Ford Everest Bursts into Flames During a Road Test in Australia, Burns to the Ground

Ford Everest on fire in Australia 4 photos
Ford Everest catches fire during test drive in AustraliaFord Everest catches fire during test drive in AustraliaFord Everest catches fire during test drive in Australia
Taking a car on a test drive always implies a huge set of responsibilities, and while the journalist is trying to decide whether the car has a tendency to understeer or oversteer, a list of things that could go wrong is always at the back of his mind.
When you’re driving a large SUV based on a pickup, however, things are a lot less stressful. The car is pretty dynamically predictable and the only situation where things could possibly go awry is if you overdo the off-road trial.

Peter Barnwell, a car journalist for News Corp Australia, was out testing the newly-released Ford Everest - an SUV designed and sold Down Under, but assembled in Thailand - when the car’s dashboard turned into a Christmas tree imitation with warning lights going off like crazy. Shortly after, the whole instrument cluster went dark and, together with it, the engine shut down as well.

Then, the engine compartment caught fire. Talking to, Mr. Barnwell described the experience as follows: “As I rolled to a stop it just burst into flames,” he said. “There were flames licking out from under the bonnet.

It only took the firemen five minutes to arrive, but actually putting out the fire was going to prove a much more difficult task taking them more than 20 minutes. “They couldn’t put the fire out for ages,” said Mr. 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.

As the pictures show, not much of the Ford SUV was left intact. According to Ford Australia, it was the first incident of this type and the wreckage is now being studied at Ford Australia’s engineering headquarters in Melbourne. Should this prove to be a potentially recurrent problem, Ford Australia would have to issue a massive recall, since apart from the 1,000 or so Ford Everest SUVs, there are more than 100,000 Ranger pickup trucks with which the Everest shares its engines and electrical system. Still, we’ll have to wait for the results of the investigation.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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