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Old 28th October 2017, 20:06   #1
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Default Ford Aspire: Excessive play in the driver's seat

April 30th, I finally stepped outside the Maruti universe that my extended family has inhabited for the longest period. I let go of my laal, my beloved Swift VDi (My ka Laal: Swift - Oye VDi, VDi Oye! - 12 months, 29.3k km UPDATE) at 8.5 years and 145k km.

The new kid was my Ford Aspire automatic, bought for that lovely suspension and the butter smooth DCT+1.5L NA petrol engine combo. The ownership has been amazing, touch wood, but for one thing.

From almost the first month, the driver seat has play. Not a minor shake of the headrest, but the seat back itself moves on braking, even minor braking.

(video taken in the service center, note the plastic seat cover and the other Ford car in the background)
I have uploaded it on twitter as well:
https://twitter.com/free_rider/statu...728320/video/1
(those on twitter, please retweet it and tag @FordIndia - your help will go a long way)

Finally, on September 3, I reached out to Harpreet Ford, Sec 34 to raise a warranty claim. Mr Surender, senior service adviser was very polite and assured me that a Global Concern Report would be raised. Courtesy my social media addiction, I promptly tweeted this as well, and got an acknowledgement from Ford. From that day, Ford called maybe twice - on 3rd itself, and then maybe a fortnight later. Even dealer has gone silent.

Shamelessly, Mr Surender and his boss, Mr John, workshop manager have been categorical in telling me that:
  • "seat play is normal"
  • "all our cars have it"
  • "it is by design, even if we replace the mechanism, there will be play"
  • "we think this is normal - we cannot perform any warranty replacements"
Of course, they do not care that their own Endeavour / Mustang do not exhibit such behavior, nor do the cars of any other manufacturer.

What a truly family feeling. Truly, the very day this car is sold, over my dead body will I buy another Ford India car.

Dear Ford,
Your 200 crore ad campaign cannot fool Indians - this is NOT a family feeling. This is a con operation, fueled by outright shameless lies. My back pain is being exacerbated due to the jerk it adds. Would appreciate if the above twitter link is retweeted by folks, and any leads provided to help me solve this.

As of now, Ford has stopped responding to my tweets, or to call me. Harpreet Ford are brazen. I need all the help I can get.

Attachments:
Job card - portions redacted for privacy
Ford Aspire: Excessive play in the driver's seat-ford3upload.jpg
Tweets:
Name:  Ford1.jpg
Views: 1419
Size:  131.9 KB
Ford's email acknowledgement, which means nothing in the end:
Ford Aspire: Excessive play in the driver's seat-ford2.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 30th October 2017 at 10:25. Reason: Spacing
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Old 29th October 2017, 18:21   #2
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Default re: Ford Aspire: Excessive play in the driver's seat

Taking it live - Thanks for sharing - Support Team
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Old 30th October 2017, 10:28   #3
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Default Re: Ford Aspire: Excessive play in the driver's seat

Is this problem there in other Aspires too? Did you check in other examples at the Ford showroom?

If no, pressurise them more to fix your car.

If yes, then it's a design issue. Go to an expert independent garage and sort this out with some jugaad. Will just be quicker that way.
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Old 30th October 2017, 10:45   #4
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Default Re: Ford Aspire: Excessive play in the driver's seat

The old Figo definitely does not have this issue.
The new Figo also did not have any issue (I have driven one recently, so I can confirm).

I am not sure about the Aspire though, but regardless of that, the issue must be fixed.
This is basic safety issue. Seats 'must' be 'fixed'.

As GTO said, pressurize them to fix your car.
If they say they can't, ask them to give this in writing and say that you will forward their response to Ford India.
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Old 30th October 2017, 11:07   #5
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Default Re: Ford Aspire: Excessive play in the driver's seat

Quote:
Originally Posted by abhishek46 View Post
The new Figo also did not have any issue (I have driven one recently, so I can confirm).
I would agree. Spent a weekend in a Figo Sports and I didn't face any issue with the seat. Equally, I might add, I didn't really check for seat play. This could be one of those things that doesn't bother everyone, but to the few that it does, the problem will drive them up the wall.
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Old 30th October 2017, 11:32   #6
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Default Re: Ford Aspire: Excessive play in the driver's seat

I don't have any such play in my Aspire. This looks like the locking mechanism of the backrest isn't engaging positively, and definitely needs to be addressed.
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Old 30th October 2017, 18:18   #7
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Default Re: Ford Aspire: Excessive play in the driver's seat

1) Is the play there in all backrest positions? Or in just "your" backrest position?
2) How is the backrest of front passenger seat? Maybe you could flip the two till problem is resolved.

If Ford is unable to fix the issue and since the shaky backrest of the seat is exacerbating your back pain, you should consider buying an aftermarket bucket seat. Especially since you are very happy with the car otherwise.
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Old 30th October 2017, 18:37   #8
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Default Re: Ford Aspire: Excessive play in the driver's seat

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
1) Is the play there in all backrest positions? Or in just "your" backrest position?
+1, did you try this in all other positions? Does moving it a few mm front or back, show the same behaviour?

As for the video, shaking it like that, I guess most car seats will move as much as this. But, on braking, it certainly shouldn't move.
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Old 30th October 2017, 20:48   #9
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Most seat have this play and is pretty normal for manual seats .I guess for auto seats this issue will not exist.
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Old 30th October 2017, 21:13   #10
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Default Re: Ford Aspire: Excessive play in the driver's seat

I haven't shaken the backrest like this, but it surely doesn't move while braking in my two week old aspire. If the play is bothering as you said, ask for a new seat altogether.
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Old 30th October 2017, 23:29   #11
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Default Re: Ford Aspire: Excessive play in the driver's seat

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
If yes, then it's a design issue. Go to an expert independent garage and sort this out with some jugaad. Will just be quicker that way.
But why should I? For a car that's not even six months old? Why should I bear the cost for either stupid cost cutting or ghastly engineering.

I'm 91 kg - not light, but not really heavy either - the seat should accomodate drivers of my kind just fine. There is simply no excuse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by d3mon View Post
I don't have any such play in my Aspire. This looks like the locking mechanism of the backrest isn't engaging positively, and definitely needs to be addressed.
Thank you for agreeing. Good to know you don't suffer from it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
1) Is the play there in all backrest positions? Or in just "your" backrest position?
2) How is the backrest of front passenger seat? Maybe you could flip the two till problem is resolved.

If Ford is unable to fix the issue and since the shaky backrest of the seat is exacerbating your back pain, you should consider buying an aftermarket bucket seat. Especially since you are very happy with the car otherwise.
1. Changing the inclination is a no no. I'll be stuck with crippling back pain in no time.
2. It is perfect. That's my current backup plan actually.

I will not get an aftermarket bucket seat. Considering Ford dealers in GGN flatly refused to do an oil change below 1000km out of warranty fears, why should I now have to scour for well made seats for the company's fault? This is basics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dry Ice View Post
+1, did you try this in all other positions? Does moving it a few mm front or back, show the same behaviour?

As for the video, shaking it like that, I guess most car seats will move as much as this. But, on braking, it certainly shouldn't move.
Please see comparison video at the bottom. Micra seat doesn't move.

I didn't test for inclination as mentioned earlier but at different legroom settings, the behavior is the same.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blow Horn Ok View Post
I haven't shaken the backrest like this, but it surely doesn't move while braking in my two week old aspire. If the play is bothering as you said, ask for a new seat altogether.
Thank you for confirming that my luck is indeed rotten - gives me hope that any replacements should work perfectly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trust_In_Thrust View Post
Most seat have this play and is pretty normal for manual seats .I guess for auto seats this issue will not exist.
Sorry - you are totally mistaken and are underestimating my issue. For comparison, here's my brother's 5.5 year old, 1L km driven Nissan Micra. Rock solid. Pay attention to the back rest, not the headrest. My beloved Swift was equally solid.
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Old 31st October 2017, 09:58   #12
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Default Re: Ford Aspire: Excessive play in the driver's seat

My Aspire is 2 years old and I can confirm that it does not have any play like in the first video. When I checked, I did find a bit of play, but that was as much as your 2nd video. Note that my seats have been taken out and refit at least 3 times in these 2 years.

So this has nothing to do with engineering - it's just a faulty piece that should be replaced under warranty. Post the issue on the Ford Facebook page and you will get a call the same day.
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Old 3rd November 2017, 14:30   #13
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Default Re: Ford Aspire: Excessive play in the driver's seat

Any updates on this Hitanshu?
It could and should have been a fairly straight forward warranty issue, but alas!
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Old 11th November 2017, 13:08   #14
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Default Re: Ford Aspire: Excessive play in the driver's seat

Quote:
Originally Posted by samaspire View Post
So this has nothing to do with engineering - it's just a faulty piece that should be replaced under warranty. Post the issue on the Ford Facebook page and you will get a call the same day.
Ha ha ha. They have tweeted at me 10+ times. Their approach is to raise a non time bound ticket on the servicing dealer who is doing nothing. Since this thread opened, they call me every ten days asking "Has the dealer spoken with you on your car's problem? No problem, we'll arrange a call" and they hang up. Truly feels like I've been royally swindled for a change.

Quote:
Originally Posted by roy_libran View Post
Any updates on this Hitanshu?
It could and should have been a fairly straight forward warranty issue, but alas!
Nothing. Am at the selling dealer. It seems this issue is common and they are trained to palm this off as a feature. Except I found one ready for delivery car that had no play. Finally they admitted they will do something. Praying for deliverance now.

Last edited by phamilyman : 11th November 2017 at 13:10.
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Old 11th November 2017, 15:49   #15
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Default Re: Ford Aspire: Excessive play in the driver's seat

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Is this problem there in other Aspires too? Did you check in other examples at the Ford showroom?

If no, pressurise them more to fix your car.

If yes, then it's a design issue. Go to an expert independent garage and sort this out with some jugaad. Will just be quicker that way.
Indeed, that's my plan right now. I'm officially fed up of these morons. This issue is present in other cars to varying extents. Like the GM key lock issue, this seems to be some brainless cost cutting that's common.

Quote:
Originally Posted by roy_libran View Post
Any updates on this Hitanshu?
It could and should have been a fairly straight forward warranty issue, but alas!
Noida Ford still tried to solve it. However, they found little issue on opening up the seat back system. Of course, since it's India, no one can quantify whether it is out of the specified tolerance since such concepts are alien to retail showrooms.

It is now upto me to write to Ford for this issue. Clearly someone thought a little play in a car seat is normal. Of course, no one bothered to check if this means the seat feel is worse than most 3 lakh cars and Ford's own previous generation Figo. Terrible.

Now I'm hoping to go to some scrap market for picking up this system from a total loss car since it is otherwise part of the car seat itself.

Ford, this isn't a family feeling.

Last edited by phamilyman : 11th November 2017 at 16:18.
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