Kuga-fire saga: Ford SA speaks out, will recall thousands of SUVs

Cape Town - The National Consumer Commission (NCC) held a conference in Pretoria on Monday to address the issue of Ford Kuga SUVs catching fire.

Ford has announced a huge recall of its Kuga models, reports the NCC.

The SUVs in question have all been fit with the automaker's 1.6-litre EcoBoost engine and the problem seems to be only with South African Kuga models.

4556 Kuga 1.6-litre Ecoboost models produced between 2012 and 2014 will be recalled. 

READ: 'Ford should take it back and pay us out'- Angry Kuga owners respond

One person killed in Kuga blaze

In 2015, 33-year-old Reshall Jimmy lost his life when his Ford Kuga caught fire whilst on holiday in Wilderness, South Coast. Since then, Jimmy's family has been seeking closure following his sudden and shocking tragedy.

The family's attorney said in a YouTube video (below) that an investigation into Jimmy's death is still underway and that the police, and Ford's fire investigators are a part of that team. Preliminary reports indicate that the fire was caused by an electrical malfunction.

News24's Jeanette Chabalala is present at the media briefing in Pretoria with live Tweet updates:

READ: Kuga SUVs up in flames: Angry readers, Ford SA responds

Ford South Africa is currently embroiled in a legal case with the police to obtain all reports on this incident.

Jimmy's tragic death was the first and only death to have been registered following a Kuga-fire, but since then more owners have come forward expressing their concerns, disappointment and anger at Ford.

Wheels24 readers, too, have sent email upon email about harrowing stories of SUVs setting alight as well as frustrations at dealerships for unsuccessful repairs.

Watch: NCC press conference concerning Ford Kuga recall

Readers' responses

Wheels24 readers shared their stories and experiences on the Kuga-fire saga. Read more here.

Dirk van Dyk - My wife owns a Ford Kuga and we eagerly await the official response from Ford today.

In December 2016, we took the vehicle in to our dealer for an unrelated issue. By then, we were aware of the media reports and asked for an update. The Kuga was inspected and we were assured that we do not need to be concerned. We were also told that components were photographed and uploaded to a database. 

The next day, while we were away on holiday with another vehicle, I received an SMS message from Ford requesting that I bring the Kuga in for a check-up. I also received an email to the same effect a couple of days later. I assumed all was well, as we had the vehicle inspected days earlier, with the assurance that we do not need to be concerned. 

However, my dealership phoned me earlier in January and indicated that they do not advise that we drive our Kuga, as they cannot guarantee the safety of the vehicle. I am not sure if this directive was provided on behalf of the dealership or by Ford SA themselves. I was asked to bring the vehicle in again, as some parts now need to be replaced. I took the vehicle in on this morning (January 16) and I am waiting on a courtesy vehicle. It appears the specific dealership presently has 69 Kugas on their shop floor waiting to have the supposed parts replaced. There are, of course, not enough stock of the required parts.

At this time, I am not sure when the required parts will arrive to allow them to repair the vehicle. They cannot provide an estimated time of repair and we do not know how long we will be without the Kuga or a courtesy vehicle.

Johan Uys - Maybe Back to Basics before all the high technology? What does this exercise cost Ford in lost reputation in years, not money?

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
Brought to you by
Voting Booth
Do you think Mercedes will return to form later in the 2022 F1 season after two poor races?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Yes, don't discredit them.
33% - 432 votes
Who cares, F1 is exciting again!
44% - 569 votes
No, it's Ferrari's turn to dominate again.
23% - 297 votes