BALLWIN, MISSOURI -- I have since been in contact with Ford Corporate, including the Executive Offices, Zone Manager and District Manager. Their attitude towards the customer has been deplorable. I plan on resubmitting the below letter back to the Executive Offices with an update of what has transpired. I strongly urge anyone who reads this not to buy a Ford product. It is no wonder that they are being debt has been downgraded.
I actually spoke to the District Manager on a day where there was an article in the paper that sales on Ford Explorer's were down 35% within the last year. Also, that this % decline is higher than comparable SUV's of other manufacturers. I would think customer satisfaction would play a large role into that. Just see the letter, I sent to Ford Corporate below:
I am writing you this letter in reference to the experiences that I have had with my 2002 Ford Explorer and the level of service (or lack thereof) that I have received from my local dealership (Bo Beuckman-Missouri). In June of last year my rear axle seal began to leak. I brought the car into the dealership for repair. Within a few weeks, one of my alert lights on the dashboard was activated, so I brought the car back into the service shop to have it checked out.
The Dealership informed me that the rear axle had a groove in it, caused by a faulty seal, was causing the leak. The rear axle would have to be replaced. The axle took over a week to be replaced. Once I took possession of the car, it had a discernible knocking to it as I drove. I immediately turned around and gave the car back to the service department. The Service Manager claimed that one of the technicians had forgotten to reattach a brake cable that was then hitting the tire.
Two days after picking up the car once the knocking noise was repaired, I was driving my son (one year old at the time) to his grandmother's house on my way to work. I noticed that the car did not “feel” right. It almost felt that the car was out of alignment, but it was not driving terribly. After I dropped my son off and went to work, I started thinking more and more about the car and the way it drove on the way in. I called the Service Department at Beuckman and told them that I would be bringing the car back in at the end of the day.
As the day went on, I had a sneaking suspicion that I should not pick up my son on the way home in that car. I really had little reason to feel that way, but the car just did not “feel” right. For me to pick up my son, I have to go 15 miles further than if I would go straight to the dealership (all highway). I called my wife at her work and asked her to go get him and take him home. This was no small task as her place of employment to pick up my son and back, in traffic, is about an hour and half.
On the highway on the way to the dealership, the car started to shimmy at 50 miles per hour. I slowed down the rest of the way, and thought it best that once I got close to the dealership (which is not far from my house) to cut through neighborhoods. After I exited the highway and had started to cut through some subdivisions, I started to hear a crunching sound from the rear of the vehicle and the car was bucking wildly at any speed over 5 miles per hour. I peered out to the left rear wheel while driving only to find that it had lodged loose and had all but fallen off. I stopped the car just three miles from the dealership.
I just sat there stunned, thankful, and angry before calling the dealership. I realized that had I picked up my son, that the two of us would have been on the highway at the time. The ensuing accident would have had the potential to be very serious. We got lucky that something had told me not to go get him. The service department stated that faulty bearings caused the reason for the mishap. At the same time they informed me that every time that you recalibrate those bearings like you have to when you replace the axle, they weaken. They should have put new bearings on the car. Rather, they took the cheap way out and put my family and I in great risk.
At that time, I contacted the General Manager of Beuckman Ford, **, to discuss what had happened. I explained the entire situation with him from the beginning. I was very courteous, patient, and polite. He even commented to me at the time how reasonable and forgiving I was being considering what could have happened to me and my family.
I never asked for one thing other than ** word that the car would be fixed and be safe for me and my family. ** gave his word that the car would be thoroughly tested and that if anything happened in that area of the car again, that I could contact him directly. He also offered me an Extended Service Contract for my trouble and again thanked me for being so understanding. I thanked him and told him that I hoped I would never have to discuss this matter with him again.
About one month ago, a fluid started leaking from the rear of my vehicle again. I immediately knew what the cause of it was. I made an appointment with the service department and emailed ** and reminded him of what had happened previously. I informed him that my car would be there on the following Monday and that I would speak to him then about what to do about the situation.
The service department called that afternoon to confirm my suspicions, the rear axle seal was leaking again. The same repair that escalated into an extremely dangerous situation last time. I called ** once I knew that it indeed was the same issue that he gave me his word would not occur again. He agreed to meet with me at the dealership.
During this meeting, I discussed my frustration and anger at the situation, that there needed to be some kind of resolution to the situation. I told ** that I no longer wanted the car. I reminded him that I could have sued or complained last time since they put me in such danger last time. I could have demanded a new car (by trying to enforce the lemon law) or some sort of compensation, but I didn't. I am not the type of person who asks to gain something for nothing. I told him that I was giving him and Ford one more chance to back your product and service. I asked him to give me some numbers to look at on trading the car back in and purchasing a new one.
I reiterated to him that I was giving him one chance to make good on what happened previously. ** called me back (after I had to call him a number of times) the next day quoting numbers, saying he was saving me a lot of money because I was such a good customer. I told him that I would look at the numbers and talk to him following day.
To my surprise, I awake the next morning I see an ad in the paper, quoting the exact rebates that ** had quoted me. When I spoke to **, he also said he could not do much on trade-in value other than wholesale. In essence, he would give me the exact same deal as I could get walking into another dealer that I had no history with. I felt that he was giving me a snow job, telling me that he is going to give a great deal because of what happened, and what a great customer I am.
I decided later that day to go into see ** to discuss this further and go through the numbers. I also showed him the ad from his competitor. He gave me some excuses as to why the other dealer was offering a very similar deal that he offered me. ** even has two 2004 models that they cannot get rid of, that I told him would be acceptable automobiles to talk about. The only stipulation was that I did not want my payment to greatly increase.
I told him, that I really did not want to buy a new car right now as I have a two year old and a 7 ½ month pregnant wife, but they had put me in a position that I felt I had to. We went back and forth for about an hour and he would not move on the price. We were still $3500 apart on a car that they self admittedly could not unload off of their lot. ** was saying that they were handcuffed by the corporate office on the price.
This was the first time I let my frustration be known. I requested to discuss the matter directly with ** and informed him that I would be contacting Ford's corporate office if there was not some sort of resolution (He told me that traditionally corporate Ford will not do much to assist the customer). I told him that given what had happened to the car that they sold me and serviced, that I should be entitled to some greater leniency than a customer off the street. Especially since their product and service had previously endangered my family and I.
I also reminded him again, that in the past I had been a stand-up, honest person in a situation that others would have taken advantage of. I felt that I was being punished now for doing what I thought was the right thing when the problems first escalated. It made me feel that the only way they would work with me was to have gotten into a bad accident. This is a horrible way to do business! They are more interested in the “short term” bottom line than self admittedly putting me and my family at risk. I am a relatively young man with a young family who will buy many cars in the years to come.
This was/is an opportunity to gain a customer for life, and quite frankly I feel as if I am getting the short end of the stick here. Trading $3500 (Less actually if you count the turnaround on my trade-in) for a potential longtime customer willing to put more of his money on the table, even though he has had some serious issues in the past. **, through **, went even so far as to say that “making me right” is not a good business decision. I work in the business world and have never seen such blatant disregard for the customer. I also have never seen such shortsightedness in terms of long term profitability and customer satisfaction.
The really aggravating part is that during this whole process, it took their service department four days to fix my car when it should have taken a maximum of two. Once I did get the vehicle back, it was leaking heavier than when I gave it to them. They had to come get the car from my place of business. Their claim is that, they did not properly clean the residual fluid once the seal was again replaced. Now that I have the vehicle back, I fully expect it to start leaking again in the near future. I will be trading in that vehicle at some point in the near future, whether it is on another Ford product is up to Ford.
Mr. Ford, I hope you can think of some resolution to this matter. I have been as fair as I can be. I was not asking for much and was willing to pay over $22,000 of my money for your product. I was basically told that my business was not wanted. You are in danger of losing a customer for life due to your dealership's lack of willingness to do the right thing. Also, something needs to be done to correct the errors that are made in this particular shop.
If not for me, then please do something for the next customer. I do not know how these service shops receive and maintain their “Blue Oval” certification, but quality is not something I would associate with ** service. Most of the problems I referenced above were a direct result of not only the product, but poor service. I am afraid one of these days, they will do something to a customer similar to what they did to me, but that person will not be as fortunate as I was.
AUSTIN, TEXAS -- I'm never buying another Ford. I used to be a staunch "Buy American" consumer. As American car companies market share continued to plummet, I continued to feel that it is my patriotic duty to buy American. Well, I finally woke up and realized that everyone else is right, and that I was naive.
Last week the O/D light came on in my Ford Explorer. I drove it right home and got the manual out to see what the problem was. "Transmission problem" was what the manual indicated, as well as several websites I reviewed. I didn't worry at first, since I figured this would be covered under warranty. My Explorer is just under 5 years old and just under 60K miles. Surely there would at least be a 60K power train warranty. No one would buy a vehicle if they knew the transmission would only last 59K miles.
Well, the dealer told me a new transmission was needed (5th and 2nd gears were worn down), that it would cost $3500, and that it is not covered by warranty. And to add insult to injury he charged me $90 to tell me the transmission was bad (something I obviously knew) - isn't this similar to stealing?
I then asked him what trade in value I could get (not that I really would buy another poor quality Ford, but I wanted to explore all options). $5500 is the most they could give. I laughed - since I had taken very good care of the vehicle. It told me that they didn't want the vehicle either - so much for them really standing behind their product. They know the quality is poor. Obviously I was quite irritated. I asked what caused this. None of the possibilities applied since I took good care of the vehicle and had it serviced according to the maintenance manual. In fact, the dealer (Cover Ford in Austin) did the 30K checkup. I spent $1K on that (and probably got ripped off).
I took it to a transmission specialist and had it fixed for under $2500. He informed me that he sees a lot of issues like this with Explorers - probably a poor design and poor quality. Also, judging by various websites there are indeed lots of complains like this. I wouldn't be surprised if Ford knew of the poor design - since the warranty that came with the vehicle was only 3 yr/36K even for powertrain. If Ford had good quality, why couldn't they step up to the plate and offer 60K or even 100K power train warranty. They must have known the poor quality. In my mind, this is deceptive practice - and I kick myself for not recognizing this as a red flag.
Well, for the 2008 Explorer I see Ford is offering 60K powertrain warranty. So they must have made some improvements (which further underscores their recognition of the poor quality in earlier years). But it's still a far cry from 100K that some vehicles come with. You also have to wonder what other quality issues are lurking.
I think the choice is now clear to me. In the future I will be considering something like a Honda Pilot. Ford deserves the trend of lower market share. Consumers are very wise, and the quality the provide is reflected in their declining sales and market share. Please don't make the same mistake I made. The foreign competition provides much better quality and customer service.
I have purchased 3 Ford Explorers and a Mustang within the last 12 years. The latest purchase was a 2008 Explorer in which I purchased out from a lease in December of 2010. Just within the past few weeks of June 2011, I noticed the center caps were corroding with white colored bumps.
I presented this problem to my local Ford Dealer in Hackensack, NJ and the service manager advised me that it was metal corrosion. He contacted Ford Motors in Detroit, MI. They replied to him by stating that since I am at 37,000 miles, the 3 year 36,000 miles original warranty no longer apply to cover me for new rims. I also purchased the premium 3 year warranty when I purchased the lease.
The service manager had the owner of the dealership contact Ford Motors in Detroit and they would not budge, even after he explained to them that I am a loyal Ford customer. I was pretty disgusted with their reply. The Ford Motor Company showed no customer loyalty. I will not purchase another Ford product.
Thinking of purchasing a new or used vehicle? I highly recommend staying away from Ford. I recently shipped my 2003 Ford Explorer as part of a government move (I am an active duty member of the United States military). When my Ford arrived at my destination and was started, the engine literally blew up. My Ford was towed to a nearby Ford dealer where it was determined that the issue was “mechanical failure” of the engine.
Assuming something had occurred during shipping, I was surprised when the mechanic told me that sometimes the “plastic pieces inside the engine cassette come loose, causing the timing chain to slip, and the valve cover to blow off”. I was also surprised to hear there is plastic in the engine. Anyway, my Ford Explorer was a total loss. Attempts to get assistance from Ford Motor Company were fruitless.
To those of you who have had good luck with Ford products, I truly hope your good luck continues. To those of you in the market for a new or used vehicle, I strongly urge you to stay away from Ford products. I purchased my Ford Explorer brand new back in 2003 and was hoping to drive it for many years to come. I will personally never purchase another Ford product.
OCEAN, NEW JERSEY -- This truck was only a 3 years old when the paint began to fall of. When I contacted FMC about the problem, they asked me to go to the dealer of my choice so they could take pictures and make a determination regarding root cause. I was told that because the car was out of warranty, they could not help me with any repair. I own 3 Fords total. I'll never buy another. To all the people who are suffering with similar issues, make it known. Blacken Fords name. Cars from the 60's still have the paint they came with on them, and I am supposed to find this acceptable?
WEST HAVEN, CONNECTICUT -- From the moment I drove the thing off the lot I have had nothing but problems. When making a left turn and depressing the signal indicator, it would keep popping up. That was the 1st day. Drivers side/rear seat belt would not work - 2nd week, tire pressure sensors constantly going off. That I could deal with, but the best is when the tone ring on the braking system broke. The noise was unbelievable. You would have thought I drove over a thousand soda cans. Then the sunroof begins to leak, but not where you would think. The water was pouring out of the overhead lamp switch - the reason - short tracks on the sunroof.
I don't even use the stupid thing and the cover is always closed. Tire sensor broke and created a nice big bubble in my brand new tire. Oh and when they tell you they will give you new tires if all of your services are done at the dealership that is a bunch of crap. We had that agreement with our lease and of course when we went to have the tires done we got the big song and dance. The above mentioned items happened between Dec 07 & Feb 08 - all were taken care of or so we thought. July 7, 2008 the shifter breaks. How the heck does a shifter break?
Today, July 24, the sunroof is leaking again. I can only imagine the mold that is growing. Lease is not until June 2009. I get the usual song and dance every time I go in to the shop. It is now 1:20pm and I have yet to hear from service. I heard from one of the owners, but was given no answer. The vehicle was taken in at 8:15 this morning with water pouring in. When I left the dealer 10 minutes after dropping the vehicle off. It was still outside and it was raining pretty hard so I am sure that the cup holders have a nice bit of water in them and I am sure that the drivers seat is still soaked.
But I was told by one of the owners that after reviewing my problems I should consider myself lucky that nothing really bad has happened. She just jinxed me. So frustrating and even more so I can't get out of the lease. I had a 2003 and I never had any problems with it. I should have kept it.
My 2005 Ford Explorers' transmission just broke in two with no warning. A metal part in the trans. sheared into two pieces. Good luck trying to get Ford to reimburse you. I have tried e-mails, phone calls, even writing Ford headquarters in Michigan. They all have their pat answers (you didn't service it at Ford) (You should have had it fixed at a dealership). They will not accept the blame or back their product for me at all. My husband has purchased Ford vehicles for the past 5 vehicles. They do not care.
Warning: You are pretty much on your own! By the way I did have the transmission rebuilt somewhere other than Ford - $2500.00.
I could go on forever but here are the facts. My car has been on a hoist at my mechanic's garage for the past 3 weeks, since March 28. The tie rods on my 2003 Ford Explorer went bad. This week Ford called us and said the part won't be available until June. I am renting a car at $200+ a week because our only family vehicle can't be repaired due to a big ball being dropped at Ford.
My wife and I are forced to get a new car or put money into a rental. I asked Ford to pay for two weeks of my rental car but they would not. How does a company like Ford allow something like this to happen? I had another issue with Ford and their "customer service" but that is a different story. By the way, the new car I'm getting is a Honda.
OHIO -- I purchased my first SUV and first Ford in 2000 in Newark OH at Matthews Fords. Paying pretty much full price which was my fault for not being a better buyer myself. Well that is when my troubles began from front brakes locking up, bearings, seat belt recall, alignment problems, transmission, motor issues. I even had a front tire shoot off like a missile which I was not cited for for it was determined my lug nuts where faulty. This could have killed someone. The tire did do damage to another persons car which my insurance paid. I have actually dreamed this car has killed me.
I cannot begin to tell you how much money I have sunk in repairs along with my payment. From the start of this issue I have gotten no response from Ford. The Dealership?? Well we feel bad for your lemon. Well Ford I make it a goal to tell 10 people a day that I come across as a nurse, mother, friend, neighbor, about the poor quality and how you don't back your product you build. It is not Ford strong. It is Ford wrong. I could not even sell this car to someone for I would feel guilty unless it's back to you.
HIGHLANDS RANCH, COLORADO -- In 2000, I bought a 2000 Ford Explorer from Burt Ford on Arapahoe Road. From the moment I bought the car, I knew it was the worst mistake. My Explorer has been on seven recalls, including the exploding tires, that separated when we were traveling to South Dakota. Last Winter our clutch system went out and it took Burt Ford almost 3 months for the repair.
Burt Ford offered us a rental from Hertz, free of charge, but then Hertz charged our AMEX card for insurance we declined, then Ford charged us almost $6000 for a repair. My sister has a Ford Expedition and she got rid of that piece of junk. She now drives a Honda Pilot, and we just bought a Honda CR-V, and the next car I purchase will be anything but a Ford!! It is true... Ford makes crap for cars. Why do you think they are in such financial trouble?