Ford announced the recall of the Kuga 1.6 litre EcoBoost models manufactured between 2012 and 2014. This offers Kuga owners repairs at Ford’s expense to their vehicles but does not compensate Kuga owners for the dramatic loss in resale value, or fully reassure them as regards the safety of the vehicles.
The Consumer Protection Act provides various remedies for hazardous and unsafe goods. When are goods unsafe- do they have to be proven to be defective? No, they are defined as being unsafe or hazardous as soon as they have a characteristic that presents a significant (in the case of unsafe, an extreme) risk of personal injury or property damage.
Consumers who acquired their Kuga second-hand in the last six months, can return the Kuga to Ford or to the seller of the vehicle, and claim a refund of the price they paid. This is in terms of section 56 of the CPA.
Consumers who have had their Kugas for longer than 6 months may well be able to make use of the product liability provision of the CPA and claim compensation for:
-any physical injury or death resulting from (i) the supply of unsafe goods to them, or (ii) inadequate instructions and warnings of the risks inherent in driving a Kuga, as well as
-any loss of property and any economic loss which results from that, which may include the drop in resale value of the vehicle.
The Act also gives the court the right to award damages for collective injury against a class of consumers generally on the basis the court regards as fair and just. The National Consumer Commission and National Consumer Tribunal do not have the authority to award damages.
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