JOHANNESBURG - The second phase of the Ford Kuga fire-related recall kicked off in South Africa yesterday, the first country to initiate this final round of upgrades to the affected vehicles.
Owners of 1.6-litre petrol Ford Kugas were urged to take note of information released by the company.
By now owners of Kuga models affected by the recall should have had the Phase I upgrade done. If you have not, you should get in touch with your nearest Ford dealer as soon as possible.
Owners of pre-owned Kugas bought outside of the Ford dealership network were specifically requested to act as Ford may not have their contact details on file.
At present 88 percent of the affected Ford Kugas have had the Phase I upgrade done, meaning that roughly 400 affected Kugas are still out there and have not.
The second phase of the recall update was developed to mitigate the risk of an engine fire resulting from a cracked cylinder head caused by a loss of coolant. It applies to all affected Kuga 1.6 models built at the Valencia Assembly Plant, Spain, between May 8, 2012, and September 27, 2014.
“Our customers are our top priority, and their safety is of the utmost importance to us,” said Casper Kruger, managing director, FMCSA. "We are taking additional precautions to protect our customers and their vehicles with the Phase 2 recall action.
“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.”
What will they do to your car?
As part of the Phase 2 update, your Ford dealer will instal new hardware in your Kuga, comprising a new coolant expansion tank with a sensor that monitors the level of coolant.
Ford said that the updated system will warn the driver well in advance if there is a risk of overheating due to the insufficient coolant.
One of the coolant pipes will also be replaced, and is claimed to be more robust and that it will add to the durability of the cooling system.
Furthermore, the vehicle’s updated software will essentially cause the engine to go into "limp" mode when a problem is detected.
The system will reduce engine power, and warn the driver to safely pull over if coolant levels drop below the minimum required level.
Extended Warranty for all Kugas
Ford requested all affected customers to schedule an appointment with their dealer.
If required, a courtesy vehicle will be made available by the dealer.
For extra peace of mind, Ford also points out that Kuga models benefit from the Ford Kuga PremiumCare Extended Plan, backed by Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa. This plan provides additional two years of 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.
It is worth highlighting that this PremiumCare Plan does not only apply to the 1.6-litre petrol model that is the focus of the recall but all Kugas, including the 1.5-litre petrol, 2.0-litre diesel and 2.0-litre petrol sold between 2012 and 2017.
It even 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.
Any customer concerns or queries can be directed to Ford Customer Service at 0800 204 688 or email CRC3@ford.com.