Delaying the launch of their newest model in South Africa, Ford has issued yet another recall notice. This time the recall affected a wider range of its models than the last recall in 2016, and this comes after another potential fire risk.
The recall relates to a design flaw in the B-pillars around the pretensioner which, in the event of an accident, is responsible for the tightening of the belt to shift you into an optimal position to survive the crash. The issue, according to Ford, stems from their efforts to make the Kuga quieter inside with insulation material that comes into contact with the pretensioner, coupled with the fact that these devices are pyrotechnic, has made for a fiery situation.
“The company is recalling 173,000 Kugas worldwide, including 7,219 in SA, and making it the biggest recall by volume for the Kuga yet. All models were built at Ford’s assembly plant in Valencia, Spain, or Elebuga, Russia, between 2012 and 2014,” reported Business Day.
Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa stated: “In the event of a frontal collision, these vehicles have been identified as having a possible risk for a B-pillar fire. The activation of the seatbelt pretensioner can potentially cause the insulation material around the pretensioner to ignite. The solution is to remove the insulation material from the area around the seatbelt retractor-pretensioner to prevent the risk of fire.”
The component comprises of insulation inside the B-pillar, which is located between the passenger doors. It needs to be removed because it covers a sensor that could potentially spark and cause a fire.
Ford has further advised those customers who have yet to take their Kuga 1.6 in for the second-phase of the recall should have both fixes done at the same time. Whereas customers who have completed both phases will have to take their vehicles to dealers again.
Owners of the affected models will also have to take their vehicles in for assessment and repair. Ford has in addition said that repairs should take no more than an hour.
Affected owners are encouraged to directly contact Ford customer service.
Read more: Ford Kuga fire: Will your insurance pay out?