We bought a 1996 Ford Contour LX new. VIN 1FALP66L8TK164561.
It now has 118,000 miles on it. It had been running just fine when all of a sudden the transmission failed to shift causing the engine to run too fast which caused it to overheat!!! Even the speedometer quit working!
We finally determined the wiring harness has been disintegrating with the insulation becoming brittle which resulted in a direct short to ground. This in turn caused all the problems listed above (without any warning).
The wiring is so obviously defective, I went to the Ford Dealer and asked if Ford had a recall on the wiring. The dealer checked and said yes, Ford DID have such a recall (actually a warranty extension - which is their way of NOT HAVING to do anything). Unfortunately the recall (99M03) is limited to 10 years (OK that's understandable) or 100,000 miles. Are they kidding? - Nope! Even though the car is only 6 years old there are TOO MANY MILES ON THE WIRING HARNESSES TO BE COVERED BY THE RECALL!!!!!!!!!
How bad is it? If I buy the wiring harnesses, they alone will cost me up to $1,350 (no kidding) PLUS up to 7.7 hours of Dealer Labor to install them.
I called Ford's friendly Customer Service and they said in effect "tough luck." No, Ford will not do anything for me. I then said I wanted to talk to a Supervisor. Mathew Agent ID 2526 called me back and said the same thing - Ford will do nothing!!!
I asked Mathew for the name of someone higher up at Ford and was told I had gone as far as I could and he flat refused to give me the name of his or any other manager higher up at Ford.
If YOU have a 1995 - 1997 Ford Contour or Mystique get it over to your dealer RIGHT NOW and have it checked for the 99M03 Recall. If your dealer says you do not have a problem, DON'T TAKE HIS WORD FOR IT!!!
Get your magnifying glass out and start checking your wiring yourself (ask your dealer for a copy of 99M03 so you know what and where to check).
Was I Ripped Off by Ford Motor Company?
I think so.
What do YOU think???