I have filed complaints with the Better Business Bureau, Ford, and the Attorney Generals Office: Bureau of Consumer Protection, and I have contacted (by email) newspapers and local TV stations. I even sent this story to DC. Isn't there someone out there that can help me?
1994 FORD THUNDERBIRD
Having driven the same car since 1985, she broke down three times in the month of October, so I took the advice of my friends and decided to update. I drive my car for work; I am an oversize load escort for a large construction company. I drive 54 miles just to get to work, to drive all day in my car. Averaging around 400-600 miles a day on my car, I have to have a good, dependable car.
On November 14, I called a local Ford Dealership, with whom I had dealt with previously and told them I was looking for a good used car and wanted a 1993 through 1997 Cougar. Must be rear wheel drive, two doors, and a V8, preferably automatic and loaded. Mileage.... Depends on care.
They called me back with no Cougars, but had a 1994 Thunderbird, which met all my needs. Explaining my 1981 Cougar was still in the shop I was unable to go and look at the T-Bird. A salesman from the Ford Dealership offered to drive the T-Bird 34 miles to my home for me to look at. He did. I test drove the car and really liked it. He drove it back to the Ford Dealership. Yes, I would borrow $5,000.00 the next day, and buy this car. After all, two years ago my daughter and I bought her 1997 Mustang at this same dealership, and were satisfied.
Friday, November 15, 2002, my son drove me to the Ford Dealership in his car so I could pick up the T-Bird. I had to wait about an hour because they noticed the inspection sticker on the T-Bird ran out at the end of the month and they inspected it. I was told they had to turn the rotors and put brakes on the front wheels and it would be ready.
Papers were signed and the car was delivered to me. $4,400 with title and tax. 30 days 50/50. The first car payment I have had in fifteen years. At the time of purchase the car was in excellent condition with 70,411 miles on it. I was proud of it. I bought mud flaps, floor mats and studded snow tires for it. Ready for work.
I then brought the car home, and showed it off to my friends at the local convenience store hangout. Everyone thought that I had made a good deal. I drove the car to a neighboring town, 14 miles away to show my parents. My father reminded me to get the car serviced ASAP, so I could start a log book on it, as I have done with my cougar for almost 18 years now. On the way home from my parents I had a Check Engine light come on as I went around a curve. I immediately took it home to my mechanic. He opened the hood to check my oil and could find nothing on the dipstick, no oil whatsoever. We put the car on the rack for an oil change. Less than one quart of oil drained from the motor. My home mechanic then proceeded to service the car, noting the odometer and filling out a sticker for the next oil change at 3,000 miles to be done at 73,567 miles. I went home right away to call the Ford dealership where I had bought the car. I explained what had happened with the oil, they apologized for the oversight on their part and offered to pay for the oil change. I told them it was already paid for; my next oil change would be from them, for free. The salesman of my T-Bird sent me a letter with his business card in it good for one free oil change at the Ford dealership.
November 18th, I attempted to go to work in the T-Bird and the battery was dead. I took the Cougar. After work I jumped the T-Bird with my Cougar and took it back to my hometown mechanic. We had to put the proper battery in the car, one for a car, not a lawnmower, like that, which was in there when I had bought it. I went home, and once again called the Ford dealership. They said they would pay for half the new battery, and they did.
November 20th, I went to work in the T-Bird. As I did for both December 2nd and 3rd. On December 6th, at 72,346 my hometown mechanic checked the oil in the T-Bird, it was now three quarts low. I still had 1,221 miles before an oil change was due. I went home and again called the Ford dealership. I explained to them that this car was using a quart of oil every five hundred miles, it was not leaking oil anywhere and it didnt smoke. By now I am noticing other bugs in my updated car. The steering has a bad grab-dead-slip in it. I suspect the rack in the rack-in-pinion, only because in the past seventeen and a half years of driving my Cougar I have replaced the rack seven times. I know what it fells like when its going bad. For some reason the steering wheel in the T-Bird will not lock, it should. Also the ignition and door locks are messed up. Passenger door will not shut tight. I took the car to the Ford dealership on the 11th of December, and the mechanics there put dye in the engine to see where the oil was going. It was a quart low when I took it there. They filled her up. Miles down the road they said the dye showed nothing.
487 miles later on December 18th were back at Ford where it is a half-quart low and getting a new PVC hose. Maybe thats where the oil is going? The oils disappearance was still a mystery.
December 20th at work the car begins to show a little bit of black smoke from the exhaust pipes. Only on acceleration and when backing off, like down hill. Back to Ford. They told me it would be taken care of after the holidays.
I made numerous calls to the Ford dealership asking to speak to the head person of Used Car Sales. Roughly one out of every five calls, was this person available to speak with me. In a meeting; with a customer; doesnt answer the page. Repeatedly the head of used car sales said to me that a quart of oil every 500 miles is acceptable with Ford. My 1981 Cougar with 677,000+ miles on it DOES NOT use a quart of oil between changes! If a car acceptably used a quart of oil every 500 miles, and you changed your oil at 3,000 miles you would be completely out of oil and probably have a blown up motor at your 3,000-mile oil change.
January 6th, 2003 I was offered two options. Rebuild the top of the motor $800 total / $400 my half. Fix half the problem...Used motor from junkyard $1,972 / $1,046 my half, with a 30 day 50/50 warranty. Square one, the unknown.... I asked them about a new Ford motor $3,947 / $1,973 my half. 24,000 miles / 1 year warranty. Whats up with that, hike up the price of everything, so I end up paying it all... I found a remanufactured Ford motor on line for my car, for $2,127.00 and warranted for 70,000 miles and 7 years. (http://www.ford-auto-parts-online.com/engines/ford-281-4-6-v8-cyl/1994/engine340-340.html) I am unable to borrow $2,000.00 more on my car loan because that would make the loan more than the car high book value. I asked why I had to pay half now that the car needed a major repair, when up till now they had been doing it all for no charge. The head person of Used Car Sales said that I had 30 days 100 percent... but I had to pay for half a battery 3 days after I bought the car?
Why do I have to pay anything when the Ford dealership sold me a car with no oil in the motor! A car that I had to sit and wait on for an inspection sticker. Is a car a car without motor? Motors have to have oil in them. This is supposed to be a reputable Ford Dealership, having just been recognized as having the Most Retail Oriented Service Drive out of 63 dealers in the tri-state area, including the Pittsburgh, north West Virginia, and eastern Ohio Ford Regions. ****** won this award for its awareness in customer satisfaction and commitment to be number one in customer service and have the top retail environment for its customers........As recently pictured in our local newspaper.
After the holidays, the head person of Used Car Sales said come in and we will talk. Lets trade you out of the T-Bird. Ford did not want the expense of fixing my car. I told them just take the car back. The head person of Used Car Sales replied, Thats not going to happen.
Well, trading me out of my T-Bird involved a 1998 Mustang and $5,000.00 dollars more on a car loan. If I had wanted a $10,000.00 car loan and a mustang I would have done that on November 15. I cannot afford it. I told them just fix my car, the motor, and I would fix the rack and the door. The head person of Used Car Sales said leave the car with us for awhile so we can drive it and DOCUMENT THE OIL CONSUMPTION.
January 25th. I took the T-Bird to Ford, and left it there; so they could drive it and document the oil consumption. Evidently, not believing my mechanic or me.
>>>>>>> 7 DAYS LATER <<<<<<<
February 3rd. I called Ford, talked to the salesman who sold me my car and he said I needed to talk to the head person of Used Car Sales. The head person of Used Car Sales was unavailable. Of course. I was told this person would call me back. They didnt. 3 hours later: I called Ford back, and the head person of Used Car Sales was now available.
I miss my car; can I come get it?
Well.... No, we really havent run it that much.
How many miles did you put on it?
One hundred and forty eight.
One hundred and forty eight?! One hundred and forty eight Youve had my car for seven days and youve put one hundred and forty eight miles on it?!
We had to go down south of the state to pick up a car for the dealership we should have used yours, but we forgot about it. We need to have it for a couple more days, OK .
I really dont know what to say to you ...........Except..........good-bye.
I have a signed affidavit from my hometown mechanic about oil consumption and the lack of oil in my T-Bird. I have my phone bills with the many, many, calls to the Ford dealership, and Im sure if we check you could see the few replies I received from them. I do not lie, and even this mess will not sway me from my faith in Ford. There was a problem with this car prior to me owning it and the dealership should be held responsible for making it right. I just want the motor in my T-Bird fixed.
For the record:
Cars registered and working, titled in my name at present:
1981 Mercury Cougar XR7
1993 Plymouth Laser
1994 Ford Thunderbird
1995 F 150 Ford Pickup 4X4
1997 Ford Mustang
1982 Ford Thunderbird (not on the road at present)
Tuesday, February 11, 2003, Ford service department called me and said my car was ready to be picked up. It is FIXED!
They have had my T-Bird since January 26, 2003. This is now two weeks later. On February 3, they had only put 148 miles on it when I had spoken to the head person of Used Car Sales. Anyway, Service called and said it was fixed and I can come pick it up.
Ford replaced the gasket on the oil filter adapter. I was told that this is where the oil was leaking. My 1994 T-Bird DID NOT leak or drip anything, no oil, not a drop, the oil disappeared within the motor. NEVER a drop on the ground or on the floor of any garage.... Running or just sitting! This can be documented and sworn to by other people including my hometown mechanic. But the Ford dealership claimed they had a rag soaked in oil. Again at Ford I was speechless and flabbergasted.
This time they told me they had put 200 miles on my car, the repair slip says they put a new adapter gasket on and road tested it for approximately 250 miles. They also added an OIL TREATMENT (MOA)?
I have the repair slip. According to the trip meter and my odometer in the T-Bird the total miles put on my car in 15 days were 321.
Well, I told them that if this fixed my car, then I should be able to have my oil changed and drive for 3,000 miles AND NOT have to look under my hood and check the oil, Right! Just like every other housewife in America. I told them that this is exactly what I was going to do and if it BLEW UP, Its your baby! On that note I thanked them and my son and I left for home.
The only thing left to do now is put some miles on the T-Bird. Weather permitting. I am pretty sure when I get 500 miles on her she is going to need a drink of oil, and I WILL check it. I will keep you informed of everything. Thank you for listening, and helping.
February 24, 2003
Update on the T-Bird
I have not looked under the hood since the Ford dealership gave me my car back FIXED!
The car received an oil change with filter on 02/11/03. Manufacturer recommendations for capacity of oil in T-Bird 5 quarts. MOA oil treatment was also included here. $8.27 not sure of amount! Pint or Quart.
I did not check the oil after the car was fixed.
February 20, 2003
Odometer at 77,060
Trip meter at 555
Oil checked at local garage. Dipstick reads one-half quart low!
If one pint of MOA was added to my car then the dip stick mark is really three-quarters of a quart low, and if one quart of MOA was added to the oil change then my T-Bird, according to its dip stick, is actually one and one-half quarts low on oil after being FIXED!
According to the sticker on my windshield, put there by my home mechanic. It is now time for my scheduled oil change. I really want to get the gunk that was put in my motor out of there. Today my odometer reads 77,135 and the trip 629.8.
T- Bird Saga Continues.................
Week of March 17, 2003
Talked on phone with Head of Service of the Ford dealership and it is decided to rebuild motor in T-Bird.
Having trouble putting me a loaner car suitable to escort in.
Missed work on Monday, March 24, due to that fact that All equipment is removed from T-Bird, sitting in spare room waiting for the loaner car promised to me. Lost about $175.00 today. Takes at least two hours to put all my equipment in and on a car, lights, radios, fit signs, if I am accustomed to the car.
NOW-- Another person from Service said that the head person of Used Car Sales said no rebuild till oil consumption is documented. Here we go again.
Monday, March 24, the Ford dealership did my oil change with filter. So they could do the documentation of oil consumption. Marked drain plug and filter. So it could not be tampered with. Ford mechanic marked it. I had to insist on this!
I watched the mechanic through door window. Not allowed in service area.
Tuesday, March 25, went to work in car. Home round trip miles at 503. A friend and I checked oil at local hangout. 1 quart low.
Called my agent at the attorney generals office about what's going on and she tried to talk to someone in authority at the Ford dealership. Good Luck!
March 26, on my way to the Ford dealership, 34 miles, to have my oil checked.
I stopped at a Chrysler dealership and had my oil checked and documented in writing. 1 quart low.
Stopped at a Sunoco gas station and had oil documented in writing. 1 quart low.
At the Ford dealership, two mechanics checked oil and documented it as being one quart low. Added one quart of oil, got a slip---you figure out what weight oil, and how much was put in my car---when. Squirrelly slip.
Instructed to drive for another five to six hundred miles and bring her back.
Asked my agent at the attorney generals office if I could go to the news media with my story. She had to ask her supervisor. Answer was, Do what you want. I can...
MY FAITH AND TRUST IN A DEPENDABLE CAR FOR THE TYPE OF WORK THAT I DO STILL REMAINS IN FORD MOTOR COMPANY. EVEN THOUGH .....................
TO BE CONTINUED.........................................
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