Following over 40 reported fires, Ford SA on Monday announced that it would recall 4556 Kuga 1.6 EcoBoost models, produced between December 2012 and February 2014.

Ford SA CEO Jeff Nemeth said that while it would continue to investigate the issue, its research so far points to insufficient coolant circulation leading to a crack in the cylinder head, thus causing oil to leak onto hot engine components. Read more about the recall HERE.

But is it not too little too late? Has Ford’s reputation taken a bigger knock than it would ever care to admit? Here’s how our readers and various social media users have reacted to Ford’s announcement:

Elize - Yes unfortunately my Kuga 1.6 Ecoboost is one of the vehicles that were called back.  I personally think they should reimburse all the owners that are being affected by this action as it is a manufacturing error.  The best is that Ford SA do not acknowledge any responsibility for what seems to be just that.  I have so much sympathy with the family of the person that died and there is nothing in this life that can take away their pain.  I hope we will get a payback on the car because if Ford is really committed to client relations that will be the right thing to do. 

Ford Kuga Owner - Further to the media scandal surrounding the burning Ford Kuga’s, I personally think that every Kuga owner should be either:

A:  reimbursed

B:  given a choice to choose another vehicle in that specific price range

The fact that the coolant systems, etc etc will be checked and replaced (or whatever Ford is going to do going forward, to soften the blow) is JUST NOT ENOUGH.

This basically means that Kuga owners are left with NO CHOICE but to keep their vehicles with the hopes that nothing goes wrong in the future. DUH!

If it’s only 4500 vehicles, I really don’t see why they cannot compensate their clients.

FORD is big, huge and right now their name is being tarnished.

Anton Arendse – Ford SA has dragged its heels at the expense of its clientele. All Kuga owners should join the class action and make them face their responsibilities. The lives of loved ones are more valuable than a few extra thousand.

It is assumed that the burning Kugas are a result of overheating and coolant circulation problems. What happens if the cars are repaired and then still burn out?

I bought my wife a Kuga because it was comfortable for taking the kids to school. I shudder to think - what if something happened to my family because of Ford's poor response?

Ford SA needs to take responsibility and the broader community should not support such inept management of this incident.

Personally I have lost faith and will not purchase another Ford product. My life and that of my family is just more precious.

Modilati Mahlare – This incident has made me to change my mind on Ford related products. I was intending to buy a Ford bakkie and have changed my mind. The effect is that I'm likely going to think twice about Ford cars in future.

Chris – The handling of the Kuga debacle has been a major disaster for Ford.

No one in their right mind will trust Ford now and they will experience sharp decline in sales. They should be sued in class action and pay compensation to affected customers.

Ford has been in denial for months and still refuses to take responsibility for killing one Kuga driver. Shame!

Boycott Ford!

Gary – Ford announce Kuga name change to Kombusta.

Diane – Ford should not take chances, after even reinspected cars caught alight, by blaming oil leaks and coolant systems when people's lives are at risk. Rather take back the faulted vehicles and reimburse those people who believed in the product. People with only one car being the Ford Kuga fear for they lives but are forced to use it from day to day because of work and FAMILY outings. It's about time they take it back permanently.

George – That should have happened in 2015 already!

Facebook and Twitter users were quick to criticise Ford SA after Tuesday's media briefing.

Karien Slabbert wrote on Facebook: “(Ford is) one make of car I shall never buy. To the unfortunate Kuga owners, you cannot possibly leave it there. Whose (sic) to say one of their other models is not the next.”

Joey Mekoa posted: “I have to say it was badly handled. The spin doctors did a terrible job to (the) Ford brand. No accountability at all. I’m done with Ford.”

Robert Sivambu wrote: “So does Ford South Africa now admit that it has been burying its head in the sand after weeks?”

#FordKuga has been trending on Twitter since the briefing.

IOL Motoring