Coil spring collapsed on my daughter's Ford Fiesta - is this common?

My daughter was driving her 70,000 mile 1999 Ford Fiesta 1.4L petrol at very slow speed whilst parking, when the front offside suspension coil spring suddenly snapped without warning. The breakdown recovery man stated she was very lucky, as he had seen this sudden collapse before in vehicles being driven at speed, resulting in a tyre being shredded, control of the car being lost and a nasty accident. Is this a common problem with the Ford Fiesta? Can this sudden failure occur with the rear suspension coil springs?

Asked on 26 May 2012 by TB, Kenilworth

Answered by Honest John
Springs usually break first thing in the morning because that is when they are at their coldest and most brittle, therefore most likely to fracture. Spring breaks are very common on all European makes and model of car, but nothing like as common on Far Eastern-built cars.
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