Cape Town - A video of a Ford Kuga burning in Durban on Saturday (December 17) was posted on Facebook by the Democratic Alliance's Kwa-Zulu Natal leader Zwakele Mncwango.
According to Iol.co.za, the owner, Nivesh Sewpersadh, was driving just outside Durban in Westville North when his vehicle caught alight.
Engine warning light
Sewpersadh said he had taken his SUV to a dealership twice previously, after the engine warning light appeared.
He escaped from the vehicle without any harm before emergency services handled the scene.
Wheels24 contacted Ford South Africa to comment on the incident:
Wheels24: Is Ford aware of the Kuga fire incident on the road to Durban this past weekend (December 16)?
Ford: Yes, we are investigating the reported incident.
W24: Have you had prior cases of Kuga owners suffering the same fate?
Ford: Our investigations into the alleged incidents are not complete at this time.
W24: Are there plans to recall the specific Kuga models?
Ford: While we continuously evaluate our processes for potential improvements, our decisions are driven by the data available. When the data indicates a safety recall is needed, we move quickly on behalf of our customers.
W24: Has the owner contacted Ford SA (referring to the latest Kuga fire incident)?
Ford: Yes. We are in communication with the owner.
Mncwango posted photographs of the stricken vehicle:
National Consumer and Ford respond
The National Consumer Commission says that following a meeting with Ford SA earlier in December, the company undertook to conduct safety inspections on all Kuga utility vehicles that have been sold in the country.
The inspections will form part of precautionary measures instituted at the behest of the NCC after serious
allegations of engine overheating on the Kuga vehicle surfaced in the media in recent weeks.
The NCC has to date not received any complaints from consumers about the Kuga vehicle.
At the meeting which was chaired by NCC Deputy Commissioner, Thezi Mabuza, and took place on Wednesday 14 December 2016, the company made representations to the allegations and informed the NCC of all matters related therewith, including its two separate investigations.
The company has vowed to expedite its investigation into engine overheating incidents and will report back to the NCC with its findings by end of February 2017.
An initial meeting which was scheduled for Monday, December 12 2016 was postponed to Wednesday to allow executives and technical experts from Ford to travel respectively from Europe and the United States of America to voluntarily appear before the NCC.
Meanwhile, Ford has undertaken to alert all Kuga owners to take their vehicles to a nearby Ford workshop or dealership for a free safety inspection. The company has urged consumers with related concerns to contact its Customer Service helpline on 0860 011 022 for advice or assistance.
The company has also undertaken to work closer with the NCC to bolster its recall protocols.
The NCC has preliminarily enlisted the services of the Motor Industry Ombudsman and the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications to assist with the matter. Both entities were also represented at the meeting that was held with Ford SA.
The regulatory group will independently review all concluded investigation and related reports from Ford to determine the best possible way to proceed with the matter.
In August, Wheels24 readers responded over Ford SA's Kuga fuel return figures.