Three more Ku­gas up in flames

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - SIHLE MANDA sihle.manda@inl.co.za

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.

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