Short resume from:
The tests on snow and ice were plain chocking. Ford Focus C-max is so
dangerous it should not be allowed on public roads.
C-max skids with the rear end already on dry paved roads. This is unique. On
gravel roads it gets worse, and on winter roads the skidding is manifold.
C-max is the most easy skidding car made in the last 25 years, maybe with
the exception of Mercedes A-classe.
Mercedes A-classe was not correctly designed, but with C-max the problems
exists because of too over enthusiastic chassis designers. They have
deliberately made the car "on the edge".
Not even the electronic antiskid system ESP, that Ford has decided to
include as standard, will neutralize the problems. The ESP cuts in too late,
so the fun of driving won't become clouded. Therefore the car is allowed to
skid substantially before the ESP is activated. And then, a soft engagement
is not enough. It bangs brutally when the brake system locks the outer front
wheel. It brakes so forcefully that the car gets a heavy return skid, which
in its turn has to be taken care of by the ESP. Two return skids are not
unusual with active driving on winter roads, I was experiencing times with
three return skids, which is totally unacceptable for a family car.
One could easily think that Ford is playing a cynical game, where the auto
journalists are willing fellow travellers. By making the car extremely fun
to drive, the test marks and grades will be high, and this can be used for
But C-max is sold to ordinary families with children, and they really want a
safe and secure car, but are getting deceived to buying something that
hardly can be handled in normal everyday driving.
Ford Focus C-max is based on the same platform as the new Volvo S40 and
Mazda 3, but only C-max has the dangerous road manners.
Stop the manufacturing and fix the car. If nothing is done, serious
accidents will happen, and the liability will fall heavy on Ford.