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Huge Problem With Flex Leather Seats
Posted 27 December 2011 - 06:25 PM
Let me establish my credentials. I have been in the auto upholstery business for 35 years and have done warranty work for several Ford dealerships for pretty much all 35 years. I was called to a local dealership today to see if I could fix a problem with severe wrinkling in the leather seat covers on a new, sold, undelivered vehicle. I have cloth in my Flex and this is not a problem for me. I immediately noticed severe wrinkling in the front seats and the middle row seats and knew right away what the problem was. THE SEAT COVERS WERE NOT DESIGNED TO FIT THE CONTOUR OF THE SEAT FOAM CUSHIONS. In other words, it is a drastic mistake in design and it's amazing that anyone could have put out a product with this flaw in the design. I looked at several other new and used Flex vehicles on the lot and they had the exact same problem. I'm amazed that any customer would ever take delivery of a Flex that has wrinkles in the leather. If I ever did an upholstery job that looked this bad I'm sure my customer would never accept it.
Ok, besides the fact that the seat covers look terrible with all the wrinkles, you might ask why this is a problem. The answer is that the leather on the seats is going to wear out unbelivably fast since every time you sit on the seat you are going to fold the leather over where the creases and wrinkles are and the leather is eventually going to crack in those places. Some of the wrinlkes were so bad that I could literally take my thumb and forefinger and grab the slack in the leather. These kind of places will wear out long before the warranty is up, which is OK as long as the dealership replaces the cover during the warranty period. But, after the warranty period you will be replacing the covers at your own cost when the leather wears out and cracks. I don't have the exact number but I've been doing upholstery long enough for Ford dealerships to know that just one ONE leather cover, let's say the front driver's cushion, the part your butt sits on, would cost between $600 and $700 PLUS labor to replace. And that's only ONE cover. Multiply that by the 4 pieces in the front and the 4 pieces in the middle row and you'd be out over $5,000 if you had to replace all these covers yourself after the warranty period. And, even after the dealer replaces the cover under warranty, or you pay to replace the cover out of warranty, you haven't solved the problem. Because of the bad design of the seat it will be an ongoing problem.
Here is my suggestion if you already own a Ford Flex that is under warranty and if you have the leather interior and are experiencing this problem. Go to your dealer and tell them that it is not acceptable and that you want the problem solved PERMANENTLY. If they just replace the cover and it's a little better, you still will have the inherent problem. Suggest that the factory try to come up with a permanent solution to the problem.
Also, if you are considering buying a Ford Flex with the leather interior, please keep in mind what I have said above, and I wouldn't recommend taking delivery of a Flex that has this problem in the leather.
I told my dealer today that I could almost guarantee that the factory is going to have to come up with some sort of solution to the problem. I just can't imagine that most buyers won't complain about this problem since you don't expect wrinkles in your seats when you buy a new vehicle, or a used one, either. I think the solution to the problem SHOULD BE a recall and the factory needs to come up with a much better design. In the R & D of these Flex seats the factory has ignored time tested seat designs to make sure the seat covers fit correctly, without wrinkles. I'm not an expert in Research and Design, but I've been doing auto upholstery long enough to know exactly what they should have done to make these covers fit much better. It just seems they should have known, too, and they should have fixed the problem before they let any cars leave the assembly line.
Posted 28 December 2011 - 04:28 AM
Edited by rvomaha, 28 December 2011 - 04:33 AM.
Posted 29 December 2011 - 08:30 PM
I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that I don't develop wrinkles!
Would regular Leatherique treatments help keep the condition good and prevent the creasing from getting problematic?
Posted 08 February 2012 - 09:23 AM
Posted 10 February 2012 - 07:10 AM
Posted 03 April 2012 - 01:38 PM
Posted 11 August 2015 - 05:05 PM
I have a 2013 Flex with 74,000 KM and the driver seat has developed a crack. Looks like the passenger seat may develop one too.
I`m here because I was searching if others have this problem and if Ford acknowledges this after warranty.
I`m sure I`m out of luck, they won`t fix it, even though it is a bad design.