Everest naysayers, cool your jets.
The recent fire that destroyed a Ford Everest on a test drive has officially been declared a one-off incident.
A Ford Australia investigation into the fire found it was caused by the incorrect installation of a replacement battery, post production: one of the battery cables was not properly located under a securing bolt.
The car was one of four Everests that had their batteries replaced in a Thailand holding yard as part of a rework procedure.
Ford Australia will therefore not issue official warnings to customers.
However, at least one owner of the four affected Everests has been contacted.
The New South Wales owner said on social media that Ford had offered to tow the vehicle to a dealer or send an engineer to inspect it.
“I couldn’t believe ours was one of the four cars, but glad it's okay,” he said after taking the vehicle to be checked.
Ford Australia has inspected 2000 cars in Australia and overseas to rule out a manufacturing fault.
Ford Australia spokesman Wes Sherwood said investigations to date have not found any other vehicles with the same issue.
“The new design of the battery fuse link for Everest and higher-spec Ranger models means it is not common with the prior-model Ranger and Everest,” Sherwood says.
“All of the data collected during the exhaustive investigation to date indicates this is a situation which is not systemic to Everest or Ranger.”
The fire, which occurred in NSW last week, had ignited fears of a knock-on effect for about 1000 Everest SUVs and more than 100,000 Ford Ranger utes on the road.
The Ford Ranger and Everest have the same engine and electrical system and are made on the same Thailand production line.
It took two Fire and Rescue NSW crews almost 30 minutes to control the fire after multiple triple-zero calls were made.
“They were on the scene within six or seven minutes,” a Fire and Rescue spokeswoman told 4X4 Australia after the fire.
“When they got there, the car was well alight. The road itself was blocked while crews fought the fire.”
The vehicle was being driven by News Corp Australia journalist Peter Barnwell when it caught fire.
No-one was injured during the fire.
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