Ford Australia has recalled 4850 examples of its Kuga and Fiesta ST models in relation to a safety issue that could lead to a fire in the engine compartment.
The 4450 Kugas involved were built between December 16, 2012 and July 2, 2014, while the 400 defective Fiesta STs were manufactured from March 26, 2013 to November 11, 2014.
All of the affected vehicles are fitted with the same 1.6-litre EcoBoost turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, but offer different states of tune.
Localised overheating of the engine cylinder head could cause it to crack and result in an oil leak, which happens due to a lack of coolant circulation.
A worst case scenario would involve the leaked oil being ignited, which may cause the front-end of the car to become engulfed in flames.
There were only seven recorded incidents locally.
Although the parts required to fix this issue are not immediately available, the Blue Oval has said it is working with suppliers to increase inventory as quickly as possible.
In the interim, the company recommends that Kuga and Fiesta ST owners maintain the correct engine coolant level in their vehicles, as doing so will considerably reduce the risk of fire.
If symptoms of overheating or a coolant leak are noticed by a driver, they should then contact their preferred Ford dealership and arrange a service appointment for triage and repair.
There were only seven recorded incidents locally – all involving Kugas – but no injuries, according to Ford Australia PR boss Martin Gunsberg.
Meanwhile, this same issue has led to a recall from the brand in North America this week, where 230,756 cars – which also included Fusion and Transit Connect models – were identified as being at risk.
Overall, there were 29 total reports of fires across the United States and Canada, with zero injuries coming as a result.
Representatives from Ford Australia will contact those impacted locally via mail when part stock levels are replenished.
Affected car owners can also phone the manufacturer's customer relationship centre on 1800 503 672 for further information or alternatively, customers can search the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) Product Safety website to view the safety recall notice.
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