Ford Fiesta Shipments Delayed Over Poor-Quality Part

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Ford FiestaA poor-quality part forced Ford Motor (F) to temporarily halt shipments last week of its recently introduced Fiesta subcompact, causing the second such delay since its U.S debut last May.

A Ford spokesman declined to say what part was affected or to provide estimates of the amount of delay caused, the Detroit Free Press reported. "We did find a part-quality issue. We have addressed it, and vehicles are shipping from the plant," said Mark Fields, Ford's president of the Americas.

The delay affects more than 6,000 Fiestas. Of 2,300 cars inspected, just 12 had a problem with the part in question. About 4,000 more cars are yet to be inspected.

Pre-Orders and Frustration

The Fiesta is built at Ford's Cuautitlan assembly plant in Mexico. The automaker previously halted shipments of the fuel-efficient cars from the plant after a hurricane damaged rail lines in Mexico.

Ford heavily promoted the Fiesta for more than a year before it began sales in late June. That has created frustration among buyers who pre-ordered their cars and found they had to wait longer than anticipated for delivery, Free Press said.

The nation's second-largest domestic carmaker has been sending all customers that pre-ordered a Fiesta an apology letter and a $50 gift card.

In July, the first full month of sales for the Fiesta, Ford sold about 3,350.

Ford, along with other automakers, is due to report August sales Wednesday. Analysts believe Ford sales improved this month, compared to last month's disappointing levels.

A year ago, overall auto sales benefited from the federal government's "cash for clunkers" program, which ran for about a month before it was suddenly shut down due to overwhelming consumer response.
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