Sunday, May 19, 2013

What to expect when you buy a Ford Fiesta


Expect that in two years, at 11,600 miles, you’ll have a transmission problem. Expect:


  • That when bringing your car to the dealership of purchase, it will die within a block of the destination.
  • That you’ll run to the dealership, ask for assistance with the tow, and they’ll tell you to do it yourself. “We’re busy.”
  • That when they have your car, they will not call you with an update.
  • That you’ll call six hours later, explain you have a transmission problem, and be told there are three other cars ahead of yours, and they won’t look at it today. “We’re busy.”
  • That they will not call you the next day.
  • That you’ll call the next day, at 1 p.m., then again at 2 p.m., and finally get a call back. “I’m the Fiesta with the transmission problem,” you’ll say. They will reply, “Yes, we looked at it, you have a transmission problem.”


Expect that you will be told they will not fix your car for another week. “We have lots of problems ahead of yours; we’re busy.” Expect:


  • That when you ask for any sort of help with a transitional car, since they are “so busy,” and too busy to fix your car for a week, you’ll be promised a mere $20 stipend a day towards a rental. A rental at a specific location near their shop. “We’ll put it in the system so they’re expecting you.”
  • That when you get to the rental agency, there is nothing in the system, so you charge the whole thing to your credit card.
  • That the car from the rental agency is on empty. Well, they told you this, didn’t they? You just didn’t realize, until after you’d pulled away, you have exactly three miles worth of gas with which to find a gas station in an area with which you’re entirely unfamiliar.
  • Expect to hyperventilate. Over the whole bloody experience, but most of all, the immediate problem. Where can you find a gas station?


In short, expect that when you buy a Ford Fiesta, new, and pay for it in cash, that two years later at 11,600 miles, when your transmission breaks down one block from the dealership where you bought the car, you’ll get neither assistance, effort, interest, or your car.

In short, expect nothing.

I realize, in the grand scheme of life, my car floats somewhere in the bottom-feeder category. Still, this whole experience has crawled under my skin (can you tell?).

What Ford and Star Ford in Glendale can expect from me: This story; posted to every place I can think of, including my blog, Facebook, Yelp, and any email address I can find at the corporate office. I don’t expect corporate to care, of course. I’m past expectations, and am working my way towards worst-case scenarios.

For my blogger friends -- those who comment and those who prefer to just read -- who have followed this story, thank you. You have no idea how much I've appreciated your support.

34 comments:

  1. This is wonderful and entirely helpful. A ford flex was on our list of cars to check out for John. Off the list. Gone.

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  2. Thoughts on the Honda hybrid?

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  3. Oh boy, this is getting juicy. Funny that a friend just posted on FB asking what car he should buy. Of course I sent him here.

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  4. This reminds me of what happened after Hurricane Ivan and I began my long journey into darkness with the insurance companies. All I know is that you will survive this, there will be other cars, and eventually, life will go on. Do not harm anyone although you might think about it. The whole thing makes me think about hyperventilating so I'll end here.

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  5. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Star-Ford/119866114811?fref=ts

    Let's not forget Facebook, it's powerful.

    You are mad, Karin, and I'm mad for you.

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  6. Also report this dealership to the Better Business Bureau. File a complaint.
    Good luck -- hang in there....

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  7. Oh for God's sake! Your readers are on your side!

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  8. Lovely that Ford and the dealership has all this time to take down my posts on their site, as well as anyone who has left a comment. Priorities. Don't fix cars -- fix Facebook.

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  9. They can't take down what we post on our own pages. ;)

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  10. DON'T give up on writing/hearing an answer from Corporate... believe me, Mitsubishi Corporate cared so much that the dealership called me and asked me 'why didn't u call us?" I replied: "I did and no one listened so I went to a higher authority!" That shut them up and btw, they are no longer in our valley at all.. and it was not because of me, lol... Their product probably wasn't favored by most... Since most bought Fords, Chevy's Toyotas....BTW our Chevy dealership has a rep similar to your Ford dealership!.

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  11. btw have u thought of writing your story to one of the news station's consumer advocate??? that wouldn't hurt doing either.That will be one way to advertise Star and maybe u get to be interviewed....

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  12. Maybe this will cheer you up. You can still get tickets. I've always wanted to go.

    Fforde Ffiesta

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  13. Well, if nothing else, we've had hundreds of page views in the past 12 hours. And it saved MuseBootsi from making a nasty mistake.

    Ok, KBF, I will, I will.

    Paula, I wonder if they have a Fjord Fiesta?

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  14. Karin, I have been reading your Ford story and I'm wishing a Good Luck to you!

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  15. Oh crap. Well, you're doing the right thing. The Court of Public Opinion is where true justice is served...sometimes. I've written a complaint letter a time or two and, as I always point out, if they're hearing from me, there are many more people who are not bothering to write who are, instead, talking to all their friends and family about the bad experience they've had. That usually gets a response out of them. Perhaps, you'll get a free air freshener to hang off your rear view mirror out of the deal.

    Good luck!!! Don't forget to breathe.

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  16. Seems there's a major problem with the transmissions made in Mexico. There may even be a supply problem with new ones to replace them. I wonder if enough people can be rallied for a class action suit? How does one do that?

    The first brand new car we bought was a Volvo. I kept having to go back to the dealership because the carburettor needed adjustment. It was only after we sold the car and got a newer Volvo that they admitted there had been a design fault on all carburettors of that model. Why didn't they just admit that in the first place???? (It was pre-internet days.)

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  17. It DOES get under the skin, especially if the offending business is prospering or merely surviving when this is the way they handle customers. It reminds me of the 80s when the Japanese and European companies started kicking our ass and many Americans claimed they couldn't figure out why. Now here we are, just emerging from a hellacious recession, and Star sounds like another rotten but surviving model of how to do business crappily in the land of plenty. Mystifying.

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  18. Karin, i happen to read your story... My name is Alex the general manager for Star Ford. I'm not sure exactly what is going on as you have a full warranty that takes care of towing and rental cars... I would like the opportunity to speak with you and find out why such a negative experieince and what exactly happened... I'm sorry I had to find out this way, but please contact me when you can so we can figure this out.

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  19. That is so terrible!
    I hope somebody there wises up and tries to satisfy your concerns.

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  20. Just heard from the general manager, he has promised to call me back with a full update on my car, plus pay the full tab on the rental car.

    Fingers crossed, more to follow.

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  21. KB, this is good news. I hope all is well after all.
    ((hugs))

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  22. I see the comment from GM Alex - It's a nice offer, worth checking into. If you meet with him, take a friend so you have a witness.

    Plus he's already put a couple of interesting things in print here. It looks like some due-to-be-demoted underling got out of hand.

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  23. And may I send you all a huge thank-you for caring. You're lovely, and I'll sleep well tonight. Alex has promised me daily updates on the progress.

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  24. Wow! You are a seriously powerful force for good!

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  25. I did copy and paste on Facebook. I think you are doing the right thing. Keep us posted.

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  26. It's truly very complicated in this busy life to listen news on TV, therefore I just use world wide web for that reason, and take the most up-to-date news.

    Review my website NFL Jerseys Cheap

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  27. I'm glad Alex from Star Ford has found the path to righteousness, and may actually become helpful!

    Of course, no Karin post would be complete without some spam commenter posting something completely random....NFL jerseys, anyone?

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  28. Ugh. There but for fortune go us all. So sad, sad, sad that you have to buy Japanese to get a reliable vehicle.

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  29. A rental at a specific location near their shop. "We’ll put it in the system so they’re expecting you.”

    I'm sure they put you through their system. If dealing with the dealer isn't enough games.

    Transmissions can be a tricky problem. I hope & pray they fixed it right the 1st time!

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  30. When it comes to cars, I have always faithfully followed a simple maxim:

    "Never buy a Ford"

    It's served me well these 30 years. I warmly (if belatedly and unhelpfully) recommend it to you.

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  31. Ford Fiesta is one of best-seller car of Ford now and forever in Europe and America. The technology of Fiesta is updated yearly to make this car be fun to drive and safe. I'm using a Fiesta and i never regret about my choice.

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