Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa has published an “advance notification” ahead of a planned recall involving certain (manual only) derivatives of its Focus, Kuga, Transit Connect and Tourneo Connect vehicles.

The local arm of the Blue Oval brand says that affected vehicles “could suffer a clutch pressure plate fracture, with the risk of fire”. Some 13 430 vehicles are affected in South Africa, 7 405 of which wear the Kuga badge.

“Safety is always a top priority and we are acting quickly to address this issue,” the brand said.

Affected derivatives include 1,0-litre and 1,5-litre versions of the Focus (built from August 2012 to June 2016); 1,5-litre and 1,6-litre Kuga models (August 2011 to June 2016); and 1,0-litre variants of the Transit Connect and Tourneo Connect (August 2012 to June 30 2016), all with manual gearboxes.

“Affected customers will be notified directly. As a precautionary measure, we are directing affected customers to schedule an appointment with their preferred dealer in order to have a diagnostic test completed.

“Should there be any evidence of clutch slippage the clutch assembly will be replaced. Any action carried out on affected vehicles will be free of charge,” the brand said.

“We want to reassure our customers that the affected vehicles remain safe to drive. We remain committed to providing our customers with safe and high quality vehicles, addressing potential issues and responding quickly for our customers.”

Ford added that it was “also working on a software calibration remedy that will detect excessive clutch slippage and warn the driver to take the vehicle to their preferred Ford dealer”. When the software becomes available (likely at the beginning of May 2018), Ford says it will notify customers.

Ford advised concerned customers to contact their nearest dealer or Ford Customer Service on 0860 011 022 or [email protected]