Ford Kuga that burnt out on the side of the highway in Johannesburg on 12 January 2017. Picture: CAXTON EASTSOUTH YOUTUBE
Ford Kuga that burnt out on the side of the highway in Johannesburg on 12 January 2017. Picture: CAXTON EASTSOUTH YOUTUBE

Johannesburg businessman‚ Warren Krog‚ says his guardian angels worked overtime on Thursday. Krog was en route to work when he noticed smoke coming from the back of his 2013 Ford Kuga.

"I immediately became worried‚ because of all the other Kugas which have been catching fire," Krog said. He immediately decided to drive to a Ford dealership in Alberton. "I was on the highway so took an off-ramp. As I slowed down I saw smoke coming from my engine. I knew that what had happened to the other cars was happening to mine and immediately stopped."

Within minutes of flagging down a passing police officer and other motorists, his car was engulfed in flames. Krog said that when fire-fighters had put out the fire‚ which entirely destroyed his vehicle’s engine‚ he was told by one of them he was lucky to have survived.

"The officer told me that had the fire got to my car’s electronics and I was still inside I could have been trapped as I would not have been able to open the doors or the windows," Krog said. "There is smash and grab protection on my windows, so I would have died."

Krog said he was furious with Ford. "While the Alberton dealership helped me and came to see if they could assist, I am angry with Ford SA. I got an SMS in December that I need to bring my car in as soon as possible. In that message was an e-mail address, but since e-mailing them in December to find out what to do, and when, no one has called me back."

He said he had tried following up with phone calls to a number listed in the SMS‚ but had had no luck. "I eventually phoned a Ford dealership Kempton Park when I returned to work‚ but they told me as long as my coolant level was okay, my car would be fine. They told me they could only help me on January 18‚ which is next week."

Krog said his guardian angels had definitely worked overtime. "I am so glad I broke from my routine and did not have my daughter in the car with me. I was meant to take her and her friend to school today‚ but didn’t," he said. "I hate to think what would have happened. I would have been on a different route and it could have ended very differently."

Krog’s Kuga is the 45th to have been destroyed by fire on SA’s roads since Reshall Jimmy burnt to death in his in December while on holiday in Wilderness in the Western Cape. At least nine Kugas have caught fire since the start of the year.

TMG Digital/The Times

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