02/03/2017 16:33 SAST | Updated 02/03/2017 16:36 SAST

Ford To Face Consumer Commission Over Cars Caught Alight

The car manufacturer could face a fine worth billions.

Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Car manufacturer Ford will have to account to the National Consumer Commission over the Ford Kuga SUVs that caught fire resulting in the vehicles being recalled. The Times reported that if the company is found guilty of contravening the National Consumer Protection Act, it could be fined 10% of its revenue.

Ford has confirmed that 49 vehicles caught fire. One man died when his car caught fire in the Western Cape in December, while over 130 complaints have been lodged about the vehicles, according to the paper.

Ford reportedly conducted its own investigation and submitted its report to the commission. This probed cars which set fire in Swaziland, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

However, a source who spoke to The Times said the report was "flimsy" and "to say it resembled an actual investigation would be questionable".

Commission spokesperson Trevor Hattingh told The Times that the commission could ask for any documents from Ford, internal or external. Hattingh reportedly said this could include emails and manufacturing specifications.

A spokesperson for Ford SA, Rella Bernardes told the paper that Ford would cooperate fully with the investigation.

Complaints against Ford reportedly include fires in cars other than Kugas, customer service and loss of trade-in value.