Fords Silence Speaks Volumes. How long should a consumer reasonably expect to get a response from a good corporate 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 corporation 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 youd think companies like Ford wouldn't play anymore, but they do, and their silence speaks volumes. Im a 71 year old pensioner who takes impeccable care of his 2000 Windstar van. 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 behooves 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 story. I live in hope.
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 Fords own prescribed maintenance schedule as outlined in the vehicles service manual.
This automobile wasn't just transportation. It was an investment. 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 wasnt 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 youd 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 have 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 "abnormal"? Could there have been something inherently wrong with the structural integrity of my Ford Windstars transmission?
Based on many of Fords own internal TSBs 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 TSBs 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 Court, Hull Division, No: **). 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.
VALLEJO, CALIFORNIA -- I bought a 2004 F150, crewcab, auto,2-wheel drive, 26,000 mi. at a Vallejo, Calif dealership. The dealership is no longer in existence. 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 acknowledged 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 75,000 mi. 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!
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.
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 Philadelphia. 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 responsibility 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 from $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 transmission 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 plaguing Ford for years. Yet they do absolutely nothing to correct the problem or accept responsibility 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!
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. DON'T EVEN CONSIDER FORD!!!
TEXAS -- I don't even have 85000 miles yet and I'm 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.
JERSEY CITY, NEW JERSEY -- 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?
CAMBRIDGE, MINNESOTA -- We have had our Windstar since 2004. It has about 134,600 miles on it. I was stopped at a stop light and when I stepped on the accelerator to make my turn the van would not move. It would not go forward or backward. I have been hearing more and more complaints about the transmission in the Windstars but have not seen a recall. If there are as many people having this problem as appears, maybe Ford should take responsibility for the transmission instead of the owner having to pay for a new one. It seems that there should not be this kind of problem with any vehicle with this low of miles and highway at that.
We have a 98 Oldsmobile intrigue with over 200,000 miles and have not had any problems other than the dash cluster. My Windstar has a lot less miles and at this point is a piece of junk. We are interested in finding how many people are having the same problem with their 2003 Windstar transmission. In response to the person who said their warranty would not cover their 2003 Windstar transmission, I have a big problem with us consumers having to pay to warranty something we are buying.
What ever happen to making good product and taking responsibility for problems with a product the company makes? My opinion of the consumer purchasing the warranty is that it is a legalized scam to the consumer and allows companies to avoid the financial responsibility for poor quality or problems.