Ford Motor Transmission

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2001 Ford Windstar transmission
Posted by Treemanyo on 02/02/2004
ELLICOTT CITY, MARYLAND -- I have a 2001 Windstar with 54,000 miles on it that requires a new transmission already. I should have listened to my father, who has told me for the past thirty years that he would cut off his right arm before he would buy a Ford. The lovely folks at my neighborhood Ford dealership have informed me that the repair will cost about $3500.

Needless to say, my wife and I are furious that Ford would put out a product that would fail with such low mileage, especially for a mini-van that was used primarily for highway use only, and one that was meticulously taken care of in terms of oil changes and routine maintenance. We have approached Ford's customer service and asked them to look at our situation to see if there was anything they could do to rectify the situation for us, only to run into a brick wall.


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Posted by centercounter on 2004-07-18:
I bought a 2003 Ford Windstar and a month later the OD light startd blinking, which gives codes for a transmission problem. They found water in the transmission and Ford refused to honor the warranty. When I called the Customer Relationship Department, they outright refused to transfer me to a supervisor and after repeated letters from PlanetFeedback, finally I did speak with a supervisor. It turns out that, effectively, the Warranty department does not appear to provide any means (at least any easily accessible means) to challenge a bad decision.
Posted by Brownthree on 2004-11-16:
I have a 2000 Windstar with a failed transmission at 51,000 miles. I am so mad I could just scream. I will never buy a Ford again. I had it towed from the Ford dealers ship so the repair will only cost $2,300 vs $3,000 the dealer wanted. It is ridiculous to have to replace the tranny this soon.
Posted by westin on 2005-01-21:
You hit the nail squarely on the head.
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transmission problems
Posted by Marger on 01/07/2005
SINKING SPRING, PENNSYLVANIA -- We purchased a Ford Windstar in Dec 2002 because I was starting a small business out of my house and needed the cargo capacity. It had about 30,000 miles on it already. In summer of 2004 I had to have the entire rack and pinion steering replaced at a cost of $800. (By the Ford dealer). I've never had that problem with any other car we've owned, mostly GM vehicles.
Then on Dec 28 we were driving back from Philidelphia. We stopped for a red light on the highway, and the van refused to move forward. The motor was running but the transmission would not work. We were stuck. We had it towed to our Ford dealer and told him we didn't think the van should have this kind of problem with only 54,000 miles on it. The next day we found this site on the internet and found out that Ford has had transmissions problems for years and did nothing to improve them. Hundreds of people have had to replace transmissions in newer models with low mileage. In fact in Canada there were so many complaints, the courts said that Ford should accept responsiblity for the problem and cover the repair. They still refuse to do this.
The estimate we got from the Ford dealer was $3,000. or more to rebuild or replace the transmission. After we protested and told him what we had learned, the only offer Ford made was "we want to tear the transmission apart for $550. and then we MIGHT cover the repair." No Promises.
We took the van to a transmission repair shop and they did the work for $1600....$1400 less than Ford would have charged! In addition, he told us that the transmisison he removed was not original equipment. Apparently this is the 2nd time the transmission has been replaced. And the problem was again the Sun gear, the same part that has been plagueing Ford for years. Yet they do absolutely nothing to correct the problem or accept responsiblity for the repair work. Their response..."You should have bought the extended warranty"!!! And their slogan is Quality-Plus Ford????? I'd say "Quality Minus Ford".
So, I have only driven approx 23,000 miles and already have had to spend $2400. just to keep the vehicle running!!! I've spent almost as much as I earned this year.
So take heed. NEVER, EVER buy a Ford! I've heard people say Ford stands for "Fix Or Repair Daily." Now I know why!
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Transmission Failure
Posted by Mr.Cranky on 06/18/2004

Ford’s Silence Speaks Volumes

How long should a consumer reasonably
expect to get a response from a
good corperate citizen when one writes
a registered letter to their customer
service department? Any response? Even
just a brief sentence to acknowledge
the receipt of that letter and that
they're looking into it? Well if that
corperation is Ford of Canada, the best
response seems to be no response.
It's been over a month now since I
wrote them a letter outlining some
serious concerns and thank goodness I'm
not holding my breath waiting for them
to get back to me. It’s an old and
tired game that you’d think companies
like Ford wouldn’t play anymore, but
they do, and their silence speaks
I’m a 71 year old pensioner who takes
impeccable care of his 2000 Windstar
I put less than 18,000 kms a year of
light duty driving on it. I did
everything by the book.
On May 11th while leaving my driveway
the transmission of my vehicle suffered
a catastrophic failure. I initially
called Ford and no one got back to me.
Then I sent a registered letter to
their Customer Relationship Centre...
Still nothing.
Shouldn’t it behoove a company like
Ford to at least create a file or
incident report documenting the receipt
of a registered letter? Just what are
their protocols in such matters?
Also, how would such a flagrant
disregard for a consumer's concerns be
viewed in a small claims court?
Interesting how companies can spend all
sorts of money to "reach us" but when
it come to "reaching them" it's another

I live in hope.

Klaus Steinbach

Etobicoke, Canada

(Please find a copy of the registered letter I sent Ford of Canada on May 17th below.)
[Please note that the last line about not wanting to "cause Ford of Canada any undue stress or adverse publicity" ceratinly applied over a month
ago when I wrote it. Now, is a different story.]

Ford Customer Relationship Centre
The Canadian Road
PO Box 2000
Oakville, ON. L6J 5E4

Klaus Steinbach
[address withheld]
Etobicoke, ON.
May 17th, 2004
Vehicle: 2000 Ford Windstar
VIN: 2FMDA5346YBA76838
Odometer Reading: 80,818 kms
Incident: Complete Transmission Failure

I am writing to inform you of a serious incident that occurred with my 2000 Ford Windstar on May the 11th, 2004.
An incident that came spontaneously and
without warning immediately after backing out of my driveway.

First off, let me preface this by
giving you some information about the
vehicle and my driving habits.
I purchased the 2000 Ford Windstar new
from Cruickshank Motors in November 1999.
This vehicle was leased for 3 years after which I decided to purchase it.
I did this because as the sole owner of
the automobile I knew its history.
I have always meticulously adhered to
Ford’s own prescribed maintenance
schedule as outlined in the vehicle’s
service manual. This automobile wasn’t
just transportation, it was an
The type of driving I do could easily
be described as average to light duty.
I drive approximately 18,000 kms or less a year. I have never placed any
undue mechanical stresses on this
vehicle nor was there ever any
indication that it was operating
marginally or under some strained
condition that would result in the
failure I experienced on May 11th.
After having backed out of my driveway
I placed the car into drive and then
pressed the accelerator. The car
briefly moved forward and then I heard
a very distinct "thunk" after which the
vehicle ceased moving completely.
I had to put the car into neutral and
push it to the side of the road. With
assistance I eventually got it back
into my driveway and made arrangements
to have the vehicle towed to my
mechanic the following morning.
The prognosis the next day wasn’t good.
Much to my surprise the transmission in
my vehicle had experienced a total
failure and at only 80,818 kms
(just under 50,000 miles).
It is an accepted fact that parts do
eventually wear out. However, I think
you’d agree that the complete and utter
failure of an automatic transmission in
a car that has been impeccably
maintained, driven less than 18,000 kms
a year under optimum driving conditions
and with only a total of 80,818 kms on
the odometer does not fall within the
realm of acceptable industry standards
or "normal structural parameters".
One could of course suggest that I am
somehow misleading you with my
automotive practices. That I have
perhaps driven my vehicle in an abusive
manner putting undue stress on the
engine. Well I can assure you that I
have been driving my vehicle like
the 71 year old pensioner that I am.
If anything, I have been overly
protective and devoted to the care and
maintenance of my car.
So what about the cause? If
not "normal" perhaps something
Could there have been something
inherently wrong with the structural
integrity of my Ford Windstar’s
Based on many of Ford’s own internal
TSB’s outlining a number of
transmission fixes for the AXOD-E/ AX4S
powertrain, well documented reports of
anomalies from many customers and
various studies by numerous consumer
advocacy groups it would appear
that I am not the only individual who
has experienced these problems.
(I can provide you with the documented
TSB’s and a number of independent,
corroborating incident reports similar
to my own.)
In so far as not having an extended
warranty; it has already been ruled
that the absence of one does not
exculpate or absolve Ford from
liability in the unreasonably
premature failure of a major vehicle
component (based on normal, acceptable
industry standards) with regard to
federal and provincial consumer
protection statues.
Canadian jurisprudence has already
borne this out (see Quebec Small Claims
Hull Division, No: 550-32-008335-009).
My intention with this letter is not to
cause Ford of Canada any undue stress
or adverse publicity but to resolve
this issue in a prompt and timely
manner that is mutually agreeable to
both of us.
I thank you for your time and look
forward to your response.


Klaus Steinbach


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Posted by compwiz on 2004-06-18:
Is the car under some kind of warranty still? otherwise, you are out of luck.
Posted by Anonymous on 2004-06-19:
A well written letter, but I would suggest that you include your idea of a resolution ( i.e. maybe a dicounted parts price or a dollar assistance towards repair). Transmission failure again is rampant in all makes, especially mini vans. I doubt Ford will pick up the entire tab on this but they may assist with some goodwill towards the repair (I have seen it done before). I will tell you though, you will get more flies with honey than vinegar and if you threaten a lawsuit customer service will immediatley stop trying to help and the only thing you will get is Ford's legal department. The best thing to do is go to your local Ford dealer and find out when their regional service manager will be visiting (they usually visit once a month) and address your concerns with him/her on that date. They have the authority to assist on these matters, just make sure you act in a nice way and not a raving lunatic otherwise you'll get nothing. Good Luck.
Posted by Anonymous on 2004-06-19:
P.S. When you meet the service manager pretend to be docile and weak (even though you may not be), these guys usually have BIG hearts. Also don't tell him you got this advise off the internet sometimes it is best to play deaf, dumb, and blind.
Posted by windstar on 2004-07-30:
Name: Paul Coppock

E-Mail: paul.coppock@teliciti.com

Subject: Re: 1999 ford windstar transmission problem... re: 2000 tran. problem

Body of Message: Can I relate - I own a 99 windstar lxe which I purchased 2nd hand over 2 years ago with 57k on the clock - it now has 84k miles. The transmission fluid has been religously changed. The car is used mostly on freeways... A few weeks ago I started to experienece a twang when changing out of neutral... then the traction light started flashing... I decided to drive it to dealers this weekend but no such luck. Wife drove round trip to a new job on Tuesday and dropped in to a mall a few miles from home before coming home. She put the car in drive moved 2 feet and there was an almighty bang. The car will now not move in drive - it will only reverse. I am angered and at at a loss to understand why a transmission should die at such a low milage??? If I had known this was a trait with this vehicle I would not have bought it.

Car is still at Mall whilst I decide most inexpensive place to get it repaired! Any advice would be appreciated.

I would like to know from someone with a history in the automobile business as to whether this problem is likely a result of a faulty design or whether 80k miles is all I should expect out of a modern transmission??? If its the former then perhaps ford should compensate Windstar drivers for a poor product! I see I am not alone!

Paul Coppock
Alameda, CA

Posted by cynthiac on 2004-09-09:
Same thing happened to my Windstar. Transmission went at 50,000 miles (80,000 K) Diagnosis: failed Reverse Sun Gear. COst to fix: over $3000 Canadian. They are making me pay almost $1000 for a part that malfunctions and they know it.

This is beyond ridiculous. Who would think a major part would break down (at no fault of my own) at 80K and 4 years. And they are asking me to pay

Never again will I buy Ford. NEVER!!!
Posted by Frdtek04 on 2004-10-23:
No where in your post did you mention that you called the local Ford Dealer to have your car serviced. Did the service advisor you talked to on the phone suggest that instead of having your car serviced, you should instead try pointless postal mail to Ford Corporate HQ? Oh wait, nevermind, you didn't try the closest dealer, instead, you waited for Ford Corporation to send you a transmission technician through the mail to repair your car in your driveway. I feel for you and your car problems, but dealerships are set up to sell and service your car. If there isn't a dealership nearby, there are local, independant shops that can help you. Most auto technicians are over 130 lbs and by law cannot be shipped by box to your place of residence.
Posted by Brownthree on 2004-11-16:
I too have a 2000 Windstar that I bought new. Mine failed on November 11, 2004 at 51,000 with the exact same symptoms. I backed out of the driveway, but it in drive, heard a loud sound and it would not go. Apparently a bad sun gear. I am very disappointed in my Ford product. I will never buy Ford again and I'm not sure I keep the van much longer.
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Cost of transmission replacement
Posted by on 07/20/2011
I had to have my transmission in my 2005 Ford Freestyle replaced. Because it was a shiftless transmission it cost with tax $7300. to replace! I only have 60500. miles on it! No transmission is worth that.

People should know this so they don't buy this car.

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Posted by Whiteduck on 2011-07-20:
Wow. I assume this is one of those CVT trannys? That's a lot of money and not many miles.

Thanks for the heads up.
Posted by ChuhBaca on 2011-07-20:
That is very pricey! I know it probably doesn't help your situation, but I think a lot of us reading this will be much more cautious about buying a vehicle with one of those variable transmissions.
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Windstar Transmission failure
Posted by Dkeato on 02/08/2005
My wife was pulling across a busy intersection from a stop when the van made a bang, and she then lost all forward gears. The vehicle had to be towed. It cost me $2350 for a new automatic transmission. The van had only 54000 miles on it. Luckily there was not a collision in the intersection. The more I research this, the more I see many, many others complaining. If there is anyone else with this ridiculous and expensive problem, complain to everyone you can.
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Posted by Anonymous on 2005-02-08:
Wow there is going to be alot of complaining!! Better yet use the energy in a positive direction and forward your complaint to the NHTSA (National Highway Transportation & Saftey Administration). Good Luck
Posted by TXRoadTrip on 2005-02-08:

Automotive Recalls and Technical Service Bulletins - Automotive Recalls and Technical Service Bulletins

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Posted by Sadie Paris on 2005-02-19:
wow..we didnt even get to squeak that many miles outta ours.We got only 43,000 miles on our tranny. And to think I only have to pay on it for 2 more years!! Transmission shop says 1200 just to tell me whats wrong with it...warranty of COURSE expired at 36k. This is a horrible injustice to layal Ford owners... we are currently looking for an older (pre 70's) CHEVY truck so we can work on stuff ourselves. This is stupid I tell you. Just flat out stupid. NEVER BUY A MINI VAN they are crap.
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Defective transmission
Posted by Jonlamet on 01/29/2012
VALLEJO, CALIFORNIA -- I bought a 2004 F150,crewcab, auto,2wheeldrive,26,000mi. at a Vallejo, Calif dealership. The dealership is no longer in existense. I financed with Ford Credit. I put $4,000.00 down and financed $20,000.00. I had the extended warranty. My payments are $374.51 per month. I am in my last six months of payments. In December of 2011 while returning from Costco my transmission started to slip. I took the car to my trusted mechanic and he said the transmission was expired. I called Ford and talked to a representative and she acknowedged my extended warranty. She asked how many miles I had on the truck? I stated 80,000mi. She said sorry the warranty was up at 75,000mi. I sent a registered letter to the head of Ford stating my situation. I got a response in record breaking time from a Ford lackey. Sorry. Nothing we can do!
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Posted by trmn8r on 2012-01-29:
If the warranty was expired, you may have been hoping for an exception of some sort. The problem with warranties is that they have to be for a specific duration. Once the warranty has expired, if exceptions are made the question arises of how long after expiration is allowed an exception. While one could imagine a "sliding scale" based on how far, I don't know of any company that does that.

The head of Ford may not have time to respond to every letter he/she is sent. On the plus side, a representative did reply to you promptly.
Posted by oldisgood on 2012-01-29:
a warranty is a warranty and when they expire that is it. You expected an exception and didn't get it. If you had had problems leading up to this and they were documented then perhaps Ford would have done something. Your vehicle was OUT OF WARRANT!!
Posted by Anonymous on 2012-01-29:
The transmission held up past the date of warranty, and the company responded in a timely fashion to your question about the warranty. Where's the complaint?
Posted by GenuineNerd on 2012-01-29:
The extended warranty sold may have been a "basic" one with minimal coverage. Of the last three used cars I bought, my extended warranty covered the car up to 100,000 total vehicle miles, Fortunately I never had to make a claim on any of these warranties, but they're nice to have just in case. I wonder if the OP, when he bought the truck, was offered a choice of extended warranty plans...he may have opted for the lowest priced coverage, in order to keep his payments down.
Posted by CowboyFan on 2012-01-30:
The OP does not really say when he bought it, but implies that it was used by stating in the description "26,000." He would then not know what kind of usage the truck was given during those miles, so its not like the transmission was bad, it may have had extensive wear when he got it. Once the warranty is up, it is up. Because he did not get an exception does not mean the service was bad.
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Transmission acts like it's in neutral after stops while the gear shifter is in
Posted by Stomperdjl on 08/27/2011
Sometimes coming to stops in "D" on the gear shifter, the transmission acts like it's in neutral unless you shift it to reverse and back to drive and then it's fine. Transmission is in a 1996 Ford Taurus.
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Posted by GenuineNerd on 2011-08-27:
Considering that the car is 15 years old, transmission problems can and will crop up. I doubt it very much if Ford will do anything about it.
Posted by At Your Service on 2011-08-27:
I don't see where this is any platform for a complaint against Ford.

This seems more like a question than a complaint.
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2003 Ford Windstar
Posted by Mosleystar on 06/26/2009
I don't even have 85000 miles yet and I 'am having all kinds of problems with the van. Transmission is gone out. I just finished paying it off. ABS and BRAKES lights are on and I have done a complete brake job, even changed the master cylinder. The back windows stop working, the check engine light stays on.

THE vans are lemons and Ford should buy every last one of them back.

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Posted by steve101 on 2009-06-26:
The car is SEVEN years old with over 75k miles. What did you expect?
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-06-26:
.....And one of the Big 3 automakers in America. Typical.
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Ford transmission failure
Posted by Darla Mae on 05/05/2009
FALLBROOK, CALIFORNIA -- We purchased a Fleetwood Southwind motorhome in 2005 that has a Ford chassis. The Ford transmission on this motorhome went out and we had it towed to a Ford dealership for evaluation as to why this transmission failed only after 7,000 miles. We were given a list of possible problems, none that made sense. Although, the representative admitted that perhaps that the transmission was faulty, but that was the best that they could do. Their warranty is only for three years or 36k miles which ever is first. To replace the transmission is $4,750.00. After many phone calls to Ford CS they would only agree to a $1,000 deduction on an rebuilt transmission with a three year warranty. And, our loss is in buying something with a Ford product.
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Posted by Anonymous on 2009-05-05:
ALL manufacturers calculate the Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) and end warranty coverage just outside of the statistical mean. RV use is considered 'severe'. A 36 month warranty is typical. It was a risk when you bought the thing...you lost.
Posted by bonzibob on 2009-06-08:
This is a difficult situation. Ford supplied an incomplete vehicle that a motorhome manufacturer installed a body on.The first thing that needs to be established is wether or not the installation complied with Ford specifications and instructions for this chasis, and weather or not the installation could have contributed to the failure. Fleetwood is a reputable manufacturer with a few years experiance, so I would guess that they are not at fault, but you have to ask. The next thing I would look into is any track record of problems with this particular transmission, I would ask who ever is doing the repaire, they would know if they have been seeing premature failures. If you feel you have a case see if the better buisness bureau can help, the dealers in my area have an arbitration agreement with the BBB which I have used sucessfully in the past.
But trust me if your vehicle manages to squeek past the warranty before it falls apart Ford will not help even if they know they have a defective product. My F250 needs six thousand dollars worth of rot repaire, but they only offered four fifty take it or leave it even though they know they have a problem. They have been doing warranty repaires on these trucks, but mine made it 3 months past the warranty and I'm out of luck.
Is it any wonder the Japanese are taking over. Good Luck
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My 2007 Ford
Posted by Tony de on 04/08/2009
My complaint is I have this car not even 2 years with only 9371 miles on it, how does a transmission go on a brand new car? The dealership I had it towed to, has the car since Monday April 6th has failed to give a loaner car. I can't get any answers from the service dept.

My question can Ford replace the car?
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Posted by goduke on 2009-04-08:
Exceptionally similar experience.

2007 Ford Escape with 34K miles on it had a transmission blow (with my boss in the car to boot). Because I'm in a different state than when I bought the car, called Ford roadside assistance, who took it to a dealership of their choice.

Day 1 (Thursday): had to call and ask if they actually got the car.
Day 2 (Friday): had to call and ask if they had any idea what was going on. Was told they were really busy and that they would "get to it when we can." I asked what I should do about a car. They said I'd probably want to rent one. So I did.
Day 3 - 4 (weekend): nothing happens.
Day 5 (Monday): had to call to find out status. Was told that because I didn't have an appointment, they just had to work it in. I asked why they accepted the car if they didn't have time to work on it. Was told that I authorized to car to be taken here (roadside assistance didn't give options). I asked why a 2 year old Ford would drop a transmission and why I had to pay for a rental to have something to drive for a repair under warranty. I was told I needed to contact Ford. I asked "aren't you Ford?" I was told, "We aren't Ford. We're just a dealership." I called Ford corporate at 800-392-3673 to chat about the experience. Nice lady transferred my case to Customer Care who apparently deals with this kind of stuff (800-631-3788).
Day 6 (Tuesday): no calls from dealership. Talked to folks in Customer Care. Revisionist history kicks in and dealership claims they had actually started workin on car on Friday. Hmmmmm. Customer Care claims they "may" be able to do something about the rental.
Day 7 (Weds): no calls from dealership. Talked to folks in Customer Care. Apparently they are trying to find parts, because a Ford dealership doesn't have parts to fix a 2 year old transmission. I asked why they just didn't replace the whole thing. Couldn't explain it.
Day 9 (Thursday): no word. nada.
Day 10 (Friday): Finally get car at 3:30 in the afternoon. Was told by Customer Care that they would look at the rental and to fax over the receipt.
Post: Customer Care agrees that Ford will cover cost of rental, but only car portion (not tax or insurance). Apparently Ford believes that you can rent a car without paying tax or having insurance on it. Hmmmm. Three weeks later check is allegedly being processed.
Take-aways: research shows that Fords often drop transmissions in year 2 & 3. Interesting. Ford won't replace the car, they will attempt to repair. Ford won't take any ownership to explain why a 2 year old transmission dies. Ford really doesn't care because I have to keep paying them.
Note to file: next time, don't buy a Ford.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-04-08:
What model is it? I can find out if there was ever a recall or technical service bulletins issued. Read the warranty to see if a loaner is provided. Unless specifically stated the insurance on a loaner is not covered by the warranty. A vehicle not even 2 years old isn't brand new anymore. I once had a neighbor with a 25 year old A/C unit that died. She was irate that the manufacturer wouldn't fix it free
because it was 'brand new'.
Posted by goduke on 2009-04-08:
The standard Ford warranty does not cover a loaner. If the car is back at the dealer where you bought it, they might do it as a nice gesture to help with some loyalty. That's about all you can expect.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-04-08:
A two year old car is STILL under warranty, therefore new by those standards. *Sherdy makes the sign of the cross in the air* Good luck man. I though lemon laws applied after you'd had the car in for problems like 18 times. You, of course, can't even drive it without a transmission. I feel bad for you. I have had five Fords, no luck with any of them (we were a 'Ford Family.') We are a Toy and Honda family, now. If you are offered your money back, take it and run.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-04-08:
I can remember the old early 90's Taurus/Sables that would routinely go through 2-3 transmissions in a lifetime. I dumped the first new Ford I ever bought after 6 mos because of nagging transmission problems. Be persistent, if they have to reman the trans, so be it.
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