Several Ford Kuga owners have been threatened with legal action for not paying for hired vehicles despite the assurance of Ford South Africa that it would pay the costs of the temporary vehicles according to a report in the The Sunday Times.
Ford South Africa reportedly promised to arrange and pay for rental cars while thousands of recalled 1.6-litre Kuga models were undergoing repairs, said the report.
However affected customers from across the country have received rental bills in excess of R30,000 from companies including Avis and Europcar demanding that they pay up or risk facing prosecution.
Free State resident Themba Dladla said Europcar contacted him in January, saying it had been instructed by Ford to provide him with a rental vehicle but that he was responsible for the R30,862.10 fee.
“Now this has happened. Where do I suddenly find R30,000? Ford really needs to come to the party and explain just what on earth is going on.”
Ford spokeswoman Rella Bernardes said Kuga customers in approved courtesy vehicles were not liable for charges.
“We ask any customers who have been incorrectly billed to urgently contact Ford customer service.”
Ford SA has faced heavy criticism over the course of December and January following a large number of Ford Kuga’s catching fire in those two months. This resulted in a class action lawsuit planned against the company, with documents showing that Ford knew about existing problems with Kuga models.