What should I do about long wait for new Ford Kuga PHEV? 

A reader has to wait seven months for delivery of his new Ford Kuga PHEV, what is an adequate level of compensation?...

Ford Kuga PHEV

I ordered a Ford Kuga plug-in hybrid (PHEV) in August 2020 through Evans Halshaw in Grantham. I was initially offered a black First Edition model that was located in Scotland, which I paid a £1000 deposit for. However, that car was sold by the Scottish dealer so the Grantham branch offered me a factory-ordered car, built to the same specification as the First Edition, with them paying the extra cost over the price of the First Edition version.

When I read about the safety recall on the Kuga PHEV soon afterwards I called the dealer, but I was assured I should get my car some time in October. 

However, the car still hasn’t arrived and I’ve recently been told that, along with all other Kuga PHEVs, it is effectively being rebuilt and will arrive sometime before April. 

The dealer says the car will be a 2021 specification model, and that this may mean its price could increase. He says he doesn’t know if I will have to pay anything extra, and has asked if I still want to continue with the purchase. 

I have already been contacted separately by Ford and offered a £500 fuel voucher and three years’ free servicing to make up for the long wait. However, the value of my trade-in vehicle is going down every month and I’m still making monthly payments for it. 

What do you think the best course of action is? Should I wait for the car and see what deal they offer, or start to complain directly to Ford now? I have raised my concerns with Evans Halshaw but they aren’t able to tell me anything definitive yet. It’s a tricky situation and I still want the car, but I don’t want to be ripped off.

Liam Pucill

What Car? says…

We’d recommend that you wait for the new car to arrive at the dealership and then see what deal they offer you. It would seem fair for them to offer you a generous price for your trade-in vehicle because you have had to keep it for longer than expected. 

That said, it sounds like Ford and Evans Halshaw are both already going out of their way to treat you fairly and minimise the effect the recall has on your purchase. The dealership covered the cost of speccing a new vehicle up to First Edition level after the first car you wanted became unavailable, and Ford has offered you vouchers for free fuel and servicing, even though this was initially only offered to current owners of Kuga PHEVs to compensate for the fact that they would have higher fuel bills because they couldn’t recharge their cars’ batteries up.

The combined sum from the servicing and fuel contribution could add up to more than £1000, and depending on the age and value of your trade-in, this could cover the cost of the extra depreciation it’s suffered during the seven-month wait for the new car. 

While having to wait such a long time for your car is a big inconvenience for you, the fact that the delay has been caused by Ford doing a car safety recall is a positive thing. Not all car makers are proactive in issuing costly safety recalls, and the fact that Ford is replacing the entire battery pack on all existing cars and new ones before they leave the factory is a very positive step. 

We also think the Kuga PHEV is one of the best plug-in hybrid large SUVs you can buy. It has a decent real-world electric-only range of 31 miles, whereas most of its rivals can only manage 20 miles between charges. It also has reasonably good fuel economy when using the petrol engine and tidy enough handling. And it’s far more affordable to buy than the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV or Volvo XC40 T5 Recharge. So we think it’s worth your while waiting for your car.

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