I’m new to this forum group but have to also share my Smax faulty alarm system saga...
The alarm sounded, hazard lights were activated and wipers stopped working all while the car was being driven in heavy rain conditions on a very busy a road during the rush hour on a Friday night. Whilst being driven by wife with our children in the vehicle...it doesn’t get much worse than this! The wife had to perform a rapid exit off the road whilst other road user thought she was trying to warn of a pending road accident due to the hazard light flashing
Turning off the ignition, locking the car stopped the alarm...albeit from the lay-by whilst getting wet!
Yes it is all down to the Alarm Horn Sounder unit in the near side front wheel arch. The module is hidden out of view by the plastic inner wheel arch liner. The module is bolted to bracket just behind the suspension strut, very close to the horozontal bulk head pressing. The bulk head has a drain hole in it to allow any rain water to be released. The hole is fitted with a plastic diverter tube...but the fit of the diverter tube is not good and any water drips off the drain tube and on the alarm module and or its connecting wiring loom.
The modules purpose is sound an internal alarm horn if the vehicle is broken into, within the module it is supported by it own rechargeable battery backup, this is ensure the alarm will still sound if the main vehicle battery is removed or disconnected.
This module is manufactured by Delphi for Ford the same component is fitted to Freelander II.
Once the alarm horn sounder module is damp it is likely to breakdown. The breakdown is due to the electronics within the module shorting out, this will cause permanent damage. Root cause effects are varied from making false alarm sound, activating the hazard lights and sending a false signal to the wiper control module that demobilises the front windscreen function.
If you’re wondering why I’m so sure of these facts it’s because I took out the wheel arch liner and unplugged the module and then the wipers worked fine. I then dismantled the module to see the PCB and its tiny surface mount components burnt with signs water stains!
Although Ford MoCo stock standard answer is that they are not responsible for water ingress, I have to totally disagree; I'm in no way responsible for the design of this poor system. The Failure Mode is very dangerous and warrants safety recall and proven corrective measures implemented.
I have complained to Mr Andy Barratt Customer Services Director at Ford, I will post his response as soon as it arrives, I’m hopeful of a refund of my £200 bill I got for this problem. Annoying as my car has only covered 28k miles.
In the mean time I’m preparing a 'safety defect report to VOSA, I recommend that all other owners with this fault do the same to force some action, see link below for the form.
Also I will contact my local trading standards office as this is a safety issue.