Omen87
Posts: 57
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Location: Central Kansas

Re: '17 FFE Dead 12Volt battery

Sat May 20, 2017 6:00 am

This is starting to seem a little ridiculous that after 5 model years of the FFE the same problem is plaguing the '17s as it did the '12s. I had to replace my 12v battery a few weeks ago. Although I think it was just a crap battery. It was barely a year old, but the battery had no labeling on it whatsoever outside of the warning sticker on the top and the date code.
2012 Oxford White Focus Electric

ghiebert
Posts: 45
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Location: Vancouver BC

Re: '17 FFE Dead 12Volt battery

Sat May 20, 2017 7:14 am

triangles wrote:Very little technology wise has changed except the battery since the FFE came to market in 2012. Like all new first generation products there will be bugs to work out. If that's not something you can live with then buying the FFE was probably a mistake.
I'm sorry, triangles, but I have to disagree with this. A problem which affects some people but not others, has differing causes and still occurs after attempts by the manufacturer to fix it is not a simple bug. It is a manufacturing defect and a sign of poor quality control. Even in the first year of release, this is not a problem that should just be expected or overlooked. After five model years, we _should_ be surprised to be experiencing this, regardless of whether the underlying platform essentially remains unchanged.

This level of quality was the reason I gave up on American cars a few decades ago. I had thought they had turned a corner, but if there is still a notion that these kinds of problems should be expected, I'm thinking that perhaps I was wrong.
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jmueller065
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Re: '17 FFE Dead 12Volt battery

Sat May 20, 2017 8:02 am

ghiebert wrote:I'm sorry, triangles, but I have to disagree with this. A problem which affects some people but not others, has differing causes and still occurs after attempts by the manufacturer to fix it is not a simple bug. It is a manufacturing defect and a sign of poor quality control. Even in the first year of release, this is not a problem that should just be expected or overlooked. After five model years, we _should_ be surprised to be experiencing this, regardless of whether the underlying platform essentially remains unchanged.

This level of quality was the reason I gave up on American cars a few decades ago. I had thought they had turned a corner, but if there is still a notion that these kinds of problems should be expected, I'm thinking that perhaps I was wrong.
Sure if you were buying a production car. Even after 5 years (first FFE was 2012) the FFE is still a prototype and kind of hand built--they still only build 2 or 3 a shift, I'd bet they still have engineers walk the line when they build them etc.

Its a house of cards that Ford assembles and sells to us "beta testers". I think your perspective is simply wrong: You are expecting the high quality of a big 3 car where nothing goes wrong in thousands of cars built...that just isn't the FFE.
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NightHawk
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Re: '17 FFE Dead 12Volt battery

Sat May 20, 2017 12:37 pm

jmueller065 wrote:Actually I think that is a design flaw with all of the current Focus line as you can't open any of the hatchbacks with a dead battery--its just more prevalent on the FFE because of the 12V issues it has.
I remember one of the early things I practiced to do on my FFE was how to access the area under the hatchback from the interior by folding the back seats down, in case of such an emergency.
Also I keep my backup 12v LiOn jump starter unit under a back seat.
2014 Ford Focus Electric - Oxford White, Cloth Seats (Lease ended 9/28/2017)

NightHawk
Posts: 535
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Re: '17 FFE Dead 12Volt battery

Sat May 20, 2017 12:44 pm

Omen87 wrote:This is starting to seem a little ridiculous that after 5 model years of the FFE the same problem is plaguing the '17s as it did the '12s. I had to replace my 12v battery a few weeks ago. Although I think it was just a crap battery. It was barely a year old, but the battery had no labeling on it whatsoever outside of the warning sticker on the top and the date code.
This mysterious 12v battery discharge issue was more common 2-3 years ago, which is when it happened fairly frequently on my 2014 FFE if I left it plugged into the EVSE charging station overnight unless I used value charge.
Then Ford came out with a firmware update (part of a service fix) that seemed to stop the problem on my FFE for the past almost 2 years, so I figured it was fixed finally.
However recently about a month ago, the 12v battery on my FFE mysteriously discharged overnight out of the blue - it wasn't plugged into the EVSE and I had driven it the day before so the 12v battery was charged pretty well before that night. I had to fully charge the 12v battery with my external Sears 12v battery charger and haven't had the issue since then. But clearly it can still happen - just not as bad as a couple years ago before the firmware update and probably for a different reason.

I suspect intermittently something that runs off the 12v power doesn't shut down when its supposed to and without warning. The FFE can clearly monitor the 12v voltage and probably the current draw too - why can't it sense that something must not have turned off after a reasonable time the car is in "OFF" mode, and resort to an emergency charging of the 12v battery from the internal HV battery before the 12v battery discharges so far that it won't turn on the car? Or at least report the condition before the 12v battery is too low in a log that service personnel could use to help diagnosis the problem?
2014 Ford Focus Electric - Oxford White, Cloth Seats (Lease ended 9/28/2017)

Omen87
Posts: 57
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 5:31 pm
Location: Central Kansas

Re: '17 FFE Dead 12Volt battery

Sat May 20, 2017 1:22 pm

NightHawk wrote:
Omen87 wrote:This is starting to seem a little ridiculous that after 5 model years of the FFE the same problem is plaguing the '17s as it did the '12s. I had to replace my 12v battery a few weeks ago. Although I think it was just a crap battery. It was barely a year old, but the battery had no labeling on it whatsoever outside of the warning sticker on the top and the date code.
This mysterious 12v battery discharge issue was more common 2-3 years ago, which is when it happened fairly frequently on my 2014 FFE if I left it plugged into the EVSE charging station overnight unless I used value charge.
Then Ford came out with a firmware update (part of a service fix) that seemed to stop the problem on my FFE for the past almost 2 years, so I figured it was fixed finally.
However recently about a month ago, the 12v battery on my FFE mysteriously discharged overnight out of the blue - it wasn't plugged into the EVSE and I had driven it the day before so the 12v battery was charged pretty well before that night. I had to fully charge the 12v battery with my external Sears 12v battery charger and haven't had the issue since then. But clearly it can still happen - just not as bad as a couple years ago before the firmware update and probably for a different reason.

I suspect intermittently something that runs off the 12v power doesn't shut down when its supposed to and without warning. The FFE can clearly monitor the 12v voltage and probably the current draw too - why can't it sense that something must not have turned off after a reasonable time the car is in "OFF" mode, and resort to an emergency charging of the 12v battery from the internal HV battery before the 12v battery discharges so far that it won't turn on the car? Or at least report the condition before the 12v battery is too low in a log that service personnel could use to help diagnosis the problem?
Before I replaced my battery, I never once got the warning notification or text message that the 12v battery was low. I double checked to make sure that those notifications were turned on in MyFord Mobile and they were. MFM just seems to be fairly unreliable.
2012 Oxford White Focus Electric

ghiebert
Posts: 45
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2017 3:06 pm
Location: Vancouver BC

Re: '17 FFE Dead 12Volt battery

Sat May 20, 2017 5:24 pm

jmueller065 wrote:Sure if you were buying a production car. Even after 5 years (first FFE was 2012) the FFE is still a prototype and kind of hand built--they still only build 2 or 3 a shift, I'd bet they still have engineers walk the line when they build them etc.

Its a house of cards that Ford assembles and sells to us "beta testers". I think your perspective is simply wrong: You are expecting the high quality of a big 3 car where nothing goes wrong in thousands of cars built...that just isn't the FFE.
I guess it was just a semantic difference, then. What you describe exactly captures what I call a "manufacturing defect" and "poor quality assurance". A bug, to me, is a problem arising from a design flaw that affects every model identically.

I similarly would not call anything a prototype or beta, which is being offered to customers as a commercial product. Volume of production is irrelevant to me, as long as it is greater than zero. :D
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cutler03gt
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Re: '17 FFE Dead 12Volt battery

Sat May 20, 2017 5:45 pm

ghiebert wrote: I similarly would not call anything a prototype or beta, which is being offered to customers as a commercial product. Volume of production is irrelevant to me, as long as it is greater than zero. :D
I have to agree. Any vehicle sold by an OEM to a customer as a normal car, should come with those same expectations. There was no mention of a Beta, prototype, etc. at purchase. Nor was there any waiver stating it wouldn't be a reliable car.

But unfortunately, with such a unique, low volume vehicle, it certainly won't have the resources or data behind it, like most vehicles.

Tesla seems to get away with the Beta mentality a bit for, for some reason. Probably because of it being an underdog startup, and the customers being early adopters.
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FFEsquared
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Re: '17 FFE Dead 12Volt battery

Sat May 20, 2017 6:53 pm

NightHawk wrote:
jmueller065 wrote: I remember one of the early things I practiced to do on my FFE was how to access the area under the hatchback from the interior by folding the back seats down, in case of such an emergency.
Also I keep my backup 12v LiOn jump starter unit under a back seat.
I keep my LiOn jump starter in my glove box. It fits in the slot where the manual is supposed to go.
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EVA
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Re: '17 FFE Dead 12Volt battery

Sun May 21, 2017 12:49 pm

It was very sad to read that a 2017 had a dead 12V battery. I remember the problems so well with the 2012. And the firmware update did fix the problem in general. I would have thought by now Ford would have this under control. Something stupid probably slipped into the code and there will be a recall to fix it.

On the 12V battery - Ford isn't the only one with the problem. All early Teslas had exactly the same issue. Tesla replaced a ton of 12V batteries. And now, none are replaced. Although, I think nobody expects those batteries to last that magic 5 years they do in an ICE. And the advantage at Tesla, they probably found a batch of bad batteries and some software issue. It was easy to fix the software problem - just push another update to everybody. Not so easy for all the other car companies, including Ford.

Unless we are engineers with all the data, it is impossible to understand why electric cars have so much trouble with 12V batteries. All anybody outside of that business can do is guess. There are probably a lot of different reasons.

My guess - the cars all rely on 12V ICE car parts, the radio, lights, switches, wipers, seat heaters... everything. There is something different about the way an ICE charges a 12V battery (as in there is probably a ton of wasted electricity generated that keeps the battery at virtually 100% all the time). And an electric car does a slow burn drain on the battery constantly. The battery charger software is probably too smart and doesn't keep piling electricity on the battery - so it drops a lot farther than in an ICE, or the battery cycles between drain and charge a lot more frequently. And that is just hard on lead acid batteries. And the real solution is to just use the high voltage battery for everything (there has to be some technical reason they don't do that).

There is something wrong with the way a BEV manages that 12V battery. I don't think this is just a Ford problem - it is a much larger issue.
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