Wed Mar 29 05:16:42 SAST 2017

Ford extends warranty of ‘inf(l)amous’ Kuga by two years

By Wendy Knowler | 2017-02-23 15:30:24.0

In a bid to reassure and compensate Kuga owners and off-set the plummeting value of the inf(l)amous SUV‚ Ford South Africa has extended its original warranty by two years or 80‚000 kilometres.

“While we cannot make up for any inconvenience or discomfort you may have experienced as a result of the Kuga 1.6 safety recall‚ we would like to reassure you that safety is our top priority‚” Ford said in an email to Kuga owners.

The extension‚ bringing the warranty to six years or 200‚000km‚ whichever comes first‚ applies to all Kuga models sold between 2012 and 2016‚ not just the 4556 1.6 models which were the subject of the safety recall announced in mid-January‚ after about 50 of them caught fire on South African roads.

The “extended plan” is transferable‚ Ford told Kuga owners‚ “so if you ever decide to sell your vehicle‚ the new owner can take advantage of the same great coverage.

 “More than 1‚000 components are covered by this plan‚ and we hope that it will go some way towards restoring your peace of mind.”

The manufacturer is also offering Kuga 1.6 owners trade-in assistance‚ but many have said it’s not enough.?

Justin Bodill of Durban asked Transunion’s Auto Dealer’s Guide — the source the motor industry uses — for the trade-in value of his 2014 Kuga 1.6 and was given a figure of R230‚000.

But even with Ford SA’s trade-in assistance‚ Bodill was offered just R188‚000 on a trade-in deal‚ and even less — R150‚000 — as a straight buy-out.

“That’s the reality for us as Kuga owners‚” he said.

 “Even though this issue has received a lot of media attention‚ I don’t think people realise how desperate and stuck we feel. We are sitting with a car that we don’t trust and that we can’t sell for a decent price‚ and I don’t think we should be the ones taking the knock.”

Bodill has lost faith in Ford as a brand and has no intention of buying another one. “There isn’t another car in the range that appeals to me‚ for starters‚ and the company has dealt with the situation with a lack of care and efficiency.

“I don’t want to keep the car; I don’t trust it‚ and now they are trying to win us back with an extended warranty‚ as if they are doing us a favour!

“The extra warranty means nothing to me‚” Bodill said‚ “especially after they have just told me that they are offering me R150‚000 to buy my car‚ which clearly they don’t really trust or want either‚ since that price is an insult.”

Bodill said he’d prefer to be given a fair price for his Kuga — “that would be demonstrating real customer care”.

*Want to know the trade-in or retail value of your car? You can access the same information that the retail motor industry relies on — Transunion’s Auto Guide. That way you know if the trade-in price you’re offered is fair‚ as a seller‚ and as a buyer‚ you know what the car you’re keen on has been selling for around the country.

Go to www.carvalue.co.za — it costs R10 per report‚ but you get one free valuation on registering.

 

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