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Old 19th September 2021, 12:18   #1
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Default Kings Ford Goa cuts ABS sensor & harness wire | Reports as 'Rat Bite' | Ford India uncooperative

On 24 July 2021, following a diversion to an unpaved & bumpy stretch of road due to the ongoing construction work on the NH17 highway between Agassim and Cortalim, resulted in my EcoSport displaying an "ABS Malfunction Error - Service Now" message with the ABS LED remaining continuously lit. Upon immediately driving the vehicle to the Ford India authorized dealership and service center, Kingsford Verna, the issue was diagnosed as a malfunctioning front right ABS sensor, and I was required to schedule a service appointment to rectify the same.

On 14 Aug 2021, during the scheduled service appointment, I was informed that the wire leading to the sensor had been "bitten by a rat", and replacement of the sensor + harness cable would cost Rs. 32,000 + labor + GST. Upon my insistence on inspection of the damaged part, the "rat bitten" wire was shown to me (refer attached photographs) which to me looked like a clean cut done using a sharp blade. However, with the other technicians & service advisors ganging up together insisting on the rat bite story and refusing to rejoin the cut wires, I was forced to shell out Rs. 2,710 for a new ABS sensor. I did however, refuse to pay for a new harness wire and was prepared to join the cut wire pieces myself if necessary, upon realization of which, the technicians relented and did it themselves.

Subsequently, I have had the "rat bitten" wire inspected by several people including mechanics who service my other vehicles, and none of them have even remotely accepted that the wire could have been cut cleanly & diagonally by a rat, leading me to suspect that the ABS sensor wire was deliberately cut to facilitate sales of spares and meet service collection targets. This is also corroborated by the fact that the ABS sensor is not exposed, nor easy to get to. It requires removal of the plastic wheel fender lining, a process that can only be done by a Ford trained technician.

On my registration of a complaint to this effect with Ford India, Kingsford Verna immediately offered to "waive-off" Rs. 2,710 from my subsequent service bill, provided that I withdraw the complaint. However, my insistence on a copy of the service job card (which mentions cause of the damage as rat-bite) or the CCTV footage of my vehicle being inspected (which clearly shows the technician reaching under the wheel well holding a set of pliers), either of which provide irrefutable evidence of the dealership's complicity, led to both Kingsford Verna & Ford India becoming unresponsive thereafter. I've tried reaching out to Anurag Mehrotra (manurag@ford.com) and Vinod Raina (rvinay@ford.com), but neither has responded.

I'm now considering approaching the consumer court against both, Kingsford Verna & Ford India. In this connection I would greatly appreciate advice & suggestions from the community on the following:
  1. Process of filing a case in the consumer court - whether filing an online complaint on the National Consumer Helpline https://consumerhelpline.gov.in/ will work
  2. Recommendations for a trustworthy mechanic or FNG in and around Panaji/Margao who's capable of servicing my EcoSport hereafter as I will not be handing over my vehicle to Kingsford Verna again, ever
Attached Thumbnails
Kings Ford Goa cuts ABS sensor & harness wire | Reports as 'Rat Bite'  | Ford India uncooperative-img_20210814_130408.jpg  

Kings Ford Goa cuts ABS sensor & harness wire | Reports as 'Rat Bite'  | Ford India uncooperative-img_20210814_130500.jpg  

Kings Ford Goa cuts ABS sensor & harness wire | Reports as 'Rat Bite'  | Ford India uncooperative-img_20210814_130519.jpg  

Kings Ford Goa cuts ABS sensor & harness wire | Reports as 'Rat Bite'  | Ford India uncooperative-img_20210814_130620.jpg  

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Old 19th September 2021, 14:29   #2
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Default re: Kings Ford Verna cuts ABS sensor & harness wire | Reports as 'Rat Bite' | Ford India uncooperative

Perhaps make a case of attempt to cheat then submit the wires to a police forensic lab for proving it was a tool cutter and not a rat bite … is that an option?
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Old 19th September 2021, 15:21   #3
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Default re: Kings Ford Verna cuts ABS sensor & harness wire | Reports as 'Rat Bite' | Ford India uncooperative

This rat theory is absolutely ridiculous - unless the rat was a surgeon in its past life. Good that you confronted them, and lodged a complaint with Ford. A complaint with the cops should straighten these guys out. Do consider this, and/or the Consumer Court.

Ford's exit will definitely be impacting most dealers and there could be a surge in such incidents - hope Ford keeps a check.
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Old 19th September 2021, 16:18   #4
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Default re: Kings Ford Verna cuts ABS sensor & harness wire | Reports as 'Rat Bite' | Ford India uncooperative

Quote:
Originally Posted by hemant.kamat View Post

On my registration of a complaint to this effect with Ford India, Kingsford Verna immediately offered to "waive-off" Rs. 2,710 from my subsequent service bill, provided that I withdraw the complaint. However, my insistence on a copy of the service job card (which mentions cause of the damage as rat-bite) or the CCTV footage of my vehicle being inspected (which clearly shows the technician reaching under the wheel well holding a set of pliers), either of which provide irrefutable evidence of the dealership's complicity, led to both Kingsford Verna & Ford India becoming unresponsive thereafter. I've tried reaching out to Anurag Mehrotra (manurag@ford.com) and Vinod Raina (rvinay@ford.com), but neither has responded.
Other than photos? Is there any written proof that they have given stating that it is rat bite in the service bill?

I ask, because this might be needed for successfully contesting in consumer forum. So maybe as you currently dont have any proof could be the reason that the ASC has gone all quiet.

Good that you have taken it up, when we go easy on these guys they take us for granted.
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Old 19th September 2021, 16:27   #5
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Default re: Kings Ford Verna cuts ABS sensor & harness wire | Reports as 'Rat Bite' | Ford India uncooperative

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragul View Post
Perhaps make a case of attempt to cheat then submit the wires to a police forensic lab for proving it was a tool cutter and not a rat bite … is that an option?
+1 to that. A criminal complaint of cheating is better than consumer court IMHO.

Regards,
lsjey

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 21st September 2021 at 11:41. Reason: Space after period.
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Old 19th September 2021, 16:28   #6
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Default re: Kings Ford Verna cuts ABS sensor & harness wire | Reports as 'Rat Bite' | Ford India uncooperative

That rat must have some good pilers instead of teeth. Or may be the rat was a trained Technician!

Clear case of fraud and you must approach the consumer court.

I am also going through a complaint with Ford India regarding a warranty for a premature clutch assembly failure. The service center has denied and on a conference call with Ford, they have escalated the issue. Awaiting their response which should come by tomorrow EOD.
I had made multiple complaints regarding my clutch being hard and difficulty in gear slotting since last 1 year. They always came up saying, Ford clutches are hard and old Gearbox was notchy. Now all of a sudden they have realised that the clutch assembly has to be replaced. The car has done only 18K KMs and both me & my Father do not drive the clutch.
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Old 19th September 2021, 20:02   #7
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Default re: Kings Ford Verna cuts ABS sensor & harness wire | Reports as 'Rat Bite' | Ford India uncooperative

Now that you have published this issue in TBHP, Ford will respond and provide you the solution. Now, there are two parts to the issue.

1. The entire electric circuit and sensor has to be replaced free of cost since it is a deliberate surgery by the dealer or his appointed rats to get his revenue targets.

2. The dealer need to be punished for cheating done.

The second point will be ignored and excused by most people once 1st point is addressed by the manufacturer. Sometimes, people have deleted the social media messages as well budging to the pressure from dealers and manufacturers. Hence, the dealers try out their "Business tactics" again on other innocent customers.

I humbly request you not to budge to the pressure from manufacturers or dealers.

All these issues have increased significantly because of pandemic. Cars are not run as pre-covid times and hence service duration has increased for every car. Due to this, ASS are not able to meet their targets.

In fact, when I left my bike(Bajaj Dominar) for general service of 7500 kms, 1 week back, I had only one issue. Brakes need to be tightened (this is any way taken care by them during general services). But, the SA started advising me to change the bearings, brakes pad, and what not. I refused all of the advices and literally threatened them that I will write to Bajaj if I notice any changes in the bikes behaviour after service. But still they charged me around 250 rs saying they did bleeding of brakes.
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Old 19th September 2021, 21:06   #8
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Default re: Kings Ford Verna cuts ABS sensor & harness wire | Reports as 'Rat Bite' | Ford India uncooperative

Good on you to have the presence of mind to suspect foul play & catch their lie.

IMO This is not limited to Ford, I have faced this with my FIAT too. In my case, after regular periodic service, the cars water pump developed a major puncture - just 35,000kms after the earlier one was changed. They didn't even show me (forget returning) the old one. I didn't want to spoil my mood that day, so I let it slide.

IMHO, FNGs too are capable of this, but they're a bit weary as I make sure to ask the right questions & be as frank as possible before handing over the car. Whereas ASCs seem rather brazen about this sick and puke worthy behaviour.

IMHO to me it isn't as abhorrent if they try to sell me on an overpriced under body re-coating, or AC disinfection, or minor brake bleeding + cleaning etc, but why mess with the car !?
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Old 19th September 2021, 23:20   #9
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I'm grateful to this community for the proffered support & advice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SideView View Post
Other than photos? Is there any written proof that they have given stating that it is rat bite in the service bill?
The service invoice only lists the replaced part (ABS sensor) + labor charges + GST. The service job card has the cause of damaged mentioned as "rat bite", but the dealership is refusing to share a copy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
A complaint with the cops should straighten these guys out.
Kingsford Verna has refused to share with me the service job card report & CCTV footage. Without this evidence, it's my word against theirs, and I doubt the police will take cognizance of the offense. I'm hoping for a consumer court directive to the dealership to produce the above.

Initially, when I registered the complaint, Ford India directed their dealership to allow me to inspect the CCTV footage, which they reluctantly did. However, upon my questioning as to why their technician was holding a set of pliers after opening the wheel fender lining as observed by me in the CCTV footage, Kingsford Verna has cut-off further communication, and Ford India has exhibited apathy in straightening out their errant dealership.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gkveda View Post
All these issues have increased significantly because of pandemic. Cars are not run as pre-covid times and hence service duration has increased for every car. Due to this, ASS are not able to meet their targets.
What hurt me most is that I know most of the staff by name, including the service advisor who was assigned to my vehicle. Also, I have always generously tipped and purchased snacks & tea from nearby eateries for the technicians servicing my vehicle. Yet, this treatment.

On the other hand, Ford India announces:

"In line with our Feels Like Family Promise, we want our customers to spend quality time with their loved ones & let the ecosystem of trustworthy and transparent service innovations take care of their favourite Ford"

Last edited by Eddy : 20th September 2021 at 00:42. Reason: Merged. Please use the edit / multiquote functionality instead of back to back posts within 30 mins on the same thread.
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Old 20th September 2021, 16:35   #10
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Default Re: Kings Ford Goa cuts ABS sensor & harness wire | Reports as 'Rat Bite' | Ford India uncooperativ

Quote:
Originally Posted by hemant.kamat View Post
unpaved & bumpy stretch of road due to the ongoing construction work
...
EcoSport displaying an "ABS Malfunction Error - Service Now" message with the ABS LED remaining continuously lit.
...
"bitten by a rat"
This clearly is not a rat bite, but let's give the benefit of doubt to 'something' happened as a result of the above said unpaved stretch with construction work. See if you could find any hit mark in the WSS harness.
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Old 20th September 2021, 18:05   #11
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Default Re: Kings Ford Goa cuts ABS sensor & harness wire | Reports as 'Rat Bite' | Ford India uncooperativ

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Boss View Post
This clearly is not a rat bite, but let's give the benefit of doubt to 'something' happened as a result of the above said unpaved stretch with construction work. See if you could find any hit mark in the WSS harness.
I considered this, but the ABS sensor & harness wire are not exposed from the underside, which rules out the possibility of a stone hit. Being located behind the plastic wheel fender lining, they're not accessible to anybody except a trained technician. Also, there's the fact that the wire was cut in 2 places with a sharp object - to the left & right (on the harness wire connector) of the ABS sensor.
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Old 21st September 2021, 10:01   #12
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Default Re: Kings Ford Goa cuts ABS sensor & harness wire | Reports as 'Rat Bite' | Ford India uncooperativ

Quote:
Originally Posted by hemant.kamat View Post
Process of filing a case in the consumer court - whether filing an online complaint on the National Consumer Helpline will work
I have once filled a complaint against airtel on this portal. They simply forwarded my complaint to the airtel. So I will suggest you approach the consumer court with proper documentation and a lawyer.
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Old 21st September 2021, 10:09   #13
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Default Re: Kings Ford Goa cuts ABS sensor & harness wire | Reports as 'Rat Bite' | Ford India uncooperativ

Yikes, very sad to hear your plight. Most of the kings Ford service advisors are from erstwhile caculo Ford. I have had only pleasant experiences with both service centers and was excited about Kings Ford taking over the servicing of Ford vehicles in Goa as they had very positive reviews in Gujarat, where they operate. Your experience seriously dents the faith in the service center in this post restructuring environment. Please go ahead with the consumer court proceedings. Also, if you could DM me the service advisor name, would keep him in mind if I ever decide to service my cars there.

Good luck to you in your pursuit of justice.
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Old 21st September 2021, 10:28   #14
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Default Re: Kings Ford Goa cuts ABS sensor & harness wire | Reports as 'Rat Bite' | Ford India uncooperativ

Unless we have robust customer protection laws, we are left at the mercy of these ASC cheats. Ford been silent makes them complicit in this.


This is one of the reasons I moved out from ASC to an FNG. Here atleast I can monitor the work been done so that they don’t atleast mess with working parts. I make it a point that I stay for the day ( not possible for everyone, but if vehicle is meant to support us 365 days, can i not spare a single day?)
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Old 21st September 2021, 10:57   #15
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Default Re: Kings Ford Verna cuts ABS sensor & harness wire | Reports as 'Rat Bite' | Ford India uncooperat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragul View Post
Perhaps make a case of attempt to cheat then submit the wires to a police forensic lab for proving it was a tool cutter and not a rat bite is that an option?
That's just too optimistic. Indian cops won't register an FIR for something like this - they are too understaffed to even investigate 'big' cases properly, forget about something like this.

But more importantly, the government forensic labs - called CFSL (Central Forensic Science Lab) and SFSL (State Forensic Science Lab) - are also extremely understaffed and filled with lethargic incompetent "scientists". Results for DNA, fingerprint, etc. take months, if not years, in cases as gruesome as murder.

The ideal scenario would be to go to the consumer court. Claim the amount they charged you + compensation for harassment and mental agony + litigation charges + punitive damages as they've clearly tried to cheat you deliberately.
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