In South Africa Ford announces recall of Kuga cars after fires

Nemeth said that the fires were caused by overheating due to poor coolant circulation that led to an oil leak.

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Ford started manufacturing the Ford Kuga in 2008 play

Ford started manufacturing the Ford Kuga in 2008

(AFP)
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US motor giant Ford announced Monday the recall of 4,500 1.6-litre Kuga cars in South Africa after nearly 40 incidents in which vehicles were reported to have burst into flames.

Over recent years, the SUV model has been the focus of repeated accounts in South Africa of spontaneous fires taking hold while the car was being driven.

"We are now announcing a voluntary safety recall of the Kuga 1.6," Ford South Africa chief executive Jeffrey Nemeth told a press conference in Pretoria.

"We can confirm that a total of 39 incidents have been reported to Ford... there may be some incidents that have not yet been reported to us."

Nemeth said that the fires were caused by overheating due to poor coolant circulation that led to an oil leak.

"If the oil leak reaches a hot engine component it could potentially catch fire," he said.

"With this safety recall all affected vehicles, including those that have already been checked as part of our maintenance check, must be taken to a Ford dealer as soon as possible."

One man, Reshall Jimmy, died in December 2015 when his Juga burst into flames, but Ford said it believed the death was not related to the fault.

"We are not aware of any injuries that have resulted from our engine compartment fires," Nemeth said.

Last week Ford said it was expanding a safety recall of some defective airbag inflators from Japanese parts maker Takata.

The action extended the recall to about 816,000 Ford, Lincoln and Mercury brand vehicles built in North America and sold in the United States and Canada for various model years between 2005 and 2012.

Most major manufacturers have been affected in what has been described as the largest-ever auto safety recall.

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