Ford’s Indian subsidiary is recalling nearly 140 000 of its most popular cars to rectify manufacturing defects that could cause a fire and date back as far as 2008.

Ford said it would examine 111 000 Ford Figo and Classic (Ikon in South Africa) models sold in India and assembled between January 2008 and December 2010 for a faulty rear twist beam which could compromise brake performance and make the vehicle inoperable.

10 000 IN SOUTH AFRICA

Ford will also replace a hose in 17 655 Figos and Classics assembled in India between September 2010 and February 2011 as a precautionary measure. Oil, it was claimed, can leak from the hose and produce noxious fumes, smoke and, in extreme cases, fire.

The company said an additional 10 000 vehicles exported to South Africa would also be recalled.

No injuries have occurred as a result of the defects, Ford said.

Like other global automakers in India, Ford relies heavily on local suppliers to keep down costs. Toyota, Tata, Honda and Maruti Suzuki have all recalled cars in India in recent years, although not as many as Ford.

Ford’s compact Figo, launched in 2010, made the American auto giant a real player in India’s competitive small-car market. The company has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into India, part of the company’s strategy to pursue growth in Asia over the next decade.

It laid the cornerstone in March 2012 for a $1-billion factory in the Indian state of Gujarat.

WHAT FORD SA SAYS…

Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa told Wheels24 it was aware of potential concerns with some Ford Figo and Ikon models and will initiate the necessary customer service action from late August 2012. Meanwhile, should customers have any concern relating to their Figo or Ikon, they are encouraged to take their vehicle to an authorised Ford dealer for inspection.

They can also contact Ford Customer Service Operations directly through the helpline 0860 011 022 .

A spokesperson said: “Ford considers the long-term durability and quality of its products to be of utmost importance and will continue to work with our customers to deliver a sound technical guarantee and complete customer satisfaction.”

[Associated Press and Wheels24]

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