Three more Kugas up in flames
AFTER Ford South Africa urged worried Kuga drivers to urgently book their vehicles for free maintenance checks, three more vehicles have exploded in the past three days.
The first car was gutted in East London on New Year’s Eve, the second in Vryburg, North West, and the last one on the N1 in Brakpan yesterday morning.
Ford SA spokesperson Minesh Bhagaloo said the manufacturer was investigating reports of engine fires in Kuga vehicles equipped with the 1.6litre EcoBoost engine.
Owners of this model were urged to urgently contact their Ford dealer to book a free onehour maintenance check.
Asked why Ford SA had not recalled the model, Bhagaloo said: “Our decisions are driven by the data available, and when the data indicates action is needed, we move quickly on behalf of our customers.
“We also have agreed with the National Consumer Commission that we will report back to them voluntarily by the end of February, and we will keep you updated on any developments,” he said.
East London resident Maria Whitebooi-Daniels used Facebook to recount the moments leading to her car’s explosion on New Year’s Eve.
“After I purchased the car, I had numerous problems. Then I discovered one evening that the car was just dead, not starting,” she said.
She then contacted Ford for assistance.
“The assistant who came... found that the battery was faulty and they replaced it with a new one. I also requested for them to do a safety check as I was planning to go on holiday. They then took my car in on the same day of the battery replacement, December 29,” she said.
Whitebooi-Daniels said the car was returned a few hours later with the assurance it was only the battery that was faulty.
“The car caught alight in front at the engine compartment and the car just shut down. Everybody managed to get out of the car just in time,” she said.
A day later, another Kuga was severely damaged when it exploded while parked outside a Vryburg supermarket.
DESTROYED: “Our Ford Kuga caught fire today! Vryburg” – a post on a Facebook page called Ford Vehicles Burning, on January 1.