Had a harrowing experience with Ford service: Sold my Aspire eventually

I had lost all my cool especially I needed the car the most due to rains and the daily hospital run.

BHPian AlokSharma recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

I was a proud owner of a Ford Figo Aspire Diesel till last week.

I loved the car to the moon. The engine was fantastic, low maintenance costs, and the driving dynamics were good. I had even got it remapped earlier this year and boy oh boy, the in-gear acceleration was insane. It was a treat to drive this car knowing that roughly 130 horses and 275 nm torque were waiting there at your disposal at any point of time. It was indeed invincible.

The negatives of the car mostly started with the body shop experience in Jan 2020. The car got rear ended on the Western Express highway in Mumbai by a guy who was apparently learning to drive and the car took quite a beating from behind. I took it to Ford inย  Navi Mumbai and they took almost 20-25 days to return the car back to me. The last few days, I had to literally call them a number of times to speed up the work. Finally they called and returned the car. After reaching home, while parking I realised that the angle of the rear parking cam was slightly off and upon calling I was told to leave the car again for a day. I was in no mood for the same and went about with my daily driving. Covid struck then in Mar 2020 and due to work from home, car was in covered parking in the rains of 2020. The next year in 2021, I started taking the car out towards the end of rainy season around August end and within a week realized that the boot had some water seeping in making the floor wet especially when the car was standstill in the rain.When I spoke to to the dealer regarding the same, they threw the 6 months body shop warranty on my face. Upon speaking to the service manager there, he then settled to inspect the car and told he would give some discount on labour charges.

Since I was almost done with the rains in 2021, I decided to wait. Fast forward to Jul 2022 and the problem had again started. By Aug 2022 the whole floor of the car was wet and I had to take it to the service centre for a thorough check up. Again the car was kept for almost a week – 10 days and he informed me about some leakage from ac unit form the front side as well. The boot was again completely opened up and fixed back with some sealant I was told. I paid for this fix up out of my pocket and now felt that this wouldn’t happen again.

Fast forward to June 2023. I had a family member hospitalized and I was on the way to the hospital. I started the car and it started with a loud noise. Read up on the same, and realized it was related to the starter and fuse box. Since the hospital was just 1.5 kms away and it was raining I drove it till there. Again while returning back home, I heard the same noise while starting and thought of reaching home and calling up the service centre to pick the car up for inspection. I was just about to reach home when I could smell something burning and the car went off in the middle of the road. Since there was some amount of rolling resistance, I parked it outside my building gate and called up the service centre to schedule a pick up. They told me about the towing charges and so I decided to use my road side assistance on my car insurance. The car was supposed to be picked up 2 days later. On the day of pick up when I opened the boot, I could see that the floor was wet and it had also spread towards the lower bottom of the rear seats. I was completely aghast and furious about the same. Upon reaching the service centre, I told them to have a look at the same post the engine issue.

Now I was told 2 days later that there is an issue with the fuse box along with the starter and since Ford was shifting it’s spare parts warehouse from Bhiwandi in Mumbai to Chennai and Gujarat, the parts would take a week to get delivered. I even got a call from a Ford India executive about the same and so I assumed bad timing and thought of waiting for the same. The parts arrived after 18 days. By now, I had lost all my cool especially I needed the car the most due to rains and the daily hospital run. They gave me some weird reason that they can’t work on the leakage part of the boot as the car couldn’t be moved to and fro. On Friday after noon I was informed that the service guys were handing over the car to body shop. I thought of waiting for an update till the next day morning from the body shop and it was the same guy who was the service advisor who had originally handled the work in 2020. I waited for a call till 2 pm from his side and finally decided to call him up. He told me that he was out with his family for the day and will have a look at the car only on Monday. I was literally pissed off with his attitude as if there was no one in the body shop to work on my car I thought. I decided to wait till Monday, and I had to call him back again for an update. He again with his lethargic attitude informed me that the body shop will start looking at the car only by 2nd half as there were lot of traffic of cars in body shop. My blood was literally boiling by now with his careless attitude, I decided to speak to the customer relationship head and service manager at the next day and gave them an earful about the same and told them that I was writing to Ford about it.

They hurriedly formed a Whatsapp group the next day and I asked them to assign a different Service Advisor to me. However they assured me that my initial service advisor will get it done and they started sending me regular updates throughout the day. Even till the next day there was no conclusion and I was told that there’s no evidence of leakage whatsoever and if I still have to waterproof it further, I will have to pay up. I decided, I had enough since it was already over 21-22 days and I told them that I would collect my car that day itself. I called up the service advisor. He neither picked up my call nor called back even after 2 hours. I dropped in a message that I would be coming in the next one hour when I was conveniently informed on the group that he will need some time to get the car cleaned so I should come later at 5 pm. I said fair enough.

Upon reaching the dealership at 5.15 pm, when I saw the car, I was furious. The seats had black marks all over and the seat belts had fungus all over them. I gave the body shop manager an earful and stormed out of the dealership.

The next day while casually visiting my friend who stays nearby, he told me that a guy in his building is facing a similar leakage issue in his Aspire as it is always parked in the open and the leakage is pretty bad.

I got a call from the customer relationship manager the next day and she was quite patient in hearing out my ordeal. She was polite and accepted the whole behaviour of the service advisor was unwarranted. But she also told me that there has been a lot of complaints and traffic of cars coming to the service centre especially related to water leakage issues. On the other hand she said that now since Ford has shifted the spares warehouse to Chennai, it would easily take a couple of days for any of the parts to arrive at the service centre. She even offered to get my car’s interior cleaned thoroughly at anytime I get the car to the service centre.

After the whole episode, I started thinking in the direction of selling the car as my warranty was about to expire in 6 months. Even though I could have extended it for 2 more years by paying close to INR 12000, I had apprehensions regarding the service quality going down the drain from here on and also the long delays to receive parts from across Chennai would ensure that my vehicle would stay at the service centre for a long time for any repairs.

I sold my car to Spinny and was happy with the price they gave me since the car was always 3M car care maintained and was in otherwise a good condition.

I wish Ford could have stayed back and maintained the service quality. I would have loved to keep the car for a couple of more years and enjoy it thoroughly.

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