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OUT OF FOCUS
QIN SEPTEMBER I bought a Ford Focus LX for my wife for her birthday. Then one morning in November it gave all of the indications of having a flat battery. The dealer said there was a problem with the wiring loom and they’d lend us a car while they sorted it out. They asked did we realise the car was built in South Africa? We were then told the South Africans use three different wiring looms in the Focus and Ford Australia kept only two of these — the missing one was the one we needed. In late November the dealer rang to say they needed the loan car back. We were told Ford had tracked down the part and it should be here soon. Ford arranged a rental car, a Corolla, until December 1 .
When I checked on progress on November 30 the part still hadn’t arrived. I checked again on December 10 and they still didn’t have an answer. I rang Ford customer relations to register my disgust but the person dealing with my case was tied up and would ring back. I finally received a very sympathetic hearing, but no answers. I told them it was ridiculous we had bought a new car that was not functional, and if they could not get the part they should raid a Focus in stock, replace the car or give me a refund, but I was told none of these was possible. How can a part from South Africa take so long to arrive? I now understand the frustration some readers have with Ford.
Jim Milligan, email Ford told us they were fast-tracking the part and it would be available within days. We also understand the dealer will take the part from another car in stock to get yours going in the meantime. There is no reason you should be out of pocket.
QI HAVE read Roger de Maid’s problem with the clutch in his wife’s 2004 Nissan X-Trail ( carsGuide, Dec 24) and it sounds like what I have endured. Until today I had a 2004 Nissan X-Trail, which I have now traded for a Mitsubishi MY11 Outlander. Nissan, though they know they are at fault, have wiped their hands of the problem. It took me 14-15 months to find the problem — the crankshaft is slipping and has damaged the motor. Unfortunately for me, and because I couldn’t tie the issues back to anything happening within the warranty period, I have had to wear all the problems.
Dale Clark, Blackburn South It’s always a good idea to keep records of any problems you observe on your car. You never know when you might need to show the dealer/ carmaker what you have experienced. It might help diagnose a problem that surfaces later on. It’s also a good idea to report any and all issues to your dealer, so they are on record.
BRAVO, IT’S A BELT
QI HAVE a 2003 Mazda Bravo 2600 ute with an F2 petrol engine and I was wondering if it has a timing chain or a belt, and if it has a belt when it should be changed? I don’t do much driving or take long trips, and it has travelled only 33,200km.
Alan Crowhurst, email
African safari: the owner of a Focus LX has had trouble dealing with Ford.