News / South Africa

Antionette Slabbert
3 minute read
21 Feb 2017
10:56 am

Dear Ford, I’ll see you in court

Antionette Slabbert

Too little too late, says Kuga owner as another vehicle ignites.

After ignoring his e-mails since his Ford Kuga 2.5 litre caught fire while parked in his garage in September 2015, Ford SA last week tried to get more detail about the incident from Vereeniging-based Kuga owner Sean Thompson.

This follows allegations that the problems causing Ford Kugas to ignite are not limited to the 4 556 Kuga 1.6 vehicles included in the recent safety recall, but that other models are also affected.

Over the past weekend Nomsa Dondashe was alerted by other motorists that her 2013 Ford EcoSport 1.5 litre was on fire while she was driving on the N2 freeway near East London.

Her daughter Somila, who tweeted about the incident, confirmed to Moneyweb telephonically that her mother got out in time, before the vehicle was engulfed in flames.

Shortly after the incident she tweeted:

ford-2 ford-tweet

 

Ford SA replied to her tweet:

ford-2

 

Somila Dondashe said her mother was not hurt. Before the incident she had complained to the Ford dealership in East London repeatedly about a strange noise in the vehicle.

The noise intensified during a trip to Umtata over the weekend. The dealership advised her to have her car towed, but she decided to drive back to East London. On her way back a passing motorist alerted her to the fire.

Speaking to Moneyweb last week, Thompson said he wanted Ford to acknowledge that the problems were not limited to those vehicles that had been recalled.

He said that they have had his complaint since 2015 and can look it up, or contact the National Consumer Commission to whom he submitted a complaint or his attorney, Rod Montana who is driving a class action against Ford SA on behalf of fire victims and other dissatisfied customers.

Moneyweb recently put questions to Ford SA regarding Thompson’s experience. The company did not answer the questions, but instead sent a comprehensive statement about how it is dealing with the Ford Kuga recall.

At the bottom of the statement Ford SA gave the following consumer information:

  • If any Kuga 1.6 owner sees any indication that the engine may be overheating or experiences warnings on the instrument cluster, they should pull over as soon as it is safe to do so, switch off the engine and ensure all occupants are safely out of the vehicle. For safety reasons, the bonnet must not be opened.
  • If required, the emergency services should be called first, then Ford’s Roadside Assistance on 0861 150 250. Supported through the AA, this service is available 24/7.
  • Customers are advised to conduct regular inspection and maintenance of the cooling system – especially regarding maintaining the correct 50/50 water-coolant ratio for top-ups between services. With this safety action and proper maintenance of the engine coolant system, including using the approved coolant at the required concentration level, the vehicles are safe to drive.
  • Should a customer experience any engine overheating problem with their 1.6 Kuga, or delays in the repair due to a shortage of parts, arrangements will be made through the nearest Ford dealer and Ford Customer Service to provide a courtesy car while the vehicle is repaired.

Brought to you by Money Web

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