HAVE THEY DONE ENOUGH? Ford South Africa says more than half of the affected Kuga SUVs have been repaired and returned to owners. Image: Quickpic
Cape Town - Earlier in February, Wheels24 reported that Ford South Africa extended cover for all Kuga SUVs sold in South Africa to a total of six years or 200 000km through its new Kuga PremiumCare Extended Plan.
In March, Ford SA says 63% of affected 1.6-litre Kuga SUVs have been repaired and returned to their owners.
The automaker emphasised, however, that many affected vehicles have not yet been brought in to dealers for the required repair.
Jeff Nemeth, president and CEO of Ford Southern Africa, said: "Our dealers are working tirelessly replacing parts, testing and verifying the integrity of the cooling system, ensuring the latest software updates are applied and getting customers back into their vehicles.
READ: 'Ford should take it back and pay us out': Angry Kuga owners respond
"By Thursday, March 2, the safety recall action had been completed on almost 2800 vehicles, with this number increasing daily."
A total of 4556 model year 2013 and 2014 1.6-litre Ford Kugas, built from December 2012 to February 2014, are affected by the safety recall in South Africa. The recall is a two-phased process.
Ford says it has received no reports of a Kuga catching fire after the completion of the safety recall action.
Do you think the automaker has done enough to assist affected owners? Get in touch via email or leave a post on our Facebook page or Twitter timeline.
In another of its planned regular updates to the National Consumer Commission (NCC), Ford met with the commission on March 2 and provided a comprehensive update on the progress made with the Kuga recall.
Readers respondIzak: I drive one of the 2014 1.6 Kugas that's been in the news. The vehicle has been attended to by Ford SA who gave me a loan vehicle that I could choose as it is used for business. The Kuga received 140 000km service a week after we got it back. Have to say I am impressed with the vehicle. I do think that Ford attended to the problem properly although there is always room for improvement. I still drive the Kuga but has upgraded to the Ford Tourneo Custom Limited for business and I believe that I actually benefited in the end.
Don: I have a 2014 Kuga 2.0-litre diesel that I've already paid to extend the warranty for five-year or 200 000km. I would love Ford to refund me my money that I paid for the extension.
Johan: Yes, I do feel comfortable with Ford at this stage. Ford SA shows by extending the warranties on the Kuga that they are willing to sort out the problem.
Andy: Ford are doing as much as they can by giving a warranty extension,loan car and fixing the problem
Willem: I feel Ford is doing something too accommodate Kuga owners.
R.Singh: I am NOT a Kuga owner, nor will I ever own one out of choice. In fact, I will stay far from any Ford in the future and will encourage those in my immediate circles to do the same! Why? Simply the way in which Ford SA dealt with this saga has damaged the brand irreparably in my view. People had to die. Despite this there were denials and dragging of feet by Ford SA in supporting investigations into the possible causes.
This new development does in no way help owners. It still favours Ford SA. Who wants to drive a vehicle with a loaded gun pointed at them? What about the stigma of driving one now. Every time you pass a Kuga you just know the conversation going around with onlookers despite owners having paid hundreds of thousands to buy their vehicles.
What about the resale value? No takers at the market value and I doubt Ford SA will do much better(maybe only if you want to buy a more expensive model). Most don't even want another Ford. The decent thing Ford SA should do is to offer a total recall at market value for those who want it. No strings attached.