Earlier this month, the automaker launched an investigation after a reported engine fire engulfed a Kuga in the state of Queensland, not long after woman and her young nephew in New Zealand managed to escape a similar inferno caught on a cellphone camera.
In a statement to Aussie online platform, caradvice.com.au, Ford stated that its investigation into the fires, which has allegedly destroyed several Kugas Down Under, is continuing but that it will take action if determined.
"If customers have a specific concern with their vehicle, they should take their vehicle to a dealer for investigation. As outlined in the owner’s manual, we encourage customers to maintain regular servicing of their vehicle and monitor the vehicle for normal operation via all instruments and gauges in line with good driving practices," an extract from the statement read.
Last month, the Blue Oval announced the recall of 4 556 Kugas made between December 2012 and February 2014 fitted with the 1.6-litre engine, following widespread reports, images and videos on social media of examples going up in flames.
The automaker has blamed a faulty cooling system, which could lead to overheating and cracking of the cylinder head, as the reason for the fires, although it has ruled this out as being the reason for the blaze that engulfed the Kuga of Reshell Jimmy in December 2015.
Speaking in a statement two weeks ago, Ford Motor Company of South Africa President and CEO Jeff Nemeth said work on repairing the affected Kugas have been taking place in full force, and that the automaker can only "sincerely apologise" for not reacting quicker.
"The underlying cause of these fires was difficult to diagnose and took careful examination. We understand and appreciate the feelings of our customers and other stakeholders, and we want to assure you that your safety is our priority," Nemeth said.
"We recognise that, during the initial process, customers and the public were not well enough informed about the situation, and for that Ford sincerely apologises. We care about the safety and well-being of our customers.
"It's at the heart of everything we do, and we understand that our customers have questions and concerns. Our current focus is on working with our dealers and our customers to resolve these issues as quickly as possible, through open and direct communication".
He however reiterated that the Kugas are safe to use with the mandatory safety checks in place and proper attention to the cooling system given, saying, " We are working closely with the authorities and our dealers to ensure full compliance with all requirements, while everyone at the organisation is dedicated to resolving each and every one of our customers' concerns.
CELLPHONE IMAGE from motoring.com.au