Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa recently said it was “aware” of potential security system problems with “certain older” EcoSport and Fiesta vehicles, and that it planned to implement solutions soon. Now the respective costs of these upgrades have been revealed.

In a letter published by investigative journalism television series Carte Blanche, Ford SA said it would “begin contacting customers with regards to the process for scheduling an appointment with a dealer” by 3 May 2019.

The letter added Ford would be “offering remedies to our customers at below cost”.

“The break-ins are not related to a vehicle design or manufacturing fault, which is why we cannot provide solutions at no cost to customers,” it explained.

The local arm of the Dearborn-based firm said “in many of the reported instances the alarm (if fitted) does not sound when access is gained via the key lock barrel. We have been testing various options that we believe will give customers greater peace of mind”.

The first is described as a “reconfiguration that will ensure the alarm (if existing) will remain active when entry to the vehicle is gained using the key lock on the driver’s door”. Ford SA says the process will take less than an hour and there will be a nominal cost to the customer of R155,25. Bookings can be made from 6 May 2019.

The brand went on to say customers who require a door lock replacement as a result of their vehicle being tampered with can make an appointment with their dealer and “should expect to pay no more than R1 199”. It emphasises that customers who have had their locks broken should have them replaced.

And owners of the affected Fiesta Ambiente (i.e. base) model? Well, Ford says since these entry-level units do not have an alarm as standard customers can have one fitted “as an additional layer of protection” for R1 886. Expect this to become available in the second half of May 2019.

Finally, Ford said it was “investigating a security replacement lock accessory that will only allow access via the remote key fob or a non-standard ultra-high security style ‘Hykee’ mechanical key”.

“The accessory has been developed with our team in Europe and can be retrofitted to the Fiesta and EcoSport. We will communicate timing and cost with our customers as soon as this accessory becomes available,” the letter said.

While the statements above involve only certain Fiesta and EcoSport models, Ford SA separately told a customer on Facebook “we aware of potential security threat on certain Ford Rangers sold between March 2012 and October 2017. In response we have developed a security upgrade that will be available for a nominal fee and will give our customers added peace of mind. We will be in contact with customers soon to communicate details”.