Ford Kuga catches fire in Ekurhuleni
ANOTHER Ford Kuga has gone up in flames despite the manufacturer recalling thousands of these vehicles and dealing with lawsuit threats.
Ford SA confirmed it is investigating the latest incident in Ekurhuleni when a Kuga caught fire on the N12 east in Boksburg on Monday.
Ekurhuleni disaster and emergency management services spokesperson William Ntladi said they received a call that a Ford Kuga had caught fire near the N12 east Jet Park off-ramp.
“We received the call at around 8.45am and upon arrival, our members found the vehicle already alight. The owner, who was alone at the time, said he was driving when he suddenly saw fire coming out of the engine,” Ntladi said.
The owner was able to get out of the vehicle and escaped unharmed.
Ntladi said they managed to extinguish the fire before handing the scene over to the Ekurhuleni metro police for investigation.
Metro police spokesperson Kobeli Mokheseng said officers secured the area while firemen extinguished the blaze. “The owner arranged to have the vehicle, which was partially burnt, towed to allow the reopening of the highway.”
Ford SA spokesperson Minesh Bhagaloo said they were looking into the incident.
“We became aware of it through social media and are we currently investigating what exactly happened.”
He was unable to confirm the model that was affected, as the matter had just been brought to their attention, but added that all protocol was being followed to recover the vehicle and investigate the cause of the fire.
Bhagaloo further urged owners whose vehicles were first mentioned in the recall to take them in for a phase two check-up.
Hardly a week ago, the car-maker announced that it was initiating phase two of the recall action involving its faulty Kuga 1.6 models.
“Ford Motor Company Southern Africa (FMCSA) has commenced with phase 2 of the safety recall action for all affected Kuga 1.6 models and is requesting customers to schedule an appointment with their dealer to have the vehicle enhancements completed.
“This second phase is designed to mitigate the risk of an engine fire resulting from a cracked cylinder head caused by a loss of coolant, and applies to all affected Kuga 1.6 models built at the Valencia Assembly Plant in Spain between May 2012 and September 27, 2014,” Ford said at the time.
Ford first announced its recall campaign in January amid controversy surrounding more than 40 reported engine fires on this make of vehicle.
After Ford had determined that the fires were caused by engine overheating and consequent oil leaking from cracked cylinder heads, the first phase of the recall involved replacing various cooling system components, updating software and conducting an oil leak check on the cylinder head.
In January, lawyer Rod Montano was quoted in the news as saying he had handed in 31 formal claims for a class action lawsuit against the manufacturer.
Affected Ford Kuga drivers united to file the class action lawsuit after the death of Reshall Jimmy when his car caught fire.
The car company, however, said Jimmy’s case was being investigated separately because the cause of the fire was still to be established.