A Durban resident managed to pull her three-year-old son out of their Ford Kuga at a toll gate just before the car went up in flames, following the vehicle going in for fire-related checks.
According to a report by the Sunday Times, the driver had taken her 1.6-litre Kuga in for checks before and after the vehicle was recalled in South Africa in January.
In April, while on her way to the airport, Kirsten James said she saw smoke coming from the bonnet of her Kuga. She got her son out and ran, after which the car went up in flames.
James said she was told by Ford that her car was safe, and that she feels betrayed.
Ford said the engine fires necessitating the recall were due to overheating, which caused a crack in the cylinder head, which caused an oil leak.
The report stated that four 1.6-litre Kugas modified as part of the recall process have caught fire since their repairs.

No evidence – Ford

Ford stated that there is no evidence the four fires in the Kugas are linked to coolant leaks related to the recall.
The company said 87% of the 4,556 recalled Kugas have had the necessary repairs, stated the report.
Ford said that of the four fires in local Kugas since the recall:
  • The first was due to a water pump problem.
  • The second was due to a coolant leak in the turbo.
  • The third car was destroyed, and the cause couldn’t be determined.
  • James’s car was being examined.