Friday, 15 June 2012

Shouting From the Rooftops: My Ford Fiesta is a Dog of a Car... and its Keys are Crappy Too!

I've been uncharacteristically restrained   and  kept pretty quiet about the dissatisfaction with my latest NHS lease car up until now.  Erroneously I believed that all my problems would be ironed out after its first service.  Sometimes being an eternal optimist just doesn't work out.  Perhaps after my late evening attempts at a bit of consumer journalism someone might take notice. Okay I'm only a blogger with a relatively small readership but do a search of some of the more obscure topics I've covered and I'm up there in the Google rankings!

Where do I start?  Perhaps with the totally redundant object pictured here?  Those with just tiny observational powers will notice that this fob is missing a vital component, a fact that  I only noticed when I got back to the car after the  Treasure Trove around Cockington Court.  The good news was that my friend was the designated driver that day.  Goodness knows how long it would have taken us to get home if we'd gone in the 'trusty' Fiesta.  What's more I locked up the house the other day and then went to start the car with the spare.  No key again.  This time the entire fob had fallen off the metal ring attaching it to my keyring.  Luckily it was lying by the front door and had fallen down the kerbside drain or I'd have been truly stuffed.

You'd think that the people at Ford might have been squirming with embarrassment about  the shoddy nature of their product and appropriately apologetic.  Not a bit of it.  I've been told that I'll have to drive to Exeter to get a replacement and that there might be an invoice of about £75 for the privilege.  They'll have a fight on their hands to prise any money out of me.

Grrrrrr!   My blood's really boiling now so I'll move onto the car.  The engine seems to cut out momentarily whilst going along, my parking sensor alarm had a mad moment when they wouldn't stop beeping and most alarmingly my power steering failed whilst I was going around a roundabout in Norfolk.  Thankfully I'm a big strong girl and gave my biceps and triceps a right proper workout  in my efforts to steer to a nearby layby. Once the engine had been restarted the problem went away.   Ah! an intermittent fault, maybe with that central controlling computer thingy.  But  Ford couldn't recreate any of the problems in their workshop so nothing was done about it.  I'm a little alarmed thinking about what could fail next.

Griping is not over yet.  I promise to counter this post with one that exudes peace, harmony and goodwill tomorrow.  After all, I am attracted to Buddhist philosophy if not an out and out adherent due to a problem I have with relinquishing bacon. Anyway I digress.  The main reason that I chose this car was because of its supposedly impressive combined MPG of no less than 76.3 and the subsequent savings that I would make to my purse and the planet.  Now I never hoped in a month of Sundays to achieve this figure as I am fully aware that test conditions involved the car being driven by downhill in a hot climate by a six stone naked model after she's had a poo.  Whereas I live in chilly England, wear clothes to cover my less than svelte frame and often don't even get a chance to visit a toilet when there's a crisis going on at work.  But my much missed non eco-labelled Skoda Fabia  only performed at a shade under its official figures  and even had an average fuel consumption over the miserable average of around 53mpg achieved by the Fiesta.  Surely I've got a duff motor, made on a Friday, when the plant workers were itching to go home and that the efficiency could be improved by just a few tweaks with a mechanic's tool. After all,  there's a new version of the Fiesta Econetique out in 2012 that I understand has the same engine and which the manufacturers claim 'delivers' 85.6mpg (combined).  No tweaks happened though.  'Fifty three miles per gallon - that's pretty good'.  Yep, I heard it from the man at Ford! Come to your own conclusions but when I'm next in the market for a new green motor I, for one, won't be beating a path to his door.

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