12/2020 at 4:22 PM, coupe3w said:

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

Seems to be a trend with battery issues. Hyundai and Chevy Volt also have battery fire recalls.

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Obvious to me this is a design fault, as the fix(and North American delayed launch) is months away and the 1st three recall fixes did not work. Ford has to stop with the cutting corners (Hackett) mentality, it is probably costing more in the long term then the short term thinking is saving them.

 

Edited by MKII

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3 hours ago, MKII said:

Obvious to me this is a design fault, as the fix(and North American delayed launch) is months away and the 1st three recall fixes did not work. Ford has to stop with the cutting corners (Hackett) mentality, it is probably costing more in the long term then the short term thinking is saving them.

 


As far as this problem is concerned, nobody has the real story on why this is happening. Placing blame without all the facts is a bit presumptuous. 

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1 hour ago, jcartwright99 said:


As far as this problem is concerned, nobody has the real story on why this is happening. Placing blame without all the facts is a bit presumptuous. 

 

But it's the internet and that's way more fun!!!

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17 hours ago, ice-capades said:

 

They actually built very few, about 30, not thousands of Escape PHEV's that are at the plant. With Ford cancelling all the unscheduled 2020 Escape PHEV orders, I doubt the few 2020's built will ever be shipped to Dealers.   

What's really bad about this is the headlines in article after article state that 2020 Escapes or Escape Hybrids are catching fire. Very lazily written articles that besmirch the total Escape brand. Not good as Ford dealers are going to have to tell buyers that it's only plugins that are not available. Most people just read the headlines and ignore the rest.

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Ford is allowing owners to continue using their PHEV Kugas as hybrids but to not use plug in charging.

That tells us there's a heat build up issue during recharging that remains unresolved, either the battery

yes been made with insufficient air flow or there's a design flaw.  Proximity to the fuel tank is just an

additional concern with the elevated battery temperature.

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2 hours ago, jpd80 said:

Ford is allowing owners to continue using their PHEV Kugas as hybrids but to not use plug in charging.

That tells us there's a heat build up issue during recharging that remains unresolved, either the battery

yes been made with insufficient air flow or there's a design flaw.  Proximity to the fuel tank is just an

additional concern with the elevated battery temperature.

If they can drive in normal hybrid mode, then the batteries themselves are fine as is the charging from the electric motor, otherwise they would be needing to disable the hybrid part or park the vehicles.  So my guess is that the issue is either in the inverter from the charge plug or there is an issue with coolant flow during charging.  I don't know if these are air or liquid cooled packs.

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3 hours ago, Flying68 said:

If they can drive in normal hybrid mode, then the batteries themselves are fine as is the charging from the electric motor, otherwise they would be needing to disable the hybrid part or park the vehicles.  So my guess is that the issue is either in the inverter from the charge plug or there is an issue with coolant flow during charging.  I don't know if these are air or liquid cooled packs.

The term used was insufficient (air?) flow around batteries made them hot while charging and could cause a fire, concerning with proximity of fuel tank.

 

I’m  leaning towards a design flaw that underestimated the heat buildup during recharging 

Edited by jpd80

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4 hours ago, Flying68 said:

If they can drive in normal hybrid mode, then the batteries themselves are fine as is the charging from the electric motor, otherwise they would be needing to disable the hybrid part or park the vehicles.  So my guess is that the issue is either in the inverter from the charge plug or there is an issue with coolant flow during charging.  I don't know if these are air or liquid cooled packs.

 

I though the Escape/Kuga was supposed to have a liquid cooled battery pack similar to the Aviator GT. 

 

My Aviator GT PHEV definitely has a liquid cooled battery.  As soon as you plug it in to charge the coolant pump turns on (you can hear the little whining noise under the hood and see coolant flowing from the reservoir).  Depending on the ambient temperature it will also periodically bring on the main cooling fans behind the A/C condenser while it is charging, presumably to cool down the coolant flowing through the rad.  Seems like a great setup to me so it would make sense if they used a similar liquid cooling system for the the Escape/Kuga PHEV.  They definitely built in safeguards to protect the battery while driving as well.  I've noticed a couple times while driving Aviator in EV mode for a long time especially with hard acceleration or driving up a hill with EV gauge at full limit the engine will come on and take over, then a message pops up on the Power flow screen saying "Engine on due to battery temperature" and the engine will stay on for a few minutes taking over the drive power (I guess until the battery cools down...) then it will go back to EV mode.

 

It could also be the problem on the Escape PHEV's may be with the on board battery charging module itself overheating and not the battery itself, but I doubt Ford will ever openly disclose exactly what the problem is. 

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Maybe the batteries are to blame?

 

https://www.carscoops.com/2020/10/fully-charging-your-bmw-phevs-battery-could-spark-a-fire/

 

“Internal analysis has shown that in very rare cases, particles may have entered the battery during the production process”, the automaker said, cited by the news outlet. “When the battery is fully charged, this could lead to a short circuit within the battery cells, which may lead to a fire.”

 

Plug-in hybrids equipped with batteries made by Samsung were involved in different recalls, including the Ford Kuga, Land Rover Discovery Sport and Range Rover Evoque.

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19 hours ago, jpd80 said:

I’m  leaning towards a design flaw that underestimated the heat buildup during recharging 

 

Or the batteries didn't meet the specs

 

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1 hour ago, silvrsvt said:

 

Or the batteries didn't meet the specs

 

You're right, that would explain why the battery packs heat up when fully charged and also 

why the batteries cannot be replaced  immediately, the battery manufacturing fault would

have to be corrected first or source alternate batteries until the problem is fixed.

Edited by jpd80

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On 10/16/2020 at 8:26 AM, valve said:

Maybe the batteries are to blame?

 

https://www.carscoops.com/2020/10/fully-charging-your-bmw-phevs-battery-could-spark-a-fire/

 

“Internal analysis has shown that in very rare cases, particles may have entered the battery during the production process”, the automaker said, cited by the news outlet. “When the battery is fully charged, this could lead to a short circuit within the battery cells, which may lead to a fire.”

 

Plug-in hybrids equipped with batteries made by Samsung were involved in different recalls, including the Ford Kuga, Land Rover Discovery Sport and Range Rover Evoque.

 

Another key quote from the article linked by valve:

 

However, “the root cause is similar: irregularities during the production process of the battery”.

 

This echoes what you guys are saying.

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