Resale value of Ford Kuga plummets following fires fiasco

The flurry of Ford Kugas which have self combusted on South Africa’s roads have spooked owners of the family SUV‚ who fear that they will not be able to resell their cars.

“Its terrible. I am so scared that my car is a ticking time bomb‚” said Doris Tshabalala.

The mother of two said she had begun looking to sell her car following reports about the 2013-2014 Ford Kuga 1.6 Ecoboost models catching fire for as yet unconfirmed reasons.

“I love it and we bought it for our family car. When I started making enquiries at different motor dealerships I was laughed at.”

The current book value of a 2014 Ford Kuga 1.6l Ecoboost Ambiente with roughly 57 000km on the odometer‚ according to the TransUnion Vehicle Trade Value Book‚ is R199 335.

Tshabalala said she had been offered R120 000 for the car.

“I have looked at selling it privately‚ but people out there are either scared themselves to buy the car or are trying to exploit people’s fears.”

For Fiona Pelman‚ selling her car is the only option.

“It is not a matter of if I should sell it but when. I have a six-year-old daughter who I take to school every day. I can’t risk not being able to get her out of the car in time and have her burn to death.”

Pelman said for the past month she had stopped using her car.

“Its not worth it. I was interested to see what I would get for my car‚ which is a 2014 model‚ which has never been in an accident. The best price I could get was R160 000 and that was a trade-in.”

She said the car dealer who offered her R160 000 said the reason was because of the problem with the cars catching alight.

Maureen Naude of Centurion said the best price she was offered from a Ford dealership was R115 000.

“They wouldn’t say why. They said that was the price they came to after their evaluation. After I asked them what had knocked the price down they said several things‚ but wouldn’t elaborate.

Automobile Association spokesman‚ Layton Beard‚ said there were a number of factors which affected second-hand car sales.

These included a car’s service history‚ the kilometres it had travelled and whether it had been involved in an accident.

“Obviously negativity about a car will impact resale values. Perception is huge and will affect sales and if people believe that there is something specific occurring on a particular model’s range then that may possibly also affect resales.”

He said people‚ however‚ needed to do their homework thoroughly when considering buying a second-hand car and give the specific car that they are looking at a thorough check‚ including having it examined‚ to ensure that it is mechanically sound. — Tiso Black Star Group Digital/The Times