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Old 13th June 2016, 00:27   #1
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Default 6 month old Ford Figo DCT: Battery dead 7 times! An ordeal with Bhagat Ford & Ford India

Hello everyone,

I am writing this post on behalf of my sister in law, who is helplessly stuck with a faulty car, a clueless dealership and an apathetic Ford India.

It all started sometime in the middle of last year when my fiancé’s parents sold off their age old Maruti 800 and were in search of a new car. Being the only car crazy man in the family, they sought my advice and I got involved with the whole process. Their requirements were simple and minimal.

1. It should be a small car: It will be mainly driven by my Sis in law, who is a newbie driver. So it has to be a small, easy to drive car

2. It should be petrol: My in-laws are all working in the same institution and they stay quite near to the campus. Daily driving will be only a few km, so fuel efficiency also wasn’t a big concern

3. It should preferably be an automatic: My sis in law being a newbie driver, she was more comfortable driving automatics. Knowing the congested roads of their hometown, I also didn’t think it was a bad idea.

4. It should be available without a long waiting period: Being a doctor, her work timings are sometimes very odd. Urgent calls and rushing to hospital at late night are part of her specialty. It was getting increasingly unsafe and uncomfortable doing all these on a scooter. Health problems of Parents and the harsh climate was making things worse.

5. It should have the basic safety features; ABS plus two airbags at least

With these in mind, we had come down to four final options; The Volkswagen polo GT TSi, Maruti Baleno CVT, Honda Jazz CVT and the ford Figo 1.5 DCT. Polo was ruled out because of budget constraints and concerns about VW service. Somehow she wasn’t comfortable driving the Jazz. So finally the question was between Baleno and Figo. The nearby Nexa quoted around 6 months waiting period for the Baleno with no offers/discounts available. The Figo was available for delivery in 2-3 weeks depending on colour choice with some discounts and freebies. So we decided on the Ford Figo 1.5 DCT titanium.

After arranging the finances and registration, the car was delivered on 20th December 2015 by the dealer Bhagat Ford, Ludhiana.

6 month old Ford Figo DCT: Battery dead 7 times! An ordeal with Bhagat Ford & Ford India-img20151220wa0003.jpg

The whole process we would rate average; there wasn’t anything much to complain, nothing extra ordinary about it also. All went well for a few days. She loved driving the car around and was very comfortable even in heavy traffic. She had kept the car completely stock apart from the reverse parking sensors installed by the dealership.

Now comes the bad part of it. About a month later one fine day (on 22nd jan 2016) the car suddenly refused to start. The odometer reading at this time was only about 280 km. Thankfully it was only evening and the car was in her hospital parking lot. Ford RSA was called in who came and jump started the car. It was diagnosed as a dead battery and she was told it is probably because of her low running and use of music system while the engine is not running. Hoping for a minor fault on her side, she drove the car back home, only to find the battery dead again the next morning. She called up the dealership and complained, their person came and took the car to the service centre and they returned the car next day assuring her that everything is fine. No job card was opened, no documents of any kind was given to her. It was all verbal.

Now things went well for another month. Again on the 16th March 2016 the problem reoccurred and the car refused to start. She had to get the battery jump-started again. Car was taken to Bhagat ford again for check up, and since it was time for 1st scheduled service that was also done. She was again told that the issue was because she was not driving the car enough and she should start it daily. Now the fact is that even though the driving distance is short, the car was being started every day at least once. She asked the dealership to change the battery and to have a careful check of the car however they assured that nothing is wrong with the car.

Now the same issue happened again on 27th April. This time she wrote a mail to Ford India requesting to look in to it. The problem was attributed to a faulty battery and a service battery was installed in the car. With this service battery also the same issue recurred on the night of 7th May. Jump starting was done again by RSA and next morning it was dead again, as expected.

After this much of issues and numerous calls and e-mails to the dealership as well as Ford India, the car was taken to their workshop. They kept the car for nearly 3 weeks in the name of detailed evaluation of all circuits etc, and eventually returned the car saying all is well. It was at this point that they acknowledged the issue in writing for the first time. The job card mentioned just one word; “starting problem”. There was no mention of diagnosis, neither did they mention about the procedures done. The car was returned reassuring everything has been checked and found ok.

Now as I write this post on the 11th of June, the car is again at Bhagat ford for the same issue. Same problem happening 7 times on a 6 month old brand new car!!! And all we are getting from Ford India and the dealership is Tab. Reassurance three times daily!!!

I am attaching the long e-mails that my sis in law wrote to Ford India, their reply to it and the only job card they opened for all these 7 times. (even that was opened by the dealer only after she complained to ford and insisted that she need a documented proof for keeping the car for 20 days for diagnosis)

The copy of her "love letter", as she calls it:

To
Managing Director
Ford India Motors

Respected Sir,

Ford is known to be an internationally renowned brand all over the globe. Having my faith in that I purchased your New Ford Figo (Automatic) on 20th December 2015. This was my 1st car which I bought from my hard earned money and was very happy about it. I was very happy and satisfied with my decision to buy a Ford over a Maruti Baleno & Honda Jazz. But unfortunately my happiness didn’t last for even a month as my Brand New Ford Figo refused to start one fine evening leaving me stuck & stranded in my hospital parking lot (22nd January 2016 to be precise). I called up the Ford Road side assistance and they came after some hours to repair my brand new car. Hoping for a minor fault I ignored the issue but to my surprise the car again refused to start the very next morning as I was ready to leave for work. The car was picked up by the dealer after my complaint.

After a full assurance from the Dealer BHAGAT FORD Ludhiana I was handed over my car keys with no fault promise. It drove very well for a month but again on the 16th March 2016 the problem reoccurred and the car refused to start. I had to get the battery jump-started again & got my 1st service done. I was told that the issue I was facing was because I was not driving the car enough and I should start it daily. I have repeatedly told the dealership that my car is being started and driven daily however my workplace is close to home and since I work long shifts and do alternate day on calls it is not possible for me to drive for long distances everyday

Another thing that was told to me was that I should not listen to songs or use the air conditioner/blower without switching the engine on (things which are done without thought in normal cars). I asked the dealership to change the battery and to have a careful check of my car however they assured me that nothing is wrong with my car. I have been using the car with utmost caution.

The problem recurred again on 27th April and this time I called up Ford India ( SrvReqNo:[0800107379]. This time I asked to replace the battery so a service battery was installed in my car.

My car battery went dead again on 7th May at night without warning. I just could not start the car. Initially there were a few symbols flashing which disappeared subsequently. Bhagat Ford said they were unable to do anything at night (8pm) and would get it sorted the next day. Ford RSA sent a person who jump-started my car. The next morning I found my battery dead again 8th may.

I called up Ford India to be told that someone would contact me in the next 24 hours (Sunday being a holiday)SrvReqNo:[0800108531]. I called up Mr Pankaj Passi and Mr Sehadev Singh ( Bhagat Ford , Ludhiana). All they arranged for me was the same person from RSA to jump-start my car (which Ford RSA would have anyways done on my call).

I offered to drop the car to dealership. The response I got was nobody would be able to check my car since it’s a Sunday and they would not be able to get previous records and would not be able to send a report since Ford India is closed on Sundays. Cars can be sold on Sundays, they can stop working on Sundays, feedback calls come on Sundays but such a problem can’t be sorted out on a Sunday….nice.

The next day also I had to contact dealership on my own. They took no initiative to contact me on their own. I received no call also from Ford India. My car presently is at dealership getting checked.

I have a few questions for FORD

1. I have faced the same issue for the 6th time now in less than 4 and a half months. Is it a routine thing to happen in your automatic vehicles and does FORD take such issues so lightly.
2. My usage might be less but my car is driven daily. Depending on my usage I chose a petrol model. I stay in a campus where all health and environment conscious busy doctors stay. Everybody cycles or walks to work. Most of the cars are taken out just once in 10-15 days or even less. Is FORD meant for only those who drive 50 to 100 km per day only?
3. What should I do with a car which gives me a mileage of 7km/l. I was told the mileage would improve after the first service but it has only gone down. Initially it was giving me 7.6 km/l and now 7.0km/l….. thus I conclude my FORD drinks petrol and feasts on battery every day.
4. I am a doctor and my work entails long and odd hours, I have been known to go to or come back alone from my hospital at some really odd hours. How safe is it for me as a working woman to use a car whose battery just goes dead without warning. P.s I have been stranded twice in my hospital parking lot at night. Does FORD India have a moral responsibility here?
5. I feel scared to take my car out of station because there is no guarantee of the car (you never know when it will go dead). Every time I plan to go out of station, the battery acts up a few days prior to it and my plans get stalled. Please do not forget the superb mileage I have been getting and complaining about. Is it a car worth taking out of station
6. The technical engineer at the dealer changed the battery of my car after I had faced the issue 4 times and replaced it with a service battery….why couldn’t I just be given a new battery?
7. Since the problem recurred even with the service battery isn’t it quite clear that the issue lies in some circuit in the car?
8. Problems might arise in 1 out of a few lakh FORD cars, but in a sea of lakhs of satisfied customers if one customer is facing problems , is it not the responsibility of FORD to ensure that his/her problems are sorted out. I have paid for everything in full and gone in for the latest and a high end model……DO YOU THINK I DESERVE WHAT I AM GETTING?
9. I finished my education and started earning 1 and a half years back. I pay a major part of my salary towards my education loan. I know how I saved money to buy a good car for my parents comfort. I still need to bring back my father from the hospital on my old trusted scooter (Honda Activa- it’s still much reliable than your FORD FIGO). This car is all my savings and I see my savings flowing down the drain.
10. By this time I am really harassed and disappointed. I feel I made the biggest mistake of my life by trusting and investing in FORD. Seeing the quality and the services how likely do you think I would be to recommend FORD to anyone?
I do not think I will invest in FORD ever again and will advice all my friends and family and colleagues not to repeat the mistake that I have made if nothing conclusive is done by the company at this point.


I think I have suffered enough till this point. I do not have the strength to send my car to the service center once every month.

There is some fault with the car which the dealership has not been able to identify till now. However this is not my fault. Why should I suffer unnecessarily?

I request you to kindly replace my car so that my faith in FORD will be restored

Kindly take the necessary action.

I shall be very thankful to you

Regards
Dr XXXXX XXXX
Car no. PB10 xxxxx
Ch NO. MAJGXXMTKGFU24473
Ph no. xxxxxxxxxxx
Email id – abcdefght@gmail.com



The job card:
6 month old Ford Figo DCT: Battery dead 7 times! An ordeal with Bhagat Ford & Ford India-img20160612wa0000.jpg

mail to ford regarding the job card:
6 month old Ford Figo DCT: Battery dead 7 times! An ordeal with Bhagat Ford & Ford India-img20160612wa0001.jpg

and their reply:
6 month old Ford Figo DCT: Battery dead 7 times! An ordeal with Bhagat Ford & Ford India-img20160612wa0002.jpg

I am posting this here to get some suggestions as to what should be done next. (of course if it gives Ford India some bad publicity for their apathy towards us, I will be very glad) As I was very much involved with the whole buying process and she put her money on the figo trusting my judgement, I feel guilty of putting her in to this ordeal.

Should we drag Ford India to the consumer court? Should we try with another dealer? Or should we ditch the warranty and take the car to some FNG? Have anybody heard of any other Figo owner facing similar issues, or is it specific to our car?

Any suggestions and advice would be welcome.
Thanks in advance.

Last edited by GTO : 13th June 2016 at 12:32. Reason: Adding spacing for better readability
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Old 13th June 2016, 07:57   #2
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Default Re: 6 month old Figo DCT with 7 times dead battery; our ordeal with Bhagat Ford Ludhiana & Ford Indi

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section). Thanks for sharing!
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Old 13th June 2016, 09:50   #3
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Default Re: 6 month old Figo DCT with 7 times dead battery; our ordeal with Bhagat Ford Ludhiana & Ford Indi

We had a similar issue with an Etios in the family. Of course, that was a five year old car and the issue was not as frequent ( 3 times in 7-8 months). The service center kept focusing on the battery each time. Finally my father in law forced them to do a complete check of the electricals. The issue was finally traced to an issue in the boot lamp which was causing it to be always on.

So it could be a case of going after the wrong root cause. If there is another service center around, definitely try that. Don't go to an outside service center as it is a new car.

Did you also try Twitter? They are more responsive on the social media platforms.
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Old 13th June 2016, 09:54   #4
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Default Re: 6 month old Figo DCT with 7 times dead battery; our ordeal with Bhagat Ford Ludhiana & Ford Indi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Night Raven View Post
What should I do with a car which gives me a mileage of 7km/l. I was told the mileage would improve after the first service but it has only gone down. Initially it was giving me 7.6 km/l and now 7.0km/l….. thus I conclude my FORD drinks petrol and feasts on battery every day.
Figo DCT is a reasonable fuel efficient car. This car covered just 822km in 6 months. That is roughly equal to 4 km per day. You can't expect a decent fuel efficiency from such a short distance driving as the engine will not reach optimum working temperature.
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Old 13th June 2016, 10:05   #5
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Default Re: 6 month old Figo DCT with 7 times dead battery; our ordeal with Bhagat Ford Ludhiana & Ford Indi

Not sure if you have installed any accessories. Recently Ampere got a Figo DCT and had a small issue of loose connection with the boot open warning indicator. The boot would always show open. The car would lock and unlock but the cabin lamp would remain on indicating that one door was open. Initially he started turning off the cabin lamp manually before locking but then I pointed out to him, that the light inside the boot would be on whole night and would drain your battery.

The fault was traced to installation of parking sensors which they mucked up the wiring for the boot open sensor. Parking sensor wiring needs to be tapped with reverse light and they disturbed other wire in the same area causing this issue.

Do look out for any such issues and see if thats the cause. IT might be a simple fix.
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Old 13th June 2016, 10:08   #6
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Default Re: 6 month old Figo DCT with 7 times dead battery; our ordeal with Bhagat Ford Ludhiana & Ford Indi

Try another Ford dealer, if one is available in your city. Don't take it to a FNG before warranty as it will give the dealers an excuse to put the blame on you.

Regarding the requirement to start it once every day, I don't think that is required at all. Our petrol Jazz runs only about once or twice a week and the rest of the days we don't start it. Haven't given us any such issues in the 8 months of ownership.
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Old 13th June 2016, 10:16   #7
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Default Re: 6 month old Figo DCT with 7 times dead battery; our ordeal with Bhagat Ford Ludhiana & Ford Indi

I think if the alternator charges the battery correctly, then there is a huge loss of battery power though a 'leak' in the electrical circuit. I don't understand what took Bhagat Ford 19 days to get this simple check done and verified - and the issue is still open.

But even if the battery is being replaced under warranty, you get the new batteries details in the form of a document - why din't you request for that?

With all due respect, 822 kms in 6 months is way too low, an everyday cab / car pooling could have saved your sis-in-law a few lakhs...
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Old 13th June 2016, 10:19   #8
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Default Re: 6 month old Figo DCT with 7 times dead battery; our ordeal with Bhagat Ford Ludhiana & Ford Indi

Hi,

You mentioned the car is stock except for reverse parking sensors installed by the dealership. I would suggest to take the car to a different dealership, tell them the problem and as a first step get the reverse parking sensor disconnected.

It can be quite possible that the dealership messed up something while making the parking sensor connections.
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Old 13th June 2016, 11:27   #9
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Default Re: 6 month old Figo DCT with 7 times dead battery; our ordeal with Bhagat Ford Ludhiana & Ford Indi

As Vidd said, Parking sensors would be the problem (Thanks to him for spotting that).

Try this:

- Lock the car and keep the cabin light switch position in center to allow theater-like dimming.
- After you lock the car, see if the light remains on. (If yes, thats a problem with the wiring. And mostly the rear-parking sensor installation which messed it up)
- Then remove the parcel tray out of the car, so that you can visually inspect the boot light
- Repeat the same experiment to see what is the condition of boot light after the car is locked.

As I noticed in my case, its this scenario which has the potential to drain the battery. I also realised, compared to my previous cars, there are many aspects in Figo which remain powered-on and which turn-off later after the car is locked (follow-me home lights for example)

So I just am much more paranoid about the them being totally off the supply before heading away.

Another thing is the charging outlet. Its active for some time even after the car is turned off. That is another potential area to discharge battery (A dash cam for example, an ipod or phone being connected for charging etc)

Last edited by ampere : 13th June 2016 at 13:51. Reason: Fixed typo
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Old 14th June 2016, 01:24   #10
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Default Re: 6 month old Ford Figo DCT: Battery dead 7 times! An ordeal with Bhagat Ford & Ford India

Thanks everyone for the suggestions. Apologies for being late to reply.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajeevraj View Post
Did you also try Twitter? They are more responsive on the social media platforms.
so far she has been communicating with Ford by messaging on Facebook and emails. Now we are also thinking of posting on twitter/ FB wall.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anb View Post
Figo DCT is a reasonable fuel efficient car. This car covered just 822km in 6 months. That is roughly equal to 4 km per day. You can't expect a decent fuel efficiency from such a short distance driving as the engine will not reach optimum working temperature.
I fully agree with you on this point. Even though it was mentioned in her mail, our primary concern wasn't fuel efficiency. Also, the low running can be attributed at least in part to this recurrent, undiagnosed problem. She is just not confident to take the car anywhere out of town.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TD_GHY View Post
Regarding the requirement to start it once every day, I don't think that is required at all. Our petrol Jazz runs only about once or twice a week and the rest of the days we don't start it. Haven't given us any such issues in the 8 months of ownership.
Exactly what I thought.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aravind.anand View Post
even if the battery is being replaced under warranty, you get the new batteries details in the form of a document - why din't you request for that?
Actually, she didn't get the battery replaced under warranty. Even though she had requested for a replacement, what they did was putting in a service battery.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aravind.anand View Post
With all due respect, 822 kms in 6 months is way too low, an everyday cab / car pooling could have saved your sis-in-law a few lakhs...
I respect your opinion but I have to disagree. It is just not practical to wait for a cab/ car pool when you are called in the middle of night by your junior resident from operation theater or ICU asking for help. Besides, owning a car isn't just about driving I feel. For many it would be a long cherished dream.
Anyway, lets not go off topic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
As Vidd said, Parking sensors would be the problem
The problem had started even before installation of parking sensors. Even though they were part of the freebies provided, they weren't installed at the time of delivery. Apparently the dealership didn't have them in stock. As far as I know they were installed during the first service, by that time the issue had happened thrice already. Sorry for not making it clear in my post.

As of now the car is with Bhagat Ford again. They have assured that they have taken up the issue at the highest possible level and requested to give them a few days more to run further tests.
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Old 14th June 2016, 07:04   #11
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Default Re: 6 month old Ford Figo DCT: Battery dead 7 times! An ordeal with Bhagat Ford & Ford India

Quote:
Originally Posted by Night Raven View Post
The problem had started even before installation of parking sensors. Even though they were part of the freebies provided, they weren't installed at the time of delivery. Apparently the dealership didn't have them in stock. As far as I know they were installed during the first service, by that time the issue had happened thrice already. Sorry for not making it clear in my post.
Any instances of portable devices remaining hot on the charging outlet even after the car was turned off? That is one more reason to filter out.
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Old 14th June 2016, 10:45   #12
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Default Re: 6 month old Ford Figo DCT: Battery dead 7 times! An ordeal with Bhagat Ford & Ford India

Is the alternator charging the battery? Battery dead seven times within 822kms sounds like it's not getting charged at all IMO.

You could check it yourself at home. A multi meter should not cost much and would be readily available.
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Old 14th June 2016, 10:57   #13
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Default Re: 6 month old Figo DCT with 7 times dead battery; our ordeal with Bhagat Ford Ludhiana & Ford Indi

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Try this:

- Lock the car and keep the cabin light switch position in center to allow theater-like dimming.
- After you lock the car, see if the light remains on. (If yes, thats a problem with the wiring. And mostly the rear-parking sensor installation which messed it up)
- Then remove the parcel tray out of the car, so that you can visually inspect the boot light
- Repeat the same experiment to see what is the condition of boot light after the car is locked.
After days of scratching my head, I narrowed down the battery drain on my Fiesta to the bulb inside the glove box, always staying on

Later solved by a tiny DIY to extend the switch that closes the circuit when we close the glove box. But then, the battery drain was much slower compared to the case here.
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Old 14th June 2016, 13:15   #14
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Default Re: 6 month old Ford Figo DCT: Battery dead 7 times! An ordeal with Bhagat Ford & Ford India

It is quite easy to figure out the issue as to why the battery is discharging frequently and ending up dead. The following checks need to be carried out by the Authorised service center -

1. Open the hood and check the health of the battery (Using battery meter which all the service centers have it).
2. Start the engine and see the voltage across the battery terminal. it needs to be between 13.9 to 14.5 V. If it is less then there is an issue with Alternator charging the battery.
3. Now with the keys removed and wire to battery -ve terminal removed connect multimeter (Ammeter) in series with battery -ve terminal and earth and see if there is any current flowing. It should be negligible (<0.02A). If it is higher than 0.1A then there is a leakage in the electrical circuits which need to be diagnosed by pulling out fuses one by one to isolate the culprit circuit. once that is done fix the issue in the culprit circuit and retest to ensure that the leakage is minimal.

If all the above tests are fine. Then the issue is with the running of the car. If you are running too less then the time needed for battery to get charged is less hence if there is a load on the battery then it will get drained. Also check the load on the battery due to additional electrical accessories one may have added.

It is recommended to charge the battery outside (In any battery Shop) if the battery has completely drained. This will avoid battery going flat again.
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Old 14th June 2016, 13:54   #15
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Default Re: 6 month old Ford Figo DCT: Battery dead 7 times! An ordeal with Bhagat Ford & Ford India

I dont think it would be a battery issue.

It could be either the alternator is not charging the battery at all or working intermittently.
Or there could be some device which is draining away the charge from the battery by running continuously even when car is switched off.

Simple troubleshooting like battery tests, unplugging park sensors, stereo etc need to be done here.
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