The National Consumer Commission (NCC) says that it has instituted an investigation into the activities of Ford Motor Company Southern Africa and its dealerships, for alleged prohibited conduct.
Speaking on the issue in the wake of the recent Ford Kuga 1.6 Eco Boost vehicle recall, NCC commissioner Ebrahim Mohamed says that his investigators yesterday served Ford Motor Company with an investigation certificate and letter, in this regard.
“I can confirm that the NCC has instituted an investigation into the activities of Ford SA and its dealerships after receiving complaints alleging prohibited conduct. I further confirm that the NCC has duly notified Ford SA of this enforcement activity,” says commissioner Mohamed.
Mohamed says that the NCC received more than 130 complaints against Ford SA relating to various issues, including the combusting of Kuga vehicles, since December last year. He says that complaints against Ford SA continue to be lodged with the NCC on a daily basis.
“The NCC views allegations of prohibited conduct in a very serious light. We will leave no stone unturned in our quest to get to the bottom of the issues that have been raised by consumers,” exclaimed Mohamed.
“We have received Ford SA’s investigation report, and together with the allegations that have been made by consumers, decided to investigate the matter. We plead with affected consumers to allow us the necessary space and time to thoroughly deal with the matter,” added Mohamed.
“A consumer rights violation is tantamount to a human rights violation. It is by no coincidence that the rights in the CPA are somewhat similar to those enshrined in the Bill of Rights of our Constitution,” concluded Mohamed.
NCC spokesperson Trevor Hattingh says once the investigation has been completed, the Commission will make a recommendation to the Consumer Tribunal. They can recommend that Ford pay an administrative levy not exceeding 10% of its annual turnover. Unless there is a settlement, the Tribunal will hold a hearing during which the Commission and Ford will both have an opportunity to state their case, whereafter the Tribunal will make a ruling.
Renisha Jimmy, sister of the late Reshall Jimmy who burnt to death in his Ford Kuga in December 2015, welcomed the investigation. She has been coordinating complaints by Kuga victims to the NCC. Renisha Jimmy expressed her full confidence in the NCC and said the decision to launch a full investigation corroborates everything the family and other victims have been saying about Ford. “The fact that the Commission has decided to launch an investigation speaks for itself,” she said.
She further stressed that the family hopes that during the investigation special priority will be given to her brother’s matter.
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