Fri, Feb 03,2017
PRETORIA, South Africa, February 3, 2017 – Ford South Africa met with the National Consumer Commission (NCC) this week to update it on the progress made on the 1.6-litre engine Kugas affected by the recent safety recall.
“We know that the incidents of engine compartment fires in Ford Kuga 1.6-litre vehicles in South Africa have created concerns for Kuga owners and for the general public. We understand and appreciate the feelings of our customers and other stakeholders, and we want to assure you that your safety is our priority. Whenever an incident raises concerns about one of our vehicles we treat it with the utmost seriousness,” said Jeff Nemeth, President and CEO, Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa.
Nemeth continued: “We recognise that, during the initial process, customers and the public were not well enough informed about the situation, and for that Ford sincerely apologises. We care about the safety and well-being of our customers. It’s at the heart of everything we do, and we understand that our customers have questions and concerns. Our current focus is on working with our dealers and our customers to resolve these issues as quickly as possible, through open and direct communication.”
A total of 4,556 model year 2013 and 2014 Ford 1.6 Kugas, built between December, 2012 and February, 2014, are affected by the safety recall in South Africa.
Ford’s safety recall comprises two stages. The first stage involves replacing affected components on the cooling system, verifying and updating the software, and conducting an oil leak check on the cylinder head. The Ford Kuga is safe to drive, provided that the integrity of the cooling system is maintained, and this safety recall has been actioned.
Ford South Africa has taken the following steps to minimise any inconvenience its customers may have experienced:
Ford can confirm that there have been no incidents reported since the launch of the safety recall on 16 January 2017.
While Ford manufactures cars with the safety of their customers top-of-mind, all vehicles are occasionally susceptible to issues in the design and manufacturing process that can lead to performance and quality issues under certain conditions. In such instances, Ford must determine what steps to take, including initiating a recall. This is driven by a case-by-case analysis.
The underlying cause of these fires was difficult to diagnose and took careful examination. Importantly, the cracked cylinder heads and fires that have been caused by this issue, while damaging the vehicles, have not led to any fatalities or any injuries,” said Nemeth.
The next stage of the safety recall will improve the cooling system, making it even more robust, and is likely to involve further changes to parts and warning systems. Ford is ensuring that the changes to be made are complete and thoroughly tested, and will communicate with customers as soon as this stage begins.
“I want to stress that with the first stage of the safety recall completed, and with proper maintenance of the coolant system, the 1.6 Kuga is safe to drive,” Nemeth added.
“We are committed to keeping our customers mobile. We are working closely with the authorities and our dealers to ensure full compliance with all requirements, while everyone at the organisation is dedicated to resolving each and every one of our customers’ concerns. We will continue to update our customers on progress with regular communications,” concluded Nemeth.
Ford Kuga 1.6 Timeline
Ford has determined that Kuga 1.6 litre vehicles built between December 2012 and February 2014 and sold in the South African market were potentially susceptible to overheating due to a lack of coolant circulation, which in some cases could cause an engine overheat with a resulting crack in the cylinder head.