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2012 Ford Focus SEL Hatchback : Driver's Seat Misaligned

Ever since we bought the car I’ve found the drivers seat to be a bit odd. Went on the first long road trip last weekend and was fairly uncomfortable by the end of it. Had a closer look at the driver’s seat and noticed that the seat bottom and the backrest are not aligned. The center of the seat bottom is about 1/2 inch closer to the center of the car than the center of the backrest.

Took it to the dealeraship and they agreed that it is not aligned but they had no idea what to do about it. The seats are not adjustable in that direction. One of the service writers brough his Focus in (also has the leather seats) and his is the same and he said he never noticed the misalignment before.

They gave me a toll free number to call.

Is this the way all the cars are or did I just get unlucky?

Methinks you have a right side seat back on your left side seat. The part numbers are different.


Thanks for the feedback, interesting possibilty.

Ken is very likely correct, and if this turns out to be the case, you can’t really blame Ford for the screw-up. Seats and dashboards are made by outside contractors nowadays (Johnson Controls is one of the biggest ones, for example), and the assembled seats are delivered to the auto factory, wrapped in protective plastic.

I am confident that Ford will make good on your complaint, but they are likely not the source of the actual problem.

Ohh that’s nothing, I have seen cars come with tan front seats and black back seats before…LOL

There used to be a Ford plant in Mahwah NJ and I have heard stories about Fords leaving with Mercury trunk lids, or ford seats in a mercury and visa versa…

More than one car left Chrysler factories with a Plymouth emblem on one side of the car, and a Dodge emblem on the other side. Even the guys who built them couldn’t tell them apart!

Yeah, I know a guy who bought a Ford f-150 several years ago and it said “Lariet” on one side and something else on the other.

I was looking at a new Chevy Nova in the 70’s, one had a dashboard that said Ventura! (same car basically but Pontiac’s name was Ventura

I wonder if the seat backs were incorrectly installed on thousands of seats? I would be looking over a few other 2012 models to see if they’re identical and whether a seat back change would square things up.

Generally what happens when you call a customer service number anymore is that they just tell you to go back and see the people who gave you the phone number. It goes full circle. :slight_smile:

Back in the 80s there were some problems with hesitation and surge on many electronically controlled carbureted Subarus. After wrestling around with a problem child car one day I discovered the vapor separator was installed backwards. A check of other cars on the lot showed every single one of them had the vapor separators installed backwards.
According to corporate this was not a problem but the irate car owners saw it differently.

At least it is easy to fix. VW Mexico installed the rings backwards in some of the 2.0L in the early 2000’s leading to excessive oil consumption.

So far it seems like this is being treated as a real problem. Have posted the same issue on

and have made contact with a Ford employee assigned to monitor the forums over there. He confirmed that taking it to another dealer was the correct approach. The 2nd dealer has already stated that replacing the seat may be the only solution and will start the process to get approval from Ford to have this done.

I’ve only checked one other Focus and it showed the same problem. No idea if this is a problem with many of them. Once we get the driver’s seat fixed (assuming that Ford fixes it) I’ll have a closer look at the passenger seat.

So got the car back from the dealer and the seat is better but still not quite right.

The invoice states :
63100A Seat Assembly - Front - Remove and install
MT To Refit Seat Pad
R&R LF Seat and refit seat cushion pad to align with seat back cover ans secure seat cushion cover.

The explanation I got was that the clips that are supposed to hold down the leather slip and this may move off center again. Considering this occurred with about 8000 miles on the car that is not great news. Will post a photo of the “fixed” seat after the upcoing road trip.

I have replaced many O.E. seat covers, getting the seat cover properly centered is part of the challenge. I can’t see the side bolsters in the picture so I’ll assume the problem is is with the foam cushion or cover material.

A Ford Focus is not a vehicle I would expect to have close assembly tolerances, rapid assembly and uneven upholstery material might be common.

Many seat cushions have hook and loop fasteners (velcro) bonded to them to retain the seat cover, sometimes these strips come loose during disassembly. For this and other reasons I wouldn’t want my car seats disassembled and adjusted simply for aesthetic reasons.

One thing I notice in the picture is that the headrest also looks further to the left than the seatback itself… I don’t doubt you that it might not be comfortable or that there might not be a misalignment, but I’m not sure the picture is representative of the scale of any misalignment, or if it is representative of a picture taken off-axis…

but I'm not sure the picture is representative of the scale of any misalignment, or if it is representative of a picture taken off-axis...
Sharp eye there! Wasn't quite lined up with the center of the seat. Since my last posts, I've taken the car in a second time for the seat bottom cushion shifting to the right. And it has been repaired again but this time they state that there is nothing else they can do. So I've taken another series of pictures to show what is considered the correct alignment and then once the cushion shifts again I can compare. Pictures included in next post.

OK, more pictures.

The first picture shows my attempt at getting aligned down the center of the seat (after it ws repaired). This shows it is aligned fairly well but the seam on the backrest curves a bit. I could live with this if it stayed this way.
The next 3 show my attempt to not be distracted by the seams but instead to measure for the center of both the seat bottom and backrest. Measured both between the inner bolster stitching and the outer bolster stitching. When comparng the black line on both the bottom and backrest (center of inner bolster stitching) the alignment is OK.
The 5th picture shows the offset from the center of the seat to the center of the steering wheel. I believe this is normal though not sure why it is necessary.
The last 2 pictures show the detail of the offset of the seat bottom and seat back inner bolster seams where the bottom meets the backrest. This is how the seat is designed.
Now to wait til we complete a road trip to Spokane (over 800 miles one way) and to see how the alignment is then.