Phase 2 of Ford Kuga SA recalls begins

Ford South Africa on Wednesday emailed owners of 2013 and 2014 year 1.6-litre Ford Kugas alerting to the fact that Phase 2 of modifications, designed to prevent their vehicles from catching fire, has begun.

At a hastily convened press conference in mid-January, Ford SA announced that Phase 1 of a recall of the vehicles had been implemented, after around 50  vehicles caught fire as a result of failures in the car’s coolant system caused them to overheat and catch fire.

Phase 2, which has come six months later, Ford SA says relates to “additional precautions” to prevent the vehicles from catching fire.

These involve mainly the installation of a coolant lever sensor which will cause a light on the instrument panel to flash a warning when the coolant drops to a dangerous level.

Managing Director of Ford SA, Casper Kruger, said he was confident that Phase 2 will run more smoothly than Phase 1.

Phase 1 was rather chaotic and became a bit of a public relations disaster for the vehicle manufacturer. Many dealerships had been unprepared, lacking both the parts required (including a new coolant bottle) as well as sufficient courtesy vehicles for affected clients.

Kruger, however, is confident that this phase will proceed much better, as he says that both the manufacturer and dealerships have been hard at work the last few months preparing for this next phase.

He has urged owners to help keep the process flowing smoothly by making appointments for the modifications to be done rather than dropping in unannounced.

It is believed that this recall will affect around 4 556 Ford Kuga owners.

Ford has confirmed that 900 affected vehicles had been traded in at dealerships, which amounts to around 20 per cent.

In the meantime, Kruger says that a response to a separate fire-related recall of Ford Figos and Ikons, announced in June, has been very slow.