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-   -   Rocker panel snapped after taking delivery of new Focus (http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=303933)

Just Tom 12-08-2012 02:47 PM

Rocker panel snapped after taking delivery of new Focus
 
Hi Guys. Well as some of you are aware, a few weeks ago I joined the forum and began researching and asking questions about the 2013 Focus. I had compared many other makes/models and I paid particular attention to issues that were being discussed concerning the Ford myTouch/Sync system and the DCT transmission. Before buying the car I reached out to Ford Customer Service to get a handle on how these issues were being addressed and after receiving positive reassurance from Ford Customer Service, I bought the Focus. I've owned the car 1 week and 3 days so far.

In that period of time, I logged just about 800 miles on the car. As I may have mentioned in a different thread, I have begun to experience some issues with MFT freezing up or not responding to voice commands. I've also had the transmission lurching/not shifting correctly problem that others have complained about. I knew about these two issues going in to this purchase and I went ahead with it anyway, because I felt the software updates that Ford has released will most likely remedy the problem. Or worst case scenario, Ford would replace the clutch(s) in the DCT so it does shift properly.

Now it would seem that I have another problem which I didn't anticipate or know it might be an issue and that has to do with the driver side (exterior) rocker panel. This is a black ABS plastic piece that is attached to the exterior door sill which runs the length from driver side (left) wheel well to rear passenger (left) wheel well. This piece would be referred to as a rocker panel moulding. Well to get to the point, I'm driving on the freeway yesterday when suddenly I heard a loud pop or bang followed by a steady scraping sound. First thing I thought was tire blow out, so I pulled over to the shoulder of the road. I checked the tires, the rims, under the front spoiler lip and all around the car and found nothing! I thought, maybe I hit something, but then again, I didn't drive over anything. If I had, certainly I would have seen it or felt it, but neither was the case. I was driving along a quiet and uncluttered stretch of freeway then suddenly I find myself having to pull over to investigate the problem. Very bizarre to say the least. So as I'm trying to identify the source of the scraping I look down below the drivers door and there I see the problem. The rocker panel/moulding had dropped down, pulled away from the plastic retention clips and part of it was scraping the ground (split in the middle). To rule out the possibility of it being struck by road debris, I searched around for a point of impact and found nothing.

Needless to say, I went to my neighborhood Ford dealer this morning for service and I described what happened to my Advisor. I also mentioned the transmission and Sync issues. Looking at the car where the damage was, my Advisor told me this seems to be a common problem. He stated that other Focus owners (2012-2013) have had this issue but in his experience Ford doesn't cover it under warranty, because they almost always claim it's not a defect but rather an "external factor". This if course concerns me. If it were an external factor, such as I damaged the piece by driving over something then I would understand Ford not covering it. Still, he's not sure that Ford won't cover it, but he told me not to get my hopes up. It seems to me that if this is a manufactures defect it should be a warrantable item. I will wait to see what the dealer tells me when I pick up the car today at 3PM.

What has been your experience? Have any of you had this issue before? I haven't read any posts that pertain to this specific issue, so I can't judge whether it is commonplace or not. I know the Sync and DCT issues are fairly common, but this issue is unknown to me. Please share your input. I'd like to hear what you guys think about this.

Here's the part # for the piece I'm referring to. PN. CP9Z5810177B

revhigh 12-08-2012 03:02 PM

Wow ... you knew about all this stuff and STILL bought those features?

There are a lot of people here who would have given anything to have that knowledge before they bought.

Good luck and welcome to the Ford service experience. Hope everything works out OK.

REV

Just Tom 12-08-2012 04:01 PM

Believe me, I nearly passed up the Focus in favor of the VW Jetta TDI; however even the Jetta has it's own set of issues and the maintenance cost is much higher than the Focus. All of the cars I reviewed had shortcomings in one area or another, so it came down to a compromise and whether or not I felt the issues with the Focus were something that I could live with. Recognizing that many 2012 and 2013 owners seem to have had their issues resolved, obviously with some notable exceptions, generally I felt that the fixes that Ford was offering would satisfy whatever problem I might encounter.

Obviously all of that remains to be seen, but now that the car is at the dealer, I'll reserve judgement for later. At this point, I have no reason to assume that Ford is unable or unwilling make whatever changes are necessary. This morning I read a thread where a 2013 owner just turned 10k miles and has had zero issues whatsoever.

It would appear there are many happy Focus owners who haven't experienced any of the issues that we read so much about on this forum. I also think it helps to have a bit of perspective. Happy owners generally won't take the time to write about it, whereas unhappy owners generally will. Considering all of the 2012-2013 Focus' that Ford has put on the road, I'd have to say that the number of "problem cases" is a very small sampling given the number of complaints we read about on this board. There hasn't been a recall, so that leads me to believe this isn't an epidemic as it might seem.

Anyway...I do like the car and I'm in this for the long haul. So we'll just have to wait and see where all of this goes from here. Admittedly, I am rather concerned about the Rocker Moulding separating. Hopefully this is something Ford will cover under warranty. We'll just have to wait and see.

Just Tom 12-08-2012 04:33 PM

**UPDATE** Just got off the telephone with the dealer. Looks like they updated Sync. As far as the transmission is concerned they don't want to touch it until I reach 1k miles which at the rate I drive will be sometime next week. They will have their transmission specialist drive the car and diagnose the problem from there. As far the Rocker Moulding is concerned, they want to charge me $249 to replace it which includes about $80 in labor. They will not cover this under warranty! AARGH!! :(

I'd still like to hear from you guys. Any of you had this problem before with your car?

suss6052 12-08-2012 04:42 PM

If its the lower rocker panel moulding then no this is not a common issue as far as its come up on the forums.

There was at least once incident where the roof rail molding had blown off someone's car at 70 mph, but that's the only case of plastic parts coming off of the car that had come up here.

It seems more likely that something external would cause the lower rocker cover to come loose/ break than it just falling off on its own, so the onus would be to prove that it was not hit by anything else.

That stinks, but it doesn't seem to be common enough to have even been mentioned here before.

Just Tom 12-08-2012 04:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by suss6052 (Post 4489698)
If its the lower rocker panel moulding then no this is not a common issue as far as its come up on the forums.

There was at least once incident where the roof rail molding had blown off someone's car at 70 mph, but that's the only case of plastic parts coming off of the car that had come up here.

It seems more likely that something external would cause the lower rocker cover to come loose/ break than it just falling off on its own, so the onus would be to prove that it was not hit by anything else.

That stinks, but it doesn't seem to be common enough to have even been mentioned here before.

Thanks for that. That's not what I was expecting to hear, but that's definitely the information I was looking for. So thanks again. This really is a great forum and I'm glad that I came across it during my research. I'll let you know how all of this turns out in the end.

BetaDnB 12-08-2012 05:49 PM

I made this thread at the end of July 2011. You can try using the info to take back to your dealer that it may not have been assembled properly.

jdetzel 12-08-2012 06:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Just Tom (Post 4489693)
**UPDATE** Just got off the telephone with the dealer. Looks like they updated Sync. As far as the transmission is concerned they don't want to touch it until I reach 1k miles which at the rate I drive will be sometime next week. They will have their transmission specialist drive the car and diagnose the problem from there. As far the Rocker Moulding is concerned, they want to charge me $249 to replace it which includes about $80 in labor. They will not cover this under warranty! AARGH!! :(

I'd still like to hear from you guys. Any of you had this problem before with your car?

If you wind up having to pay for it you can save a little money by going to a body shop to have the part replaced.
They will sell you the part for the same price as the dealer but the body shop will have a lower $ per hour labor rate. Probably at least half the rate of the dealer.

feta_mgp 12-08-2012 07:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jdetzel (Post 4489814)
If you wind up having to pay for it you can save a little money by going to a body shop to have the part replaced.
They will sell you the part for the same price as the dealer but the body shop will have a lower $ per hour labor rate. Probably at least half the rate of the dealer.

That or since it's most likely clipped and not bolted into place, it probably wouldn't be difficult to do yourself, in which case that's $80 saved.

Just Tom 12-08-2012 08:09 PM

Wow! Thanks guys. All really great suggestions. I appreciate your help very much.


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