Ford South Africa has announced a safety recall for the Ford Kuga 1.6-litre vehicles after close to 50 of the cars have caught fire in the country.

The company's chief executive officer, Jeff Nemeth, told a media briefing here Monday that their investigation had enabled them to narrow the number of vehicles to be recalled from the initially stated 6,300 cars affected to 4,556 vehicles.

Nemeth said the safety recall was limited to the 1.6-litre Kuga built between December 2012 and February 2014, and that other Kuga models were not affected.

He emphasized that with this safety recall, all affected vehicles, including those which had already been checked as part of the companies maintenance check, must be taken to a Ford dealer as soon as possible.

Kuga 1.6 owners have been advised that should they see any indication that the engine may be overheating or experience warning on the instrument panel, they should pull over as soon as it is safe to do so.

The National Consumer Commission (NCC) says the Ford Kuga 1.6 litre vehicles must be recalled. The NCC's Ebrahim Mohamed says recalling the vehicle is in the best interest of consumers.

Last week, a Ford Kuga driver narrowly escaped death as his car burst into flames in Alberton, near Johannesburg.

Meanwhile, the family of a man, Reshall Jimmy, who was killed in a Ford Kuga 1.6 when it went up in flames, say they still intend to take action against Ford.

Nemeth said Jimmy's death could not be linked to the mechanical faults of the car, as long as the case was still being investigated.

A Jimmy family member, who did not want to be named, said they were not satisfied with Ford's actions, as the problem had already been detected in the US several years ago.