The Ford Kuga has been the subject of a series of fires in South Africa, prompting the manufacturer to recall all 4556 units of the model as a precaution.
One man has died as a result of a Kuga fire in South Africa, according to the Sunday Times. The issue is reported to affect Kugas with the 1.6-litre Ecoboost petrol engine. ‘At least’ 47 fires have been reported in the country. Affected cars were built between December 2012 and February 2014, and have Ford's 1.6-litre Ecoboost engine.
The recall would check any Kugas to check for the possibility of a fire, and rectify any faulty parts which could be causing the issue.
Ford of South Africa has issued the following statement: "The current data we have determined that the fires are due to engine overheating. This is caused by a lack of coolant circulation which can lead to a cracking in the cylinder head and, therefore, an oil leak. If the leaking oil reaches a hot engine surface, it can potentially catch fire. We are not aware of any injuries resulting from the engine compartment fires.
With this safety recall, all affected vehicles, including those that have already been checked, must be taken to a Ford dealership as soon as possible. This safety recall comprises two stages. The first stage involves replacing affected components on the cooling system, verifying and updating the software and conducting an oil leak check on the cylinder head. The next stage will make the cooling system even more robust, and is likely to involve further changes to parts and warning systems."
The official recall has been issued by Ford of South Africa, meaning owners must contact their nearest dealer for a free one-hour check. Prior to the recall being issued, Ford faced mounting pressure from South African customers and media to act upon the fires.
No reports have surfaced of fires in Kugas in the UK, but a Ford UK spokesman said: "There is nothing of concern for UK Kuga 1.6-litre Ecoboost drivers, but they can always seek clarification from their dealer or our central customer team on 0203 564 4444, or firstname.lastname@example.org."