Ford urges owners to take Kugas to dealerships

Ford CEO Jeff Nemeth says they have investigated all 39 incidents reported to them and have determined the cause of the fires.

FILE: A Ford Kuga. Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG – Ford South Africa has urged Kuga drivers to take their cars to a dealer as soon as possible to have a component replaced to avoid an engine fire.

The car manufacturer has recalled the 1.6l Kugas made between December 2012 and February 2014.

This is due to the engine overheating which has seen several vehicles catch alight in recent months.

Following an urgent meeting called by the National Consumer Commission, Ford has announced a voluntary safety recall for the 1.6l Kuga.

Ford CEO Jeff Nemeth says they have investigated all 39 incidents reported to them and have determined the cause of the fires.

“Overheating caused by lack of cooling system, this can lead to the cracking of a cylinder head and therefore an oil leak.”

But he maintains there've been no injuries.

“We understand the high level of concern, we are not aware of any injuries that have resulted from our engines.

Thirty-three-year-old Reshall Jimmy died in his Kuga in December 2015 when his car caught alight but Ford says this was a unique and an unrelated incident.

The Jimmy family disagrees and will be holding a media briefing tomorrow.

The National Consumer Commission (NCC) says it ordered Ford to implement precautionary measures but when more Kuga's caught alight it authorised a safety recall.

The commission's Ebrahim Mohamed says first they instructed Ford to take precautionary measures which resulted in free maintenance checks.

“Over the past few weeks, the NCC more incidents and the NCC requested this urgent meeting last week to inform Ford to authorise the safety recall of the vehicle.”

WATCH: Ford Kuga catches fire off Voortrekker Road offramp - video courtesy of Caxton

(Edited by Refilwe Pitjeng)