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I bought the car in full and then six months later, they wanted more money...
Posted by on
3810 Thousand Oaks Boulevard
Thousand Oaks, CA 91362

Dear Dawn:

Although I have moved across country, I seem to be getting bills from Kemp for a car for which I already paid in full. The obvious proof of payment in full is the pink slip, which here in Connecticut is actually blue, that I hold in my possession.

When I bought the car, I did not even haggle on the price. This was because the Flex was a tough car to find and I was happy enough just to have one. That said, your company got full price on a car. Now how often does that happen?

Furthermore, it is your company’s job to get the paperwork and price right. I cannot believe that you are coming after me for an additional and paltry $31.00 on a $48,000.00 transaction. You really couldn’t just pay it and not irritate me so? Really?

But I digress. And, I am floored to read that your company ominously intends to, “take further action” if I don’t immediately remit the $31.00. What are you planning on doing? Taking me to collection for a debt paid in full?

Kemp Ford is out of line. I own the car. You guys said so when I wrote the check. I did not determine the taxes and such. You hire a finance manage who’s sole job is get the paperwork right (oh, and try to get me to purchase things like underbelly protection).

You and your company are not entitled to come after me for additional funds. I met my contractual obligation to you. Likewise, I am not allowed to pursue a post-purchase discount from your firm. That’s because we are both bound by a contract that stipulates I pay what you say I owe and then you give me the car in question.

It’s very simple really. But you have, for a mere $31.00, incensed a customer who was just tip-toeing her way back to supporting an American car company.

Don’t threaten. Don’t be obnoxious. If you owe the DMV $31, pay them. Leave me alone. In fact, do one better and apologize. You can send my apology letter to the address below. A complimentary oil change would be nice too…

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Anonymous on 11/13/2011:
They are coming after you for $31? Really? You have the pink slip and as far as I know they have no recourse. It surprises me that they would risk losing a future customer over such a small amount, that is no doubt an error.
Slimjim on 11/14/2011:
From the letter, I get the $31 was either miscalculated tax or DMV charges. As long as the quoted price hasn't changed, I can't see a problem asking for registration charges if they were more than expected, most notifiable if it wasn't dealer error at all.
What were the circumstances for the additional bill?
ChuhBaca on 11/14/2011:
I can see where estimated taxes or title fees could result in a $31 discrepancy. They may not be in the wrong on this, but I agree that they are being petty.

It would seem easier to just pay it, and send you a copy of the bill with a letter indicating the additional charge and that it was paid by them. Especially if you paid MSRP on it.

Also, can you please change the complaint to show that it is against Kent Ford, and not the Ford Flex?
CowboyFan on 11/14/2011:
You buy a $48,000.00 car and they miscalculate the tax or tag by $31.00 which is 0.0006 percent of the total sales price. Over this you get upset? Instead of just paying it, you let it escalate to where they are sending you threatening letters. You make life hard on yourself.

Obviously in any contract which has estimated charges e.g. license tags, they may be a slight variance. If it is estimated too high, the buyer should expect a refund. If too low, the buyer should pay WHAT HE OWES for HIS tag. The dealership is buying the tag for you, so that you do not have to go down and do it.
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Manipulation of payments to incur lower credit rating and excessive late charges
Posted by on
I leased a 2009 Ford Flex. Everything was fine and no late payments were made. In October 2009 I became totally disabled but still made my payments. In March of 2010 I called Ford Credit and aske for a three month payment deferral to be paid at the end of the lease. They informed me a two month extension was available but stated that to qualify for relief from April and may payments I would need to make a payment[go figure] The cost of the extension would be an additional 221$,and they would put two payments on the end of the lease. Cost of two payments?700$ cost of extension?551$They know how to get you when your down.

I eventually fell two payments behind and the phone calls became incessant. Very much not the Ford your father owned. Finally in 2011 I started to get back on my feet. I sent them 800$ to cover that years apr-may payment. A month later I sent them 1400$ to cover June-July payments plus 166$ late fees plus 221$ extension fee. What they did against my request was made payments through September leaving late fees to accrue and non-payment of extension to damage my credit with them.

Now if I want to lease from them again in six months OR buy out in six months my interest rate with either will be prohibitive. I just got off the phone with Ford Credit and after about 1 hour and two different, no three different agents, the first one hung up.[I wqsnt rude} I was drug around in a circle with them telling me what I should have done and me telling them that was what I was trying to do and them telling me IF I had done what I was trying to do we wouldn't have a problem. Keep in mind the reason they paid two payments forward was to protect me from missing payments that were not due yet. Sept.2011 my statement declared no payment was due and currently there were no charges on my account. Now today my Oct. staement arrived with the payment plus 166$ in late fees and 221$ in ext fees.

What Ford Credit will do is once they realize yo are a repeat lessor they will systematically manipulate your billing to damage your credit, incure late fees and have you believe it is your fault. Don't believe it. Its not you. At the end of my phone conversation I asked Michelle to stop talking about it, I had a solution. I would simply return my Ford Flex at term and noy buy from Ford anymore. That won't be too difficult. By the way, my Lincoln was built in Mexico and most of my Flex was built in Canada
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trmn8r on 09/29/2011:
Banks really don't like it when you don't pay as arranged. Even though "stuff happens" in life, there is no "stuff happens" clause in your contract that covers the case that you have deferred payments and then fall behind two more months. Thus it is like the wheels fell off the cart when the penalty makes itself known.

I'm sorry to hear that you are disabled, and I hope that you get out of the lease before incurring more penalties.
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Ford might owe you money...
Posted by on
Ford was able to QUICKLY bury media reports of a court case that they lost in 2001.

The court disposition was that Ford was to reimburse current AND FORMER Ford owners, whose whose cars had DOCUMENTED repairs related to this problem. It was an ignition module, that failed when hot, and left NO diagnostic clue in the car's computer. That in itself was a free ticket to the dealers to clean out your wallet.

I had one of these vehicles - a 1995 Ford. I had ALL records for failed repairs, etc., etc., etc. Total losses to me were almost $3,000, DOCUMENTED.

Ford played dumb, and one day I heard about the court case closing, and they lost. By the time I got home, Ford already had the story off of the National Public Radio website, which carries stories for at least until the next day. I had to go to the radio station to get the press release.

Ford still played dumb, all the way to corporate offices. "What court case?", they said?

I took my business-vehicle Ford to the dealer, left it, told them about the failed part, and the court case. I went to the Chevy dealer and bought a new Chevy. A week later, I picked up my Ford. The next day, it broke down.

I wrote Ford Motor Credit, and said to come get my Ford - no more payments for you, with breach of contract. 3 months later, they came to get it, and entered a INVOLUNTARY repossession on my credit record. If they had had a case, it WOULD have been VOLUNTARY repo, but that didn't matter to them. They had no case anyway, since they had LOST the court case!!! And they went through my dad to find me, even tho' I told them where to get it. They shouldn't have done that, because I then told my dad why his Ford-equipped motor home shut down when hot.

Wall Street said this might bring Ford to its' end. It was supposed to really hurt them. Fortunately for them, the web was in its' infancy, and 'viral' stuff didn't happen like it does now.

Supposedly, you were to get $186 if you had any records for this problem (I have LOTS more). I don't know if that applied only to CA residents tho'. Supposedly, law firms in 5 other stated are (were) assembling the same case against Ford, pending a federal case.

Google 'TFI Settlement'. Do you have any receipts for service on Ford vehicles???
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leet60 on 02/10/2011:
This is not surprising, as most manufacturers will try to alleviate any public knowledge of defects that will cost the company money.

As for the respossession Credit scoring formulas do not differentiate between whether a car repossession was voluntary or involuntary.
Augustus2099 on 03/07/2011:
Ford never had one and never will Hate Ford with a Passion.
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Cruise Control Recalls
Posted by on
I owned a car that was recalled, because the cruise control switch could catch fire. I received my recall AUGUST 3, 2007 my son burned in this car 8 months earlier, Ford denies this claim of wrongful death court will be this summer, lets let a jury decide.
-- Ford Motor Co. announced the recall of an additional 3.6 million passenger cars, trucks, sport-utility vehicles and vans to fix a cruise-control switch that has been linked to at least 1,100 engine fires and prompted five previous recalls beginning in January 2005. The recall includes 177,000 vehicles in Mexico, Canada and Europe. The company has cumulatively recalled almost 10.3 million vehicles but still leaves 5.7 million vehicles at risk.

Ford recently admitted to receiving reports of engine fires involving older Crown Victoria sedans that were not included in the earlier recalls but came equipped with the same speed control deactivation switch manufactured by Texas Instruments Inc. The switch, which is powered at all times, can leak over time and cause an electrical fire. Fires in vehicles covered by previous Ford recalls have led to at least three fatalities, garage and house fires.

The fix will occur in two stages because units to correct the problem will not be available until October. Ford will begin notifying owners by mid-month to take their recalled vehicles in to Ford dealerships to have the switch disconnected. Then in October, owners will have to take their vehicles back to complete the installation.

Problems with the Texas Instruments device first surfaced in the late 1990s, prompting Ford to recall nearly 280,000 1992 and 1993 Mercury Grand Marquis sedans. A year later, NHTSA began an investigation after receiving complaints about engine fires in Ford vehicles that used the device. As that investigation expanded, Ford recalled more and more vehicles, including 740,000 F-150s, Ford Expeditions and Lincoln Navigators while maintaining that there was no conclusive evidence that the switches were to be blamed. In September 2005 and again in August 2006, Ford respectively recalled another 3.8 million and 1.2 million vehicles.


AUGUST 3, 2006 -- Ford Motor Co. has cumulatively recalled 6.7 million vehicles since January 2005 that are equipped with a Texas Instruments speed control deactivation switch that has been linked to dozens of engine fires. The recall, although massive, is incomplete and leaves millions of Ford owners fending for themselves.

Staging a recall in three separate notices only serves Ford's interest. Ford recalled 792,000 vehicles in January 2005 when their own investigation in 1999 revealed a deadly problem that could affect millions of vehicles. The subsequent recalls, 3.8 million vehicles in September 2005, and 1.2 million vehicles in August 2006, still leaves approximately 9.3 million vehicles at risk.

About 16 million of the switches in question are used in Ford vehicles and 4 million in non-Ford vehicles. Incidents of fires involving non-Ford vehicles have not been reported. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says it will continue to monitor vehicles equipped with the switch that have not been recalled.

The NHTSA has received 1,472 complaints about malfunctioning cruise controls. 559 reported vehicle fires, 253 of them in unrecalled models. It has confirmed 65 vehicle fires, but no fatalities, although there are at least 13 wrongful death suits filed against Ford involving switch fires. Most of the fires in question occurred when the vehicles were not running. The fires can ignite well after the engine has been turned off because electric current continues to run through the switch.

The NHTSA reported fatigue failure of a brake seal allows fluid to corrode the cruise control switch when it's pointed up. "The brake systems generate a vacuum that can potentially cause the (switch) to fail and in certain installation orientations catch fire."

Ford maintained there was no conclusive evidence the systems were malfunctioning and sparking fires until last September, when it recalled 3.8 million pickups and SUVs from the 1994 to 2002 model years, including the F-150.

In the late 1980s, Ford asked Texas Instruments to build a fourth-generation speed control switch -- first introduced in the 1960s. Then in the spring of 1992, Ford asked Texas Instruments to develop a quieter switch.
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Overcharged Money Than Estimated And Not Fixing The Car After Getting Money
Posted by on
BRAMPTON -- Complaint about the Overcharged Money than estimated and taking too much time

As I Went to Ford’s service station on 2nd Dec.2008 because my car ’96 mercury sable’ has heating and air conditioning problem (couldn’t work). Ford’s service advisor estimated : 378 cd$ plus tax for the job after their mechanics investigated same in their service station. After few hours I got message from service advisor that estimated cost will be more because they has to installed one more part. Why this is not investigated before ?. So I paid extra money (total cd $402.37 + cd$ 141.25 = cd$543.62).

Now after doing this job, within 20 days again the car has a same problem. So I came to service station and ford’s service station replaced the part but charged me the labor cost. Why service station charged money for the same job for the same technical problem (This is under warranty). As I talked to service advisor and manager john for the same job and agreed to replaced part without any cost (more than estimated) on an 6th Jan. 2008. On 12th Jan.2008 service station charged me 168 cd$ money for the job. Why service station keep charging money for the same job? After Taking again the money, I got a phone call from service advisor (Linda) and she told me that my car is ready. When I went to service station and checked my car and found the original problem is still there. I checked with their mechanic and he then accepted that problem is not fixed and it’s not the problem with the part but the connection fitted into the part ? that means it’s not properly done the job. Again they gave me appointment and I put my car in their service station and waste my time and again I got a phone call from ford’s service advisor that car is fixed. I went there and checked with their manager (John) and found that car is not fixed. Manager (John) told me to come again. What is this ?Why the problem is not fixed properly.

Now they are telling me that they need to put some more parts inside the car. Because after charging again 168 cd $ the car is not fixed and calling me on phone that car is ready but in actual it’s not fixed. Ford’s service station not supposed to charge money again and again. They gave me estimate and it is supposed to be fixed in that estimated cost. But they charged me again 168 CD$ and but after getting this money they didn’t fixed the car and said I need to pay 450 CD$ more to fix the problem.

I request them to complete this job as soon as possible and return the money.(More than estimated.) Now at this point I paid them (543.62cd$ + 168.65cd$ =732.27 cd$ + cd$124.3=836.57 cd$).

I paid 836.57 CD$ but actual estimated cost from them is 378 CD$ as this is written by ford’s service station on my invoice. They are wasting my lots of time and not ready to talk. Its Looks like ignoring me.

I am going to register the complaint to the Ministry of consumer and business services.
For your reference following are the Invoice numbers :

FCCS212189 (Date : 06/24/08)
FCCS219144 (date : 12/02/08)
FCCS219222 (date :12/04/08)
FCCS220157 (Date : 01/12/09)

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Soaring Consumer on 01/26/2009:
I'd file a suit in small claims court.

I would also get it fixed at another repair shop and sue them for those repair costs too since it should be under warranty.
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Ford Motor Credit Lease Vehicle
Posted by on
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA -- I leased a vehicle through Ford in 2005- This would be my 2nd vehicle with Ford. I have excellent credit NEVER paid late they always received their $430.00 every month. Mind you the payment was $429. and some change. I decided this year not to renew my lease with Ford. My first reason they send these letters you know come out of your lease early they get you in the dealership and tacks the months that they claim they are paying off in year new lease, well this is not helping me! Plus the fact their cars are just plain janes.

I decided to go with Hyundai and I must say I choose the Veracruz Limited fully loaded same price as my ford and guess what! A 2 year lease! I left my vehicle with Hyundai I was told they could turn it in I would get a lease bill at the end, which I did in the mean time I owed for 3 payments. I had just paid 1 payment of $430.00 on the 22nd of Feb which was actually my normal payment I got the new car on the 23rd and I made a payment to Ford on the 4 of March for the remainder which was like $1298.00 end of story. In the mean time I went on their site and was locked out of my account could not make any payments with them or see anything. Thank God I made the $1298 payment when I did before they locked my account. I set that up electronically with FORD and it was taken out of my bank account. I kept getting calls that they did not get the $1298.00 finally after the 3rd day. I had to call and was notified that they received my money. I was told by a . Well guess what Ford decides to make changes to my credit to read Termination lease early and still had the balance of 1298 out there. Which to me look like I ended the lease and owes them $1298 (even though I paid this) this change to my credit was made on 3/5. I called them and they told me because I ended my lease 3 months early my lease was to end in July they had to make the change.

OK when I got the lease in 2005 with Ford I got that lease 6 months early nothing happened to my credit could it be because I went from a FORD to a FORD or now because I went from a FORD to a HYUNDAI and someone got their tail in a spin! This even gets better. I got the review from the lease this is where they go over your vehicle very good. Now I was told turn in the vehicle let them look it over and anything you owe you have 30 days to pay I got the letter (mind you all this I can back up) The car was in normal wear and tear condition) over mileage was 294.00 which this include 36 dollars and something cents in tax fees. I was told I had 30 days to pay. I received this letter on 3/14/08. I am not being called at home 3/11 by Ford about the 294 even though the letter clearly states 30 days to pay. I have paid these people faithfully for 3 years 294.00 is not going to ruin my credit! But you can best believe this! THEY HAVE LOST ME FOR LIFE I AM DONE WITH THEM!

Now I know why they will eventually go out of business now I know why Hyundai, Toyota, and even Kia does better than them. I am done with them!

My concern is not about who sold more cars, however putting out a better product to me is a better in the long run, and as a consumer HOW I AM TREATED!!!! I always went with ford because a sister in law of mine was a big wig in Philly then in Detroit that why I ended up leasing with them all the time. My point is If you don't continue with them you lose out.. I paid every cent terminated early so what I should have kept the vehicle the additional 3 months. It is called lease termination yes, but PAID IN FULL not lease termination owing 1298.00 that is my point!! I might as well parked the car in my driveway. At least I thought I was doing the appropriate thing. It is not about having facts right it is about the customer and treating the customer right so you can come back. Why I want to tack 3 or 2 months let a long 1 year worth of payments on to the next lease and pay them interest.. That don't make sense to me. I wanted to pay what I owed and be done. I appreciate the responses!
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madconsumer on 03/18/2008:
I have had several leases with ford. never had any issues with them or the lease.

the over milages may be the results of your contract, you can set the lease miles of the lease.

in order for them to pay the lease off, you need to be within 3 months of the end. I turned in 1 lease vehicle 1 year early, and all I had to do was accept the negative balance carried over. no credit reporting nothing. I suspect your issue is that you are not staying with ford, and yes you did terminate your lease early.
Aerocave on 03/18/2008:
Whether you credit report says anything regarding terminating a lease early or not--it is a long as you paid on time, you have nothing to worry about. If you are going to complain, have your facts straight...Ford sold more vehicles in 2007 than Hyundai and Kia fact you would have to add their sales together and multiply the total by 3 to get close to Ford's 2.3 million sales last year.
Stripes on 03/19/2008:
Ford is a wonderful place to buy a car, but if you are treated like crap at the end. spend your money elsewhere. I am glad to see you are happy with them. I did hear that Ford had all the lay offs that was my point here not about me having facts straight. That is why they are begging people to buy! Overpriced/Plain Jane vehicles. Trust me they will go out of business they are already trying to buy out their union workers. That don't sit too well!
Aerocave on 03/19/2008:
I didn't say I was happy with Ford products. I have been in the automotive industry for almost my entire life...and I have to point out, I sincerely doubt Ford will just "go out of business"--and besides, what a disaster for the economy that would careful what you wish for...
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Ford Escort Lemon
Posted by on
WESTLAND, MICHIGAN -- I bought a used Ford Escort SE(1999) from a dealership near my home in Michigan in late August 2005, less than one year ago, with 22,000 actual miles on it. Since then it's made sure to suck enough money out of me so that I could never afford to buy another car. Stated by the salesman wasa the brakes were newer (at least over half their life left), the entire car had been inspected before sale, and the car had never been in any accidents.

Less than one week after I bought it the car started violently shaking at idle, from bad motor mounts; a defent that took two visits to their dealership fix. During the first fix the mechanic tried feeding me a bull line about the "engine is so powerful that it causes extra vibrations" (a 1999 Escort SE gets about 110 HP. I've been outrun by minivans. Powerful engine my a**). Also noted to the mechanics both times was a squealing noise from the brakes. The mechanics both told me that the brakes were new on and not in need of fixing; neither one even looked at them.

Two weeks after the motor mounts were finally fixed (now September), the air conditioning stopped working. Took it in, was told the entire system had been looked over and the compressor was replaced. Again brought up the now rubbing brakes, was told there was nothing wrong with them.

October, check engine light comes on repeatedly at random. I pull over to check the engine and notice the entire harness for the headlights is cracked across the front. Headlights and front clip are now held on by less than two inches of plastic. I also notice wat seems to be masking material for a paint job near the hinges of the hood. This car's front has been repainted...and replaced, though I was told it was not... dealership refuses to replace the cracked part, saying that under warranty or not it doesn't cover any "body damage".

Almost rear end a car for lack of brakes in late October. Jack up the car and remove the wheel; the pads and rotors have HEAVY damage. Rotors are warped and chipped to hell. I take it into the dealership to complain, they say that brakework is not in their warranty and that I must've done it. Mileage is approximately 24-26,000 miles at this time, and I mostly highway drive...mechanics have told me there is no way I caused that much damage to those short of hitting them with a hammer.

Took it in for first oil change at around 25,000 miles,air filter looked as if it had been dipped in sewage. My old Chevy Celebrity had had the same air filter since '03 and looked cleaner (2003-2005!)So much for inspections. Replaced.

Periodically check engine sensor pings on and off. The dealership won't look at it even unless I pay them $100, and not all sensors are covered by their warranty. Could run me over $300 just for a sensor. Car also started sucing gas, gets about 20 mi to the gallon instead of 28-30 highway. No idea why.

April 2006, car starts vibrating all the time, makes ticking noises. Over a week it becomes deafening. Take it in, mechanic insists there's nothing wrong. I refuse to leave until they look at it. Inspection finds a cracked flywheel, replaced.

May 2006, air conditioning goes AGAIN. It's only been used a good three times since the last repair! The dealership refuses to warranty their last work, saying that the wiring can corrode so it won't work. Problem: wiring does not corrode that much in 8 months, meaning they put bad wiring back into my car during their "inspection".

June, paint starts chipping. Everywhere. Big flakes. I noticed a bit around the doors earlier, but got concerned when chips the sixe of my thumbnail started falling off the car for no reason.

Went to complain to the managers of North Brothers Ford...the manager who inspected my car basically accused me of lying. He told me that "people put ideas into my head" and "there's nothing wrong with this car" short, they would give me 1500 in a trade for it...I paid over 6 grand for the thing less than a year ago. I know 6 grand isn't a lot, but I'm a college student who's now stuck with an unreliable car that I really couldn't afford; I bought it because it was promised to last me longer than my past heaps. No one there offers help, I just keep getting lied to, can't afford a lawyer for lemon lawsuit. Trying to sell the car to cut my losses...not working too good. Ford, you suck.
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Sparticus on 07/02/2006:
I have a hard time believing the car had only 22k miles on it. I have a feeling the odometer either was broken for most of the cars life, or someone tampered with it. 3-4k miles a year seems too low. Of course, perhaps it was a local rental they let folks use when they were doing car repairs. That might explain why the car took such a beating mechanically in just 22k?
Anonymous on 07/02/2006:
This dealership has a file opened, you should file a bbb complaint. Good luck
Frenchie on 07/03/2006:
Boy for a college student you should learn some things that are basic in this world, to check things out and get it in writing.
Did the dealer assure you of the mileage? If so did they put it in writing. I sincerely doubt if it has only 22K.
Each time you had work done did you follow it up with a registered letter, outlining what that was wrong and what the dealer did to fix. Keep a paper trail.
Now how to solve.
1 - you might want to go to a spedometer shop and have them check to see if the odometer was tampered with. If it was you have a nice lawsuit against the dealer.
2 - Send a letter (registered, return receipt) to the president of the dealership, with copy to Ford Mtr Co (complaint department) also copy to BBB. Out line in letter the specifics, cover them all intelligently.
3 - Find out the name of the prior owner, it might have been on the title, but DVM in your state should be able to get (might cost a couple of bucks) Contact former owner as
to mileage, but don't give him too much info for you don't know his relationship to the dealer.
Get your ducks in a row and you could win, assuming all you wrote is correct. Years ago I got a friend a new car
in a similar situation. ALWAYS +GET IT IN WRITING and
listen to a lot of stuff on these posts, it won't solve the problem)
CHOPPERGIRL on 04/08/2012:
Forget being a whiney little bitch to the dealership, you're talking to the wind. Everything you'll have to fix yourself. The Ford Escort is a lemon and they pawned it off on you. One look in the engine bay at the engine packed in there like fishes in a sardine can should have told you that.

Get yourself a warez factory manual if you can. But more to the point, Pull-a-part is your friend. Never buy parts new.

Forget worrying about the air conditioner or the paint for now, worry about keeping it running.
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Ford's Owner Notification Program Shell Game
Posted by on
PINCONNING, MICHIGAN -- In 2001 my wife purchased a 1999 Ford Contour with only 17,000 miles at an authorized Ford dealership. During the time since we have owned the vehicle, we received NO information from Ford regarding problems with this particular model.
Well, this summer the interior gremlins decided to become active! The dashboard warped to the point where it is almost touching the windshield, and the fan refused to blow at any speed beside "wind tunnel" high!
When we took it to a local repair garage, two mechanics there told us to take it to the Ford dealership since both problems had been recall items. So, off to the dealership we go, where a computer check on our vehicle gave us the wonderful news that no recalls or TSBs existed on our car. In fact, the dealership even told us that they wished that the dashboard warpage issue was a recall, since they knew of other 1998-1999 Contours with the same problem!!!
The conflicting information caused me to research the situation on the net from the "Contour Enthusiasts Group", "", and "BlueOvalNews". Numerous Contour owners described the EXACT same problems and mentioned their cars being repaired at the dealerships for free. I even got the specific numbers concerning the repair procedures and photos of the corrected dashboard.
With this information in hand, I again went back to the dealership, only to be given the same response. Well, I decided to contact Ford headquarters directly, since we all hear so much about their commitment to quality and customer satisfaction, right?
Well, I received the wonderful news that the repairs were done free of charge for a short time under what is called an "Owner Notification Program". This is a technical euphemistic loophole that allows manufacturers to not directly acknowledge defective parts while at the same time placing an arbitrary beginning and ending date upon how long they will be responsible for repairing their defective products! I was told that the notifications were no longer valid - even though I was NOT notified in the first place!!!!
So, after waiting two weeks for a decision on our problem, I was finally informed that Ford would GRACIOUSLY cover 30% of the cost on the dashboard repair since the car was no longer under warranty. This in spite of the fact that during the notification program there was NO cost and NO issue of miles or years in service required to receive the corrected parts and labor.
I could understand this situation IF we had received notification and simply ignored it, but we received NO mailings about these two part defects. In fact, Ford changed the dashboard design on the Contour in 2000 because of the previous defective problem with warpage!
At least this situation helped me in another area. At the time I was debating between purchasing a new Mustang convertible or Chrysler Sebring convertible. After Ford's response, I can only say how much satisfaction I have from driving my Sebring ! I also continue to inform fellow workers, friends, and family about Ford's treatment regarding this situation. I used to recommend Ford products regularly to them. Is this still the situation? I'll let you answer that rhetorical question for yourselves!...Archie Gittins
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Anonymous on 11/10/2003:
I bought, or am still buying 2000 Mercury Mystique and my dash board is also warped. Took to Tony Betten Ford,in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and told they will not fix, because it is not covered...Can someone tell who I can connect to get a little attention...
Anonymous on 11/26/2003:
I also have a 2000 ford and lets say I'm enjoying my cyrsler convertable now
still trying to find out who to contact the fords atty in the state I live in says I have a case but that was all he could tell me
cimjoe on 07/08/2004:
I have a 2000 Contour with the same problem.
Ford said it was a customer satisfaction recall that expired. It should be a safety recall (which doesn't expire) because in the winter the defroster doesn't work due to the warpage blocking the vents causing a hazard.

I know someone who works at a Ford dealer that said this is common and now Ford has a mod kit to sell as a repair.
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Problems Caused by Use of Spare Tire
Posted by on
Rating: 3/51
MICHIGAN -- I have a 2008 Mercury Grand Marquis. On 04/18/2013 I had a flat tire and had to put on the spare tire that Ford Motor Co. furnished with the car. It is a little smaller in diameter than the regular tires. When I got back on the road the car would only get 35 mph for about 7 miles then picked up and ran faster. The caution on the tire warns to not exceed 50 mph so I kept it around that. As soon as I was back on the road the ABS light, the park brake light and the stability control light all came on. When I went to have it reset I was told that it had taken out the module that controls this. The cost to replace this is around $300.00.

It is sorry of Ford Motor Co. to supply a spare tire that is going to cause this kind of trouble if you use it.
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trmn8r on 04/25/2013:
As an engineer, I can't see a logical explanation that a tire that is a slightly different size than the others would have any detrimental effect on a control unit. Sizes of regular tires often vary enough that the system needs to be able to accommodate differences.

Did you go to a Ford dealer? I'd ask for an explanation as to exactly what may have "taken out" the control unit.
clutzycook on 04/25/2013:
I just got rid of my 2005 Mercury Sable and I used the spare tire at least twice in the years that I had the car. Yes, they're smaller than the regular tires (I think all cars these days do this). But I'm with 8r in failing to see the link between the "doughnut" and the malfunction of the module. It's probably a coincidence.
FoDaddy19 on 04/26/2013:
My theory on this is that the ABS/traction control controller is programed with to expect X number of tire rotations per mile (and a tolerance to account for tire wear, inflation, and variations for slightly different models of tire). When the donut was put on, the number of rotations on one side of the axle changed, and the traction control/ABS controller interpreted this as wheelspin and the traction control pulled ignition spark and/or applied the brakes in an attempt to correct the non-existent wheelspin. This would explain why the car had trouble getting up to speed. After a while the controller failed. It's possible that turning off the traction control could've solved the problem.
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Brake Power Booster Failure
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- I recently had to replace the brake power booster of on my 2010 Ford Fusion Se with 77,000 miles. Most of my driving is highway, so I am not doing a lot of stop and go. My mechanic who is a 21 year Ford mechanic said that the part should not have failed on such a new vehicle, and suggested that I contact Ford Motors. I have also spoken to several other mechanics and auto parts suppliers and the consensus is the same. I spoke with a representative at Ford and they refuse to address the issue. What should I do now. I am also having a problem with the fuel inlet light constantly going on and off. If causes the engine light to go on and off as well. I have done everything suggested. What next?

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trmn8r on 08/11/2012:
Your vehicle is likely out of warranty at 77,000 miles.

It isn't that uncommon for stuff to break prematurely on vehicles - and sadly the consumer usually is stuck with the bill. Rarely do companies step up and offer to do anything, unless the problem is so bad there is a recall. Save your receipts in the event there eventually is a recall.
FoDaddy19 on 08/11/2012:
It might not be that old, but it does have a moderate amount of miles on it. It is a bit early for brake booster to fail after 77,000 miles, but at the same time I don't think that it would reasonable to expect a car to go 77,000 and not need to have the odd part replaced. I replaced the same part on my F-150 at about the same mileage, though it's older 1997 model.

As for what you can do now; see what Ford is willing to do for you, I'm guessing they'll see the car has 77,000 miles on it and they won't do anything for you. You'll just have to pay for the repair. I doubt if the fuel inlet light is related. IIRC your car Ford's capless fuel filler neck. You may have to go to a dealership to have it addressed.
BigAl on 08/12/2012:
Agree 100% with trmn8r. For a 21 year mechanic to suggest that a vehicle with 77,000 miles is "so new" boggles my mind.
CrazyRedHead on 08/12/2012:
I'm curious to see what the repair bill will be, especially with these new type of cars.
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