Ford is recalling the Kuga SUV and Fiesta ST hatchback in Australia after seven cars caught fire locally
AFTER seven fires in Australia and more than 50 overseas over 15 months, Ford is recalling the Kuga SUV, as Toyota also issued a recall of its own.
A screenshot from a YouTube video of a Ford Kuga SUV catching fire in South Africa in January 2017. Picture: YouTube. Source:YouTube
FORD is recalling almost 5000 cars locally after seven burst into flames in Australia — and more than 50 caught fire overseas — during the past 15 months.
The recall affects 4450 Ford Kuga SUVs and 400 Fiesta ST hatchbacks both powered by the same 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine.
A statement from Ford says it has identified a risk of under-hood fires and is aware of seven reports of fire associated with this issue in Australia (although) no injuries have been reported .
Ford Australia identified six reports of fires in Ford Kuga SUVs starting from October 2016 but after an exhaustive investigation confirmed a fire in December 2015 was related to the same fault.
When asked why it took several months to issue a recall, Ford Australia said: We take the safety of our customers very seriously. Our decisions are driven by the data available. When the data indicates a safety recall is needed, we move quickly.
The affected Kuga SUVs were built between 2013 and 2014, while the Fiesta ST s subject to the recall were made from 2013 to 2015.
Each car will need to be taken to dealerships twice up to six months apart to be fixed.
The first visit is an interim preventative measure, while the second visit includes hardware and software changes.
The affected Ford Kuga SUVs will need to go back to dealers twice, six months apart, to be fixed. Picture: YouTube Source:YouTube
Owners of Kuga SUVs will be able to take their vehicles in for the initial recall work between April and June, while the final repair work is scheduled to be completed between October and December.
Ford says it needs time to manufacture and distribute the replacement parts.
Timing for the repair work on Fiesta ST hatchbacks is yet to be confirmed.
Customers can continue to drive their vehicles but should see their dealer if their vehicle exhibits a coolant leak or overheating or frequently needs coolant added, said Ford.
In its technical explanation the company said a lack of coolant circulation could cause an engine to overheat, resulting in a crack in the cylinder head .
This crack can result in a pressurised oil leak which can ignite a fire if the oil comes into contact with a hot engine surface .
The Ford Fiesta ST hot hatch does not have a date set aside for its recall work. Picture: Supplied Source:Supplied
Ford will initially mail customers with instructions from the owner s manual on how to check and refill coolant.
As with all safety recalls, the repairs will be done at no cost to customers.
Video of Ford Kuga catching fire began appearing on social media late last year and early this year, after dozens of fires in South Africa.
At the time Ford said it was not issuing a recall because it believed customers were experiencing an overheating issue.
But subsequent investigations have found a manufacturing design flaw.
The fix, in tech speak:
At the first stage (of the recall) dealers will replace the coolant bottle and cap and re-route the turbo coolant return line. The second stage of the recall will involve dealers installing a coolant level sensor system and wiring harness, and will also (reprogram) the (on-board computer) and instrument cluster with updated software. — Ford Australia.
The news comes as Toyota is recalling an additional 2.9 million vehicles worldwide over potentially faulty airbag inflators made by Japanese supplier Takata.
Toyota s latest recall includes 750,000 vehicles in Japan, 650,000 in China, 350,000 in Europe and 1.16 million in other areas including Oceania, and Central and South America, Japan s largest car maker said in an email on Thursday.
The recall covers such models as the Auris, the RAV4, the Corolla Axio, the Corolla Fielder and the Noah or Voxy.