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Ford moves Escape production to next year after Europe recall of Kuga

·1-min read
FILE PHOTO: Ford logo is pictured at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt
FILE PHOTO: Ford logo is pictured at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt

(Reuters) - Ford Motor Co <F.N> said on Tuesday it was moving production of its plug-in Escape sport utility vehicle to next year as it reviews its vehicles with the same engine and battery parts that were recalled in Europe.

"We are moving full scale production of Escape PHEV to the 2021 model year. The first Escape PHEVs will be sold next year," a company spokesman said in a statement.

The automaker said it recalled 20,500 Kuga PHEV vehicles in Europe last month and suspended their sale as it looks into potential concern with the high voltage battery, which in certain cases could result in a fire.

"Because we share components with Kuga PHEV, including battery cells, we are moving production to next year, while we work with the battery cell supplier to resolve the issue affecting Kuga PHEV in Europe," a company spokesman in Europe said.

Ford, which builds Escape vehicles at Louisville plant in Kentucky, had first planned their production last spring, but that was delayed to this summer as the COVID-19 pandemic forced the automaker to shut factories.

(Reporting by Rama Venkat and Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)