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In one line, AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!
General overview =============
I purchased my Ford Fiesta with only 6000 miles on the clock. For the next 2 years, I had perfect, trouble-free driving, withthe exception of the engine cutting out at 70 MPH on the motorway, as the fuel heater element (built into the fuel filter) had shorted out. I put this down to an unfortunate one-off, however, as an engineer, I consider the design to be a poor one, as no one individual electrical system (bar the ECU) should EVER cut an engine out. How about a generic failure caption instead?
Power Steering failure 1 ===================
The main problem I have experienced revolve around the power steering rack, which on the fiesta, is a sealed unit which requires complete replacement if it fails. Mine went at the 42,000 mark, just outside the standard warranty by 6 months. Unfortunately, this occured when I was away in Iraq, as I am a serving member of the armed forces. What happened next was a disgrace. I spent many of my 20 minute weekly allowance on the phone to fords customer services arguing that the power steering rack should not have failed after such a short period of time. In the end, they gave in and offered to ONLY pay a third of the repair costs, which added up to over 500 quid... All this whilst I was away from my wife in Iraq, putting her in a very difficult situation. The Ford dealer we dealt with could have been more helpful, it took 6 calls to the dealership involved to get them to even order the parts to have it fixed!!!
Power Steering Rack failure2 =======================
Now, I wouldnt have been too fussed if it were not for the repaired car SUFFERERING ANOTHER POWER STEERING RACK FAILURE (Leaking power steering fluid from the rack, indicating internal failure) AFTER ONLY ANOTHER 19,000 miles and unfortunately enough JUST OUTSIDE THE LAME YEAR-ONLY PARTS GUARANTEE THAT FORDS OFFER!!! VW FOR COMPARISON OFFER 24 MONTHS! Fords, the cheeky so-and-so's, have refused to pay ANYTHING towards the cost of repair/replacement. You would think they would have been embarrased by their poor service and offer to replace the SECOND RACK free of charge. They, in my mind, are a complete bunch of cowboys. If you think this incident is isolated, think again!! there is a whole group devoted to this fault over on yahoo, check it out by googling "Ford Fiesta power steering failure" or by entering the below in the address:
If it were not for the atrocious behaviour of Fords, poor customer service and after sales service, I would have rated the fiesta 4-4.5 stars, it really otherwise is a good little car. Unfortunately, as you can see from above, the complete contempt they come across with towards ford owners is a disgrace, and for those reasons, I would recommend our other car, the VW Polo. It may be a little more expensive, but boy do you notice the difference, especially in the older (ours is a 1999) models, which are really easy to maintain yourself, and are built like tanks.