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Very Sad Delivery Experience

JohnnyDop

Well-Known Member
Joined
July 11, 2011
Messages
225
Reaction score
2
City, State
Long Island, NY
Year, Model & Trim Level
2012 Limited AWD
Today's the day I pick up my new Ex. I was very excited all day. I rushed home from work and got to the dealer by 7:30. Low and behold its 11pm and as I type this my driveway sits void of a shiny new 2012 Explorer :(.

Here's what happened.

They bring it over and I jump in immediately get a look at it. Before I can make my rounds to look it over (checklist from this forum in hand) I first sit with someone to explain how everything works. I already knew but i was nice just to go through all the MFT features one category at a time.

First thing i noticed in the two minutes i was in the truck alone was that the Nav corner of the screen said "SD Card Fault". I figured it was an error that would go away on its own or the Ford person would clear out. She gets in and we spend about 15 min pairing my iPhone (worked perfectly) and going over all the features of the car. When it came to explaining the Nav she noticed the error message. She took the SD card out and put it back in. Tried a second time. No luck. We then shut off the ignition and started it again. Still the same error. She then said she would try another card and went to get it.

In the meantime I began walking around the car. A few issues..

1. The passenger side A Pillar looked like someone wiped it with steel wool. My wife began to rub it thinking it was just a streak but the fine lines would not rub away. The dealer looked puzzled when i showed him but agreed something wasnt right. He then said it was possible i wouldnt see it during the day and only saw it tonight because there was a huge flood light hitting the Ex from that side. I sort of disagreed in that it looked bad enough that you could see it all the time. He knew i wasnt happy.

My question is why on earth did Ford decide to make the A Pillars plastic :thumbdwn:. I dont think i've seen any other car have anything but solid metal.

Anyone know why or want to opine on why they went with a shiny (seems like it'll be prone to scratches) plastic piece insteal of metal?

My dealer didnt feel right letting me take the Ex without the Nav working and with a scatched up A Pillar. He said he would have it buffed or wet sanded tomorrow. Will that work? If they replace it, will they loosen any other piece in doing so?


2. My wife then pointed out that the hood seemed to have tiny lines (hairlines) in it. The kind you see in a black car after years of car washes but not on every square inch, more random, one here one there.

Is that normal? Do the Ex's get buffed at the factory and then again at the dealership or does the dealership do all the detailing? I'm terrified to think the same thing (dirty buffing pad) that scratched the A pillar also put micro lines in the paint.


3. I also think my rear hatch might be misaligned in that the door sits deeper then the quarter panel. As far as the lateral alignment i think its ok. Didnt analyze it too close because i was looking for scratches in other places. I guess thats why you shouldnt pick up a new ride at night. Its so difficult to see the flaws.


Sorry for the long post but i had to get this off my chest. I feel terrible that i wont see my new ride in the driveway tomorrow morning.


Please tell me if i'm being super **** and neurotic. It my first new car in 11 years and my first brand new car ever.
 



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No it's not ****, when you pay 40k +, you expect to get no flaws, and everything nice and detailed. I had some issue on mine also, I ll try to address each one for you;
First I apologize for not getting the update checklist posted, the day after I received my vehicle, my home computer died, waiting for a new power supply and HD:

1) A-Pillar- had a similar issue, but I believe mine was from poor dealer prep, when they pulled the protective plastic off, the persons finger nails scratched the a post, yes plastic cover. Action: after three body shops looked at it ( the dealer uses), the third shop tried to buff out, no go, didn't work, it made it worse. I recommend having the dealer order a new one. Also look at the rubber trim on the window side of the a post cover, if it's not straight, and tight to the trim, you may have the famous rattle soon.
Mine started yesterday, dealer replace with new one. My old one you can see were the rubber separated ( which is what I think people start hearing before the rattle starts.

The rear hatch issue:

2). Mine was set to the left more, the body shop got it true and even, but the right rear upper quarter panel and hatch do not match, hatch sits in more, is this what you have? The body shop stated, that's the best they could do with out major body work.

The MFT issues for Nav:

3) mine also error, SD card, they placed a new card in after the finally pulled the battery cable. Been fine ever since, it just doesn't know were I live, my street is not on the map, lived here for 7 years.

Paint job:

4) that's a whole issue in it's self, I have the Tri-plat. White, didn't see any issues like that, but was looking at several other x's on the lot, some had issues with the paint, darker colors mostly. I wonder about the transport, the protective plastic, if it gets something under it, and then the wind while it's going down the road, helps out with a few scratches, don't know. They should make it right.

Hope this helps.
 






What happened to the hihgly acclaimed robot assembly line and laser guided alignment? Where is Ford QC? I guess the best thing is still waiting, and waiting more.
 






Johnny, don't take it home till all is fixed like new! You did the right thing!

Long Island here too...St James.
 






Sadly every manufacturer is having similar issues. When we bought our 2009 M3, we had some issues that weren't too par.. We downright refused to take delivery of the vehicle until all issues were resolved. Just stand your ground and you'll win
 






3. I also think my rear hatch might be misaligned in that the door sits deeper then the quarter panel.

I think this is a design flaw, our hatch sits deeper than the quarter panel as well as a few other ex's I have observed at the dealer parking lot. During the first 3-4 months of ownership, we had to slam the hatch 2-3 times to get it to close properly, but now it seems to close at the first attempt, after 6 months of ownership.

Does the hatch close with no issues at the first attempt?
 






I think the plastic A-Pillar will go down in the history books as, "We tried that once..." Hopefully they'll remember it isn't such a great idea in practice.

Congratulations on doing the right thing. It's tough to not bring the new car home but you would be kicking yourself every time you looked at those scratches.
 






Unfortunately, if the same guy that detailed your Ex is going to detail your A-Pillar, you're screwed. Most of the dealerships I know and have worked with to fix this crap have questionable "detailers" which are basically minimum wage guys with buffers. They don't understand compounds, machines, or how to effectively use them. If you really want to have a flawless finish on your new Ex, which is possible, don't let them touch it again. Call a local detailer to do it for you. In the detailing world, we call those marks the "DISO" or Dealer Installed Swirl Option. See HERE

Seriously- they won't fix it, they'll just create more swirls, and they have no clue how to correctly fix the A-pillar, since they're probably using the same compound on plastic that they're using on metal, and using the rotary for all of it as well. That's purely a dealer issue, Ford does not detail cars at the factory, they come to the dealership swirl-free. There is only so much clearcoat on the vehicle, and I do not yet have a reading on how much Ford is putting on the '11-12 Ex. If they hit it with a rotary again and it still needs to be detailed again after that, that's sad, and you're losing clearcoat every time their wash-hack it touching it with his dirty-buffing-wheel rotary.

I also put a call out to see if someone in the Megs group is around Long Island, as they can help. If it costs you a little bit of $ to be happy with the vehicle, it's ok- that's a huge investment to let the dealership keep messing it up. I'd fix it, but Michigan is a long way off. :)
 






I think this is a design flaw, our hatch sits deeper than the quarter panel as well as a few other ex's I have observed at the dealer parking lot. During the first 3-4 months of ownership, we had to slam the hatch 2-3 times to get it to close properly, but now it seems to close at the first attempt, after 6 months of ownership.

Does the hatch close with no issues at the first attempt?

I only opened and closed it once, seemed ok.
 






Unfortunately, if the same guy that detailed your Ex is going to detail your A-Pillar, you're screwed. Most of the dealerships I know and have worked with to fix this crap have questionable "detailers" which are basically minimum wage guys with buffers. They don't understand compounds, machines, or how to effectively use them. If you really want to have a flawless finish on your new Ex, which is possible, don't let them touch it again. Call a local detailer to do it for you. In the detailing world, we call those marks the "DISO" or Dealer Installed Swirl Option. See HERE

Seriously- they won't fix it, they'll just create more swirls, and they have no clue how to correctly fix the A-pillar, since they're probably using the same compound on plastic that they're using on metal, and using the rotary for all of it as well. That's purely a dealer issue, Ford does not detail cars at the factory, they come to the dealership swirl-free. There is only so much clearcoat on the vehicle, and I do not yet have a reading on how much Ford is putting on the '11-12 Ex. If they hit it with a rotary again and it still needs to be detailed again after that, that's sad, and you're losing clearcoat every time their wash-hack it touching it with his dirty-buffing-wheel rotary.

I also put a call out to see if someone in the Megs group is around Long Island, as they can help. If it costs you a little bit of $ to be happy with the vehicle, it's ok- that's a huge investment to let the dealership keep messing it up. I'd fix it, but Michigan is a long way off. :)

Its nowhere near as bad as the mustang in that link. Hard to explain. When looking at the hood i was expecting a 100% flawless look. Just seems like there were individual lines that were sproradic. Not many of them. I kept thinking they were just towel marks/streaks but i hard to judge because i was still fuming over the a pillar issue.

Since they get dirty during transport, dealers wash and wax all new cars right?
 






They do, but they don't claybar them first. Contaminants, especially if rail transported, are deposited all over the car. If they don't claybar, the contaminants are either spread all over the truck, or they get waxed over, and then embed into the paint. That combined with using old wool pads, incorrect compounds, and inexperienced people, create the issues.

It should be a flawless finish, but the dealerships usually mess that up. ;)

I'll post up some pics of our 2010 Fusion that was clayed the day it came home form the dealership...

Here is after claying the hood and trunk... Again, this is the day it hit the lot, and after they washed and 'waxed' it. Drove home, and clayed it so I could do it correctly. :)

DSCF0228.jpg


DSCF0229.jpg
 






You might try Meguiar's scratch X 2.0. It works fairly well on very minor scratches and is pretty gentle.

The black trim is pretty soft, I had similar issues that I didn't notice until later. The Meguiar's Scratch X did an ok job getting them out. Just be aware that the black plastic seems pretty easy to scratch. I'm afraid to breath on it.
 






You might try Meguiar's scratch X 2.0. It works fairly well on very minor scratches and is pretty gentle.

The black trim is pretty soft, I had similar issues that I didn't notice until later. The Meguiar's Scratch X did an ok job getting them out. Just be aware that the black plastic seems pretty easy to scratch. I'm afraid to breath on it.

Which begs the question, why did they use it? A metal A Pillar would have prevented thousands of rattling issues and it wont scratch. Makes no sense.
 






Which begs the question, why did they use it? A metal A Pillar would have prevented thousands of rattling issues and it wont scratch. Makes no sense.
I hear'ya wait to you find out the "A" pillars are held by some snap-in fasteners and VELCRO!
I am pretty sure they went the plastic route vs. steel for cost reasons. I understand they wanted "blacked out" A pillar design, which could have been achieved with steel "A" pillars as well.
I know the flex has blacked out A pillars to, wonder if it's the same design, got to get a closer look at them...
 






I hear'ya wait to you find out the "A" pillars are held by some snap-in fasteners and VELCRO!
I am pretty sure they went the plastic route vs. steel for cost reasons. I understand they wanted "blacked out" A pillar design, which could have been achieved with steel "A" pillars as well.
I know the flex has blacked out A pillars to, wonder if it's the same design, got to get a closer look at them...

I know all about the velcro, scary.

Anyway, just spoke to the dealer. They are ordering a new A Pillar. He said it was like that when they pulled the plastic off it. He said, she said is pointless as this point. It'll get fixed either way.

As for the faulty SD card, he said its fine now. From what i gathered it sounds like they had to re-install the software. Weird

I should be a happy new (with a soon to be replaced A pillar) Ex owner tonight :thumbsup:
 






I hear'ya wait to you find out the "A" pillars are held by some snap-in fasteners and VELCRO!
I am pretty sure they went the plastic route vs. steel for cost reasons. I understand they wanted "blacked out" A pillar design, which could have been achieved with steel "A" pillars as well.
I know the flex has blacked out A pillars to, wonder if it's the same design, got to get a closer look at them...

Probably did it this way to reduce weight - and cost.
 






Probably did it this way to reduce weight - and cost.

In the end it'll cost them way more.

One more observation from my initial walk around.

While i was getting the tour of the features i noticed the a/c was blowing from the middle/dashboard vents. A few minutes later i changed it to blow on the floor. A few minutes later i noticed condensation forming outside on the bottom of the windshield. I then put my hand on the defrost vents and felt air coming out. I checked the settings and it was set on Floor.

Please tell me the air doesnt come out of the defrost vents all the time?
 






Just to follow up: CLICK

Also- please be careful with the Scratch X 2.0, that is a really aggressive product so use sparingly.

Might try Novus, it's a 3 part product, but that piano black stuff is ridiculous and shouldn't be on a car exterior IMHO.

Here are some of the Megs consumer line products on a past chart in order from most aggressive to least aggressive from left to right just for info...

SMATaggressivenessOrder.jpg
 






I need to stop reading this forum. :(

My delivery is two weeks away and I'm already terrified about scratched and rattling A pillars, misaligned hatches, paint swirls, MFT errors, water leaks and other assorted gremlins. After 24 years of very happy foreign car ownership, I'm giving a domestic brand another chance. GM lost a customer for life in 1987 and I hope Ford does not do the same in 2011.
 



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Just remember- happy owners are a VERY rare occurrence on forums. There are thousands and thousands and thousands of happy Ex owners. Don't fear, it's an incredible vehicle... :)
 






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