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Discussion Starter #1
With all the ever-so-reliable Fords bursting into flames, according to Ford caused by overheating which causes cracks in the head which causes oil to leak out and catch alight.

So I was musing :thinking: :

I assume the Kuga has a digital temperature gauge? The kind that has a needle or a pixel that just sticks in the middle at all times except when warming up or when properly overheating.

This kind of digitally-interfered-with temp gauge doesn't show slight overheating or slight over-cooling like an analogue gauge does.
So, would this hide moderate overheating that may be occurring repeatedly over time, every time weakening the head until it finally cracks. The owner of the car has no way of knowing something may be wrong until flames and smoke start appearing.


Make sense?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Second thing:

In the USA, the Ford Kuga is/was known as the Ford Escape. It used the same 1.6, made in the same factory in Wales. They recalled it for exactly this issue in November 2013. Here's the quote:

"The affected vehicles may experience localized overheating of the engine cylinder head which may cause cracks that could allow oil to leak," said NHTSA in its summary of the problem. "Leaking engine oil may come into contact with a hot engine surface potentially resulting in an engine compartment fire."
"Ford dealers will modify the engine shielding, cooling and control systems."

Here is the quotes from Ford South Africa: "The first stage involves replacing affected components on the cooling system, verifying and updating the software, and conducting an oil leak check on the cylinder head."
"The next stage of the safety recall will make the cooling system even more robust, and is likely to involve further changes to parts and warning systems."

It sounds like the proposed fix from Ford SA, that they will replace cooling system components and do software fiddling, is also the same, except Ford SA seems to not be doing anything about shielding until possibly the "second stage".

But, this surely shows that Ford South Africa should have known about this since at least November 2013. Why is there nothing about this in the local media?
If someone could prove that Ford SA sold these cars with the same issues as the pre-recall US Ford Escapes, they could surely sue the pants off Ford SA? :readit:
 

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I'm curious, though - why so many in the last few months/weeks? Could it have been something oil or coolant related (or software related) where recommended specs may have changed before the last service and then upon implementation, compromised the safety of the vehicle? The vehicles are still young enough to be dealer-serviced, right? Or is it just a case of fires becoming more visible, rather than increasing dramatically in the last month?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I was thinking that too, but it's been at the very least 3 summers for all of these cars, more than 3 for most. It's strange that they all seem to be doing it now.
I think El's hypothesis about it being related to something changed by the dealers during recent services, and then combined with summer temperatures and possibly also long distance holiday driving, sounds plausible.
 

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correct. coolant reservoirs are cracking (much like our alfa ones tend to :ermm:) as they are now all getting to the same age.

but to convert to a fire you really need to overheat the thing PROPERLY.

apparently when the temperature goes out of acceptable range a warning light comes on and it stops boosting. so you have to be a clot to keep driving to the point where the head splits and gushes oil onto the exhaust.
 

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Then there was about 51 clots thus far.
I am just amazed at how bad Ford's PR and attitude was towards the whole situation.

Here Ford explains what is replaced during the fix :

This Is What Ford Is Replacing In The Kuga

Water bottle, cap and pipes. Pipe running from bottle to head is blanked off at the bottle (this pipe caused excessive pressure that popped the bottle) but split near the front of the vehicle and then run to back of head.
 

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correct. coolant reservoirs are cracking (much like our alfa ones tend to :ermm:) as they are now all getting to the same age.

but to convert to a fire you really need to overheat the thing PROPERLY.

apparently when the temperature goes out of acceptable range a warning light comes on and it stops boosting. so you have to be a clot to keep driving to the point where the head splits and gushes oil onto the exhaust.
this is quite strange and it is very easy for us to judge now about 52 South African motorists (and countless Americans) being clots or not. In the very first case, no warning lights. It just erratically stopped boosting, which the dealers could not diagnose or resolve, and very soon the car burnt out killing the driver. He could not open his doors or lower his windows to escape.

In ALL other cases (The have now been 53 confirmed Kuga fires since 2015), no boosting issues or warning lights. Just fires.

Perhaps this is what the "software change" intends to fix?
 

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correct. coolant reservoirs are cracking (much like our alfa ones tend to :ermm:) as they are now all getting to the same age.

but to convert to a fire you really need to overheat the thing PROPERLY.

apparently when the temperature goes out of acceptable range a warning light comes on and it stops boosting. so you have to be a clot to keep driving to the point where the head splits and gushes oil onto the exhaust.
this is quite strange and it is very easy for us to judge now about 52 South African motorists (and countless Americans) being clots or not. In the very first case, no warning lights. It just erratically stopped boosting, which the dealers could not diagnose or resolve, and very soon the car burnt out killing the driver. He could not open his doors or lower his windows to escape.

In ALL other cases (The have now been 53 confirmed Kuga fires since 2015), no boosting issues or warning lights. Just fires.

Perhaps this is what the "software change" intends to fix?

By the way, not only 1.6's have burned out. Even 2.5's have gone up in smoke.
 

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In a 'normal' car (like an old Alfa :wink_org: ) you should notice the heat gauge rising and possibly a warning light flashing. This will make you stop and open the bonnet to notice your water bottle has cracked and you lost all fluid.

However - if your vehicle does nothing to tell you - you will simply carry on driving as normal until the head finally cracks and drops oil.

That's the only explanation I have - that there was no warning of overheating in these vehicles.
 

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this is quite strange and it is very easy for us to judge now about 52 South African motorists (and countless Americans) being clots or not. In the very first case, no warning lights. It just erratically stopped boosting, which the dealers could not diagnose or resolve, and very soon the car burnt out killing the driver. He could not open his doors or lower his windows to escape.

In ALL other cases (The have now been 53 confirmed Kuga fires since 2015), no boosting issues or warning lights. Just fires.

Perhaps this is what the "software change" intends to fix?
Ian where do you get your information re no boosting/warning lights? And the bit about the first case?

Also seems rather odd to me that a driver couldn't exit the vehicle. Only way I can imagine this happening is for the fire to have immediately consumed the important bits of the wiring loom. Seems unlikely.
 

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Then there was about 51 clots thus far.
I am just amazed at how bad Ford's PR and attitude was towards the whole situation.

Here Ford explains what is replaced during the fix :

This Is What Ford Is Replacing In The Kuga

Water bottle, cap and pipes. Pipe running from bottle to head is blanked off at the bottle (this pipe caused excessive pressure that popped the bottle) but split near the front of the vehicle and then run to back of head.
Out of interest what about Ford's response/attitude have you found bad?
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
The fact that Ford SA took so long to issue a recall for the exact same issue that essentially the same car with the same engine built in the same factory was recalled for in the US in 2013, three years ago?

Isn't that a pretty bad response?

EDIT: Hmmm, no wait. What about continuing to sell the cars in South Africa even after they had already been recalled in the US? Pretty bad too, no?
 

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If anything, the Kuga debacle drives home the importance of carrying a knife to cut your seat belt and something to hit your window out with if you can't use your legs to do it.
 

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Ian where do you get your information re no boosting/warning lights? And the bit about the first case?

Also seems rather odd to me that a driver couldn't exit the vehicle. Only way I can imagine this happening is for the fire to have immediately consumed the important bits of the wiring loom. Seems unlikely.
Unless the wiring is part of the problem?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Car Magazine SA asked them and their responses basically said nothing. That's an example of bad attitude:

Ford Kuga recall: we ask 4 big technical questions - CARmag.co.za

CAR: What are the technical differences between the 1,6-litre EcoBoost engine in the Ford Escape (US recall) that also experienced head-cracking issues and engine fires in 2013 and the 1,6-litre EcoBoost engine in the local Kuga displaying the same symptoms?

Ford SA: The field data in the United States with the US-built Escape and in the South African Kuga 1,6-litre vehicles are different; we’re not going into all the different technical differences between the engines at this time.

CAR: Focusing on fixing the cooling system components appears to be a short-term solution as the overheating problem may return in a few years from now (for example, if a coolant pipe bursts) with the same fire hazard mechanism returning (cracked cylinder head). What is Ford’s long-term technical fix for the problem?

Ford SA: For the second step, the additional parts repair action, we’re working as quickly as possible to finalise and validate the repair action. The details of the second step will be communicated to affected customers at a later date but we can say that, based on the data currently available, we’re confident that the action, and as we said when finalised and validated, will effectively address this particular concern.


So basically: "We're not telling you what the differences are, because there are none that are relevant and we don't want people to know that, and also we don't really know what we are going to do to properly fix it, but just believe us that we will properly fix it at some stage, because we are very trustworthy."
 

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You see here's a great example of misinformation and bad journalism. There are numerous reports stating that our cars are made in the US, and numerous reports stating they're made in Spain. What's more I'm inclined to believe that if they are made in the US, post the 2013 recall the factory would have been geared to use the improved parts. There's no way that they'd use one part for the LHD version and another for RHD, as that'd mean tracking stock of two different lines of parts possibly from different suppliers. Highly unlikely. So I don't buy the story that it's the same as the pre 2013 vehicle.
 
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