South African owners of Ford Fiesta and EcoSport models are affected by major security breaches: Criminals are breaking into their cars with relative ease by manipulating "door locks", reports News24.
Earlier in April, Ford South Africa posted a video in which Craig von Essen, corporate transformation manager, said: "We at Ford take vehicle security very seriously. While newer EcoSport and Fiesta vehicles are not affected, we are aware of older models being targeted by criminals."
Wheels24 reached out to Ford SA regarding the issue (read the article here) yet many affected customers were still unclear as to how the automaker planned to resolve the security issues. On Monday (April 29), Ford SA released more details regarding its security breaches as well as how it attends to remedy the situation.
Wheels24 reached out to Ford SA for comment:
Ford SA said: "Earlier this week we circulated a communication on the potential security risks to certain Fiesta and EcoSport models, specifically around manipulating the driver’s door, which can ultimately provide access to the cabin if deliberately targeted.
"By the end of next week (03 May 2019) we will begin contacting customers with regards to the process for scheduling an appointment with a dealer. We can confirm that we will be offering remedies to our customers at below cost. The break-ins are not related to a vehicle design or manufacturing fault, which is why we cannot provide solutions at no cost to customers.'
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What exactly is the problem and how do you intend to resolve it?
Ford SA: "In many of the reported instances the alarm (if fitted) does not sound when access is gained via the key lock barrel. We have been testing various options that we believe will give customers greater peace of mind."
1 The first is a reconfiguration that will ensure the alarm (if existing) will remain active when entry to the vehicle is gained using the key lock on the driver’s door. Customers will need to schedule an appointment with their dealer of choice. They can begin doing this from 06 May. The reconfiguration will take less than an hour and there will be a nominal cost to the customer of R155.25 (incl. VAT).
2 Customers who require a door lock replacement as a result of their vehicle being tampered with can make an appointment with their dealer and should expect to pay no more than R1199 (incl. VAT). ONLY customers that have had their locks broken should have them replaced.
3 For Fiesta Ambiente customers whose vehicles do not have an alarm as standard fitment and would like one fitted as an additional layer of protection, the cost will be R1886 (incl. VAT). We will communicate with customers as soon as this accessory becomes available (it is likely to be the second half of May).
4 Finally, Ford is investigating a security replacement lock accessory that will only allow access via the remote key fob or a non-standard ultra-high security style “Hykee” mechanical key. The accessory has been developed with our team in Europe and can be retrofitted to Fiesta and EcoSport. We will communicate timing and cost with our customers as soon as this accessory becomes available.
Ford SA adds: "Ford and its dealer body are committed to ensuring the highest levels of service and customer satisfaction. We regret any inconvenience caused and invite concerned customers to contact us through our Ford Customer Service department on 0860011022, or through our social media channels."