Recall for new Ford Kuga PHEV over fire risk

A recall has been issued and owners have been told not to charge their cars

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Ford has stopped deliveries of the plug-in hybrid version of its Kuga SUV over concerns about battery fires.

Owners who have already taken collection of their cars have been asked not to charge the high-voltage battery ‘until further notice’ and keep the vehicle in its ‘EV Auto’ mode.

Autocar magazine has reported that Ford has issued a statement saying sales of Kuga PHEVs built before 26 June 2020 had been temporarily suspended, saying “information from the field indicates that four vehicle fires are likely to have been caused by the overheating of the high-voltage batteries”.

A safety recall has been issued for all affected models and customers are being written to to get the issue fixed once parts are available.

Unconfirmed reports from Autocar suggest the fires are related to the battery charging module overheating.

It is not believed that any injuries have occurred as a result of the fires, or why only those built before 26 June have the issue. Up to 27,000 vehicles could be affected globally.

The plug-in hybrid Kuga only went on sale this year, but it has proved a big success for Ford, representing half of all Kuga sales across Europe in the second quarter of 2020.

Ford’s statement in full reads: “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.”

Temporary setback for Ford’s popular new SUV

While no car company likes to issue a recall – especially one associated with its cars catching fire – the likelihood is that this issue will be resolved quickly and existing Kuga PHEV owners should only be inconvenienced for a short time. The fact that the recall only applies to vehicles build before the end of June suggests that Ford has already found a solution and started applying it to cars built after that date.

The new Ford Kuga has been selling well, with half of all sales being the plug-in hybrid version. Based on 13 initial reviews of the plug-in version, the new Kuga currently holds an Expert Rating of 80% on our unique Expert Rating scale that analyses new car reviews from 21 of the UK’s top motoring websites. This isn’t the best in its class (the Peugeot 3008 remains the top-rated mid-size SUV with an Expert Rating of 83%), but it is certainly among the class leaders.
Stuart Masson, Editor

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Darren Cassey
Darren Cassey
Articles by Darren Cassey are provided for The Car Expert by PA Media (formerly the Press Association). They include test drives of the latest new cars and features on various aspects of automotive life.

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  1. So I bought one in June, it was late in being delivered due to an issue with the battery. The dealer checked it, said it was fine and it was delivered in July.
    I’ve been charging it and using it and I love it. It’s a big step up from the previous model and was getting 80-100mpg, fast forward to September and I get the letter about the recall. This is apparently a different issue from the first one and because it can’t be charged I’ve dropped down to 30-40 mpg and no compensation from Ford and no end to the issue in sight

  2. My Kuga PHEV was due for delivery on 1st September. It was not delivered because of the reacll so Mal is lucky as we have been without a car since then. The broker says they are waiting on the dealer who says they are waiting on Ford who divert me back to dealer etc and will not answer any technical questions. I do not know if there is a fix or how long this fiasco might take. I am going to have to enter into a short term hire soon – the next question is will Ford pay?

  3. I bought my Kuga ST PHEV on the 18/08/20,I received a notification on the Ford app a few days after purchasing the car telling me not to use the plug in charger on the car,I immediately phoned the garage and was told everything was ok that the problem had been taken care of before delivery,the warning kept appearing on the app and eventually I phoned a different garage and was told under no circumstances should I charge the car as there is currently no fix for the problem and that there is a risk of the battery going on fire should I charge it.I was again told to use it in EVmode.That’s all jolly fine but it’s a big thirsty engine and rather expensive to run especially on short trips which is why I got the car in the first place, no mention of compensation nor a date to fix the problem.

  4. I bought my Kuga ST Line PHEV and it was delivered to me on 4 September 2020. I was informed that, on the previous day, 3 September, Ford had informed dealers that the recall fix was considered insufficient and that all owners were instructed not to charge the vehicle until further notice. That was nearly three weeks ago and contact from Ford has been only received when prompted by myself. Customer Service were very apologetic but of no real help. The dealers are equally befuddled. I bought this vehicle to suit my lifestyle which is almost entirely short local trips anticipating that most of my mileage will be electric. Since buying the vehicle my local runs are achieving in the region of 25mpg ! Even the odd medium distance ( 40 miles) only achieves between 40 and 50 mpg. I was informed by Ford Customer Service that owners were being offered 3 years “free” servicing as a gesture of good faith. I have received no such offer. I continue to hear how good the vehicle is from Ford adverts claiming a switch from petrol to electric at the touch of a button!. Communication with Ford is poor though I have to say that the lady from Customer Service is polite and very apologetic. However, they avoid answering “technical questions such as If the vehicles now in production do not have the same problem, I am at a loss to understand why no fix has, so far, been forthcoming. Some action by Ford is overdue. If that is not forthcoming I am considering rejecting the car as it does not perform as promised.

    • I tried that and they said the couldn’t as there wasn’t any to replace it with, Ford suggested speaking to the dealer about a refund and the dealer wasn’t very enthusiastic about that

  5. The fitting of the heat shild is not going ahead because it dose not rectifie the problem on the plug in hybrid kuga still waiting on ford for solution disgruntled owner

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