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Kuga 3 2021, 2.0 TDCi 190 PS ST-LineX ED 4x4 Auto Magnetic Grey, Fully Loaded + Retractable Towbar
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got a new model Kuga in January 2021 and used it first time recently to tow my caravan. When I hooked it up I found that the ATC (Automatic Trailer Control) didn't function. So the problem has turned out to be that the factory fitted retractable towbar doesn't provide pins 9 and 10. My local dealer who I bought from are also astonished at this.

Pin 9 is permanent live which powers the caravan ATC (stability control) and charges the caravan leisure battery when on the move.
Pin 10 is ignition live and powers the fridge when on the move.

Apparently this is a known Ford problem and affects Kuga and Focus models in that Ford, as I understand it, have deliberately done this to prevent the car battery being discharged inadvertently.

My dealer has said that they can fix Pin 10 and have ordered a new control Unit. However Pin 9 there is no official authorised Ford fix for this but my dealer has said they could do an unofficial fix. (all free of charge).

I will be writing to Ford to complain because when spending £40K on a car and specifically a factory fitted tow bar you don't expect this sort of ridiculous problem. Most caravaners realise you don't leave the car connected for any length of time when not on the move.

My previous Kuga (2017) which I bought used from Ford Approved, had a factory fitted retractable towbar which worked fine.
 

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2.0 EcoBlue 190 ST-Line X Edition Auto AWD, Solar Silver, 20” alloy wheels, retractable tow bar
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I got a new model Kuga in January 2021 and used it first time recently to tow my caravan. When I hooked it up I found that the ATC (Automatic Trailer Control) didn't function. So the problem has turned out to be that the factory fitted retractable towbar doesn't provide pins 9 and 10. My local dealer who I bought from are also astonished at this.

Pin 9 is permanent live which powers the caravan ATC (stability control) and charges the caravan leisure battery when on the move.
Pin 10 is ignition live and powers the fridge when on the move.

Apparently this is a known Ford problem and affects Kuga and Focus models in that Ford, as I understand it, have deliberately done this to prevent the car battery being discharged inadvertently.

My dealer has said that they can fix Pin 10 and have ordered a new control Unit. However Pin 9 there is no official authorised Ford fix for this but my dealer has said they could do an unofficial fix. (all free of charge).

I will be writing to Ford to complain because when spending £40K on a car and specifically a factory fitted tow bar you don't expect this sort of ridiculous problem. Most caravaners realise you don't leave the car connected for any length of time when not on the move.

My previous Kuga (2017) which I bought used from Ford Approved, had a factory fitted retractable towbar which worked fine.
Hi, I’ve chatted with a few fellow Kuga Mk3 owners on here and Facebook who’ve had this problem and they’ve had similar outcomes with their dealers, some helpful some not so. There definitely is a general issue with these, but it doesn’t seem to be the same for everyone. Mine for example does power the ATC and I get a constant green light that is still on when we arrive at site. However, unlike my MK2.5 Kuga towbar, the ATC only starts when I start the engine. Also if I open the drivers door it goes off! So weird. So we hook up. I start the engine, stay in the car and my wife checks the ATC and lights etc before we set off. We’ve pulled over too and she’s jumped out to check the light is still on mid journey. So although it operates differently to my old car which had the permanent feed regardless of the engine, it works fine. The question is why some cars and not others? We’ve all got the same basic car with factory fitted bar. It doesn’t all add up. I’ve done two holidays towing so far with no problems, it’s not ideal as having read about others not working I’m super cautious checking it’s on! Hope you get sorted one way or another and can get towing soon!
 

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Kuga 3 2021, 2.0 TDCi 190 PS ST-LineX ED 4x4 Auto Magnetic Grey, Fully Loaded + Retractable Towbar
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Phew! Glad I went for the XC40!!!
That was the other option I looked at but I just couldn't get the full spec that I have on the Kuga for £40K and under the higher tax threshold. Equivalent spec on XC40 was £44K
 

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Kuga 3 2021, 2.0 TDCi 190 PS ST-LineX ED 4x4 Auto Magnetic Grey, Fully Loaded + Retractable Towbar
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi, I’ve chatted with a few fellow Kuga Mk3 owners on here and Facebook who’ve had this problem and they’ve had similar outcomes with their dealers, some helpful some not so. There definitely is a general issue with these, but it doesn’t seem to be the same for everyone. Mine for example does power the ATC and I get a constant green light that is still on when we arrive at site. However, unlike my MK2.5 Kuga towbar, the ATC only starts when I start the engine. Also if I open the drivers door it goes off! So weird. So we hook up. I start the engine, stay in the car and my wife checks the ATC and lights etc before we set off. We’ve pulled over too and she’s jumped out to check the light is still on mid journey. So although it operates differently to my old car which had the permanent feed regardless of the engine, it works fine. The question is why some cars and not others? We’ve all got the same basic car with factory fitted bar. It doesn’t all add up. I’ve done two holidays towing so far with no problems, it’s not ideal as having read about others not working I’m super cautious checking it’s on! Hope you get sorted one way or another and can get towing soon!
Thanks for this yes all seems very strange. I did go away with the van for that trip but aware my insurance might have been compromised. The ATC didn't really make any difference I'm an experienced caravaner. But will be happy when it's sorted.
 

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My Mk3(Nov 2020) factory fit electric tow bar electrics all work well
The ATC does not immediately operate as it did on the Mk2 but blip the throttle and it comes on and remains on when checked 5 miles or so into a journey
 

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That was the other option I looked at but I just couldn't get the full spec that I have on the Kuga for £40K and under the higher tax threshold. Equivalent spec on XC40 was £44K
I went for a PCP. £38k car 4year 17000 miles pa. The equivalent on the Vignale was £80 PER MONTH more expensive - and only available over 3 years... Residual on the XC40 after 4 years was £5k more than the Ford
 
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Kuga 3 2021, 2.0 TDCi 190 PS ST-LineX ED 4x4 Auto Magnetic Grey, Fully Loaded + Retractable Towbar
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
My Mk3(Nov 2020) factory fit electric tow bar electrics all work well
The ATC does not immediately operate as it did on the Mk2 but blip the throttle and it comes on and remains on when checked 5 miles or so into a journey
Thanks John.
 

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2.0 EcoBlue 190 ST-Line X Edition Auto AWD, Solar Silver, 20” alloy wheels, retractable tow bar
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My Mk3(Nov 2020) factory fit electric tow bar electrics all work well
The ATC does not immediately operate as it did on the Mk2 but blip the throttle and it comes on and remains on when checked 5 miles or so into a journey
Same process as mine.
 

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2.0 EcoBlue 190 ST-Line X Edition Auto AWD, Solar Silver, 20” alloy wheels, retractable tow bar
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Thanks for this yes all seems very strange. I did go away with the van for that trip but aware my insurance might have been compromised. The ATC didn't really make any difference I'm an experienced caravaner. But will be happy when it's sorted.
Hope you get it sorted, it’s a weird one for sure as obviously some work, some don’t, yet they’re all supposed to be the same.
 

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Modern car electrics/electronics can give strange experiences. The first trip out behind the XC40, the towbar wouldn't release. Why? Because the car had stood with the doors open loading/unloading stuff and the electrics had shut down. Start the car, sorted. We get no ATC if the car has shut down in the same way. Once we start up, the ATC light comes straight on...
 

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Same process as mine.
It's ford's design not to live feeds so that if you leave car and Van connected it doesn't drain the Battery.
I had this when when I collected mine in October.
Thankfully it all works well and yes you need a few revs to get it going.
Charlie the salesman at Hodsons Penkridge was brilliant found all the information.
 

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2.0 EcoBlue 190 ST-Line X Edition Auto AWD, Solar Silver, 20” alloy wheels, retractable tow bar
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It's ford's design not to live feeds so that if you leave car and Van connected it doesn't drain the Battery.
I had this when when I collected mine in October.
Thankfully it all works well and yes you need a few revs to get it going.
Charlie the salesman at Hodsons Penkridge was brilliant found all the information.
Yes, found that all worked fine once the engine was on, but as my car is a lease I didn’t get much of a handover, if only I’d got a Charlie to ask! But after reading about issues on here hooked up straight away and was pleased to find no problems. Have had a couple of towing holidays already and so far so good.
 
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July 2020 Titanium 190PS Ecoblue frozen white, driver assist & winter pack, factory fitted towbar
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I had this issue but in February this year my dealer was told by Ford to fit a new trailer module which works provided the battery has not gone into deep sleep mode.
However if you go to the Ford website and bui your own and add retractable towbar as an accessory, you will see that it states that a permanent supply to pin 9 is provided
 

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I got a new model Kuga in January 2021 and used it first time recently to tow my caravan. When I hooked it up I found that the ATC (Automatic Trailer Control) didn't function. So the problem has turned out to be that the factory fitted retractable towbar doesn't provide pins 9 and 10. My local dealer who I bought from are also astonished at this.

Pin 9 is permanent live which powers the caravan ATC (stability control) and charges the caravan leisure battery when on the move.
Pin 10 is ignition live and powers the fridge when on the move.

Apparently this is a known Ford problem and affects Kuga and Focus models in that Ford, as I understand it, have deliberately done this to prevent the car battery being discharged inadvertently.

My dealer has said that they can fix Pin 10 and have ordered a new control Unit. However Pin 9 there is no official authorised Ford fix for this but my dealer has said they could do an unofficial fix. (all free of charge).

I will be writing to Ford to complain because when spending £40K on a car and specifically a factory fitted tow bar you don't expect this sort of ridiculous problem. Most caravaners realise you don't leave the car connected for any length of time when not on the move.

My previous Kuga (2017) which I bought used from Ford Approved, had a factory fitted retractable towbar which worked fine.
Be aware I had the same issue and after numerous conversations with Ford I was advised that if I or the dealership altered the wiring to supply a 12V supply it would invalidate the warranty on the vehicle.
 

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Super Moderator and Mr Grumpy
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On checking a 2021 PHEV, MHEV and the Ecoblue diesel the towing electrics part number is identical to the dedicated towing electrics I just bought for my MK2.

Pins 9 and 10 come pre-wired so not sure what Ford have been fitting on some of the cars from the factory. Part number is 2090652.

I am not quite sure how clever the trailer module is on these as on the Right Connections kit mine is replacing, power for pins 9 and 10 are piggy backed from an ignition feed.

EDIT - just to be certain, I will check that pin 9 is actually connected to the multi connector and hasn't been terminated within the loom.
 

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Be aware I had the same issue and after numerous conversations with Ford I was advised that if I or the dealership altered the wiring to supply a 12V supply it would invalidate the warranty on the vehicle.
Fairly certain ford cannot just say the warranty of the whole vehicle is invalidated just because of towbar electrics. It was an EU mandate if I remember correctly. If the warranty issue is totally unrelated to the towbar (e.g gearbox etc) then Ford have to honour the warranty.
Obviously if you start having electrical issues and they are caused by the towbar then Ford are within their rights to refuse a repair.
 

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I think there is a key point missing in what SteveM133 has said and that is why would it invalidate the warranty. If Ford know of some problem regarding pin 9 being wired then surely they have a duty to say what it is exactly. If there is a problem associated with a permanent live on pin 9, is that relative to all Mk3's or just certain models.

I am sure companies such as PF Jones, ECS and Right Connections would need to be made aware of any such problem as they supply and fit towing electrics for the mk3. Or is it just an issue with Ford's own dedicated kit and module.
 
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