The internal boot release of the Focus seemed reluctant to function and the boot lid itself would unlatch without warning, including while driving. Ruth Rogers, fleet manager for NHS North and South West Dorset Primary Care Trusts Support Services Consortium, who runs a fleet of 200 vehicles, said: 'Mine always waited until it was pouring with rain and blowing a hurricane before deciding to open. However, when serviced, early, a new switch was installed and the problem has been cured.'
Peter Lawson, group transport manager for TXU-Europe, based in Suffolk, said: 'I experienced a problem with the tailgate self-unlocking when the brakes were applied on a Focus 5-door hatchback corporate demonstrator. Ford's reaction when I reported the problem was 'We have never heard of that before'.'
Nick Fisher, director of Eurotruck Hire in Leicester, said: 'We have a Focus estate that during warranty year was returned to the dealer three times with the boot popping open at its own will, three of those times while travelling on the motorway. Finally we had a new switch fitted just before the end of the warranty period.'
A spokesman for Ford insisted that the problems did not indicate a common fault with the car. He said: 'Our customer assistance centre and technical investigators have analysed the responses and it seems they are not linked by a common cause. We have the details of the readers who have responded and we will be talking to each customer in turn to establish the exact nature of their concern.' Any drivers or fleet managers wishing to comment can contact Phil Hale at the Ford press office on 01277 252407.