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Fire risk recall affects nearly 10,000 Volkswagen Group UK hybrid cars

Volkswagen Passat GTE

Almost 10,000 Audi, VW, Cupra Seat and Skoda plug-in hybrids (PHEV) are being recalled to franchised UK car dealerships amid concerns about a fire risk to motorists.

AM gained confirmation of the volume after German daily newspaper Bild initially revealed that more than 100,000 PHEVs produced by the OEM giant would be recalled globally due to the risk of fire.

Bild reported that the issue centred around an insufficiently insulated high-voltage battery, adding that Germany's road vehicle authority, KBA, had received reports of 16 incidents involving fires.

A spokesperson for Volkswagen UK told AM: "As part of our longstanding process of monitoring of vehicles in service, Volkswagen has found that a fuse in the drive system of some plug-in hybrid vehicles may have defects in individual cases.

“In rare cases, this could lead to this fuse not working correctly in a case of overvoltage. Therefore, as part of a recall, an insulating mat is installed as a precaution.”

In the UK 3,656 Audi vehicles, 2,347 Cupra and Seat models, 2,018 Skodas and 1,868 Volkswagen vehicles will be the subject of the recall.

“Owners of affected plug-in hybrid models from the Golf, Tiguan, Passat and Arteon ranges will be informed and invited to retailer workshops,” the spokesperson added.

The Volkswagen Group is not the first OEM to encounter issues in bringing together electric and petrol-powered drivetrains.

In August 2020 Ford suspended sales of its new Ford Kuga PHEV SUV after four fires linked to over-heating batteries.

At the time, Ford asked Kuga PHEV owners to stop charging their vehicles and issued compensation for fuel usage as a recall for an estimated 26,000 globally affected models was launched by the brand.

In May 2019, meanwhile, Kia recalled more than 5,000 Niro hybrid and plug-in hybrid models due to an electrical relay that could overheat and cause a fire.

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