There is nothing quite as terrifying as your car potentially catching on fire, and that’s why Ford is delaying the production of the new plug-in hybrid Escape. While it is unclear whether the Escapes themselves have been catching fire or the same battery packs in other cars have been, one thing is for sure: Ford will have to delay production until they can source newer, safer battery packs for their plug-in hybrid models.
A sad day for the Ford Escape
Production for the plug-in version of the Ford Escape is getting bumped to next year after recalls are made for the battery unit. Several European SUVs that shared the same battery as the plug-in Escape caught fire. Owners of the similar hybrid vehicle to be released, the Kuga, received a recall notice because the battery packs were venting a hot gas that could cause the batteries to overheat and combust. These same batteries were initially designed to be used in the Ford Escape hybrid.
Delay in production
According to Ford spokesman Dan Barbossa, Ford will officially be delaying the production of the plug-in hybrid version of the Ford Escape until next year. While this may be a downer for consumers looking forward to it, Ford is working with suppliers to resolve the issue. The engineering and design teams will need to source a new battery pack in high quantity, which could take a disappointing amount of time.
A reputation at risk
Ford’s venture into plug-in hybrid models is still relatively new. With the reputation of the brand’s newer models at risk, something as intimidating as a car fire might be enough to tarnish consumer’s ideas of the car. Only time will tell whether it is enough to deter potential buyers. Regardless, Ford is, without a doubt, working to resolve the problems as quickly and efficiently as possible, and we can be confident that they would never intentionally release a vehicle with potentially fatal problems.
Regardless of our fear of the car potentially going up in flames, there are still many reasons that we should expect the best from the newest Ford Escape plug-in hybrid. While we are sad to see production delayed, knowing that the vehicle is safe is well worth the time. In just a few months, we can expect to see the Escape hybrid hitting the production lines and the streets, and we hope it will be worth the wait.