A poorly-fitted battery terminal.
Such was the explanation given by the Ford Motor Company to the media regarding the Ford Everest that went up in flames recently in Australia.
The Everest in question was examined by Ford, and they said they traced the root cause to an electrical fire in relation to the battery. The unit, one of the earliest examples of the Everest assembled, was found to have had its battery replaced by plant personnel after being parked at the stockyard for a period of time. The battery and the terminals were poorly fitted on this one vehicle, according to Ford.
Ford Australia stressed that the incident isolated to the one vehicle, and that there is no need to issue a recall.
“We are confident this is not a systemic failure, or a design defect, or something that happened through the assembly of the vehicle,” said Andy Cooper, Ford Australia's safety expert, to CarsGuide.com.au. "It’s an unfortunate thing that someone has made a mistake. We’ve found no other instances and we think it's very unlikely."
We contacted our source in Ford regarding this incident and relayed to us that given that modern cars are tightly packed because of all the features and technology, something as simple as a loose battery terminal can cause a fire such as this.
Our source also indicated that the battery's positive (+) terminal is not very far from the diesel fuel filter.
The said vehicle was on a media test drive when it caught fire. Like in the Philippines, Ford Australia sources their Everests from the AAT factory in Thailand.