Ford South Africa has suffered huge damage to its reputation thanks to its poor handling of a crisis involving some of its Kuga cars. The global car manufacturer’s local operation has been forced to recall more than 4 000 Kuga Ecoboost 1.6 litre models manufactured between December 2012 and February 2014. Ford South Africa’s CEO Jeff Nemeth announced the recall after over 40 cases of engine fires had been reported. To aggravate the situation, one death allegedly resulted from a Ford Kuga exploding in December 2015. There can be little doubt that the Ford Kuga crisis has hurt the company’s reputation, and could even prove fatal to its South African operations. Ford South Africa has been attacked viciously in the media and radio stations have been inundated with calls from angry customers some of whom have resorted to legal action against the company. Ford South Africa has clearly made some elementary mistakes in managing the crisis. Companies today recognise the importance of a stron...

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