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New Ford Everest catches fire, recall pending investigation

Thinking of buying a brand new Ford Everest? You might want to think again. It seems the new SUV could have a tendency to spontaneously burst into flames. As was the case with this example while it was being test driven near Newcastle yesterday, spiking an investigation by Ford Australia which could lead to a major safety recall.

Ford Everest fire

The Ford Everest is the company’s latest SUV, based on the Ranger ute. It’s set to absorb seven-seat SUV sales for Ford Australia until what is planned for the future of the dying Territory is confirmed. In other words, this is a very critical incident for the local company as the Everest is a very important vehicle.

Firstly, nobody was injured in the fire. The vehicle in question was being test driven by local media, when the driver apparently witnessed warning lights show up on the dash, before then engine shut down automatically. Quoted in a News Corp report, driver Peter Barnwell said:

“As I rolled to a stop it just burst into flames. There were flames licking out from under the bonnet… There were explosions and bits of shrapnel firing 50m down the road. I got as far away from the thing as I could.”

Barnwell also said a mum with kids in the back would have struggled to get out in time. Considering the Everest is targeted at the family market segment, offering seven seats, Ford Australia will have to ensure it gets to the bottom of this.

A Ford spokesman has said it is investigating the matter, however, no recall has been made at this stage. A potential recall may also affect the thousands of Ranger utes sold in Australia, given they share much of the parts and platform.

Brett is the editor and founder of PerformanceDrive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at CarAdvice.com.au. His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.

  • Sensational journalist buster

    What a poorly written article !! Only a journalist would use the words “could have a tendency” for a one off incident and the car is not a Territory replacement … suggest a bit of research might be in order before you encourage people to dismiss a car to at least get some of your facts right

    • Brett Davis

      Thanks for your comment. All of the “facts” in this story are 100% correct.

      • SJB

        So the Everest is a Territory replacement is a 100% fact ? What is your source for this as a fact then ?

        • Brett Davis

          If you are able to read properly and understand English words, you can see it says: “It’s set to replace the Territory” – “Set” is not a synonym for “definitely”. Therefor, this is not a fact. All “facts” are 100% correct in this story.
          It sounds like you need to get your facts right.

          • SJB

            Ah okay – so some things are facts and others aren’t ?
            Sorry about that Brett – I am a bit thick when it comes to English …. i need to learn not to trust everything I read like some people could.

          • Brett Davis

            Is this about the Everest catching fire or about the future of Ford’s 7-seat SUVs in Australia?
            If it’s about the Everest catching fire, this is a very bad thing. A brand new vehicle should not spontaneously catch fire. Full stop.
            If it’s about the future of Ford’s SUVs, then I agree. I probably didn’t select the best word for that sentence. I will now change “replace” for “will step in to absorb 7-seat SUV sales for Ford Australia until what is planned for the future of the dying Territory is confirmed”, even though it’s a bit wordy.
            I hope this clarifies everything for you.

      • trackdaze

        Facts are great but when they are wrapped in sensationist rubbish its a different story

        Your aware that other brands of vehicles do occasionally catch fire to? Porches,Ferrari, even the odd Toyota Prado.

        It was on test, it could have picked up grass and caught fire just as far too many offroaders do. It pays to check before and after you go offroad. Hopefully the engineers have enough to go on to workout if it was grass pickup, a fuel line or electronics.

  • The Truth

    its a death machine ! I knew it !
    Too many electrical gizmos ..
    Why waste your money on a SUV that is creeped by electric gremlins ???

    • Sarmen Willinburth

      That’s what I’ve said too, were right

  • The Truth

    And they talk about 5 star safefy rating !!!!

    Whoaaaaahhhh !!!! Whaaaahhhhhhh

    • Cindy Abbot

      And they are drive .com car of the year. Lol

  • Sarmen Willinburth

    This is why I Fords are still unreliable

  • luke

    Are you serious Brett ??? How on earth would this effect the Ranger’s ??? Sure they have similar power train’s but what other Ranger’s have you seen with a “tendency” to burst into flames or other Everest’s ??? Thats right None !!! Sounds more like human error on the Thailand assembly line / fuel line not clipped in fully is the most likely cause but we’ll leave that upto the engineering department to determine. So “you might want to think again” yourself before going and slagging off a vehicle without knowing the facts !!!

    • Cindy Abbot
      • Sarmen Willinburth

        I will never touch a ford

    • Cindy Abbot


      Ford Ranger ute fires emerge days after Ford Everest test drive blaze
      DECEMBER 4, 20155:25PM

      Up Next
      2015 Ford Everest aftermath from igniting

      Joshua DowlingNews Corp Australia Network

      JUST days after a Ford Everest family SUV burst into flames during a test drive, reports have emerged of four similar fires involving other Fords with the same engine and electrical system.

      The under-bonnet fires involved the popular Ford Ranger ute and occurred over the past two years, but they have only just come to light after News Corp Australia’s exclusive story on Thursday.

      The Ford Everest and Ranger ute share the same diesel engine and electrical systems and other components — and are made on the same production line.

      Two Ranger ute owners — one in Queensland, another in Victoria — have come forward with information about their fires.

      Meanwhile, Ford has acknowledged it had been notified about two other “thermal incidents” — but one was deemed to be caused by faulty accessories while the other case, also involving a vehicle equipped with accessories, is still being assessed.

      Ranger customers in Queensland and Victoria who approached News Corp Australia said their utes were not modified — one was still under warranty while the other had only just lapsed due to distance travelled.

      The aftermath … This 2012 Ford Ranger XLT is pictured after it caught fire last month. Picture: Paul McCarthy
      The aftermath … This 2012 Ford Ranger XLT is pictured after it caught fire last month. Picture: Paul McCarthySource:Supplied
      Ford says it has not investigated the two latest Ranger incidents because it is company policy to refer customers to their insurer.

      But this process has left at least two customers inconvenienced and out of pocket.

      They say the fire damage claims also put up the price of their insurance premiums on their next car because they are now deemed higher a risk.

      Builder Paul McCarthy, 38, from Ashmore on the Gold Coast, has taken out a loan for a new car while the insurance company investigates the damage.

      Two weeks ago, after his 2012 Ford Ranger XLT had been parked all day, Mr McCarthy moved the ute into his driveway before going to get pizza for dinner in a friend’s car.

      “As soon as I got there I got a call saying, ‘come back, your car’s on fire’,” said Mr McCarthy.

      “My daughter heard the alarm go off first — the car was locked — and then saw it go up in flames,” he said.

      The fire brigade told Mr McCarthy the fire appeared to have started near the battery and fuse box under the bonnet.

      Waiting for a verdict … Paul McCarthy had to take out a loan for a new car while his insurance company investigates the fire damage to his 2012 Ford Ranger XLT. Picture: John Gass
      Waiting for a verdict … Paul McCarthy had to take out a loan for a new car while his insurance company investigates the fire damage to his 2012 Ford Ranger XLT. Picture: John GassSource:News Corp Australia
      Wade Ibrahim, 23, a construction worker from Healesville, north of Melbourne, said he was driving to the snow in June last year when his Ranger XLT caught fire late at night on the Hume Highway near Wangaratta.

      “The car suddenly accelerated really fast, even though I had cruise control on, and it got up to about 140km/h,” said Mr Ibrahim.

      “So I kicked it out of gear and rolled to a stop. When I got out and looked underneath I could see flames.”

      Mr Ibrahim said he fled the fire because of the heat and shrapnel, but he was able to capture a short video from a safe distance.

      News Corp Australia has verified the footage.

      Mr Ibrahim called Ford head office customer service “at least half a dozen times over three weeks” to explain the problem, but was also turned away.

      “I spoke to Ford and they didn’t want to know about it. They told me to go through my insurance,” said Mr Ibrahim, whose claim was approved and paid out by his insurer three months later.

      Gutted … The engine of Paul McCarthy’s 2012 Ford Ranger XLT was heavily damaged after the blaze. Picture: Paul McCarthy.
      Gutted … The engine of Paul McCarthy’s 2012 Ford Ranger XLT was heavily damaged after the blaze. Picture: Paul McCarthy.Source:Supplied
      Ford Australia spokesman Wes Sherwood told News Corp Australia it was company policy to rely on insurers to investigate fires, even if a car is under warranty.

      “When we receive a customer contact relating to an alleged vehicle fire, Ford’s established process is to refer the customer to their insurer as the first step as vehicle fires can result from a range of different causes,” he said.

      “Our experience is that the insurer will then conduct an investigation and work with us if they believe the fire may have been caused by a concern with the vehicle.”

      Ford says while it is continuing its investigation into this week’s Everest fire, owners of Ranger utes and Everest SUVs should not be concerned.

      “We are still completing our investigation of the Everest incident but are not aware of similar reports for the new Everest or Ranger, or previous Ranger. We believe our customers should be comfortable driving their vehicles as normal,” said Mr Sherwood.

      On Thursday, News Corp Australia reported that Carsguide journalist Peter Barnwell was test driving a new Ford Everest on the NSW Central Coast when the display screen suddenly went blank, the engine cut out, and the car burst into flames.

      This reporter is on Twitter: @JoshuaDowling

    • Sarmen Willinburth

      For doubting off, it’s because of electronic specs , fords in America are bursting into fire because of electronics on car, more overheated they burn like ashes then they fool victims by giving gift checks , fords suck , people praise off dodge and Chevy

  • Scott

    The article is well written. You really cannot sensationalise anything within the written article over and above the contained reality of the image before us. Facts are facts, and Ford do need to come with an answer fast and not just for their marketing and sales issues but for the safety of consumers.

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