The cars were affected by a serious safety problem of possible foreign contaminants in the battery cells, which could cause a fire. A few such fires happened in Europe and sales of this model were halted while owners of the existing cars were asked to not charge its cars (driving in conventional hybrid mode was considered safe). The problem also delayed the market launch of Ford Escape PHEV in the U.S.
"The root cause has been identified as a battery cell contamination issue in our supplier’s production process and we have determined that the best course of action for the safety of our existing customers is to replace the drive battery pack."
With a permanent fix now found, Ford will recall affected Kuga PHEVs (reportedly up to 27,000 cars), starting replacement procedure in December. All cars should get new batteries by the end of March 2021.
It's a really costly problem for Ford (and/or possibly its battery supplier - Samsung SDI), which was forced also to enter into a pooling arrangement with Volvo/Polestar to lower its average emission of new cars in 2020 in the European Union.
We guess that with the root cause is determined, production and sales of the Kuga PHEV soon will be back to normal. So far in 2020, Kuga PHEV is the top-selling plug-in hybrid model in Europe.