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We?re not kicking Ford

image Ford claims no major mechanical changes in the 2009 update of the Territory but Pedder highlights the complete overhaul of the front balljoints.

Some Carsguide readers think I like to kick Ford, but it's not true.

No-one is a stronger believer in the blue oval and the Falcon, Focus and Fiesta - especially the Fiesta - are among my personal favourites.

But we have to blow the whistle on the quality problems at Broadmeadows after months of letters, emails and telephone calls complaining about everything from brakes to rust, paint to balljoints.

Graham Smith has his own take on things in Ask Smithy today, as well as a huge collection of complaining emails from Falcon and Territory owners. So it's not us kicking Ford, but the people who paid for a car in the belief it would do their job without drama.

And now I've had a couple of other worrying emails.

The first, from a brake repair specialist in Melbourne, raises again the question of the faulty brake hoses in Falcons.

"Ford should go down to a taxi repair shop and see what their failure rate is," he says.

"Admitting their own figures of two per cent affected is worse than they think, that means one in 50 BA Fords have gone barreling down the road with brake failure . . . and this is only the cars that have failed so far.

"Also, I expect that their two per cent rate is a survey of the cars being fixed by Ford dealer workshops, but the majority are being repaired by the aftermarket because the cars are out of warranty and Ford are probably not counting these. We even had one here this week that was still IN warrantee but the owner preferred to pay us to fix it properly. "Then I had a call just yesterday from a mechanic who had a hose fail whilst road testing a customer's car and ended up crashing through a fence."

Then, as I looked at the update work on the Ford Territory, I got an email from Scott Pedder. He is one of the top men at Pedders Suspension, which has seen a lot of repair work on front balljoints in the Ford SUV.

Ford claims no major mechanical changes in the 2009 update of the Territory but Pedder highlights the complete overhaul of the front balljoints. It's not just a change of component, but a re-work of the way the front end operates.

"One of the most noticeable and welcomed changes is the repositioning of the load carrying lower ball joint of the rear lower arm," Pedder says.

"The original ball joint was incorporated into the lower arm and attached to the steering knuckle in a "pull apart" situation which meant all of the vehicle weight was constantly trying to pull the ball joint out of its socket. The new design has moved what appears to be a larger and more robust ball joint to the steering knuckle itself and it then has the stud fitted through a taper hole in the lower arm in a "push together" scenario.

"The new design is a big step forward in making an already great vehicle even better."

But what about the people who already have a Territory and have run into wear problems with the front balljoints?

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Comments on this story

Displaying 3 of 15 comments

  • I have the newer version of the 2009 Ford Territory Mark II, and over the weekend took it for its 30,000 service. Well got an nice surprise when I was told that the ball joints and brakes need to be replaced. I was not a happy camper. A problem now I am googling I have found that it is obviously a VERY common problem. Although luckily it is still covered under the new car warranty, it seems that Ford still havent fixed this issue. I love my Territory and a bit disappointed as I had also asked for a trade in value for the 2011 Territory, which now my hubby doesn’t want to have anything to do with

    Michelle Brown of 3977, Vic Posted on 02 May 2011 1:17pm
  • I think people need to take a step back a realise that EVERY car made will have some problems somewhere. I had a Holden Commodore and it had multiple problems, which is why I purchased the Ford Territory. It is by far more comfortable and from other readings Ford has changed this problem. Maybe for all of those people that do have this problem should remember that the Holden Captiva is having more and worse problems that the Territory. I think that the Territory is a fantastic car and would highly recommend people conitue or make the purchase of one!

    Daniel Robertson of North Queensland Posted on 24 June 2010 6:30pm
  • I took my 05 Territory into Ford today. They say they will replace some ball joints free of cost, but they claim I have to pay for the top ball joints and they will cost me $640 odd dollars to have them fitted? Is this correct? Sounds strange to me. Has anyone struck this same problem as me?

    Steve watson of gladstone 4680 Posted on 21 April 2010 7:09pm
  • We are waiting on parts to have our territory ball joints replaced for the third time! Not only have they worn out 3 times, we always have to wait for parts and have no car to use in the meantime.

    R & A Purcell Posted on 07 April 2010 1:33pm
  • my 05 sxtx with 110.oook has a clunking in the front end.at the last “ford service”,i was told it was rubber bush wear, & not to worry about it unless it got worse.is this criminal deception by ford staff!!! i sincerely hope not & pray no one has been hurt or worse ??? watch out for your loyal customers & don’t lie to us
    you have only cost my family a planned holiday
    as i am now too scared to drive our territory.

    don of petrie Posted on 14 February 2010 12:15pm
  • my 05 sxtx with 110.oook has a clunking in the front end.at the last “ford service”,i was told it was rubber bush wear, & not to worry about it unless it got worse.is this criminal deception by ford staff!!! i sincerely hope & pray no one has been hurt or worse ??? watch out for your loyal customers & don’t lie to us
    yuo have only cost my family a planned holiday
    as i am now too scared to drive our territory.

    don of petrie Posted on 14 February 2010 12:09pm
  • We are considering buying a Territory, but after hearing all about the ball-joint problem we are thinking twice.  Is this problem in all years and models?

    After hearing the change in the 2009 model, it might be better for me to consider a 2009 model.

    Michael Hutchesson of Naracoorte, SA Posted on 27 January 2010 9:59am
  • Search Car Buddy and the Ford Forums for more Territory drivers affected by the ball joint issues!

    This is a bigger issue than Ford would like us to believe.  One that’s cost its customers thousands of dollars and is putting Australian families in danger.

    Lady Driver Posted on 11 November 2009 10:04am
  • I have just had our 05 Territory Ghia in for 60,000klm service. I was told that both front lower ball joints need to be replaced - cost in excess of $800. The dealer states that it is out of warranty and there are no recalls from Ford. So I get on the net and do a search and was very suprised at all the posts with this same issue. I called the dealer to discuss my issue further but tells me they cannot do anything about it. Don’t these dealers log/ common faults and raise uusues they come across, or does it take someone to be injured .As many others have already tried without success, there is no point calling Ford Customer Service to argue case. We bought our Territory brand new in 05 - cost about $57000 , 60,000klm and never been off road.I believe Ford should repair at there expense. Very dissapointed Ford owner

    Luke of Epping mlebourne Posted on 25 September 2009 1:39am
  • If you’ve had the front ball-joint problem and not had any luck with Ford, it might be worth trying them again. I’ve just had the front lower ball-joints repaired by Ford for no charge on my out-of-warranty 2004 Territory Ghia. They also paid for the repair to the Diff Centre Bush that was split & worn. Try the Ford Customer Care people and you might also get lucky.

    Richard SurnameGoesHere of Hampton Posted on 14 July 2009 3:54pm
  • Ford Territory may be one of the most problematic vehicles at the front end in the history of car manufacturing. This car never stops making noises (clunks, pops etc)....Please let this be known and shared by potential buyers. That will be public service for you.

    ishak berk Posted on 11 June 2009 3:16am
  • Odd how all those bogans on Ford forums never seem to mention how truly atrocious their cars are.

    Holden Caulfield of Not Broadmeadows, thankfully Posted on 29 May 2009 6:34pm
  • Carsguide, thanks for the honest reviews. I read with interests your thoughts on vehicles to help me construct mine. Please keep up the good informative journalism even if it blows the whistle on our beloved home build cars. It’s the way to get things improving, take for example the “rework” of the Territory’s front end.

    Scott Whale of Sydney, Australia Posted on 27 May 2009 10:24am
  • I can’t even recount the amount of stories that I have heard and read about territory’s ball joints failing, some with as few as 35000km’s on the clock! I could be biased with this topic due to the fact that as i type, my own Territory Ghia is crippled in my diveway after having the balljoint drop out. Out of warranty - out of luck! This is a problem that is happening too often and is a problem that could and most likely will, cause deaths! Undoubtedly a recall issue, but considering that it took Ford 5 years to do a recall on brake lines that ‘might’ fail, i guess Territory owners will be waiting a while longer for a problem that ‘will’ fail.

    Dean Davenport of Victoria Posted on 26 May 2009 5:26pm
  • Don’t need to apologies…

    Guy Jacks of Gold Coast Posted on 26 May 2009 12:27pm
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