11 Aug 2020, 17:34 UTC · by Mircea Panait
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).