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Quality is not job 1

Discussion in 'Stock 2011 - 2019 Ford Explorer Discussion' started by broken strut, December 12, 2014.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. broken strut

    broken strut Active Member

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    [​IMG]


    I'm an engineer and have been involved in quality control, quality assurance. I'm flabbergasted at how little Ford pays attention to things as of late. For a vehicle that is north of 50K here in Canada the Explorer Sport should be a refined vehicle. Now I know that a Ford is a Ford and if a person wants a vehicle that's high end you can buy an Acura or BMW etc.....

    However, the types of things that have transpired over the last 3-4 years with the Explorer are completely unacceptable. The MFT debacle, A pillars rattling and flying off. Overheating issues, steering issues, electrical issues and of course my favourite, the rear hatch leak. What gets me is the offhanded approach the Ford Motor Co of Canada has taken toward these problems. Why is it that I feel like I'm bothering my Ford Rep when I try to contact him.... Why is it he didn't call me back when I was trying to get answers as to why my vehicle was leaking so profusely. I guess if you ignore a customer long enough the problem will just go away. The only saving grace in the whole process was a dealership that went above and beyond (Riverview Ford Lincoln). Quality vehicle. No. I don't think so. Would I be able to say to someone that I recommend this vehicle. Absolutely not. Not just for it's shortcomings but also for the approach Ford has taken. Applying caulking to a vehicle to stop a leak is far from acceptable as far as I'm concerned. Caulking eventually dries out. Cracks and splits. Seams move and open up. As soon as I'm able to dump this vehicle I will.

    This was my second Explorer. I had a 2011 Limited before my 2013 Explorer Sport. That vehicle was a complete disaster. I guess it's my own fault for thinking that Ford would have taken some pride in their product and fixed the "little things" that make a difference. Have a look at the image below. Basic QA/QC..... Ford is missing some of the more obvious parts. Monitor, Measure and Improve comes to mind. For those who will take Ford's side I say this. Why is it that I find some of the very same issues (that should have been picked up before the vehicle was put on the market) 3 years after I bought my Limited. I'll tell you why. They failed to monitor the situation, they failed to measure, and although they have improved on some issues, (quick fixes) they have failed to improve their product. Like all big business, cutting corners at the customers expense to make some extra money is Job 1. Not quality. Do yourself a favour and spend the extra 10K to buy something a little higher end. Take your pick, just don't pick an Explorer.


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: December 12, 2014
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  3. blwnsmoke

    blwnsmoke Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    I can't wait to buy another Explorer!
     
  4. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    I'm not taking anyone's side here, just posting what I have personally experienced. My 2011 Limited was a great vehicle and I'm now saving up for the 2016 Platinum model. The fellow that bought my Winter wheels put them on his 2013 Explorer and he says he hasn't had any problems with the vehicle. It is unfortunate that some have not had a very positive experience and understand their reluctance to possibly repeat their experience. I also don't understand why some 2011 issues still prevail today, but because they haven't affected me, I have a more positive outlook on the product as a whole and will probably buy another. Whatever the feelings members have toward their Explorers, it certainly hasn't impacted Ford Explorer sales.

    Peter
     
    Last edited: December 12, 2014
  5. Uaglio

    Uaglio Active Member

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    I appreciate your frustration but don't be fooled into thinking that simply spending more on an Acura or BMW would guarantee anything better. I've had several BMWs, Audis and a Mercedes that were tens of thousands more expensive than my current Explorer Sport. While they did exceed Ford in some respects, in fit and finish, neither was free from defects and stupid problems. Also some of the engineering decisions that Audi made (Q7 specifically) were mind boggling - for example, to change the $10 oil pan gasket seal you needed to unbolt the engine and use a hoist to provide clearance to drop the pan. And an oil change on the Audi was always a headache due to absurd placement of the filter cartridge and the drain plug. It seemed like Audi designed complexity into everything just for the sake of complexity, or to foil anyone without very expensive special dealer equipment. I once cracked the plastic oil filter cap - replacement was over $80 for a simple piece of threaded ABS plastic. Also replaced were things like a bluetooth module, keyless entry module and 4 door handles that work with it, both xenon headlights, etc., at a cost of thousands of dollars. So spending more isn't always the answer.
     
  6. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    ^ I agree 100%. A vehicle's higher price does not necessarily translate into a trouble free model.
    Hyundai, generally not exactly considered a high priced vehicle manufacturer, is one of the fastest growing automotive companies and some of its vehicles have been rated higher than some Japanese and German models. It is currently the world's 4th largest vehicle manufacturer.
    I am sure that you will find dissatisfied owners on every vehicle forum that exists. If I had the number of issues with my vehicle that some members have had, I likely would be hesitant to get another one but my experience with the Explorer and the dealer have been excellent. Also, since I only lease, I'm not going to get 'stuck' with a vehicle they can't fix to my satisfaction since it technically isn't mine.

    Peter
     
  7. Fla_15_XLT

    Fla_15_XLT New Member

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    You're forgetting another (and more important to corporate interests) factor: MONEY. Ford, and pretty much every large company, makes changes and evolution of products and services in a way that will make them more money. That can be through lower direct cost (lowering product cost and increasing net margin), or lower warranty cost. The calculus is how cheaply they can make parts, and still meet the majority of their customers' expectations on durability and reliability. The big idea is always to drive customer value perception higher than the actual cost of the product, i.e. to make it look better than it really is. And this is a calculus that the big cheeses focus on.

    Your expectations have not been met. Having owned a number of other brands over the years, if you truly expect substantially better value, you're going to keep being disappointed. Our '15 is far from perfect on any number of dimensions (too much vinyl on the 'leather' seat options along with the feel/stain resistance of the covering, vinyl 3rd row, door panel material choice, some funky bundling choices of features, a number of software feature implementation details) - but from the perspective of 'better than alternatives on the market at the price point', it's decent. The 'luxury' brands excel at perceived quality - but not so much in superior reliability or durability - and the dealer experience is more of a wallet rape than I have a stomach for.
    Case in point - I really wanted the incremental fuel economy of the 4 cylinder Ecoboost. Ideally, I would have liked a powertrain like the Fusion Hybrid (30 MPG everyday use with Explorer room - I'm in) However, the probable carbon deposit issues causing drivability issues at the 30 K mile intervals took it off the list. Now, this has apparently been a drawback with direct injection designs for years - and one which the luxury brands con as 'required maintenance' at $1000/pop. Another example is VW group's mandatory fluid change interval for the dual clutch automatics at 40K miles and $500 at the stealer. This is the sort of stuff that they might get away with for the 'luxury customers' who don't consider a $500 routine service bill an obscenity and a sign of a lousy vehicle design.
     
  8. broken strut

    broken strut Active Member

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    Valid points by all. Yes it's unfortunate that I have owned 2 explorers and they both have had MAJOR defects. Just bad luck I guess. Especially when it's the "exact" same defects in the brand. Especially when I speak with other Explorer owners in this area who have had leaks and steering issues. 4 out of 6 I spoke with have had issues. Must send all the junk down east! Lol.
     
  9. Halwg

    Halwg Active Member

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    Vehicles today are so much better than when I bought my first new vehicle in 1973. You could expect a myriad of problems that you continually fought with the dealer to repair. And my first warranty was 12 months/12,000 miles on a GM car. Cars I owned through the 70's into the mid 90's would not be tolerated today.

    Difference was, you told your buddies, or folks you worked with about these problems. Today everyone gets on the internet to post the most miniscule little problem like I have a squeak, I can't get my lights to work, etc. I think there are much better vehicles available today, but we tend to hear more about the occasional problem.

    It's nice that you can get on here and vent, I know it makes you feel better. But, truth be known, it just comes off as whining. Particularly since you had one vehicle that had problems, and turned around and bought another 2 years later! I think kids today say...Duh!
     
  10. broken strut

    broken strut Active Member

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    Lol. Yes. Minute problems. You sir are a genius. Lol.
     
  11. broken strut

    broken strut Active Member

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    I would hire Terry to give you some pain train. Lol. Whining? Nice job Fanboi.
    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yvgkl-3ze4k
    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=GlJ7rvfd_jg

    You call a leak in the rear hatch that they couldn't find. Minor. A leak that compromised the integrity of the safety belts in the third row minor. Stalling issues that caused the vehicle to loose steering control minor?

    Here's a saying not used by kids today.

    I'm not saying you're stupid, just that you've got bad luck when it comes to thinking.
     
    Last edited: December 14, 2014
  12. 1995E

    1995E Well-Known Member

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    I have to agree. The time I've spent getting my Explorer fixed for issues is ridiculous. If I brought up all my issues, it'd be 10+ dealership visits to fix them all. Not only that, my family has bought 3 Ford vehicles within 4 years and our Fusion has had to get numerous dealer visits as well. The F-150 we just bought just had a recall notice and I don't know why we keep looking at Fords but I guess it's because our service center has been really good and Ford is really good at honoring their warranty. I just hope our Ford vehicles will last us for the long run with minimal issues.

    The one thing I can say is pretty good are the powertrains. Haven't had any issues, although my Explorer only has 27,000 miles after 4 years, I guess I can't really say yet. The protective coating on the underbody components are started to wear off and I'm starting to notice some rust spots. I plan on having my Explorer for 15+ years and I really hope it lasts me that long with little troubles. I'm feeling pretty good about it since I haven't had any issues with the Explorer for quite some time now. Except for the A-pillar re-rattling.
     
  13. Halwg

    Halwg Active Member

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    You know what guys? You have the choice to sell your Explorers and not buy another. You have the choice to purchase any car you want. Whining on the internet is not productive and slamming Ford over problems with one vehicle doesn't help your cause.

    And yeah, in the grand scheme of things, your problems are miniscule.
     
  14. broken strut

    broken strut Active Member

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    Your point of view is skewed and unusually Fanboyish. "In the grand scheme of things". Laughable.
     
  15. tmg19103

    tmg19103 Active Member

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    For start of 2013 until now, Ford is selling about 16,000 Ex's a month.

    Every manufacturer will have some bad vehicles when you sell that volume.

    Given this is the most popular Ex forum and the easiest to find in a quick Google if you have problems and want to vent, I'd say the small number of people posting with problems demonstrates pretty good quality given almost 300,000 Ex's have been sold since start of 2013.

    I feel bad for those with ongoing issues, but I don't see it as an indictment of the entire model line given how few there are posting about ongoing issues compared to number of vehicles sold.
     
  16. blwnsmoke

    blwnsmoke Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Couldn't have said it better myself... it sucks for those who have had issues but they all do.

    ----------------------

    [MENTION=206545]broken strut[/MENTION] - It sucks you have had 2 of them that have had issues. For the 2011 model year, I expected to have issues which all have been addressed with TSBs. Unfortunately when you have a ALL NEW vehicle come out, it will have bugs and defects.. it's just the way the industry is overall. When a manufacturer puts out a few hundred models for employees to drive before it is released, you will not catch the problems that take 200,000 vehicles to be out on the open roads for several months to show their ugly face.

    Some may say that it shouldn't be this way but unfortunately that's how it is.

    I am semi blue loyal however I can keep an open mind... I completely agree this whole water leak issue is a complete mess. NO vehicle should be leaking like this and I can't believe Ford hasn't figured out what's causing this by now. Not sure if it is assembly, manufacturing or flex of the vehicle causing it.

    In the past 15 years, I've had Fords, Chevys, Audis and Toyotas (including a Lexus) which totals 8 vehicles. By far the worst was the Audi.. the amount of recalls and electrical issues would blow your mind away. I literally had a stack of work orders over 1" thick. Lexus was the best by far in regards to both lack of issues as well as Dealer Service. Hell, the Lexus dealership next to my Audi dealership took my Audi in and fixed a few issues because the Audi Dealership kept saying everything was fine (how's that for service??).

    The fact is as stated, every one will come on here and post about the littlest of things and I'll be honest, many times I just want to say "take it to your dealer" but I hold back and not say anything. The internet has become a forum of whining as opposed to enthusiasts talking about their vehicles.

    Best of luck with either direction you choose to go in the future.
     
  17. plumbago

    plumbago Active Member

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    Our 2013 EXP XT remains a POS..........best regards Plum
     
  18. blwnsmoke

    blwnsmoke Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    And as I said before, every single one of your posts is a negative post. You are not helpful in the least on here.. Frankly I don't know why you bother coming on an enthusiast site to be such a miserable person on here.

    Why don't you go sell it so you can actually be happy.....
     
  19. blanchard7684

    blanchard7684 New Member

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    Broken strut is right: there is a HUGE gap in the root cause analysis process here for Ford on this model. You shouldn't be seeing identical problems multiple years running without major balls being dropped. Whoever is the manager for this program has a clear lack of understanding or even care for process quality.

    I believe the issue is plant and model specific. my 2010 GT is great. Previous F series have been wonderful.
     
  20. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    All 5th gen Explorers are built at the Chicago Assembly Plant but the parts aren't necessarily manufactured there. It is an accepted fact that many parts are 'outsourced' and then shipped to the plant to be assembled. That is why it is called the 'Assembly' plant. Also, I don't believe that the paint issue is an issue that affects the majority of the models. Why it does affect some and what the actual cause is, that is the question.

    Peter
     
  21. broken strut

    broken strut Active Member

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    It's a simple matter of find the problem and fix it. It's not a minor issue as stated. My dealer has stated that it's an ongoing known issue with regard to the leak. A plant issue. However they haven't fixed it as of 3 MF years. They have seen the issue repeatedly in this model. While it may not be as prevalent as thought of on this forum. How many people don't even realize they have a leak? I drove mine for a year before the smell of moldy carpet gave rise to the problem. Rusted seatbelt parts and anchors etc. as stated. I love my Explorer. I just think Ford can step up their game and stop these known problems at the root. Poor project management. I guess some fanboys get upset at that.
     

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