Ford Europe will be issuing recall notices to owners of the Kuga PHEV, having approved a repair for the battery defect that was discovered in August, Autocar reported.

Four vehicle fires were likely to have been caused by overheating high-voltage batteries, and Ford issued a stop-sale order for all Kuga PHEVs built before June 26, 2020. Ford has already advised owners to leave the vehicles in EV Auto mode and refrain from plugging in for charging. No injuries have been reported to have resulted from each of the four fires that alerted Ford to the matter, the report said.

Ford will be carrying out the battery replacement for all affected vehicles between late December 2020 and March 2021, according to the magazine. The recall will see to the replacement of the traction battery pack, and will be rolled out to units in the order they were sold, with older vehicles to be attended to first. Undelivered units built before that date will remain in Ford’s custody until the repair is carried out, it added.

“The root cause has been identified as a battery cell contamination issue in our supplier’s production process, and we have determined that the best course of action for the safety of our existing customers is to replace the drive battery pack,” Ford said in a statement.

Owners of the affected Kuga PHEV have been advised to continue to operate their vehicle only in EV Auto mode, and refrain from plugging in for charging. Ford has offered extended warranties or fuel vouchers valued at 500 pounds sterling/500 euro (RM2,685/RM2,418), and 27,000 vehicles are involved in this recall.