Nivesh Sewpersadh's Ford Kuga after iot caught fire in Westville.
Durban - A Ford Kuga owner whose SUV was recently written off after catching fire, is sceptical about whether the company has determined why dozens of its vehicles in South Africa have burst into flames.

Reservoir Hills resident Nivesh Sewpersadh’s Kuga was damaged by fire despite being inspected at a Ford dealership.

Ford this week issued a safety recall of Kugas with a 1.6litre EcoBoost engine, manufactured between December 2012 and February 2014. This follows an ongoing probe into an engine-related problem, which found that the fires had started as a result of overheating due to a lack of coolant circulation.

The carmaker has undertaken to replace the affected components on the cooler system as well as verify and update the software, but Sewpersadh is concerned that if Ford has not pinpointed the problem, Kuga drivers’ lives remain in jeopardy.

Too little, too late

Ford says it has received 39 complaints of Kugas catching fire. One of these was from a Johannesburg man, whose brother burnt to death inside his 2014 model while en-route to George in 2015.

Reshall Jimmy’s family hired forensic experts, who ascertained the fire started with the car’s electronic wiring system behind the dashboard of the passenger side. Ford has denied this.

For Sewpersadh the recall is too little, too late.

"Ford was aware of problems because of other incidents elsewhere in the world, but it did not act earlier.”

Meanwhile, Jimmy’s brother, Kaveen, and sister, Renisha, said they would pursue a class action lawsuit against Ford.


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