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How Ford Lost a New Customer

Discussion in 'Stock 2011 - 2019 Ford Explorer Discussion' started by kmk008, July 9, 2019.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. kmk008

    kmk008 New Member

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    Hello everyone, I wanted to share my latest ownership experience regarding my CPO 2014 Explorer Sport.


    When purchased, the liftgate was misaligned which Washington Ford in Washington, PA graciously allowed me to expense the realignment due to the issue existing upon pick up.


    Fast forward 7 months and the exterior of my liftgate is rusting from the inside out. Since I have 2 months remaining of the factory corrosion warranty, I stopped by my local Ford dealer, Astorg Ford of Parkersburg. Upon inspection, the manager recognized the issue and acknowledged it was a warranty concern, but said they would not repair the issue due to me purchasing the Explorer from a different dealer. After a call to Ford customer service they advised me to, “visit a different dealer as each dealer is independently owned, and corporate cannot overrule a dealers decision.” This was strike 1 learning that Ford has no accountability over their dealers to perform factory warranty work. Additionally, upon requesting to speak with a manager, I was denied and told one would be informed to contact me. Sadly, no one ever contacted me. Strike 2.


    Since I had the time, I drove to another dealer in the area, Matheny Ford. Upon arriving, 3 technicians looked at my liftgate and acknowledged the issue. However, they also noticed that the area that was rusting had been poorly patched and sealed as part of a previous repair that they could guarantee was not a factory job. Upon learning this I realized that the previous owner must have had an issue and patched it up which also lead to my misaligned liftgate when I purchased it.



    While clearly this would void the factory warranty regarding corrosion, I bought this Explorer as a CPO vehicle. According to the CPO checklist, all body panels and specifically the trunk/tailgate must be inspected. Additionally, any part that does not meet factory standards must be repair or replaced in accordance with the Ford CPO inspection certification. However, since three Ford technicians were able to quickly identify that this was not a factory quality repair, this obviously went unnoticed during the inspection. Upon discussing this with Ford, there is evidently no accountability regarding the integrity/accuracy of the CPO inspection and certification. Strike 3.

    After driving 5hrs round trip to Washington Ford, their sales manager refused to take any responsibility.


    I love this car in all regards, but Ford has proven that there is no accountability within their warranty or CPO program. As a result, I personally will not be replacing this 2014 with a newer Ford once I am done with it. While Matheny Ford did provide excellent customer service, the poor attitudes of all other parties involved have sealed the deal that Ford vehicles are not in my future. Hopefully this experience sheds some light to other owners and potential owners of how Ford handles claims and issues.

    Essentially, by acknowledging that an improper repair led to the corrosion that was not covered by warranty, Ford has admitted that there is no accountability in their CPO program. Compiled with poor attitudes and customer support, I see no reason to continue support this corporation despite myself holding a large position of Ford stock. Hopefully everyone here has had more positive experiences, but to those who read my story put yourself in my shoes and ask yourself if you would buy another.

    Copied below is the review I have left for Washington Ford:

    You might seek out a Ford Certified Pre-Owned vehicle in order to have greater peace of mind with the expectation that you will purchase a quality used car. In Ford’s words, “The Ford Certified Pre-Owned Program takes the risk out of buying a previously owned vehicle.”

    Unfortunately, don’t expect to pay a premium in return for that quality assurance if the CPO inspection was performed by Washington Ford. On my 2014 CPO Explorer I originally noticed that the liftgate was misaligned the day I purchased the car. According to line item 27, “Doors, Hood, Decklid/Tailgate Alignment”, of the CPO checklist, the liftgate alignment should have been explicitly check and corrected in order to receive certification. This clearly went unnoticed despite being certified as the left side stuck out about 1”.

    Fast forward to present day 8mo later and my liftgate has rust bubbles penetrating the exterior. After taking the car to a local Ford dealer, they noticed that the liftgate has been unprofessionally patched (not to Ford quality) and where it was damaged is now experiencing rust. With this information I reached out to Washington Ford since this was not a disclosed issue when the vehicle was purchased despite line item 26 of the CPO inspection calling for a “Doors, Hood, Decklid/Tailgate and Roof Inspection” and being that I had a documented issue with the liftgate previously.

    It was requested that I drive to Washington Ford (5hrs round trip) in order for their people to inspect the liftgate. Upon doing so, the sales manager (not a service/warranty manager) looked at the liftgate and claimed that “if the issue is less than the size of a credit card there is no problem.” Furthermore, he stated that he would still pass this vehicle as a CPO car despite seeing the flaws in the repair work. After a 15 minute debate of the sales manager, Kevin, contradicting himself whenever I would question his judgement on the issue, he ended the conversation claiming that he had “customers to deal with,” as if I was not a paying customer of Washington Ford. Ultimately he left me with two options, “trade it in for something we have that you think is clean enough for you, or get on the road.”

    To borrow another few quotes from Ford:

    “Before you hit the road in a Ford Certified Pre-Owned vehicle, we put every car, truck, SUV and crossover to the test. Only the vehicles that pass our 172-point inspection become
    Ford Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) vehicles.”

    “Before any vehicle can be called a Ford Certified Pre-Owned vehicle,
    it must pass a stringent 172-point inspection. Factory-trained technicians recondition any component that does not meet program standards, or they replace it with only new Ford Motorcraft® or Ford Authorized Remanufactured Parts.”

    Kevin, the sales manager insisted that these quotes and their interpretations were merely my opinions despite the clear technical language written by Ford Motor Company regarding their CPO inspection.

    In conclusion, Washington Ford does not accurately and honestly inspect all of their CPO vehicles. If I could go back in time, I probably would not purchase another Ford due to the lack of accountability dealers are held to, but I ABSOLUTELY would not make a purchase from Washington Ford ever again based on their unwillingness to take responsibility for their shortcomings and treating a customer rudely in addition to being inconsiderate regarding the time and expense for me to make a 5hr drive for them to “inspect” my issue.
     
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  3. KayGee

    KayGee Well-Known Member

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    Sorry about your experience, but sadly this is nothing new with regard to cpo vehicles. When it comes to car dealers, I've never known one that would whole ass anything since it is so much quicker and easier to half ass everything. In my opinion, Cpo is just a marketing/sales/scam tactic that basically has a customer paying a higher price and getting an extended warranty. Buyer should still do their own due diligence and if they don't have the necessary knowledge/skill, always get a ppi.

    If I were you, I would have an attorney draft a quick demand letter to the original selling dealer. I have a legal plan through work and it doesn't really cost me anything though (other than a few dollars a month). Best of luck.
     
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  4. Crates

    Crates New Member

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    KayGee pretty much hit the nail on the head regarding the whole CPO program. Fluff it, buff it, get it on the lot and inflate the price.

    Most buyers see shiny paint and a clean smelling interior and assume everything else is good. Salesman get paid to sell cars, the onus is ultimately on the buyer to inspect (or have someone knowledgeable inspect) the used vehicle prior to making an agreement for the sale.

    Pick a brand, they are all playing the same game. Sorry you had a negative experience with your purchase.
     
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  5. 03WIExplorerLtd

    03WIExplorerLtd Active Member

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    Sorry about your issues, but its used car. Yup its a Ford and Fords will rust, have corrosion and other issues. Sanded down my door jambs and trunk tailgate, where the seam sealer stops. Repainted, clearcoat and doesn't look half bad. 135k in it and its paid for.......
     
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  6. kmk008

    kmk008 New Member

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    Hello everyone, as many of you have noted, CPO cars certainly don’t stand for much regardless of brand - a lesson I have now learned the hard way.

    While the rust is irritating, that is not the reason Ford has lost me as a customer. My frustrations are that I had a Ford dealer deny warranty coverage because I didn’t purchase the car from them and Ford has no ability to assist with that issue.

    Later when it was found to not be a warranty issue and signs pointed to certification inspection issue, Ford’s stance was that it’s a dealer problem even when the dealer denied any responsibility. These two issues proved to me that there is no accountability dealers are held to, and Ford is unwilling to assist their customers when the dealers drop the ball. In fact, I still haven’t received my scheduled call-back from the customer service manager.

    While I recognize dealers are the consumers primary go-to, I have never experienced this level of disregard for customers both at dealers and corporately on my past 4 vehicles (all GM products which were neither new or CPO vehicles).
     
  7. blwnsmoke

    blwnsmoke Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Did you have holes in your tailgate or was it just rust? Only holes are covered under the corrosion warranty. ESPs do not cover rust... and corrosion is only perforation (it must have a hole through it, not just rusting).

    Unfortunately this is not just a Ford issue. US dealer franchise laws greatly protect the dealers.. this goes for all manufacturers in the US.

    I understand what you are trying to say in regards to being a Ford customer but really you are not. You bought used.. Ford Corp did not make a dime off you.. they are in the New Car Business.
     
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  8. thefranchise713

    thefranchise713 Well-Known Member

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    This is what surprises me the most. Ford browbeats the piss out of the dealers for billing .001 of an hour over warranty book time, or sending back a part that doesn't test out as bad, but then when something this egregious happens, they do nothing.

    I'd keep nagging them. Or, if you have a work sponsored Employee Assistance Program, have their Legal service weigh in and harass Ford a bit. This is not a terribly expensive issue, they might roll over with a little legal pressure. (Probably not, but worth trying.)
     
  9. KayGee

    KayGee Well-Known Member

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    If you have a manufacturer warranty and were actually denied repairs under said warranty, you absolutely have a legal case. Contact an attorney and let them handle it for you. Arbitrators and judges do not take kindly to breach of warranty suits. Been there, done that - more than once.

    Same goes if you were sold a vehicle and it turns out to not be as described. If that is legitimately the case, any first or second year lawyer should be able to write a demand letter and get it handled pretty quickly.

    Best of luck.
     
  10. Adrian Gitch

    Adrian Gitch Active Member

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    Since you have paperwork basically stating that the liftgate/corrosion issue shouldn't have been the way it was, you should have a good chance of having a good lawyer getting them to make it right. I doubt if they would want to mess with an arbitrator/judge etc..
     
  11. 03WIExplorerLtd

    03WIExplorerLtd Active Member

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    Photo of the rust would be helpful.
     
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