Ford takes big hit again as it recalls another Kuga model

Ford’s Kuga woes are not over. The company has initiated another recall – this time for a different model and a different problem.

Owners of the 2l diesel Kuga this week received letters urging them to bring their vehicles in so that a brake issue could be resolved.

The problem, affecting models built between 2014 and 2015, relates to a brake booster vacuum pipe which may weaken if it repeatedly comes into contact with the turbo-charger heat shield.

The notice says: “Some Kuga 2.0 diesel vehicles may have been built with the brake booster vacuum pipe routed too close to the turbo heat shield.

“This causes the pipe to heat up and sag towards the turbo. After several heat cycles the pipe could come into contact with the heat shield, causing damage to the pipe.

“This would increase the pressure required by the driver on the brake pedal during braking.”

The notice says the solution is the installation of an additional clip to keep the pipe away from harm.

The latest safety recall follows a day after the National Consumer Commission said it would launch an official investigation into Ford’s handling of the fire problem which destroyed 52 1.6l Kugas built in Spain between 2012 and 2014.

Ford SA spokesman Rella Bernardes said the latest issue affected 848 Kugas in South Africa, that had been built in Spain from September 2014 to December 2015.

She said that the recall was not a “safety action”.

“The vehicle can be effectively braked and meets all legal brake requirements in this regard.

“Our dealers will inspect the vacuum pipe for any damage and replace it if necessary. If there is no damage, the dealer will fit an additional clip to the vacuum pipe.”

The latest recalls infuriated Kuga owners, many of them demanding a proper explanation for the problem from Ford.

Ross Cromarty, who got his recall notice on Wednesday, said the model was clearly a death trap.

“It’s bad enough that these vehicles catch fire; now their brakes fail,” he said

A frustrated Cromarty said when he contacted Ford SA to find out exactly what he needed to do to address the problem, he was met with a “deafening silence”.

“When I phoned Ford SA the people I spoke to didn’t know what I was talking about. They thought I was mad. It took me nearly an hour of phoning their offices before I established what I needed to do.”

Cromarty said he was concerned when he was told by his dealership that he should carry on driving his car because they did not have the necessary replacement parts.

“How can they tell me to carry on driving something that is dysfunctional? What happens if I am driving 120km/h and the brakes fail?”

When he asked Ford SA how long they had known about the problem his question went unanswered.

Graeme Hosken

 

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