Kuga given clean bill of health just before driver’s fiery death
THE Ford Kuga SUV in which Reshall Jimmy was killed after it ignited in December 2015 had been experiencing a range of technical problems, his brother Kaveen said yesterday.
“The first issue he had with this vehicle was with his brakes – his brakes going unusually fast. I told him to buy new brakes,” Kaveen told reporters at a media briefing in Pretoria.
“He kept having power issues. When he was driving, the vehicle just lost all power… then just burst forward (when) everything just kicked in.”
Kaveen recounted an incident when Reshall’s car was found idling after he had parked it at his workplace, but it had been switched off with no key in the ignition.
“It was switched on. He thought this was a joke from his friends, so (when he was told) he (burst into) laughter. When he went to his vehicle it was locked but switched on,” said Kaveen.
“The week before he went to George, he took his vehicle to Ford for a service check and asked them to look into the power issues. He was concerned it was not safe, and we were going quite far. They told him his vehicle was safe and good to go.”
Kaveen said that shortly after Reshall’s death, Ford officials claimed there was no trail of the service history records on the ill-fated vehicle.
“Later, in a meeting with attorney Rod Montano, we uncovered that the service records were still intact on their system. This was some eight months later.”
Meanwhile, the majority of people whose Ford Kuga SUVs burst into flames in South Africa in the past few months would be filing a classaction lawsuit, their attorney announced yesterday.
“Initially, I have been instructed by the Jimmy family. The initial goal was to assist in the investigation by the SAPS in George into the inquest relating to Reshall’s death.
“As the matters progressed, with the epidemic of Ford fires that have occurred, we’ve come into contact with other Ford fire victims,” Montano told a media briefing in Pretoria.
“I am also currently instructed to act on the other families’ behalf in bringing a class action against Ford.”
He said that on Monday, 31 claims against Ford were handed to the National Consumer Commission (NCC).
“We are in the process of obtaining (the names of) the remaining few victims. The difficulty we had over the December period is getting into contact with those persons.
“Consultations are ongoing and we do hope that we will act on behalf of all Ford Kuga fire victims,” said Montano.
He said the class action targeted at Ford would be pursued jointly through the NCC, as well as civil claims for the losses suffered in the fiasco.
Reshall, 33, was on holiday in Wilderness when his vehicle caught fire. He was burnt beyond recognition. About 40 other incidents of the SUV igniting on South African roads were reported, sparking public outrage. – ANA
ANGUISHING: Renisha and Kaveen Jimmy, siblings of the late Reshall Jimmy, who died when his Ford Kuga ignited in December 2015.