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Ford won’t recall Everest over fire

One off: Ford says a fire that destroyed an Everest press test car was not the result of poor design or bad production procedures.

Clumsy battery change blamed for Ford Everest’s fiery demise

Ford logo9 Dec 2015

FORD Australia says a recent fire that destroyed one of its new Everest SUVs will not trigger a national safety recall, as the fault was the result of an incorrectly fitted replacement battery and not a production problem or design fault.

Ford Australia president and CEO Graeme Whickman told GoAuto today that the company had subsequently checked 2000 vehicles and not found any repetition of the issue.

He disclosed that the “post-production” battery – which was incorrectly wired, causing overloaded wiring to burst into flames – was fitted by someone working for Ford who “has since been spoken to”.

Mr Whickman said Ford had strict service guidelines for such work, and every Ford service centre was well aware of those procedures.

He said Ford was not planning to send out any special warnings to Ford dealerships or customers.

“There is nothing for customers to be worried about,” he said.

The flame-roasted Everest, from the company’s press test fleet, was being driven by a News Limited journalist when the vehicle was first engulfed by smoke, then fire.

News Limited reports that at least two Ford Ranger utes – the basis for the Everest – also have caught fire. Ford says it is still investigating those reports.

The latest bad publicity comes as Ford recovers from customer angst over Focus and Fiesta durability issues. The major problem has been with faulty dual-clutch automatic transmissions, while the other concerns faulty drive shafts.

In response to the transmission issue, Ford has dumped the unit from the recently facelifted Focus, reverting to a conventional torque converter transmission.

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