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Herald Sun - Motoring - - Readers Say -

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.

X-TRAIL WORRY

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.

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