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Ford Focus ST-3 delivered to customers without advertised features

Owners have said they've taken delivery of special edition Ford Focus ST-3s, only to find they're missing advertised features.

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William Stopford
William Stopford
Journalist
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The Mustang Mach 1 appears to no longer be the only recent Ford delivered to customers sans advertised features.

A customer who took delivery of a Ford Focus ST-3 spoke with CarExpert after finding it came without launch control, multi-colour ambient lighting and a heated steering wheel – features mentioned in different Ford materials.

After contacting Ford Australia, the customer said they were presented with a compensation offer.

Another customer sent CarExpert three separate spec sheets from Ford Performance welcome packs, with one containing numerous differences.

One specifically mentions multi-colour LED ambient lighting, launch control, and a heated, power-adjustable steering wheel as inclusions, while the others only mention “ambient LED lighting” and neither of the other features.

When this second customer took their Focus to the dealership, they were provided with a service report that said Ford engineering had been contacted and these features weren’t available on this model.

The initial press release for the Australian-market ST-3, of which 200 examples were due to be imported, mentioned the heated steering wheel, launch control and ambient LED lighting.

The actual production run ended up being just 63 vehicles as the plant moved to retool for the 2022 Focus.

Production of the ST-3 was also delayed a number of times due to semiconductors and COVID-related plant closures.

“A very small number of customers have raised concerns about certain features on their Focus ST-3, which were not included in any marketing material for the model line,” said a spokesperson for Ford Australia.

“Ford is taking those concerns seriously and working with each customer to address to their satisfaction. Any customer with concerns is asked to contact Ford customer service.”

According to a search on the Internet Archive, the initial press release for the ST-3 on Ford Australia’s website – first published in April 2021 – was removed sometime in February.

However, other press releases published by the company around the same time in 2021 still remain visible, and the Focus ST-3 press release remains on industry news portal Newspress.

The Focus ST-3 was introduced as a more highly-specified, limited-run version of the ST.

Standard features included adaptive LED headlights, a panoramic sunroof, head-up display, 10-speaker B&O Play sound system, and heated, power-adjustable front seats.

Ford is currently without a Focus to sell, with the Russian invasion of Ukraine affecting suppliers for the updated 2022 Focus’ larger 13.2-inch touchscreen Sync4 infotainment system.

It’s forced Ford Australia to delay the launch of the model, which now won’t reach Australian showrooms until at least August.

The local arm says it won’t “compromise on spec” and therefore won’t swap out the new infotainment system for the old 8.0-inch touchscreen running Sync3, as Ford has been doing in Europe.

MORE: Everything Ford Focus

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William Stopford
William Stopford

William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel (remember that?), briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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