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Old 10-25-2012, 03:51 PM   #1
merkidemis
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Angry Rattles Galore

First off, let me apologize if this is a bit of a rant. It is, but stems from months of frustration.

I picked up a 2012 Tuxedo Black SE hatchback with the sport pack in may to replace my fun yet gas guzzling 2004 Mazda RX-8. $600 a month in gas for that thing was killing me, no matter how awesome it was. Pretty much the first thing we did with the new Focus was take it on a round trip drive from Wisconsin to Texas, a stone's throw from Mexico. It handled it with aplumb, averaging around 38mpg on the trip computer with 4 people and a hatch packed with luggage. A wonderful first impression.

Now, however, it seems like the thing is already falling apart at the seams. I have about 15,000 miles on the car, which is a lot to put on in 6 months, but still well within warranty. I've had numerous issues:
  1. The "Focus" badge on the back was only stuck on by the very tips of the F and the S, and was ripped off in a car wash. Not a big deal, I just got out some Goo-Gone and de-badged the thing.
  2. Molding on the bottom of the rear passenger window was loose at the back, also in danger of getting ripped off in a car wash
  3. The shiny trim pieces on the doors on either side of the windows (B and C pillars) creak when grasped for closing the door
  4. The gauge surround buzzes
  5. There was a rattle coming from the area of the passenger side airbag
  6. There is a rattle coming from behind the head unit
  7. There is a suspension creak/thunk coming from the front passenger side when going over bumps, but usually only when a passenger is present
  8. The plastic cover for the driver side seat belt height adjuster rattles right in my ear
Many of these issues have been fixed by my local dealership, but I still have the suspension issue, the rattle behind the head unit, and the height adjuster rattle hasn't been fixed even after 3 attempts. When they fixed the gauge surround issue, they added more foam, but not very well as it sticks out into the gauges themselves.

Overall, I want to keep liking the car. It's comfortable, handles well, gets great mileage, has the spiffy SYNC system, and looks sweet too. Still, this growing pile of issues, though many of them are minor, have severely dampened my enthusiasm. The rattles drive me completely mad, especially the one right in my ear. Plus, to have this many issues this early in the life of the car does not instill any confidence at all that it's going to hold up for even another couple years.

So far, I've had to bring the car to the dealer six times in the past eight weeks. Either they can't fix the issue (height adjuster, 3 tries so far), they do a poor job of it (visible foam from the gauge surround fix) or another problem crops up shortly after the visit (head unit rattle). I've even tried switching to a different dealer.

I've already written to Ford Customer Relations, but have yet to hear anything back. However, it is getting close to the point where I'd want to sell the car back to the dealership (I purchased, not leased). We were considering replacing my wife's aging Mazda 3 with a Mustang convertible, but now there is currently no way I'd get one.

I know that a few rattles here and there may not be a big deal to some of you, but in this day and age, with this much competition in this segment, this number of issues with so little mileage should be unacceptable.

Thanks for reading, and sorry my first post is a negative rant. Any suggestions, similar experiences, or lights at the end of the tunnel would be great.


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Old 10-25-2012, 04:00 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merkidemis View Post
First off, let me apologize if this is a bit of a rant. It is, but stems from months of frustration.

I picked up a 2012 Tuxedo Black SE hatchback with the sport pack in may to replace my fun yet gas guzzling 2004 Mazda RX-8. $600 a month in gas for that thing was killing me, no matter how awesome it was. Pretty much the first thing we did with the new Focus was take it on a round trip drive from Wisconsin to Texas, a stone's throw from Mexico. It handled it with aplumb, averaging around 38mpg on the trip computer with 4 people and a hatch packed with luggage. A wonderful first impression.

Now, however, it seems like the thing is already falling apart at the seams. I have about 15,000 miles on the car, which is a lot to put on in 6 months, but still well within warranty. I've had numerous issues:
  1. The "Focus" badge on the back was only stuck on by the very tips of the F and the S, and was ripped off in a car wash. Not a big deal, I just got out some Goo-Gone and de-badged the thing.
  2. Molding on the bottom of the rear passenger window was loose at the back, also in danger of getting ripped off in a car wash
  3. The shiny trim pieces on the doors on either side of the windows (B and C pillars) creak when grasped for closing the door
  4. The gauge surround buzzes
  5. There was a rattle coming from the area of the passenger side airbag
  6. There is a rattle coming from behind the head unit
  7. There is a suspension creak/thunk coming from the front passenger side when going over bumps, but usually only when a passenger is present
  8. The plastic cover for the driver side seat belt height adjuster rattles right in my ear
Many of these issues have been fixed by my local dealership, but I still have the suspension issue, the rattle behind the head unit, and the height adjuster rattle hasn't been fixed even after 3 attempts. When they fixed the gauge surround issue, they added more foam, but not very well as it sticks out into the gauges themselves.

Overall, I want to keep liking the car. It's comfortable, handles well, gets great mileage, has the spiffy SYNC system, and looks sweet too. Still, this growing pile of issues, though many of them are minor, have severely dampened my enthusiasm. The rattles drive me completely mad, especially the one right in my ear. Plus, to have this many issues this early in the life of the car does not instill any confidence at all that it's going to hold up for even another couple years.

So far, I've had to bring the car to the dealer six times in the past eight weeks. Either they can't fix the issue (height adjuster, 3 tries so far), they do a poor job of it (visible foam from the gauge surround fix) or another problem crops up shortly after the visit (head unit rattle). I've even tried switching to a different dealer.

I've already written to Ford Customer Relations, but have yet to hear anything back. However, it is getting close to the point where I'd want to sell the car back to the dealership (I purchased, not leased). We were considering replacing my wife's aging Mazda 3 with a Mustang convertible, but now there is currently no way I'd get one.

I know that a few rattles here and there may not be a big deal to some of you, but in this day and age, with this much competition in this segment, this number of issues with so little mileage should be unacceptable.

Thanks for reading, and sorry my first post is a negative rant. Any suggestions, similar experiences, or lights at the end of the tunnel would be great.
Hey there,

I'd like to jump in here and get your case escalated. Send me a PM with your VIN, dealer, mileage, full name, and daytime phone number; I'll loop in your regional customer service manager so your concerns can be addressed promptly.

I know this experience has been frustrating for you. Let's see how I can help.

Crystal
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Old 10-25-2012, 04:28 PM   #3
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Quote:
1. The "Focus" badge on the back was only stuck on by the very tips of the F and the S, and was ripped off in a car wash. Not a big deal, I just got out some Goo-Gone and de-badged the thing.
2. Molding on the bottom of the rear passenger window was loose at the back, also in danger of getting ripped off in a car wash
3. The shiny trim pieces on the doors on either side of the windows (B and C pillars) creak when grasped for closing the door
4. The gauge surround buzzes
5. There was a rattle coming from the area of the passenger side airbag
6. There is a rattle coming from behind the head unit
7. There is a suspension creak/thunk coming from the front passenger side when going over bumps, but usually only when a passenger is present
8. The plastic cover for the driver side seat belt height adjuster rattles right in my ear
Sounds exactly like my car, actually, save for #'s 5 & 6. I debaged my car from the get-go, so the Focus badge doesn't bother me. I do have a loose window moulding on the passenger rear, though, that won't stay down.

I don't condone the fact that rattles, creaks, and buzzes are present, but I simply don't have the time to deal with trying to take it to the dealer that will not only probably refuse to take me seriously, but if they happen to honor my complaints, they will end up tearing the interior of my car apart and possibly introducing more unwanted noises.

The suspension clunk, though, is completely unacceptable. Many people in this forum are familiar with my efforts to chase down the cause of the clunk.
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merkidemis View Post
We were considering replacing my wife's aging Mazda 3 with a Mustang convertible, but now there is currently no way I'd get one.
I just traded my '07 Mustang in for this '12 Focus - I loved the Mustang. Five years of trouble free hard driving. Don't hold this against that one.

I too hear some rattles coming front my front end already in the Focus, and I only have 1700 miles on it.
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:20 PM   #5
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Maybe a bit of the light at the end of the tunnel.

2002 Ford Focus, 125K miles - Rattles somewhat drive me nuts with it also, but overall the car mechanically has been VERY reliable - I'd expect the Gen III's to be even better.
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:43 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Tiger-Heli View Post
Maybe a bit of the light at the end of the tunnel.

2002 Ford Focus, 125K miles - Rattles somewhat drive me nuts with it also, but overall the car mechanically has been VERY reliable - I'd expect the Gen III's to be even better.
My wife has an 04 Mazda 3, which is on many levels the same car as the 04 Focus and has had good luck with it.
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zillon View Post
Sounds exactly like my car, actually, save for #'s 5 & 6. I debaged my car from the get-go, so the Focus badge doesn't bother me. I do have a loose window moulding on the passenger rear, though, that won't stay down.

I don't condone the fact that rattles, creaks, and buzzes are present, but I simply don't have the time to deal with trying to take it to the dealer that will not only probably refuse to take me seriously, but if they happen to honor my complaints, they will end up tearing the interior of my car apart and possibly introducing more unwanted noises.

The suspension clunk, though, is completely unacceptable. Many people in this forum are familiar with my efforts to chase down the cause of the clunk.
Yup, I've seen that thread.
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:00 PM   #8
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rattles and all interior noises are really annoying, most american cars suffer from this. My aunt takes dollar bills and stuffs them into the cracks to stop the noises in her Denalli, at least when she needs a couple bucks she knows where to find them.
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:08 PM   #9
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My headliner rattles on rough roads. It drive me crazy, and only have 5,500 miles on this car.
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:36 PM   #10
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rattles and all interior noises are really annoying, most american cars suffer from this. My aunt takes dollar bills and stuffs them into the cracks to stop the noises in her Denalli, at least when she needs a couple bucks she knows where to find them.
Maybe that's a GM trait - my Mustang and Escape were rattle free, along with many F-150s and Ranger's we've had. So, I beg to differ with that assessment of US built cars.

Our '08 Toyota FJ Cruiser was a rolling musical box of noises as the end of it's life with us. And even it's replacement, the 2012 GLK 350 has been back to the dealer for a squeak with the belt and had to have all four window tracks replaced because of squeaking when you lower/raised a window.
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