Ford is planning to review its complaint process after admitting it has been slow to act on a problem with sticking dials on Mk1 Ford Focus instrument panels.
The problem was highlighted on the BBC's Watchdog programme this week, following complaints from owners that the dials on their cars' speedometer were freezing. An estimated 130,000 Focus Mk1s were sold in 2003.
Ford has admitted that the units are failing because a printed circuit board fitted behind the instrument panel is corroding after four to five years, and has launched an investigation into how the problem was caused and how it can be rectified.
A spokesman said: 'As well has investigating a permanent solution to this problem, we are looking at ways to track concerns like this better.
'We received 120 calls about this problem, but because the cars were out of warranty we didn't pick up on the amount of complaints coming in as quickly as we would have liked. We would certainly have wanted to pick up on it earlier, so we could have found a solution sooner.'
The spokesman said Ford would only decide what action to take once its investigation was complete, but confirmed that the issue would not lead to a recall, because it was not safety-related.
He declined to comment on whether motorists who had paid for new instrument clusters, which cost 350-500 to be replaced at Ford dealers, would be reimbursed.
Motorists with faulty speedometers are breaking the law unless they are on their way home or to a garage, and are liable for a fine of up to 1000.