No automaker wants delays in their production. But if it meant ensuring the overall safety of vehicles, Ford is all for it.
According to the latest developments in the Blue Oval assembly, the automaker is delaying the highly awaited release of its Escape PHEVs in the United States until the 2021 model year due to recent recalls in Europe.
“We are moving full-scale production of Escape PHEV to the 2021 model year,” a spokesperson for the company said in an email sent to online publication Roadshow. “The first Escape PHEVs will be sold next year.”
The recall, as it turns out, is due to issues with car’s battery.
A Reuters report said the production was pushed back to address issues with a vehicle associated with the Escape. The Kuga, which is considered the European counterpart of the Escape, was recently recalled over concerns with its high-voltage battery that “could result in a fire.”
A spokesperson for Ford in Europe told Reuters that the company is working with suppliers to fix the issues with the battery that affect more than 20,000 crossovers.
Prior to the recall-prompted delay, production of the Escape PHEV was first pushed back earlier this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Once it begins, the SUVs will be built at Ford’s facility in Louisville, Kentucky.
The Ford Escape PHEV is one of the vehicles at the forefront of electrification in the automotive industry. It will be equipped with a 14.4-kilowatt-hour battery expected to provide a range of up to 37 miles on a full charge. Its base model is reportedly getting a $35,000 price tag inclusive of destination fee.