Doubts raised over Mondeo steering

Doubts over the steering of Britain's best-selling car, the Ford Mondeo, were raised yesterday on BBC1's Watchdog programme.

The consumer affairs show claims that Ford issued a technical service bulletin advising engineers to replace part of the suspension of Mondeos which veer to the left when braking.

This document advises dealers that if a customer expresses concern about the vehicle pulling to one side during braking, they should consider installing "revised suspension arms".

But Ford, whose cars have been the subject of numerous Watchdog investigations, said there was "no evidence of a design or manufacturing defect with the steering". The company added that it complained to the Broadcasting Complaints Commission about Watchdog's "unfair" handling of the affair.

Watchdog stood by its story. One independent vehicle inspector, Paul Piggott, said on the programme: "It definitely pulls to the left under heavy braking, which it shouldn't do."

Ian Griggs, an engineer from Peterborough, said his Mondeo LX had a problem of pulling to the left, which was exaggerated on braking. "If you progressively apply your brakes the car pulls to the left gently," he said.

In another case, a driver narrowly avoided a head-on collision with a 38-ton lorry when his car veered towards the truck when he braked suddenly. The owner later discovered that the car swerved because his suspension had collapsed.

Last night's show claimed that a new-style Mondeo suspension arm had been introduced to combat severe wear caused when a car wheel hits a bump in the road.

Watchdog first raised alleged problems with the Mondeo's steering last October and said that it has received nearly 400 complaints since its first programme. Ford say more than 400,000 cars have been sold and they have no evidence to suggest anything is wrong.

Ford also disputed the number of complaints. "We have asked the programme makers for names and addresses of all the Mondeo owners to check out each complaint. So far the BBC have only given us 150 letters," said a spokesman.

The company told Watchdog: "Ford wishes to inform viewers that Mondeo drivers and their families should be reassured that in spite of extensive investigation it has no evidence to suggest there is a design or manufacturing defect with the steering of the Mondeo."

One industry source said that it was unlikely that Mondeos were faulty. "They are mainly cars used by sales reps and tend to be designed to take a pounding. All cars tend to drift left on the left-hand side of a road which has a camber.

"There are a number of reasons why the cars tested could have behaved in the way they did. Perhaps their wheels were not aligned correctly or the car had been bounced off a kerb."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
British author Helen Macdonald, pictured with Costa book of the year, 'H is for Hawk'
booksPanel hail Helen Macdonald's 'brilliantly written, muscular prose' in memoir of a grief-stricken daughter who became obsessed with training a goshawk
Sport
footballLive blog: Follow the action from the Capital One Cup semi-final
Life and Style
food + drink
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: Intervention Teacher Required To Start ASAP.

£125 - £150 per day + Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: A 'wonderful primary ...

Tradewind Recruitment: Maths Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Our client is an 11-16 mixed commun...

Recruitment Genius: PHP / Drupal / SaaS Developer

£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly developing company in...

Ashdown Group: Application Architect/Developer - Peterborough

Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Application Architect/Developer - Peterborough, Cam...

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century