Ford Motor Company South Africa agreed to pay R50 000 compensation to people whose Kuga caught fire from the engine during a specific period, the National Consumer Commission (NCC) said on Thursday.
The offer was to owners whose vehicles were distributed between 2014 and 2017, and where the fire originated in the engine compartment and damaged the vehicle.
NCC spokesperson Phetho Ntaba said the settlement agreement was made an order by the National Consumer Tribunal in March.
Consumers had two options:
- Submit a claim for the payment of the R50 000 (with or without a claim for loss of any movables) against Ford in terms of Section 61 of the Consumer Protection Act. Advocate Terry Motau SC was appointed to provide alternative dispute resolution services.
- Or they could choose to proceed to prove damages in court at the consumer's own expense.
A total of 76 affected consumers were engaged during the mediation period, and 53 claims were resolved.
Forty seven consumers chose the settlement and a total of R2 509 179 was paid, which includes additional compensation for loss of movables.
Three consumers elected to take their cases further with the assistance of their attorneys.
Three more consumers' claims were rejected as they could not prove their loss fell within the parameters of the settlement agreement.
Ntaba told News24 there was compensation for people who could prove there were specific items in the vehicle.
The company launched a major recall in January 2017 of 4 670 vehicles after a defect in the engine cooling system was detected.
However, Renisha Jimmy told News24 she was still fighting for compensation relating to the death of her brother, Reshall, whose vehicle went up in flames in the Wilderness area on 4 December 2015.
The Western Cape High Court found there was no evidence of a crime when Jimmy's car burnt, and nor did he commit suicide.
Before the case, there were claims that a vehicle had stopped near Jimmy's car and then drove off, that there were bullet cartridges, which later turned out to be possibly components of an air bag, and that he had been at a casino.
"We are not done with it," his sister said.