Ford Motor Company has had to shell out big bucks as compensation to more than three dozen owners of its Kuga SUVs which caught fire due to a manufacturing defect, in South Africa. It is reported that while 47 customers agreed to the compensation amount of 50,000 rand ($3,290) each, three others refused it and instead, chose to take legal action in order to get a higher compensation amount.
News agency AFP reported that Ford admitted the fires in the Kuga SUV were a result of overheating due to poor coolant circulation that led to an oil leak. As many as 4,500 units had to be recalled in order for them to be checked and repaired in case this fault was found. The affected and suspected units were made in Spain's Valencia between December of 2012 and February of 2014.
Ford had already had to face harsh music in South Africa with the country's consumer watchdog slapping a 35 million rand ($2.3 million) fine in 2019.
The latest compensation amount announced comes as a shot in the arm for affected Ford Kuga owners although claims of three people were rejected. "Three claims were rejected because they failed to "prove that their loss fell within the parameters of settlement agreement," South Africa's National Consumer Commission stated.
Kuga SUVs catching fire has hurt the image of the American car maker in the country. A South African had even died in one such incident althoughFord has said that it may not have been due to the manufacturing fault.