I own a 1995 Ford Taurus SE. I first toke it to AAMCO in Omaha, Ne , 13 August 1998. Which at that time I needed $1800.00 worth of work done. They fixed the car and it ran great for 18 months until March 2000. In March 2000, I took the car into Cottman Transmission in Glendale, AZ for just a check up and have the fluid changed. And during the check they notice the transmission was leaking in about 3-4 places. I told him I just had work done on it 18 months ago and he said the only way it was bad now was that the AAMCO did a bad seal job.
I called AAMCO Customer Relations Department. The lady asked me what AAMCO did the work and she would call and let me know something. She called me back and told me that the AAMCO in Omaha had no liability and I had only a 3 month warranty and she located a AAMCO in Glendale, AZ that would help me and give me a discount since I was a repeat customer.
I called the AAMCO in Glendale and spoke with the owner, John. He told me to bring the car in and he would look at it free. So on Feb 3, 2000 I did. John told me the seal was bad, along with other leaks and that Ford just makes a bad transmission on the Taurus models and Ford knows it, and Ford will not do anything to fix it. The transmission does not allow for the flow of
fluid to go through the transmission properly and the heat here in Arizona just kills transmissions. And that the AAMCO in Omaha thought my tranny was a model AX4N and I have a model AX4N-E (,but Kirk in AAMCO in Flagstaff wrote down I have a AX4N). I told John I had just moved out here and had been here for only 9 months and that was mostly the winter months which is only about 79%-90%. He said it does not take long for damage to accrue and he has a mechanic that used to work for Ford.
I met the mechanic and he told me that once they open the transmission up, he could see if there was any more damage. He found more damage another torque convertor like last time, a valve body, and an electronic solenoid. John and his mechanic ensured me they would fix it right and put the new upgrade parts on it so it would cool the fluid better. And to help me out next time, give me a lifetime warranty for 1/3 the price
which was about $290 at his cost.
They did the work on the car. On 14 Feb. 2000, I went to pick the car up and give him a check for $2000.00. The remaining balance of $261 was to be paid in payments to John. When we were going over the receipt I noticed there was no mention of a
lifetime warranty and just a 12 months unlimited mileage warranty. He told me he put the price of the lifetime warranty in with the price of the transmission and he then wrote on the receipt lifetime warranty, but he did not change the 12 months warranty. After putting two transmissions in my car in 18 months, I wanted to know what I have to do to make sure this adventure does not happened again. John told me have it check every 12 months, I said if the heat kills transmissions out here in Arizona, should I have it checked twice a year. He said
nah, only if you want to.
My wife drove the car and she told me it just didn't feel right. Not like before. It drove better when it was leaking , she thought. So I went back to AAMCO and one of the mechanics, the one that used to work at Ford told me that the car is driving normal and when the car had all that power in the passing gear that was because the gears dropped to low and that caused the internal damage, so now the gears are working right. He had someone drive the car and when he came back he said it is passing great, a matter of fact this is the best Taurus I've seen in a long time. But if anything, check your throttle
position switch, that can cause a problem, but the tranny is working great. So I took his word and gave AAMCO a $65.00 payment.
All this time my wife is saying it does not feel right. I know she is not a mechanic and she always hears something and I regretfully believed AAMCO not my wife. They still said the car was fine. Then in April I decided not to pay him the balance when I notice my cruise control did not work and it worked right before. I would save some more money and take it to a Ford dealer and hope to have it done right. Trying to get
work done cheap was a bad mistake, I thought. But in the mean time I had to pay of the loan I already had for $2000.00.
Then on 16 August 2000 my family and I went on vacation and had plans on going to my sister's wedding. We were about 120 miles from home(Peoria,AZ) and 17 miles from Flagstaff, AZ, Highway 17 north exit 322, the transmission went out again, just after being rebuilt 6 months prior. My wife and I pushed the car off the exit. We had road side assistance and called a tow truck. Our price for the tow to Flagstaff was $9.00. We got a hotel
about 11:45 that night which cost $64.00 for that night and eat which was $26.00.
The next morning my family went to eat and I called the road
side assistance to have them tow the car to AAMCO in Flagstaff ( 2710 E Route 66 Flagstaff,AZ 86004 (520)-526-4395 ). I called AAMCO at 7:30 am and Kirk answered. I told him my situation and he was willing to help me after he looks at the car and call John in Glendale since he did the work and John would also have to approve the work on the car. At this time I knew he would be no help since I refused to pay him the remaining balance $196.00. So I waited for Kirk to call me back. In the meantime,
knowing the worse case not paying John due to the fact of a bad job and now it is evident with the tranny out again, I called the AAMCO Customer Relations Department at (800)-523-0401. I gave her my info and she said a rep would call me back. 2 hours later a rep called me back. Her name was Lakia Walters. She took my info down and said that I would have to wait until she call John. Kirk from the AAMCO in Flagstaff called me and I notice his tone of his voice was not helpful like before and he said I had to call John. I knew then my car was not going to get fixed.
I called John collect at (602)-931-9231. He asked me what happened. I told him the car started smoking and loosing power and the tranny went out. HOW CAN A TRANSMISSION GO OUT AGAIN IN 6 MONTHS, I told him? I told him we were stranded in Flagstaff and needed help. No concern from him, except you still own me money. I told him, yes I do and the reason why I did not pay you and it must have been true because my tranny was out again in 6 months. He told me that Kirk said that there was no fluid in
the tranny. Yep no fluid, because IT WAS ALL OVER HIGHWAY 17 NORTH EXIT 322 and on my car and my wife from pushing the car off the exit.
John tried to give me a sob story about paying in good faith but the good faith in fixing my tranny, he did not meet either. John also said he tried to call me about the payments, which he did not. We have caller ID and voice mail, he lied. So I offered to pay him the balance of $196 or what ever it took to get my car fixed and he said That he thinks I owe more and he has to check his records and now I don't want the money due to our good faith was broken. He kept saying I was driving the car all this time without fluid and it was my fault and Kirk said that the tranny was 7 quarts low. If I was driving the car all this time without
fluid, John's AAMCO must not have sealed the tranny right then and there was still a leak according to John.. He then said I want to help you so call me back in 1 hour after I talk to Kirk.
Lakia Walters called back and told me that Kirk would work with me and give me a cap of $700.00 on parts and possible a loaner car. And because I did not pay the $196.00 in a certain time frame my lifetime warranty was void.
So I have to pay another est. $2300 on a new tranny. I asked
her does AAMCO HQ have any liability and she said no they are just the middle man and you have to work it out with the owner, John. I did not call John back and he did not call me. I called Kirk and asked him how much damage and he said it would be about $1629.00 and that the tranny was fried. I called and got a Ryder truck with a car carrier for $379.00 to drive the car back to Peoria. I checked my family out the hotel and got a cab for $12.00 to take us to get the truck.
When I got to AAMCO , Kirk was cold towards me and my family and his mechanics was laughing about how we drove the car without any fluid. At this time I was pissed and I put the car on the trailer with the sorry help from the mechanics out side watching my wife and I try to push the car on the trailer. I told Kirk that there was fluid in the tranny, just look at my car and there is no reason why a tranny should go bad after 6 months. He
agreed with me. He said he told John nothing, But he still told John that there was no fluid in the tranny because John talked to Kirk about the car.
My family and I drove back to Peoria. The $196.00 I don't know
if that was for the tranny, labor, parts, or the warranty. But if so I don't have a lifetime, I should still have a 12 months warranty. I called Lakia today 19 Aug 2000 and left a message to call me Monday. I want to know where that money falls in what category and I still should have a 12 month warranty, which is written on my receipt. Besides no $2000.00 tranny should go out in 6 months, unless t was done wrong from the start. I have contacted two local TV stations for any help and sent an email to AAMCO and plan on Monday contacting the Attorney General
Office and possible a lawyer next.
My expenses: What AAMCO should pay for.
$9.00 - my part of the road side assistance
$64.84 - hotel for one night
$45.00 - food in the hotel
$12.00 - for cab
$379.00 - Ryder truck and car carrier
$40.00 - To fill the truck up with gas on return to Ryder
$1432 - for airline tickets to fly my family to my sisters wedding on
the 26 Aug 2000
$150.00 - paying for Tux that I will have short notice to get fitted now
$110 - for wife's Nike tennis shoes getting tranny fluid on them
$150.00 - est for cell phone calls made
$3200.00 - new transmission from Ford Dealer