Brewtown Politico

Carrying a little stick and speaking loudly in Milwaukee


Focus tales

For the past four years, I've owned a 2000 Ford Focus. At the time I bought it, I actually was looking for something along the lines of a Honda Civic or a Toyota Corolla. The Focus was more affordable though, and had the features I was looking for. Overall, it hasn't been a bad car, but it has had its share of recalls.

This week, it gave me some interesting grief. After exiting the store I had been shopping at, I got into the car and put the key in the ignition. Much to my surprise, it wouldn't budge. It behaved as if I was trying to use the wrong key in it. I fought and fought, but it wouldn't move. In the end, AAA had to tow it to the dealer where I paid a nice sum to have a new ignition mechanism put in since Ford hasn't issued a recall or extended warranty on the part.

After doing numerous online searches, it turns out I'm not the only one with the issue. See this story from WJLA in Washington, DC, or video here.

Needless to say, I added my complaint to the hundreds of others with the NHTSA. If any other Foci owners out there in the wilderness have had this issue, I'd be curious to hear what your experience was.


At 8/09/2006 09:58:00 PM, Blogger Craig said...

Ford seems to be proving over the past year or so, to me at least, that they have a large lack of customer service. Their corporate policies towards their customers is very lacking of help. I had strong feelings on getting a Ford Fusion in 2 years. But now, with the service and lack of care they keep showing, there is a good chance I will change that idea.

I also can't complain too much on my Focus, it's been a great car for the most part. But when you need help, Ford denies you it seems. What worries me now, is driving a far distance knowing this could happen to my 2000 Focus also, and not getting the replacement at no charge - as it should be. Great job guys. You're definately customer focused, no pun intented.

At 8/10/2006 01:55:00 AM, Blogger Scott said...

I will say that at least with my experience, the mechanism seemed to be deteriorating. Sporadically, the ignition wouldn't pop out properly when you removed the key in the days/weeks leading up to the failure.

The best advice may be that AAA membership so you're ready when and if that tow is necessary.

At 8/10/2006 08:25:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My Party Time Cruiser is almost paid off, so we're looking into new cars now. We were going to test drive a Fusion soon. I'll think deeply about making that possible purchase after hearing this. They need to stop spending money getting that tool from American Idol to sing in their ads, and "focus" on their products. The new Ford ad campaign is supposed to be more on feelings than on what they are actually selling to you. No wonder Toyota and Honda are killing them.

At 8/10/2006 11:55:00 AM, Blogger Scott said...

I guess they worked out a lot of the issues with the Focus after the 2002 model year. Consumer Reports now gives it its Best in Class rating for small cars. It certainly isn't helping Ford's reputation when the new models they put out have issues like this though.

At 8/11/2006 10:28:00 AM, Blogger Craig said...

I absolutely love the Fusion.. With Volvo now they can put some new things into Fords. The Five Hundred has more Volvo things really though. Even so... The Fusions are really all over the roads now. I sat in one at the show, and I think everything in it is just set perfect. I would only get the V6 though. But yeah, it's sours my motivation on getting one now with Ford's policies. They took a big hit this past quarter so no wonder they are taking things so cautiously.

At 8/11/2006 11:46:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Fusion is basically the same car as the Mazda 6. We test drove a Mazda 6 wagon (total family guy test driving wagons now) and we liked it.
We drove a Honda CRV and it has a removable picnic table in the back. All I could think about was getting that out for Brewer tailgates.

At 8/11/2006 12:08:00 PM, Blogger Craig said...

That's a cool idea (Honda CRV). Better than the flower vase idea for the VW Beetles. I'm leary on the Fusion until 1-2 years when they maybe work out any problems (if there are any). The first year the Focus came out we all know it became quickly the most recalled car in history..

At 8/11/2006 04:32:00 PM, Blogger Scott D. Feldstein said...

I will think twice and three times before I buy another American car. I've owned a lot of cars, and by far the worst ones have been the three American ones: the Ford Festiva, the Chevy Cavalier and the Dodge Colt. Today I am driving a Saturn SC1 with 80k miles on it and it is a rattly piece of junk inside and out. I just dropped $1,000 in repairs on it and I fear I'm not yet done.

Best cars: Nissa Sentra, Nissan Pathfinder, Toyota Tercel. Whole different league than the American ones I've owned.


Post a Comment

<< Home