“There were flames everywhere. I have never seen anything like that.”
This was how a Johannesburg building caretaker described the latest Ford Kuga fire to have occurred. The Kuga caught alight as its owner parked it at Lofts66 in the Johannesburg city centre this morning. Caretaker‚ Vincent Mabuya‚ was on duty in his office when security guards came running to call him.
“I didn’t know what they were talking about at first. They were saying there was a fire. I thought that the building was on fire.” As he ran to the parking lot‚ Mabuya grabbed a fire extinguisher. “When I got there‚ there were people everywhere. I could see a woman‚ who was the driver‚ crying. There were flames and smoke coming from the engine.”
Mabuya with the help of others managed to extinguish the blaze. “It was very scary. I am just glad there were no other cars which caught alight.” The fire brings the number of Kugas which have caught alight on South Africa’s roads to 51. Of these at least 15 have caught fire this year.
In December 2015 Reshall Jimmy burnt to death when his 1.6l EcoBoost Kuga caught alight while he was on holiday in the Wilderness‚ in the Western Cape.
The spate of fires‚ which The Times exposed‚ saw the National Consumer Commission forcing Ford to issue a safety recall on the vehicle. While Ford believes that the fires are caused by a faulty coolant system‚ fire investigators have pointed to faulty fuel line systems and electrical problems as being the cause.
Forensic investigators‚ hired by Jimmy’s family‚ along with police and insurance forensic investigators concluded through their investigations that Jimmy’s fire was caused by an electrical fault. Ford through their investigators maintain that the fire started at the rear of his car. They have been unable to date to explain what caused the fire. –TMG Digital/The Times