buying a new ford KA ? be very aware !!

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Hi all, just wanted to share with you a little tale about my wife's Ford KA 1.25 ztec.
Basically to warn you all just what you might be letting yourselves in for if you buy new.
1. Be very clear about the spec you want , and have it in writing before you agree to buy
2. Don't accept the car under any circumstances, if it doesn't exactly match your original spec
3. Don't accept the stupid punture repair kit ( total rip off and waste of time)
4. If you get " stop start unavailable" error on the dash display within one year of purchase INSIST that Ford check the car over for free , and get a printout of their test results, and every time you get the error return the car and insist on another test.

Right, April 2012 we bought a brand new 1.25 ztec Ford KA, we test drove a demonstrator and was happy to buy the KA based on the one we test drove.
Ford claimed the colour and spec we wanted would not be available for at least 6 weeks
3 weeks later we got a call stating a car had been "found" but it would be £300 more expensive because it has bluetooth connectivity, we didnt want bluetooth so I said no, after a bit of negotiation we agreed a deal, first mistake.
The car arrived, insurance was swapped to the new car and we agreed a day and time to collect, when we arrived the KA was not what we ordered, it was minus the rear spoiler, but because of the insurance we took the car, second mistake.
I didn't check the rest of the car over, third mistake
Eventually a spoiler was located, but the Ka had to go to the body shop because spoilers arrive in primer and are painted to match the car and then fitted, not a problem, but Ford don't offer a courtesy car for this service.
However it was done and all looked good.
Until I happened to look in the boot one day, there was no spare wheel, I specifically asked for a spare wheel as the useless puncture repair kit Ford supply is a use once item that is £76 to replace every time you use it, and what happens if the so called kit doesn't repair the tyre to a driveable state ?, or you are unlucky enough to get another tyre fail before you have chance to replace the kit ? whereas a spare wheel can be used time and time again.
On the phone to Ford, spare wheel sir? no problem £110 extra, I think not as we specifically asked for one when we ordered the car, this argument I won and a wheel was supplied.
Now, from about the sixth week of ownership we had an error on the dash "stop start unavailable" which didn't really bother me as I don't trust that technology, it just wears the starter motor out quicker so I turned the auto stop start off every time I drove the car, sadly the wife didn't do the same she just drove it with the error on, the car went in for its first service, I mentioned this error and was told that it can appear at anytime the conditions are not favorable for the system to operate, ie air con running or extra capacity required from the battery elsewhere (heated windscreen in use etc etc), well we had some good weather and the air con was being used so I accepted this explanation , mistake number four
Only a few months after the service the car was totally dead, absolutely no power from the battery, the AA came out, agreed with my diagnosis, and took the KA to a Ford dealership for repair.
Even though we told them it was a failed battery they needed the car for a day to fully check it over, so I rang them mid afternoon (3 ish) to discuss the findings, they hadn't even looked at it, and said they would do it tomorrow, well the wife uses the car for work , she needs it I said, thats not our problem sir was the reply we are busier than expected and cant do it till tomorrow, thanks Ford, they could have rung us anytime during the day to tell us that so we could arrange for the wife to get to work.
Anyway the following day I rang back, guess what, dead battery, but this battery is only 14 months old,, the battery in my Volvo is 9 years old and cranks over a 2.4 litre engine and is still perfect.
well sir, its failed and its out of warranty (12 months), I explained that I had mentioned the error of the stop start not working a few months previous, and Ford said this was not part of the same problem, I was convinced it was but Ford wouldn't budge £200 for a battery, HOW MUCH ???? well it has a 3 year guarantee sir.
So, its identical to the original equipment fitted to the car when new, but that only has a 12 month warranty, no explanation was offered, other than , its just one of those things sir.
We gave the car a total check over sir and we have to inform you that your brake pads are approximately 70 % worn WHAT??? the car has only done 9000 miles !!, it weighs as much as a matchbox !!
I said my two and a half ton Volvo brake pads last 30000 miles, this was of no interest to them whatsoever, we are just advising you of our findings sir.
Now one could be sceptical here and think that ford fit inferior batteries and pads when the cars are built as a money making scheme later on, but maybe I'm wrong and we are just unlucky with the KA we finished up with.
Lessons from our experiences ?
1. wait for the car you actually ordered
2. any problem, even if it doesn't effect the car at the time, get it checked as many times as you like within the warranty period
These simple rules probably apply to any car from any manufacturer, you may well ask, why did you buy this particular make and model ?, simple, it was to replace the previous KA that we had for 5 totally trouble free years, it didn't eat batteries or brake pads at such an alarming rate, I actually don't think we replaced either during the time we owned it, but it wasn't totally brand new, it was 6 months old when we bought it, and we never had it serviced at a Ford dealership.
There will no doubt be tens of thousands of very happy new shape KA owners out there that will say we were just unlucky, but i know of another almost identical set of problems on another one, so maybe there are more out there than you think !

More to add now, the car is just 3 years old and its started to rust !!! there is a patch of rust next to the boot release, Ford response ? stone chip, not covered under the anti rust warranty, stone chip???? how the hell can a stone hit there????, plus the rust is coming from under the boot release chrome trim, I suppose the stone found its way under the trim did it?? and Ford fitted cheap steel screws to the rear number plate that also rotted in no time and looked awful when they went brown and rusty.
Shall we buy another Ford ?
no, we won't
 
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