Ford Kugas recalled in Botswana

By Mpho Tebele

GABORONE- SOUTH African vehicle dealer, Barloworld, which runs the Ford franchise in Botswana announced that it is recalling about 28 Ford Kuga vehicles in the country..

This comes after a fault, which causes the vehicles to catch fire spontaneously, has been reported. So far at least 47 Ford Kugas in South Africa caught fire and one person died as a result.

Reports indicate that Ford Motor Company has started a voluntary safety recall of the Kuga models equipped with the 1.6-litre engine to address an engine overheating condition that could cause fire, following months of controversy.

The South African National Consumer Commission has said that Ford Motor Company South Africa was to issue a recall of Ford Kuga vehicles fitted with a 1.6 Eco boost engine.

Barloworld Motor Botswana’s managing director, Ian Utting, said that following the reports from South Africa they have also recalled all the 24 sold Kugas while the four they use in-house will also go through an assessment.

The recall is limited to 1.6 litre models manufactured in Valencia, Spain, between December 2012 and February 2014.

“Even though we have not yet received any report of a burning Kuga in Botswana, we have decided to recall all of them for assessment and have been busy trying to contact all the owners of the 24 Kugas we have sold,” Utting said.Utting reportedly said they intend to check the faulty parts in the engine and replace them immediately.

In a joint statement with the National Consumer Commission, Ford’s Southern Africa president and chief executive, Jeff Nemeth, said the company could confirm 39 incidents of the cars catching fire, as well as one death, which was not directly linked to the defect.

The general manager of Ford Botswana, Zachariah Kepaletswe, is quoted as saying they were fully aware that there was a recall campaign on certain derivatives, of which it was specifically the 1.6 Eco boost engine of Kuga vehicles, which were manufactured between 2012 December and February 2014.

  “This action is only affecting the Ford Eco boost. The 1.5 and 2l diesel and models before that are not affected,” he reportedly said.

He said the recall campaign was made for them to go through the vehicle, just to ascertain if there were any problems with the vehicle. “But if we do identify any component that might need to be replaced, we then do that. The recall campaign stipulates fully what needs to be done, with parts replaced, software updated and oil leak checks conducted,” Kepaletswe reportedly said.

He said in Botswana, only 28 vehicles were affected by the recall, adding that so far they have contacted 10 customers, whose vehicles have been checked, with parts replaced on some of them.

“If we find out that there is a vehicle which has a problem, such a vehicle will be grounded and the customer will either be provided with a loan vehicle or a car hire, we will not allow that car to go back on the road up until we are happy that it has been perfectly fixed,” he said.

The general manager went on to say that the timing of the exercise is expected to be completed by the end of the weekend, depending on availability parts.

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