Ford South Africa has issued a safety recall for all 1.6-litre Kuga models built between December 2012 and February 2014. This affects 4556 vehicles in South Africa and is not applicable to the 1.5 and 2.0-litre Kuga models, these engines were not affected.
In the recall statement issued by the manufacturer, Ford insists that all affected vehicles, even those that have already been checked, must be taken to a Ford dealership as soon as possible.
The statement explains, “While we continue to investigate the Kuga 1.6 engine compartment fires, based on 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.”
Two stage recall
Affected components on the cooling system will be replaced in the first stage of recall and software will also be updated and verified, an oil leak check on the cylinder head will also be conducted.
The next stage will make the cooling system even more robust, and is likely to involve further changes to parts and warning systems.
Ford cautions Kuga 1.6 to pull over as soon as possible and switch off the engine if they see any indication of overheating, such as warnings on the instrument cluster. All occupants should exit the vehicle and the bonnet must not be opened.
The emergency services should be called first, if required, then Ford’s Roadside Assistance on 0861 150 250. Supported through the AA, this service is available 24/7.
The brand claims that the 1.6 Kuga is safe to drive, provided the integrity of the cooling system is maintained, and this safety recall has been actioned.