BuzzSouthAfrica learnt that the Southern Africa Ford Motor Company has embarked on a voluntary safety recall of Kuga 1.6 utility vehicles.
The recall follows several reports about the Kuga model bursting into flames. There was even an instance the incident resulted in the death of a man.
From our gatherings, it was the National Consumer Commission (NCC) that granted Ford the opportunity to conduct an investigation in order to find the actual cause of fire on the vehicles, repair or replace the faulty components.
Speaking, Commissioner of the NCC Ebrahim Mohamed said:
“It is quite regrettable that a life (was) lost and that other consumers and the public at large had to be exposed to a hazard that we never would’ve expected from one of our most prized possessions, that being a car.
There is no monetary value that can truly compensate for the loss of a life or permanent injury to a human being, and the NCC believes that recalling this vehicle is in the best interest of all consumers.”
Jeff Nemeth, the President and CEO of Ford Motor Company Southern Africa, confirmed the safety recall and disclosed that it is limited to the Kuga 1.6-litre model built between December 2012 and February 2014.
Nemeth said: “we are now announcing a voluntary safety recall for the affected Ford Kuga 1.6. Our investigation has enabled us to narrow the number…to a total of 4 556 affected vehicles.
“With this safety recall, all affected vehicles, including those that have already been checked as part of our maintenance check, must be taken to a Ford dealer as soon as possible,” he announced.
Nemeth buttressed that the safety recall comprises of two stages.
According to him, the first stage involves changing affected components on the cooling system, conducting oil leak check on the cylinder, verifying and updating the software.
The second stage will strengthen the cooling system and conduct changes of parts of the warning systems.
“We are currently ensuring that the changes we make are complete and thoroughly tested and we will communicate with our customers as soon as this stage commences,” stated Nemeth.
With that, he informed customers that there may be instances where dealers may delay fixing their rides due to the shortage of parts.
“Should there be any delay in fixing the Kuga 1.6-litres” he said, “owners will receive a courtesy car. Together with our dealers we are working to streamline our processes to ensure minimal inconvenience to our customers.”
Above all, he stressed that the Kuga 1.6 is safe to drive with the safety action and the proper maintenance of the cooling system.
“If any Kuga 1.6 owner sees any indication that the engine may be overheating or experiences warnings on the instrument plaster they should pull over as soon as it is safe to do so, switch off the engine and ensure that all occupants are safely out the vehicle.
“For safety reasons the bonnet must not be opened,” he counseled.