Blog: Graeme RobertsFord Everest catches fire Down Under

Graeme Roberts | 4 December 2015

Ford has recently redesigned the Everest and is launching it in more markets this time around

Ford has recently redesigned the Everest and is launching it in more markets this time around

Ford's new Everest SUV, a spin off of the popular Thai-built Ranger pickup truck, and, in its latest form, now on sale in more countries, has got off to a bad start in Australia.

One of News Corp Australia’s motoring journalists, Peter Barnwell, was road testing the just-released new model — which was designed and engineered in Australia — when warning lights started to appear before the instrument display went blank and the engine shut down.

"As I rolled to a stop it just burst into flames," said Barnwell. "There were flames licking out from under the bonnet."

The fire brigade arrived within five minutes but it took them more than 20 minutes to extinguish the flames.
"They couldn’t put the fire out for ages," said Barnwell. "Some of the material wouldn’t extinguish. There were explosions and bits of shrapnel firing 50m down the road. I got as far away from the thing as I could."

The fire quickly engulfed the front of the car before working its way towards the cabin.

"A mum with all seats occupied with little kids or babies would have struggled to get them all out, especially if the thick acrid smoke wasn’t being blown to the side by a strong crosswind," added Barnwell.

Ford said the incident was, so far, a one-off amongst the 1,000 or so Everests on Aussie roads but local media noted there are also 100,000 Rangers, which share the same engine and electrical system and are made on the same production line, which might also have to be recalled should the automaker's investigation undercover a manufacturing or design defect.

Still, gives Barnwell an interesting yarn to weave into his Everest road test.

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