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Ford Kuga recall in SA: 'Phase 2' begins, more fixes for SUVs

2017-07-26 15:03

Ford SA has announced its Phase 2 of its Kuga recall begins today (July 26).Image: Quickpic

Cape Town - Following a spate of Kuga fires in South Africa, Wheels24 reported earlier in 2017 that the automaker had an effective fix for its global recall.

The automaker has announced that Phase 2 has begun in SA on Wednesday, July 26.

Earlier in March 2017, Ford South Africa expanded the safety recall of the 1.6-litre GTDi Ecoboost engine to include its Fiesta ST hot hatch. 

This after Ford recalled 4556 Kuga 1.6-litre Ecoboost models, produced from December 2012 to February 2014, in January following several reports of the utility vehicles bursting into flames.

Wheels24 asked Ford South Africa whether local models, affected by the recall, will be reviewed as is the case in the US.

Ford SA responds

Ford SA sent the following response to Wheels24:

"We are confident that the actions being taken are an effective solution to the Kuga recall underway. 

"We have identified the known sources of coolant loss in South African vehicles. The Phase 1 recall action of rerouting coolant lines, replacing the affected components, and confirming integrity of the cooling system addresses these issues.

"Phase 2 will further upgrade the cooling and control systems along with adding a coolant level sensor to address low coolant levels regardless of the cause. Once completed this action will prevent a critical overheat of the engine that could lead to a fire.

What about the new Kuga?

Well curiously they're already at dealers as courtesy cars. Ford says the official sale and launch will occur later in 2017.

Customers can book their orders now though Ford SA is mum on pricing and details until the local launch. So drivers will spot the new Kuga on our roads already. 

What does Phase 2 mean?

Ford SA made the following announcement on Wednesday regarding Phase 2 of the safety recall.

The automaker says: "Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) has commenced with Phase 2 of the safety recall action for all affected Kuga 1.6 models, and is requesting customers to schedule an appointment with their dealer in order to have the vehicle enhancements completed." 

Ford claims this second phase is designed to mitigate the risk of an engine fire resulting from a cracked cylinder head caused by a loss of coolant, and applies to all affected Kuga 1.6 models built at the Valencia Assembly Plant, Spain, between 8 May 2012 and 27 September 2014.

How do you think Ford SA managed the Kuga recall? Has your trust been restored in the brand? Tell us via emailFacebook and Twitter.

Managing director FMCSA, Casper Kruger, says: "Our customers are our top priority, and their safety is of the utmost importance to us,” says Casper Kruger, managing director, FMCSA. We are taking additional precautions to protect our customers and their vehicles with the Phase 2 recall action."

New hardware, SA first market to get safety fix

"Our global engineering team has finalised the second stage of the recall, and South Africa is the first market to receive parts and implement Phase 2 of the recall,” Kruger adds. “Accordingly, we have now begun rolling out the final recall and are notifying customers to make an appointment with their nearest dealer.”

In Phase 2, new hardware will be installed, comprising a new coolant expansion tank with a sensor that monitors the level of the vehicle’s coolant. Excessively low coolant levels reduce the ability to keep the engine cool, which in turn, leads to overheating. The system will now warn the driver well in advance if there is a risk of overheating due to insufficient coolant in the system.

In addition, the vehicle’s updated software introduced as part of this Phase 2 action has the ability to reduce engine power, and notifies the driver to safely pull over if coolant levels drop below the minimum required level.

To accommodate this enhanced system, changes have been made to the routing of the coolant pipes, an electrical harness is fitted, and the software configured to monitor this new coolant level sensor. An additional coolant pipe will also be replaced for added robustness and durability of the cooling system.

Here's what you should do

Customers are being asked to schedule an appointment with their dealer; this will ensure the dealer is able to perform the recall action quickly and efficiently, says Ford. Should the customer wish, their dealer will also pre-arrange alternative transport upon scheduling an appointment.  

Continuing the customer support measures introduced after the initial Kuga 1.6 safety recall announcement in January 2017, all Kuga models benefit from the Ford Kuga PremiumCare Extended Plan, backed by Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa.

This plan provides additional cover beyond the new vehicle warranty, and now covers the repairs of more than 1 000 vehicle components up to a maximum of six years or 200 000km, whichever comes first.

Ford says the PremiumCare Extended Plan applies to all Kuga models, including the affected 1.6-litre models, as well as the 1.5-litre petrol, 2.0-litre diesel and 2.0-litre petrol sold between 2012 and 2017. It also applies to the previous-generation Kuga 2.5 models registered as new in 2012.

Additionally, Ford Roadside Assistance is available to all Kuga owners, beyond the standard three-year/unlimited mileage cover. Supported through the AA, this service is available 24/7 on 0861 150 250.

Read more on:    south africa  |  ford kuga  |  kuga fire

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