False petrol consumption figures fuel Ford's fire

False petrol consumption figures fuel Ford's fire

Doughty widow challenges advertising claims.

Tough times for Ford South Africa. First, that embarrassing business when some of their cars kept bursting into flames.  Now it’s fuel consumption. A 74-year-old Cape Town widow, getting no satisfaction over her complaints of excessive fuel usage by her budget Ford runabout, has mandated attorneys to “institute an independent public investigation into the practice of misrepresented fuel efficacy figures in the motor industry”.

In January Ford SA recalled more than 4,500 of its 2012-2014 1.6 Kuga SUVs after one death and 46 confirmed fires, 11 in January alone. The apparent cause: cracking of the engine’s aluminium cylinder head, leaking oil into a hot engine compartment – and conflagration.

When Marie-Anna Cherenack went shopping for a new car in 2013 the foremost thought in her mind was fuel efficiency. And when she paid a visit to the Imperial Ford franchised dealership in Cape Town, she was impressed by the spec sheet for their Ford Figo 1.4 Ambiente, a facelift version of the Fiesta. The specs claimed a fuel consumption rate of 6.6 litres per 100km. Just what I’m looking for, said Cherenack, slapping down R90,000 cash for the white Figo (recommended retail price R118,670).

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