Kuga driver’s family pursues a civil claim against Ford Motor


Zodidi Mhlana

JOHANNESBURG- The family of a driver who lost his life after his Ford Kuga SUV caught fire says that legal proceedings against Ford Motor company were likely to get under way in January.

Reshall Jimmy, 33, died when his Ford Kuga’s 1.6l burst into flames while travelling between George and Knysna on December 4, 2015.

Jimmy’s sister, Renisha Jimmy on Wednesday said: “We are basically waiting for the magistrate to give us a date which we are praying happens in January. We will continue to follow up with the magistrate and the NPA, but there’s nothing that stops us from getting the date now. It’s been too long.”

Jimmy’s second death anniversary was on Monday this week.

Renisha said that the family has never received satisfactory answers from Ford Motor about his death.

She said that the family was still waiting for the outcomes of the investigations which Ford Motor conducted after her brother’s death.

“Ford still has not handed over anything to the police. They have not handed anything to our private investigator. They need to hand over those documents because that will confirm that they are responsible for Reshall’s death. This is to get justice for Reshall and not allow his death to go in vain and show big corporates that they cannot disregard their consumers because at the end of the day. Someone died and they should take responsibility,” she said.

Reshall said that the unresolved issue had negatively affected her mother’s health.

“My mother’s health has deteriorated. She’s extremely ill and it’s been horrible. She is reliving the nightmare daily,” Reshall said.

Former Ford CEO Jeff Nemeth offered the Jimmy family a vehicle worth over R1m, but this was rejected.

Ford spokesperson, Rella Bernardes said: “We recognise how devastating the loss of Mr. Reshall Jimmy has been to the family.  Given the sensitive and unique circumstances of the case relating to the death of Mr. Jimmy, and the possibility of ongoing legal proceedings, we have nothing further to add on this matter at this time.”

After more than 40 1.6-litre Kuga SUVs caught fire, the company early this year announced a recall of all Kuga 1.6ls.