Inquest opens into death of South African after Ford car exploded

Ford says the fires were caused by overheating due to poor coolant circulation that led to an oil leak

A judiciary inquest into the death of a South African man who was burnt to death in December 2015 when his Ford Kuga exploded, opened in Cape Town on Monday.

After nearly 40 incidents were reported of the SUV bursting into flames across South Africa, Ford in January 2017 recalled 4,500 1.6-litre Kuga cars in the country.

One of those cars that exploded was driven by Reshall Jimmy. 

The company said the fires were caused by overheating due to poor coolant circulation that led to an oil leak, but it was unaware of any injuries resulting from the fires.

Jimmy’s family requested an inquest to determine whether the automaker should be held accountable for his death.

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But the US motor giant Ford had in 2017 said it believed Jimmy’s death was not related to the fault.

The Kuga has in recent years been the focus of repeated accounts in South Africa of spontaneous fires while the car was being driven.

Ford said the vehicles were built in Valencia, Spain between December 2012 and February 2014.

Hearing in the matter was postponed to March 8.

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