Ford South Africa issued a safety recall on Monday 16 January 2017 for Ford Kuga models equipped with the 1.6 litre engine to address an engine overheating condition that has caused some of these vehicles to burst into flames.
This compulsory recall followed on the back of the National Consumer Commission (NCC) issuing an ultimatum to Ford to have these vehicles recalled. NCC Commissioner Ebrahim Mohamed said that “the safety recall was in the best interests of consumers”. He continued to say that “this is a critical safety matter and will be monitored closely”.
Section 60 of the Consumer Protection Act, together with the Safety Recall Guidelines, provide for both voluntary product recalls initiated by suppliers as well as compulsory product recalls ordered by the NCC. The purpose of a recall is to ensure that any unsafe products are effectively removed from the marketplace and taken out of the hands of consumers.
It remains the supplier’s responsibility to implement a system that will ensure an efficient and effective recall. The risk, as seen with the Ford Kuga Recall, is that a recall can be very time consuming and expensive – even more so without a proper recall procedure in place. A poorly implemented product recall can also cause irreparable damage to the reputation of any business.
We can see that the NCC is playing a pivotal role in the Recall process, and through ongoing monitoring they will ensure that unsafe products are taken out of the marketplace and will not reach consumers or harm them any further.
According to Commissioner Mohamed, people must know that this is not the end of the matter and that further investigations will still be conducted.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Aret Joubert obtained her law degree from the University of Pretoria and has been working with SEESA Consumer & POPI since 2011 after leaving the practice.