Tuesday, May 6, 2014

GHOST IN THE MACHINE

A CBC Investigates story about the Ford Motor Company of Canada caught my attention today.

 Elaine Snow's story of her struggle with Ford over her 2009 Ford Escape sounded very familiar to our ongoing experiences with a 2011 Ford Escape. 

We have been fed up with the myriad of problems with our lemon since shortly after the purchase of our fully loaded four wheel drive. The problems described in the story about "intermittent power surges, power loss, and complete shut down" have happened to us. We have driven loaners all most as often as we have had the opportunity to drive the SUV we purchased.

The vehicle would just fail to start. At first we thought it was the battery. One time while on a trip to St. Mary's Bay the dam machine failed to start. I had to arrange for a ride back to town for my 92-year-old grand father while I waited for road side assistance. While waiting, I slammed the dash of my than three month old vehicle and it came back to life! The panels all started to work, the radio sprang to life and the ignition system started working.

Ford has replaced the on-board computer system, the air conditioning unit, the passenger air bag and various other instrument/electronic items. Last week the pump/motor for the rear windshield malfunctioned draining my battery at night.  After three days of being greeted with a dead battery in the morning, we got into the garage for an appointment. Turns out that part is not covered by our much vaunted and costly bumper to bumper warranty.

We are currently in discussions with Ford about our lemon. We have purchased several Fords in the past and have been pleased with their performance and dependability. The latest has been a major disappointment. Lemons happen. When you are mass producing a product, even with quality control, there is bound to be an occasional problem. I accept that.

However, when a customers maintenance and repair record indicates that the vehicle is having more than normal issues, when Ford is paying big dollars for major repairs, you would think that they would step in and offer a solution that protects their reputation.

Additionally, on average we replace a car every four years, so by pissing us off they potentially lose 8 - 12 future car purchases by us in the future, not to mention the impact that our bad experience will have on the purchase habits of friends.

Ford Motor Company of Canada appears to have a problem. Judging by their refusal to  address Elaine Snow's Canadian Motor Vehicle Arbitration ruling, we do not have a chance of exorcising the ghost in our machine.


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