Ford compensates Kuga plug-in hybrid owners over battery recall

Owners to get £500 worth of free fuel to make up for them not being able to recharge their cars’ batteries...

Ford Kuga charging

The new Ford Kuga plug-in hybrid (PHEV) only went on sale in the UK earlier this year, but within a couple of months, sales of the vehicle were halted due to concerns about the batteries overheating and causing fires.  

Ford released a statement in August saying the sale of Kuga PHEVs built before 26 June 2020 had been temporarily suspended and a safety recall issued that is believed to affect up to 27,000 cars globally. 

The statement also confirmed that “four vehicle fires are likely to have been caused by the overheating of the high-voltage batteries". 

Owners who had already taken delivery of Kugas were told to only use their cars in EV auto drive mode, which is the setting the car automatically reverts to when the batteries have been run down. This means owners can’t make use of the car’s official pure electric driving range of 35 miles. 

Ford Kuga PHEV rear

The company had already given affected owners a free three-year service and maintenance plan as a goodwill gesture over the fault, and in October it stated they would also get a £500 fuel card to make up for the fact that their cars are less fuel-efficient than they should be. 

The latest statement sent to owners says Ford is working “with urgency to develop a complete and approved service solution for your vehicle. The reality is this solution may take longer to resolve for you than we had initially anticipated... this may be a matter of months rather than weeks.”

It also states that owners will be contacted on an individual basis when for a "rework by a Ford dealer once a complete and approved update is in place."

The Ford Kuga PHEV is a significant model for Ford because it accounted for half of the sales of the model in Europe earlier this year. Although it's not believed that any injuries have been reported as a result of the fires, the fact that multiple fires have been reported on a relatively new car is cause for concern. However, it is great to see Ford being proactive about issuing the safety recall and offering owners two forms of compensation. 

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

The best and worst large SUVs

For many people, large SUVs like the Kuga have replaced big saloons as the ultimate expression of modern motoring, and they make great family cars, thanks to their spacious and practical interiors. Here we count down the top 1o – and reveal the models to avoid.

10. Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace

Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace

Take the regular Volkswagen Tiguan, add some more space and two extra seats, and hey presto, you've got the Tiguan Allspace. The best-selling 148bhp 2.0-litre diesel-engined model offers plenty of pace, while even entry-level versions get tri-zone climate control, 17in alloy wheels and a front and rear parking sensors.

Volvo XC60 driving

Volvo's used to be very much a step down from the models of Audi, BMW and Mercedes, both in terms of price and ability, but no longer. The latest XC60 is comfortable, well equipped and has a high-quality interior, plus it won the 2018 What Car? Safety Award, having performed brilliantly when it was crash tested by Euro NCAP.

Read more: see the full top 10 >>

Also consider