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Old 01-21-2005, 11:26 AM   #1
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Heated Seats Meltdown and Ford Strikes Out

It never stops now does it? After the fiasco with the transmission last summer at 13,200 miles, my driver seat heating element malfunctions and I have a meltdown/burning in the seat back that has spread to the seat cushion. I had a horrendous smell while warming up my car during the cold snap we've had here in the NorthEast and I just attributed it to the smell coming from the engine that we've all complained about at one time or another. Well, while vaccuming the car the other day, I push the driver seat back forward and I see this hole in the fabric that is exposing the foam that looks singed. I look on the seat back and it's charred and pieces of burnt fabric are falling on the seat. I turn the heat on in the seats, stick my finger in the hole and end up with a second degree burn!! So I take it to the Ford Dealership and the service manager took pictures of it to send to Ford to get the ok on replacing the seat under warranty (26,400) and Ford refused the request, saying that the damage is caused by an external source. My flatulence(!?!?) as I don't smoke, no one who has ever been in my car smokes, there has been no fire in my car by match or candle, even my intestinal gas doesn't produce that type of heat. The good news is that the service manager is going to give me a loaner, take the seat apart and send new photos in to Ford to substantiate the claim while I gather evidence for an arbritation hearing. Ford ... I have owned a Ford for the past 25 years and when this car runs it's course, I'm done with them. Ever since I have owned this car, the weenies at the Corp, not so much the dealerships I have dealt with (dealerships over 25 years have been basically pretty good except when the techs put the wrong oil filter on my ZX-2 and it fell off and my engine siezed and that service manager refused to talk to me even though the wrong filter was printed on the receipt ... I digress), have displayed an arrogance that amazes me. For them to deny this claim is the latest slap in the face to my status as a consumer and to my integrity. The last #$%^ing straw! I'm done Ford! Even though that 500 and new Mustang look appealling, it's just not worth going through this BS!!

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Old 01-21-2005, 11:34 AM   #2
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Thats strange because (atleast in Canada), there is a recall on the heated seats for that very issue. They are going to be fixing the ones in my car shortly for free, and theres nothing wrong with mine (yet).
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Old 01-21-2005, 12:27 PM   #3
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how wierd! My driver side heated seat works fine but the passenger side heated seat will not warm up at all........
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Old 01-21-2005, 01:32 PM   #4
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Originally posted by EredLithui
Thats strange because (atleast in Canada), there is a recall on the heated seats for that very issue. They are going to be fixing the ones in my car shortly for free, and theres nothing wrong with mine (yet).
Can you elaborate on this? I have heard nothing about a recall on the heated seats - and no, I'm not in Canada, but it's the same seat.

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Old 01-21-2005, 05:45 PM   #5
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There was mention of a recall on the heated seats in another thread....Clicky

Ah ha, and from another post, here's a link to Blue Oval News.....Heated Seats Recall,
though it does state "This program does not include the Focus SVT".

BTW, moving to "general car chat".
This isn't SVT specific.
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Old 01-21-2005, 06:04 PM   #6
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I got a recall letter about the heated seats in my 03 ZTS as soon as the problem issues started. I had it checked out and it was fine. Some of them had trouble with the glue that holds the heating elements in place. My 05 has heated seats too. So far, no recalls. I would hope they are not having the same problems on the 05s too. As far as problems and recalls, check out the info and trouble that GM is having. My buddy drives Chevrolet's and my sister drives Pontiac's. They are having a lot worse problems. Safety issues, brakes and seat belts, etc. Not just small problems. My buddies brand new Malibu had 3 major recalls as soon as he bought it. So did my sisters Pontiac Grand Prix. "GM JUNK" My 03 was checked out for FREE and it was fine. No problems at all. I traded it off for this 05 and both are great cars!
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Old 01-21-2005, 08:59 PM   #7
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wow.. a bit off topic, but still relevant. I was about to post if anyone knows how to disconnect the heating connection. I took my car into Ford to get the seats to work (I would push the button, and the seats wouldn't come on) and now they wont shut off (goes from cold to extremely hot and back again for about three days straight (seriously, it has not turned itself off except when I turn off the car)). So, until the people at Ford can "pencil me in" I would like to save my a$$ from severe burns.

I am pretty sure that the seats need to be replaced at this point, but I am beyond tired of dealing with the dealership (and I have only had the car since December).
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Old 01-21-2005, 09:10 PM   #8
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To unplug your seats look under it, on the side closest to the door (either side pass or driver) you will see a square or rectangel plud depending on the car. There is a tab holding the seat plug to the floor harness, just lift the tab and slid it apart.

**warning** this will also disable your seat belt sensor and air bag sensor, you will get a air bag light and seat belt light with beeping. If you get into a accident the bag may not deply or deploy wrongly causeing serious injury.

But to just disconect the heating element look up a wire diagram and cut the approrate wire. But in doing so you may void the warranty on the seat and ford may chose not to fix it. My suggestion is to get into the service department as soon as possible.
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Old 01-21-2005, 09:19 PM   #9
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do the leather seats burn up too?

Geez, I've really been enjoying the butt warmers in the leather seats on my '04 SVT but want to know if this is a problem with the leather Recaros too? I'd hate to pull into the office parking lot in flames :) I'm already known for taking the corners at some pretty hefty speed.... let me know...
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Old 01-21-2005, 09:32 PM   #10
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Makes me glad my car doesn't have the winter package, that's for sure. Frankly I'm surprised this doesn't happen more often on ALL brands of cars and trucks, it seems like asking for trouble to put a heating element inside a seat. I don't think I'll ever buy a car that I can't get WITHOUT the feature.
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