Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa has released a statement revealing a possible cause of certain of its Kuga SUVs catching fire.

The automaker confirmed that it was "investigating reports of engine fires in Kugas equipped with the 1,6-litre EcoBoost engine in South Africa".

The 1,6-litre EcoBoost mill seemingly at the centre of the investigation was replaced in the local line-up by a 1,5-litre unit at the end of 2014.

"While our investigations into the incidents are not complete at this time, we have found that the fires may be a result of engine overheating," Ford said in a statement.

"To help reduce the risk of engine overheating, we are advising affected customers to contact their Ford dealer to request a further check of the maintenance items, especially to check coolant system condition and integrity."

The statement added that dealers would "check the coolant concentration level and for any leaks or damage to the cooling system, plus conduct static and dynamic cooling system pressure tests", emphasising that this "service" would be free and take "approximately one hour".

"Kugas with 1,5-litre and 2,0-litre engines are not affected by this dealer maintenance check, but we strongly recommend that customers of all Ford vehicles follow the regular maintenance checks stated in their owner's manual," the brand advised.

Meanwhile, the National Consumer Commission says Ford has committed to report the findings of its investigation by the end of February 2017.