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Dear Ford, I’ll see you in court

Too little too late, says Kuga owner as another vehicle ignites.

After ignoring his e-mails since his Ford Kuga 2.5 litre caught fire while parked in his garage in September 2015, Ford SA last week tried to get more detail about the incident from Vereeniging-based Kuga owner Sean Thompson.

This follows allegations that the problems causing Ford Kugas to ignite are not limited to the 4 556 Kuga 1.6 vehicles included in the recent safety recall, but that other models are also affected.

Over the past weekend Nomsa Dondashe was alerted by other motorists that her 2013 Ford EcoSport 1.5 litre was on fire while she was driving on the N2 freeway near East London.

Her daughter Somila, who tweeted about the incident, confirmed to Moneyweb telephonically that her mother got out in time, before the vehicle was engulfed in flames.

Shortly after the incident she tweeted:

https://twitter.com/Dondashe_Miller/status/833042532766515202

Ford SA replied to her tweet:

Somila Dondashe said her mother was not hurt. Before the incident she had complained to the Ford dealership in East London repeatedly about a strange noise in the vehicle.

The noise intensified during a trip to Umtata over the weekend. The dealership advised her to have her car towed, but she decided to drive back to East London. On her way back a passing motorist alerted her to the fire.

Speaking to Moneyweb last week, Thompson said he wanted Ford to acknowledge that the problems were not limited to those vehicles that had been recalled.

He said that they have had his complaint since 2015 and can look it up, or contact the National Consumer Commission to whom he submitted a complaint or his attorney, Rod Montana who is driving a class action against Ford SA on behalf of fire victims and other dissatisfied customers.

Moneyweb recently put questions to Ford SA regarding Thompson’s experience. The company did not answer the questions, but instead sent a comprehensive statement about how it is dealing with the Ford Kuga recall. 

At the bottom of the statement Ford SA gave the following consumer information:

  • If any Kuga 1.6 owner sees any indication that the engine may be overheating or experiences warnings on the instrument cluster, they should pull over as soon as it is safe to do so, switch off the engine and ensure all occupants are safely out of the vehicle. For safety reasons, the bonnet must not be opened.
  • If required, the emergency services should be called first, then Ford’s Roadside Assistance on 0861 150 250. Supported through the AA, this service is available 24/7.
  • Customers are advised to conduct regular inspection and maintenance of the cooling system – especially regarding maintaining the correct 50/50 water-coolant ratio for top-ups between services. With this safety action and proper maintenance of the engine coolant system, including using the approved coolant at the required concentration level, the vehicles are safe to drive.
  • Should a customer experience any engine overheating problem with their 1.6 Kuga, or delays in the repair due to a shortage of parts, arrangements will be made through the nearest Ford dealer and Ford Customer Service to provide a courtesy car while the vehicle is repaired.

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The arrogance and cynicism in the motor industry is starting to catch up to them. Vw., Ford
=is GM/Opel next?

Yeah! And the ‘watchdogs’ are pretty toothless too. Again – the solution begins with the public boycotting Ford.

so the solution to any problem,poor service is to boycott, publicly criticize ? I always thought it was that easy. It is not there are always two sides to a story.

Chev very good comment.

The revenge attitude is a stark reminder on our far we have fallen. The ability to think dispassionately has gone helped along by social media intended to find girls for dates.

Having said that Ford has been tardy in taking action, no doubt sponsored by the USA parent?

Chev – do you own a Kuga? And what exactly do you think Ford’s side of the story is?

no.
but a 2010 Bantam XLT. no problems so far and always happy with the service I received. Someday, when I have the money I will buy a Ford Ranger.
I think Ford is taking this problem seriously and top management have sleepless nights over this.I don’t think they intentionally manufactured faulty Kuga’s
At the end they will still manufacture Kuga’s but change the name?

I think all Ford Kuga owners should drive to Ford SA head quaters and park there for the day in protest. Everyone makes a mistake but its how you deal with it and take responsibility for it. They should have recalled Kuga completely

I will never buy Ford! Way too risky and dangerous. It also seems the company could not give a damn what is happening.

@admin why did you remove the “scr&w them” part? That is not a swear word?

“Customers are advised to conduct regular inspection and maintenance of the cooling system”

Many of these Kuga drivers are women who probably wouldn’t even know the difference between the window washer and the coolant reservoir. When they fill up with fuel, they pop the bonnet and and hope that the attendant knows what to look for. They will only put in water anyway.

Since 1994, I have never opened a bonnet of a car and the coolant and oil levels have never dropped between service intervals.

I bought my expecting wife a Ford Ecosport 1.5 Titanium end 2015. It was her dream car.
She uses the vehicle daily to transport our now 12 month old Son.

Reading that now an Ecosport has succumb to the same fate as many of the Kuga’s makes me very Nervous.Not a risk I can afford to take.

Oh and by the way Ford SA! Who accounts for the owners safety on the roadside after they have obeyed your Consumer information to pull over and vacate the vehicle ETC. We are not in Switzerland here.

And finally,based on the principles of supply and demand, I am sure the second hand ford market, especially that of the kuga and now Ecosport is not looking as grand as it once may have. Yet another blow to the Ford SA consumers.

Ford does not give a rat’s ass about South Africans lives.

Daughter just sold ford fiesta – if she waited would not have gotten a cent for it. Just the mere name “ford” is enough to make you run a mile…

Unfortunate occurrences like this rightly have owners up in arms. But hoping their public tirades are going to change corporate procedure in this saga is wishful thinking. As MEA head Jeff Nemeth has stated in one of his numerous interviews regarding to non-1600 Kuga’s (and other models), Ford cannot recall vehicles without a proven fix on hand.

Commentators who say that this scandal has damaged Ford’s reputation is out of touch with the enormous popularity Ford enjoys in South Africa. It is furthermore a small, highly competitive, market in which automobile manufacturers export more units than they sell here. If you want to see them dance around like their pants are on fire, wait for a non-design production fault to sneak into the mix.

We now know the Kuga brand is dead. I didn’t like it when it came out since it’s a cheap publicity stunt that is a homophone for a production hub that Ford is not even involved in. But cars catch alight. The BMW M3’s that caught alight at their exhaust pipe recently hasn’t lifted eyebrows. Every producer has their bad spots and Ford is doing well to manage this crisis, even if it’s just to save its own skin. If consumers really wanted to hit them in their pockets they should lobby for regulation of this filthy industry of just looking to retrieve a few lost shekels.

End of comments.

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