Ford Kuga re­port ready soon

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - NEWS - Linda En­sor

THE Na­tional Con­sumer Com­mis­sion is in the fi­nal stages of its in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the Ford Kuga de­ba­cle, which saw sev­eral ve­hi­cles go up in flames‚ and plans to wrap up its probe by the end of this month‚ com­mis­sioner Ebrahim Mo­hamed said yes­ter­day.

The tar­get date for com­plet­ing the re­port and hav­ing it fi­nally ap­proved is the end of April.

The fires af­fected the Ford Kuga 1.6 Ecoboost and the com­mis­sion’s first re­sponse was to ini­ti­ate a prod­uct re­call un­der the Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Act.

An ar­range­ment has been made be­tween the com­mis­sion and the at­tor- neys of Ford Mo­tor Com­pany of SA (FMCSA) that the com­mis­sion will pro­vide them with draft find­ings and rec­om­men­da­tions prior to the com­mis­sion ap­prov­ing the fi­nal re­port‚ Mo­hamed told par­lia­ment’s trade and in­dus­try port­fo­lio com­mit­tee.

He said the over­ar­ch­ing ob­jec­tive of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion was to es­tab­lish whether FMCSA or its sis­ter com­pa­nies in Spain and the US had per­haps com­mit­ted a “pro­hib­ited con­duct” by sup­ply­ing the Ford Kuga 1.6 Ecoboost into the South African mar­ket.

There were al­le­ga­tions that the cars were re­called in other mar­kets and then dumped in SA and the com­mis­sion had looked into these claims.The in­ves­ti­ga­tion would also look into the ori­gin of these ve­hi­cles sent to South Africa.

FMCSA has in­formed the com­mis­sion that all the ve­hi­cles were man­u­fac­tured in Spain.

Mo­hamed said the probe also sought to de­ter­mine whether the com­plainants had re­course within the Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Act.

The com­plainants were those whose cars had caught fire or had de­fects; who claimed eco­nomic loss as a re­sult of the al­leged drop in the value of their mo­tor ve­hi­cles; and con­sumers who were afraid that their lives and safety were at stake and there­fore did not wish to drive the Ford Ku­gas.

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