Johannesburg - Ford has identified another fire risk in its Spanish-built Kuga SUVs, and although this is not known to have caused any incidents in South Africa, the local division has issued a precautionary recall.
The recall affects all Ford Kugas that were built between 17 July 2012 and 19 June 2014 and is not related to the much publicised engine fire recall for the 1.6-litre turbo models, which recently entered its second phase.
The new recall relates to a design flaw in the B-pillars, around that handy little device called the pretensioner, which helps to save your bacon in a crash by pulling the belt to shift you into an optimal position to survive the crash. The problem is that these devices are pyrotechnic and Ford, in its efforts to make the Kuga quieter inside, has put too much insulating material (kindling) in the vicinity of the pretensioner (match).
Result: potential bonfire in the B-pillar after a crash.
Ford's solution is to remove the insulation material from the risk area. The recall affects 173 000 vehicles globally, of which 7219 are in South Africa. Since 4556 of these are already implicated in phase two of Ford’s engine fire recall, Ford SA will allow these customers to have both fixes performed at the same time. However those not affected by the earlier recall are advised to contact their nearest dealer to schedule an appointment. The fix is expected to take about an hour.
Last month Ford announced that it was going ahead with the second phase of its engine fire recall, in an attempt to give the 1.6-litre turbo models a more “robust” cooling system following more than 40 reported engine fires that have made the Kuga famous for all the wrong reasons.