More than 63% of the affected Ford Kugas in South Africa have been repaired and returned to their owners after the company implemented its safety recall of all 1.6-litre models.

But the company said a number of the affected vehicles had not yet been taken to Ford dealers across the country for the required repair.

This week it was reported that the company was being investigated by the National Consumer Commission for allegedly contravening the National Consumer Act – and could be fined 10% of its annual turnover. Ford, and its dealerships, will face a Consumer Tribunal hearing that could levy a fine that experts say could be in the billions.

The company’s revenue from its Middle East and Africa region was $4 billion in 2015.

The launch of the investigation follows about 50 Ford Kuga SUVs catching fire and the consequent recall of the vehicles.

Picture: Supplied.
Meanwhile, the company urged all customers who haven’t yet participated in the recall to do so as a priority.

“Since the inception of the recall it has been providing complimentary courtesy cars to all affected customers,” said Jeff Nemeth, president and chief executive, Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa.

“Our dealers are working tirelessly replacing parts, testing and verifying the integrity of the cooling system, ensuring the latest software updates are applied and getting customers back into their vehicles.”

He said by Thursday the safety recall action had been completed on almost 2 800 vehicles. “Ford and our dealers continue to do everything we can to minimise inconvenience for our customers, and to ensure their driving safety.”

A total of 4 556 model-year 2013 and 2014 1.6-litre Ford Kugas, built between December 2012 and February 2014, are affected by the safety recall in South Africa. The recall is a two-phased process.

“Once the current stage of the safety recall is completed, and with proper maintenance of the cooling system, the 1.6 Kuga is safe to drive. Ford confirmed that there have been no reports of a Kuga catching fire after the completion of the safety recall action,” said Nemeth.

Related article: Ford Kuga up in flames

In another of its planned regular updates to the National Consumer Commission (NCC), Ford met with the commission on Thursday and provided a comprehensive update on the progress made with the Kuga recall. The second stage of the recall will be a further product enhancement.

Meanwhile, owners of the 2l diesel Kuga this week received letters urging them to bring their vehicles in so that a brake issue could be resolved. The problem, affecting models built between 2014 and 2015, relates to a brake booster vacuum pipe which may weaken if it repeatedly comes into contact with the turbocharger heat shield

Saturday Star

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