October of 2000, we purchased a 2001 Ford Focus. We were told it had a 5 star rating, was the most reliable and dependable car made.
December 29, 2000,(2 months old & 2000 miles) we took the car in for an oil change and to have it looked at for jolting/bucking. The oil was changed and as to the jolting/bucking problem, we were told from their service departmentthat they couldn't find any problem and that they did look it over thoroughly. They said that the jolting /bucking effect might have beenbecause the car needed a oil change.
Since then, the problem persisted and we started hearing grinding noises when putting the car in reverse. The bucking had gotten so bad that we had put the car in reverse and started backing up, when the car made a horrific bang sound and bucked. We got out of the car because we thought we had hit something. No, nothing.
March 28, 2001, we took the vehicle back for its 5000 mile maintence, the jolting problem, and the breaks grinding. The maintence was done. We were told that they still couldn't find the reason for the car jolting and didn't see anyhting wrong with the breaks or break pads.
April 4, 2001, My wife was driving the vehicle to one of our childrens doctors appointments. On the way, the car had bucked so badly that she almost lost control of the car with our son in it. She came directly home and immediately called Waldorf Ford. The told her that they couldn't get the car in until Monday April 9th. When we took it in, we explained how upset we were at these ongoing problems. We also complained about the breaks again, and there was a problem with our radio. We left it there to be fixed. We never heard anything that day nor the following day. So, we called them that evening to see how the progression was going. We were told that they were still working on it. Again we never heard anything and had to call them the next evening. My wife talked to Dave Bell (the assistant manager & the man working on the vehicle). He told her that the radio was fixed. She asked about the breaks, Dave said, "There's nothing wrong with your breaks." She replied, "If there's nothing wrong with my breaks, then what's that grinding noise?" Dave replied, "That noise is normal. When a car is in reverse, they tend to make noise." My wife then replied, "Whatever, I'm not stupid. What about the bucking?" Dave replied, "I've looked over the car and I didn't see anything wrong." My wife got upset and said, "There's obviously something wrong, like I told you when I brought the car in, I almost lost control of the car because it bucked so bad. My son was in the car for God's sake. It's not like this is the first time I've brought the car in for this problem, it's the 3rd." Dave replied (Rudely), "Look mam, you have to understand, if I can't find the probelm, I can't fix it." Then my wife says, "I called Ford, and spoke to other Ford Focus owners and I know that we are not the only one's having this problem." Someone needs to find out what it is and fix it. I do not want to spend a fortune each month for a car that I'm afraid to drive my children it. This is unsafe." Dave then replies, "Mam, I called Ford too and yes I do know that you're not the only one's with this problem, but Ford doesn't even know what is causing the problem. I will look over the car again and call you tomorrow and let you know if I find anything." Again, we had to call the following evening. Dave gets on the phone with me and says, "I don't know what to tell you or what you want me to do, but I can't find the problem." I said, "What do you want us to do, pick our car up and hope that it stops?" Dave says, "OK, I'll have it ready for you."
Well, I picked the car up. I noticed that the millage was alot higher than when we left it. So, I wrote the millage down and went home to ask my wife. She looked in our records and said, "I'm going to have to add this up, there's well over 300 mileson our vehicle. She looked over the paper work from their service department and says, "Those jerks actually put the same milage down that I did. They've put 372 miles on the car." She called the service department and asked for the Service manager, Dave gets on the phone. She says, "Someone had better explain to me why there's 372 additional miles on my vehicle." Dave replies, "Well, we had to test drive it."My wife replies, "Where the hell did you test drive it? Someone had better compensate us or do something about this." Dave says, "We can test drive your car anywhere we want." My wife says, "NO, you can test drive it a reasonable amount of miles, but it's quite obvious that someone has been joyriding in our car." Dave says, "No one was joyriding in your car. We were just doing our job." My wife replies, "You're so full of it." Dave Says, "Why do you say that?" My wife goes on to tell him that both the driver seat and the passanger seat were pushed all the way back. We can't do that we have a baby seat that goes in the back, it's impossible. She also told him that when we looked, we found that someone had gone through our glove box and trunk, which they had no business. Dave says, "Well, I don't feel that we've done anything wrong, so there's nothing I can d to help you."
Well, a few days later a man named Chris Cox called us from DGA. My wife explained the situation and Mr. Cox told her to get me to call him and he would look into the situation. After leaving messages for him for 3 weeks, finally on 5/14/01 he returned my calls. He stated that they had to test drive the car. I said that I understood that but not 372 miles. He then says, "More than likely, one of the service men drove it home." I told him that I did NOT give anyone permission to do such. He said for them to have driven it home, we would have had to give them our permission. I told him that had never happened. If they would have asked I would have told them NO. He told me that he would have Waldorf Ford's main manager call me the following day. I told him that our car was again in the shop.
May 14, 2001, Again, the car was back for the 4th time. Enterprise Rent-a-car said that they no longer excepted our insurance, so Dave told us that he would call us when a loaner car was available. No one ever called, even after leaving messages for both the manager and service department.
We called Ford's main office on many occasions and each time they had a different excuse as to why they couldn't take our complaints. For example, we were told their computers were down to call back, we were told that a manager would call us back, we were told we had to go through Waldorf Ford, etc.
On June 6, 2001, I sent the first certified letter to Ford's main office. They recieved it, becaus eit was signed for. we told them everything that had happened to that point and what we wanted to come out of the situation. We also informed them that they were in violation of the Lemon Law. It was signed for on June 11, 2001.
In addition, we had the car in the shop for the same problems on July 16th and September 12th, both times for a long amount of time. Again for the same problems and added we again had radio problems, the car would stall, the car wouldn't always go into gear, the car wouldn't always start, we even had smoke come out the vents that smelt bad. Again nothing was done, except, we were told that the radio was fixed, it wasn't, it had the same exact scratch that it had before. I ended up with a ticket for the radio that Ford didn't want to do anyhting about, it was their fault. I wouldn't have got the ticket if my radio was replaced as I was told. On September 12, 2001, We sent a second certified letter, Ford claims they never got the first one. How convient!?! We were treated rudely and given the run around by Ford's main office, the service manager Mike Fitszgerald and Richard Hendricks, and the Main manager at waldorf Ford, Floyd Alexander. Still nothing done, they didn't care.
We sent another certified letter on September 24, 2001 that Ford refused to sign for. We were now told that we could not bring our vehicle to ANY FORD for any reason. Even though we paid for the extended warranty and maintence free plan. We couldn't even trade our vehicle in to another dealership no one wants a Focus.
We just had the vehicle in for it's 15000 mile maintence. They scratched the car badly and it looks like someone dropped a tool on the hood that caused a dent. I've left several messages for the service manager to call, still nothing.
The AG of MD doesn't seem to care about the Lemon Law. We filed a complaint and sent them ALL the information and documentation and never heard anything. We called and sent e-mails to them and each time were told that they would have to have the person working on our case call us. No one ever called.
Dale & April
Waldorf, Maryland Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Ford and Ford Dealers