Friday, May 17, 2013

Why I hate Ford .2: How a new car warranty will screw you

Buy a new Ford, and Ford will throw in a 60,0000 mile warranty. Sounds great, what?

You get this terrific warranty on a new car -- 60,000 miles or 5 years (or whatever), stem-to-stern. Oh, I'm living in clover, you think. What they don't tell you is that the dealership makes small profit on fixing a problem when it's under warranty. And if you have a Ford, that you'll have a problem, that I can guarantee.

Hence, the dealership doesn't really care about any problem under the cloak of warranty. That's not their meal ticket. Not even small potatoes; just annoying potatoes. Potatoes they wish would just wilt and die. Particularly if you bought the car for cash, outright. They'll get around to your problem, when they're good and ready. And maybe the service department will call you, and maybe it won't. After they've worked on the big-ticket items -- the ones that pay the bills, the major money, out of pocket.

Under warranty? You are the dealership's worst nightmare and charity case, something the corporation foisted on them all. The dealership will hate you, and wish you'd go away; better yet, just collapse from the frustration of it all.

A Ford warranty? When your car dies at 11,000 miles, you will not receive satisfaction, an apology, service, or anyone who cares. Oh, and most importantly, you will not have a car. Unless you rent one, partially or entirely charged to your own credit card.

It's my fault. A Ford? What was I thinking? Why did I get a sudden surge of patriotism and feel compelled to buy American. Previously, my life had been so calm and easy, when all my cars spoke Japanese.

39 comments:

  1. Ugh. Guess that's why I drive a Subaru.

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  2. My friend's dad gave me some good common sense... He said that its not necessary to get an extended warranty on a car.. A car will have issues the first year.. the added warranty is like buying insurance.. in other words u are paying for repairs before they actually occur... My parents never paid for a warranty and when I was married my husband never paid for one... its a waste of money.. It gives a false sense of security.... Then again, my Dodge Caravan had issues for 10 frickin' years...I gave it up after the fuel line went kaput. Never ever buy American... I have a 4 Runner and no issues at all!. Not even the mat issue that some folks have... guess those attachments that hold the mat in place work... Too bad Toyota didn't bother including it on the affected vehicles....

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  3. 4got to mention... when I had issues w/my dodge, that is when I wrote corporate and they sent a rep out to meet me... He even told me certain dealerships fall by the wayside... Write to the corporate office, I bet you will get results!.

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  4. Hmm. Better to have a 20 year Toyota like mine (mom's clunker), which means the dealer gouges me every chance they get?! But yea, my first car was a Pinto need I say more...

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  5. Your warranty sounds great (I assume it came with the car, not the extended type KBF mentions). Maybe they know the car sucks so they make up for it by doubling the warranty.

    My Nissan warranty was 3 years, 30,000 miles. I've just passed the 3 year mark with no problems. Nissans are made in the US but it's a Japanese company.

    One reason to call corporate is that the dealership is their calling card. Glendale Nissan has made very little money off me. They've had to take care of my car for free, or very little, for three years. But I will sing their praises to the rooftops.

    And here we are having a good time ripping Ford to shreds.

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  6. I once had a Dodge. It went through seven starters in 3 years. When I asked the helpful mechanic why, he said that particular part of the car was poorly designed, and that every time the car was started the starter motor was damaged. When it died again, I bought a Honda.
    Good luck -- I'll be interested to see how Ford HQ responds....

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  7. How bad can this Star Ford dealership get? That's what I want to know. Because now I'm sort of curious. Like they're going to make me pay for part of my weekly rental car, because they can't get to my car as they're way too busy. But promise to set it up for me at some budget rental car place so I can pay half of the fee. And then I get to the budget rental place, these guys have no idea who I am. Plus, the rental? Which is now entirely on my credit card -- they give me a Ford that shakes and has a slipping transmission.

    True story. No word from Ford Corporate yet. Shocker.

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  8. I was under the impression the warranty was like free money to a dealer. When my Mercedes was under warranty, it seemed to me that the dealer jumped at every opportunity to find something wrong and have the company pay for it. I really got that idea because they often would find little things like, "You have a smudge on your window, but it's covered by the warranty so let us let some samples to the lab to have them analyzed and we really should replace that window, and maybe the whole door." I often felt they were running a scam on their own company.

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  9. and that's another reason why I stay car free!!

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  10. K: I will tell u what got the ball rolling was when I called the corporate number in the car's manual. Gave a verbal complaint and then a rep called me and had me meet at a Dodge in my area... BTW he told me the Dodge we met at wasn't very good w/service and he took me to a Chrysler affiliate down the street, which honored the warranty and treated me w/kid gloves... I bet corporate knows the reputation of your Ford dealership.
    Google and see if there have been complaints against Star, it couldn't hurt.

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  11. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_qgVn-Op7Q&feature=player_embedded#!

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  12. Why 'slightly used' might be the way to go these days.

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  13. I am not an expert, but for almost forty years I only bought a Chevrolet. For me is the best choise.

    Have a pleasant weekend!

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  14. Thanks for the link, bandit. For some reason it made me cry. Maybe memory, maybe because he's gone, maybe because it's still damn true.

    Karin, you might try the phone number at Get Human.
    http://gethuman.com/phone-number/Ford-Motor-Company/

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  15. Two words: Toyota Prius. A little late, I know.

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  16. @Petrea: I agree w/you, it is the fact that its still happening and also the fact that he is gone... That link is great if you get results... too bad they don't answer on Sat... even at a limited time....

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  17. Tell me when it's time to don the lemon outfit and I'll join you on the sidewalk in front of the Ford Star Dealership - get Patch to cover it

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  18. Ron, a friend called after she read the first Ford post and said, "Funny, we never have that problem with our Mercedes dealership."

    Bandit and P & KBF, not just still the same, even more the same. Wow, he was great.

    Well, I'm not going to phone because I have zero phone skills. But every day I'll be sending an email to another exec; I've got quite a few of their addresses.

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  19. PA, I love it! It occurs to me that they're happy to give out a 60K warranty because they plan to make you shoot yourself before the car even makes it to 20.

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  20. @Karin: Don't email.. send it snail mail, certified, return receipt.. believe me to get something physical makes a diff... When I was in banking, we would send out nice payment reminders, then, progressed on to the above I mentioned... that definitely gets action,,,emails are too easy to ignore and delete.

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  21. I think KBF is right. Also, for every letter you write, cc everyone else on your list (including the dealership), until someone says "get this woman what she wants so she'll leave me alone!" It worked for me with Providence St. Joseph (the first time, at least. Hope it works again. Don't ever go there, those people are criminal.)

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  22. Have a heart for the Ford dealership. All their cars have transmissions that failed at 10,000 miles. They're totally overloaded with work.

    Seriously, your car's a lemon and I'll be happy to join you in a lemon costume. Or maybe hand out lemonade to potential customers on Memorial Day weekend? "If Ford sells you a lemon, make lemonade."

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  23. Don't you have 1-800-Lemon-Law ads in California?

    I have not bought a new car for 25 years. My most recent, the 1995 Caddy, I bought in 2004 for $4000 with 90K miles on it, then 2 years later put a $1500 tranny in it. It has needed a serpentine belt and a set of brake lines since then, and nothing save routine maintenance otherwise. And so I'll never buy new again.

    Seriously, can't you call a consumer protection agency in California for some help?

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  24. Jeez, KB, it sounds like that "friend" with the Mercedes comment is a real B***** I suppose she rubbed salt in the wound by mentioning that her own 1999 Subaru just had its first major work done.

    What you realy need to do is find a Hummer with a big steel prow and drive into, through, and back over that dealership. Way to go when you are mad as hell. Can I come along for the fun of it?

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  25. is it in Glendale? I found their Face Book Page

    https://www.facebook.com/starfordinglendale

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  26. Oh, PA. Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

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  27. LOL, Glad I don't have FB, I'd be all over that link! PA is evidently putting that idea out there!

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  28. Hah! That's the one. I plan to post on the page tomorrow. I'll let you know when it's up -- any comments of support or surprise or shock would be most appreciated.

    Is that what you were thinking?

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  29. By the way, the picture of me, PA, and Bellis dancing in our lemon suits rather makes my day.

    Marjie, we do have the Lemon Law. Hope it doesn't come to that.

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  30. I suspect Ford must be really sorry by now, that they didn't give you good service.

    Thanks for your ear tip. I'm getting used to my nice quiet world.

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  31. I haven't had a car disaster like yours since my '75 (new) Volvo. That's right, VOLVO, in the days when Volvo was king of the nerds. What impresses me here (in addition to feeling your pain, truly) is the bunch of seemingly good advice/ideas you're getting. One more stroke for blogging.

    BTW, after two OK, but NOT trouble-free Camrys, I now have a 2010 Ford Taurus, bought new, and both the car and the dealer have been excellent. That's really why I mentioned the Volvo--while some cars are better risks than others, it's still a crap shoot. And obviously every dealer is not the same. Hope you find a way to make these guys eat used engine oil.

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  32. I own my very first Camry. All my other cars have been American (two were Fords) and pretty much trouble free. I really think its a crap shoot. The lemons are out there and I'm sorry you found one. Good luck and don't give up. The squeaky wheel and all that really does work.

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  33. Lemon law? Sounds like it HAS come to that.

    http://oag.ca.gov/consumers/general/lemon

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  34. Truly, Banjo. People make cars, and people make mistakes. My bet is that if the people at Star Ford had treated Karin with respect, and given her the service she was due, these posts would never have gone up.

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  35. Petrea, sounds likely to me.

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  36. Ah, that Network clip is brilliant. I'm glad I wasn't the only one who cried. (I was feeling like a freak.) It really is even more the same today.

    Be sure to let us know in advance the date you're all donning lemon suits. I won't in on that.

    Off to check out Star Ford's FB page...

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  37. Oh yeah! The vehicles in for warranty work usually go to the end of the line. It is even worse in the RV world...
    In both cases, it sucks!

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