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Can't Lower Back Seat On S Max


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I have just picked up an S-Max 1.7 tdci with 5k on the clock and only six months old. Registered December 2012. It has to be said, so far I'm very impressed with it.

Anyway, three days in and I've just broken the rear seat!

With the seats lowered I started pulling the red ribbon. I clearly wasn't thinking straight (maybe the heat) and as nothing happened I pulled the red ribbon until the plastic guide snapped. I then realised what I had done and raised the seat as you would normally.

The only problem now is that the red ribbon has no give in it. It's not releasing the mechanism when I pull the ribbon. The seat is suck in he up position.

Can anyone advise me on how to fix? Do I need to get it repaired by a dealer? How much?

What a muppet I hear you all say....

All advice gladly received.


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so the red ribbon is snapped and there is insufficient ribbon remaining to tug in order to pull the seat?

Can you attach another form of chain / ribbon or similar to the seat just to pull it up?

Once you get the seat up, you could do a more proper fix. Otherwise you are looking at a new seat, courtesy of the dealer - likely ending up costing more pounds than you will want to pay!

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Hi Sadly not,

The red ribbon is intact but fully extended. Pulling the ribbon does not more/release the mechanism so the seat is currently stuck in the up position.


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sounds like the mechanism is jammed... Take it to Ford, and advise them that on pulling the ribbon it doesn't work (if there's no evidence that you damaged it) ask them if its possible for them to have a look and quote to unjam the mechanism, a lot of the time they will look and say "ah theres the problem", some may just fix it, others will not be so helpful, but at least it will be fixed...

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Have you made sure the seat is at the fully-back position on the runner? As they don't flip if they've been slid forward even just 1 notch.

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  • 6 months later...


The same thing happened to me this week and I manged to find a solution. Hopefully you got sorted out a long time ago but this should help anybody else who needs it.

I flipped up the back the seat (the part that covers the front of the seat when it is in the down position).

Behind that is the similar cover which is secured to the back of the seat by four plastic cap covered screws.

The screw heads are six pointed star type so you'll need that particular driver bit).

Once these are removed, the back comes off and the the area where the red strap is located is revealed.

The red strap had come free of the lever which releases the catches on the seat (it's a simple pull down operation), so I just put it back in place and that was it. Put everything back and it's working fine.

Even if someone's strap is broken it wouldn't be hard to substitute a suitable replacement as there is no mechanism relating to the strap as such, just a basic pulling motion.

By the way, we first contacted our local Ford dealer, who quoted £84 just to look at it, :o

Hopefully this prevents anyone wasting their money for what is a simple fix.

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