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UPDATE: Ford SA recalls Fiesta ST over fire risk as problem extends across the pond


Ford Motor Company South Africa (FMCA) has announced the voluntary recall of just over 1 000 Fiesta ST models over fears that the engine might overheat due to cooling circulation problems.

In a statement released this past Wednesday evening, the American auto giant stated that the recall involves 1 078 Fiesta ST's build between September 2012 and December 2014, and that problem alludes to the same that resulted in the recall of 4 556 Kugas earlier this year.

Both models are powered by the brand's now infamous 1.6-litre EcoBoost engine, which resulted in the mass recall of the Kuga's US twin, the Ford Escape, back in 2013.

"A lack of coolant circulation could cause an engine to overheat, resulting in a crack in the cylinder head. A cracked cylinder head can result in a pressurised oil leak. Oil that comes into contact with a hot engine surface increases the risk of a fire in the engine compartment," the statement reads.

"The safety of our customers is our top priority, and the expansion of the safety recall is being rolled out as a precautionary measure on the Fiesta ST," outgoing FMCA President and CEO Jeff Nemeth said.

Accordingly, affected models will be subjected to a hardware and software upgrades, involving the fitment of a coolant level sensor with supporting hardware and software changes, available from the fourth quarter at no charge to owners.

"Customers can continue to drive their vehicles, but should visit their Ford dealer if their vehicle exhibits a coolant leak, overheating or frequently needs coolant added. Customers should continue to check their vehicles coolant levels and can refer to their owner's manual for instructions on how to check their coolant level and what to do if it is low," the statement continues.

The latest recall to hit the Blue Oval comes a day after it announced that Nemeth would return to the United States and replaced by former Toyota South Vice President of Vehicle Sales and Dealer Network, Casper Kruger, as FMCA MD from April first.

Nemeth has however ruled that his return had any relations to the saga, saying his contract had been up for renewal well before the news of the combusting Kugas broke on social media last year.

Down Under...

Meanwhile, Ford Australia has announced that it will be recalling 4 450 Kuga EcoBoosts made between 2013 and 2014 following similar reports of models bursting into flames, and an additional 400 Fiesta ST's again over the same problem. At the same time, Ford New Zealand has confirmed that 911 Kugas made between 2012-2014 and 69 Fiesta ST's built form 2013-2015 are affected by the same problem.

United States

In its home market, Ford has also confirmed that the recall had been extended to include the Fusion (2013-2014) and Transit Connect (2013-2015), with some 230 000 vehicle reported to be affected.


Kuga image from

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