Ford is recalling about 1000 Kugas and Fiesta STs because of the risk a fire could start under the hood.

Ford told us it was investigating whether there was an issue after Eden O'Connor told us the story of her Kuga bursting into flames just after she'd got her baby nephew out of his carseat at Christmas time.

It's now recalled 911 2012-14 Kugas and 69 2013-15 Ford Fiesta STs with 1.6L GTDI engines. Ford New Zealand communications manager Tom Clancy said a lack of coolant circulation could cause the engine to overheat and crack the cylinder head.

Eden O'Connor's Ford Kuga caught fire at the end of last year.
Eden O'Connor's Ford Kuga caught fire at the end of last year.

"A cracked cylinder head can result in a pressurised oil leak. Oil that comes into contact with a hot engine surface increases the risk of a fire in the engine compartment," he said.

The fix will come in 2 stages with the first to be done over the next three months and the other towards the end of the year. Owners of affected cars can still drive them but should see their dealer if the car has a coolant leak, overheats or frequently needs coolant added. Mr Clancy said Ford would contact customers and provide instructions on how to check and refill coolant.

He said there were 3 incidents in New Zealand involving the cars and the investigation into Ms O'Connor's had been inconclusive but was treated as "highly suspect". Two other investigations revealed the cylinder head crack.