Ford Kuga Plug-In Hybrid Catches Fire, Company Issues Recall

2020 Ford Kuga PHEV

The fires are reported to be caused by an issue in the high-voltage battery, and Ford has already stopped the sale of affected models

The Ford Kuga is a crossover SUV which competes with the likes of VW Tiguan and Honda CR-V in a few international markets. Recently, it seems like the vehicle has run into some serious troubles. Four cases of spontaneous combustion have been reported on PHEV models of the car. According to the European Union’s Rapid Alert System for dangerous products, all Kuga PHEVs manufactured between July 1st 2019 and June 5th 2020 are affected.

Ford has issued a statement, clarifying that the sale of the affected Kuga PHEV models has been suspended over the issue. The brand has also issued a safety recall for all affected models, and also advised customers not to charge their vehicles via a power outlet until further notice, rather drive it in the ‘EV Auto’ mode, in which the car charges the battery itself.

The company believes that the problem occurred due to the overheating of high-voltage batteries used in the car. The official statement lists that the fires have happened “when the vehicle is parked and unattended or is charged”. Safety recalls have been officially issued by Ford for all Kuga PHEV models suspected of the issue, and remedial repairs shall begin soon.

2020 Ford Kuga PHEV rear three quarter

Thankfully, no injuries have been reported due to the fires yet. That said, cars erupting into flames are a huge cause for concern, especially with EVs. Traditional fossil fuel powered cars are also susceptible to fires, but electrical fires are much more volatile due to the battery chemicals. In some countries, first responders are receiving EV-specific fire training.

Electric car giant Tesla had stated in the past that an EV is ten times more likely to catch fire than a petrol-powered car, although advancements in technology are slowly but steadily bringing that number down. An EV is most susceptible to fires in cases of battery damage.


The Ford Kuga Plug-in Hybrid is powered by a 2.5-litre, inline-4, petrol engine, which comes paired to a CVT. The engine is boosted by an electric motor, which draws power from a 14.4 kWh battery, thus developing a combined power output of 225 PS. The Kuga PHEV is capable of driving up to 56 km and can achieve a top speed of 136 kmph on pure electric power.