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WATCH: Kuga catches fire on way to dealership - driver says his 'guardian angels worked overtime'

12 January 2017 - 15:41 By Graeme Hosken

For Johannesburg businessman‚ Warren Krog‚ his guardian angels worked overtime today.

Krog was en route to work when he noticed smoke coming from the back of his 2013 Ford Kuga.

"I immediately became worried‚ because of all the other Kugas which have been catching on fire."

  • READ: Ford’s court application in battle with policeExperts are divided about whether the fires are being caused by a combination of electrical faults and a plastic fuel line, or by problems with the vehicles' cooling systems. 

Krog immediately decided to drive to a Ford dealership in Alberton.

"I was on the highway so took an off-ramp. As I slowed down I saw smoke coming from my car engine. I knew what had happened to the other cars was happening to mine and immediately stopped."

  • Ford’s court claim over Kuga fire angers victim’s familyTHE family of Reshall Jimmy‚ who burnt to death when his Ford Kuga caught alight‚ has slammed the car manufacturer over its allegations that they deliberately withheld information from the company. 

Within minutes of flagging down a passing police officer and other motorists his car was engulfed in flames.

He said that when fire fighters had put out the fire‚ which entirely destroyed his vehicle's engine‚ he was told by one of them that he was lucky to have survived.

  • Ford says police not helpingFord Motors' fears that it could suffer a severe financial setback and be forced to cut jobs if it fails to meet a National Consumer Commission deadline that led to its launching an urgent court application against the police, says a company lawyer. 

"The officer told me that had the fire got to my cars electronics and I was still inside I could have been trapped as I would not have been able to open the doors or the windows.

"There is smash and grab protection on my windows so I would have died."

He said he was furious with Ford.

"While the Alberton dealership helped me and came to see if they could assist I am angry with Ford SA. I got an SMS in December that I need to bring in my car as soon as possible. In that message was an email address but since me emailing them in December to find out what to do and when no one has called me back."

He said he had tried following up with phone calls to a number listed in the SMS‚ but had had no luck.

"I eventually phoned a Ford dealership Kempton Park when I returned to work‚ but they told me as long as my coolant level was alright my car would be fine. They told me they could only help me on January 18‚ which is next week."

Krog said his guardian angels had definitely worked overtime today.

"I am so glad I broke from my routine and did not have my daughter in the car with me. I was meant to take her and her friend to school today‚ but didn’t.

"I hate to think what would have happened. I would have been on a different route and it could have ended very differently."

Krog's Kuga is the 45th to have been destroyed by fire on South Africa's roads since Reshall Jimmy burnt to death in his in December 2015‚ while on holiday in the Wilderness in the Western Cape.

At least nine Kugas have caught fire since the start of the year.

-TMG Digital/The Times