Timing Belt/Warranty - pork pie
Can anybody advise,
a mate of mine has a ford which has done 60,000 and is 4 1/2 years old and hasn\'t missed a service. The timing belt has snapped causing a fair bit of damage. Whilst reading his maintenance handbook he read that the timing belt should be changed at 80,000 miles or 5 years.
As his car was within this recommendation when the belt snapped,
he phoned ford for financial help towards the cost of repairs, because he felt fords recommendation (which he followed), was incorrect and had contributed toward the failure.
In a nutshell ford told to him to go away!.
WOULD ANYONE KNOW IF HE HAS A CASE AGAINST FORD because he feels he has followed fords service guidlines all along, and if he thought the timing belt wouldn\'t have lasted in accordance with fords guidelines, he would have changed it earlier.
Timing Belt/Warranty - Aprilia
Some Vauxhall owners had similar problems - then (based on this 'owner feedback'?) GM reduced the change interval from 80k miles to 40k miles. I think they contributed to the cost of some repairs, but on a goodwill only basis. Generally, once you're out of warranty you're on your own, so I think your friend will just have to pay up.
I remember some year back (probably about 10) a former colleague had a belt snap on his 14-month old Escort with about 15k on the clock - Ford didn't want to know about it....
Timing Belt/Warranty - DavidHM
Well you (meaning your friend but...) out of warranty, so the warranty itself is no good to you. Apart from the usual advice to make sure you contact Ford CS, not just the dealer's, and speak to Trading Standards about it, this is a rough overview of the general legal position.

In contract, you'd have to prove that the car was not of satisfactory quality or fit for purpose under the Sale of Goods Act. Of the two, satisfactory quality would be the better one to go for, but I think it's unlikely that a judge (whose motoring experience might be stuck in the age of Mark III Cortinas rusting at 2 years old) would consider a failure like this on a 4.5 year old car evidence of unsatisfactory quality. Possible, but unlikely.

In misrepresentation, you'd likely have more luck if you could prove that the durability of the belt induced you to buy the car, and you were actually told that before the purchase. Odds of proving that - next to nothing.

In tort you might have a chance of a case under the Consumer Protection Act 1987 - not that anyone else has ever used it. It imposes liability on manufacturers for damage caused by defects in their products; but damage to the car might not count because it's part of the product. You could try arguing that the belt was a separate product, sold to you indirectly as part of a chain, but again, good luck trying.

You also have the tort of negligent misstatement - i.e., in reading the manual, your reasonably relied on the information given and suffered loss because of it. In this case, economic loss (i.e., one of a financial nature or affecting only the value of the defective product) is recoverable. This tort is also easy to avoid by inserting a disclaimer and probably only applies if the claimant is the person to whom the information is given - which won't be a problem if he is the original owner.

This is why posts of a legal nature usually are accompanied by a statement not accepting liability - and this is a summary of the law, not legal advice. We don't want you doing a Prabakhar v Choudhry (sp.?) on us and suing because you relied on the gratuitous advice in our posts and you bought a duff car because of it.

The thing is, can anybody be bothered to do a test case on any of those points to get the car repaired? Any one of them stands an outside chance of winning, but none of them is remotely copper bottomed - unless any one of my (learned?) friends on here has case law?
Timing Belt/Warranty - IanT
This won't help you directly, but you might be interested to know that Ford's recommendation for cambelt changes on the latest 1.4 diesel (as fitted to Fiesta) is 10 years or 150,000 miles. Anyone feeling lucky?

As this engine is also used on various Citroens, Peugeots and possibly Mazdas, does anyone know what the other manufacturers recommend?

Timing Belt/Warranty - SteveH42
As another part of the 'Does the Yaris have a belt or chain' saga, I was told when I took mine in for a service that they don't change it until 10 years or 100,000 miles, which seems a lot for a belt. The service book says check after 7 years but nothing about changing it. Considering it's supposedly a 3.5 hour job, that's maybe as well.
Timing Belt/Warranty - sean
A plethora of intelligent replies already.

I need to add that the handbook recommendation is just that.

A car used on motorways has much less stress than one stuck in traffic, lurching backwards and forwards through a queue.

Every vehicle should have critical components checked and their condition assessed. If a belt snaps and is inspected, you will often find signs of wear (rubbing marks on the edges, oil leaks onto it and frayed sections warning of its demise. That's a recipe for Ford or your dealer getting off the hook.

I don't think you'll get anywhere apart from a goodwill gesture if you're lucky.

Timing Belt/Warranty - Dave N
Fords recommendation is exactly that, only a recommendation. It's not a guarantee, and is like sceduled servicing, no guarantee against failure of components. Otherwise, anyone who has a car serviced as per manufacturers recommendation, would have a claim everytime any component failed.
Timing Belt/Warranty - Robert J.
That is a good point Dave. However, the cost of replacing things like timing belts should be factored in to the overall running costs of the car. When I bought my Vectra, Vauxhall were recommending changing at 80,000 (although I would have changed it sooner, a la HJ). When I took it in for the 40,000 service I was told Vauxhall now recommend changing the timing belt at this mileage. Also the rollers and tensioners had to be changed at the same time and the bill for all that came to IIRC some 400 quid ( and the service on top). Ok, it is cheaper than having the belt snap, but if I had known when I bought it that I would face a bill for that much at 40,000 I might have considered buying something else.
Timing Belt/Warranty - Alfafan {P}
But you'd have to pay that for any car you'd bought with a cam belt. You could have baought a car with a chain I suppose, but at a cost of 1p a mile, it's hardly significant is it?
Timing Belt/Warranty - Robert J.
Too true, but I don't like unexpected bills that have not been budgeted for. When we bought the Vectra we also paid for Vauxhall's 'sure guard warranty' (this was the days of the 12 months warranty) that offered comprehensive cover against costly repairs for as long as we were expecting to keep the car. All we then had to then worry about was the normal running costs and servicing. To take the car in for a service and then be told they have changed their minds about when the timing belt should be changed and they wanted another 400 quid off us was a bit hard to take. I think HJ has made mention that Mondeos can stretch to 80,000 on the original belt and if we were aware of the issues above when we were buying, we would probably gone for a Ford


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