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Ford not out of the woods yet despite Kuga payments

National Consumer Commission Acting Commissioner Thezi Mbuza said Ford engaged in prohibited conduct in that it distributed Kuga vehicles that failed as a result of a cooling system issue.

A screengrab of the Ford Kuga vehicle that caught alight on the N12 near the Voortrekker off-ramp in Alberton.

PRETORIA - While the Ford motor company has been fined R35 million and has offered to compensate Kuga owners whose cars burnt up - the company may still be the subject of civil claims.

The National Consumer Commission yesterday announced the outcome of negotiations with the company which has acknowledged it contravened the Consumer Protection Act.

The defective cars - which would catch alight without notice - started making headlines when Reshall Jimmy was found burnt to death in his Kuga in the Western Cape in 2015.

Ford denied being responsible for that fire but there have been many incidents since.

National Consumer Commission Acting Commissioner Thezi Mbuza said Ford engaged in prohibited conduct in that it distributed Kuga vehicles that failed as a result of a cooling system issue.

Mbuza says Ford agreed to offer R50,000 compensation to affected Kuga owners or consumers could enter mediation.

But she said consumers are under no obligation to accept the offer or to enter mediation.

“A consumer may choose to reject option 1 and option 2 and they may then proceed to prove damages.”

Mbuza added the commission will contact the consumers who filed complaints to determine the route they choose

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