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Why won't Ford pay for a bonnet release cable repair on my Mondeo?

My car is a March 2009 Ford Mondeo 2.2-litre Titanium X five-door. I became the second owner on 18 August 2009 and the car has now covered 25,902 miles. It has regularly been serviced by a Ford Main Agent in Cardiff, according to the Ford Service Schedule. This past weekend, I tried to open the bonnet of the car and after numerous attempts, succeeded. It was obvious that there was something wrong with the locking mechanism. I decided it would be unwise to shut the bonnet in case I was subsequently unable to open it. I was due to drive to Birmingham and then Derbyshire that week and this involved motorway driving so, on Monday, I contacted a local garage at the other end of the village in which I live to have a look at the car. I was afraid to drive it to the Ford main agent (about five miles away) just in case the bonnet lifted while I was driving.

The local garage diagnosed a frayed release cable to the lock and sourced a new one. They then fitted it at a total cost of £104 (part, labour and VAT). I have the old cable in my possession. They told me that I did the correct thing in not shutting the bonnet because if I had done so, it might have been impossible to open it again without much more intensive work on the car. I telephoned Ford to request some payment towards this repair, as I consider a bonnet release cable should last much longer than three years on a low mileage car that has been regularly serviced at a Ford dealer. After giving all the details about the car and the repair, I was told they would not consider it as it was not carried out at a main service dealership.

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You're caught between a rock and a hard place. Had you driven to the Ford dealer it would probably have been fixed FoC. But no manufacturer I know of will pay for a part to be fitted by a non-franchised dealer. However, if you can show an invoice for the cable alone, they might pay for that.
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