Saved by 'guardian angel'
For Johannesburg businessman Warren Krog his guardian angel worked overtime yesterday.
Krog was on his way 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 that have been catching on fire."
Krog decided to drive to a Ford dealership in Alberton.
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"I was on the highway so took an off-ramp. As I slowed down I saw smoke coming from my car engine. I stopped immediately."
Within minutes of flagging down a passing police officer and other motorists, his car was engulfed in flames. When firefighters had put out the fire, which destroyed his vehicle's engine, one of them told him he was lucky to be alive.
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"He said that had the fire got to my car's electronics and I was still inside I could have been trapped as I would not have been able to open the doors or windows. There is smash-and-grab protection on my windows so I would have died.
"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 e-mail address but, since I e-mailed them to find out what to do and when, no one has called me back."
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He had also tried calling the phone number listed in the SMS, but had no luck getting through.
"I eventually phoned a Ford dealership in Kempton Park when I returned to work, but they told me as long as my coolant level was all right my car would be fine.
"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 was burnt to death in December 2015 while on holiday in the Wilderness in Western Cape.
At least nine Kugas have caught fire since the start of the year.