Friday, December 10, 2010

Ford Customer Service...what customer service?

Many of you know that I am a HUGE Ford fan. I bleed blue. I have driven nothing but Fords since before I got my license. Lots of Crown Vics, F-Series, Mustangs, Super Duties, Marauders, a Five Hundred, a Countour SVT, and most recently I ordered a 2010 Taurus SHO about a year ago. I have always recommend Ford products to my friends, and many of them are very pleased with their purchases. I guess I got bit on this one.

Well, she arrived right before Valentines Day 2010. I loved her from the Get-go, she was pretty, she was fast, and stealthy. I special ordered because nobody had what I wanted. I wanted the Performance Pack, which had special brakes, a different axle ratio, and stiffer springs and struts. It was worth the wait.

So around June of this year, I notice that when I'm leaving the neighborhood, the engine stutters/falters a little when I'm waiting for the light to turn green. This happened every day, and to the point where I started trying with the A/C on, A/C off, etc. Still did it.

It concerned me, and I made a note to take it in to the dealer to have it looked at. Around September, the brakes exhibited a groaning noise at low speeds, and I also noticed, while moving the car down the driveway, I noticed a clicking noise when going from Park to Reverse, and then Reverse to drive. This was enough to warrant taking the car in to be looked at.

I took the car into Tommie Vaughn Ford in Houston, where I bought the car from. They had the car in for three days. Their solution was to reflash the PCM, perform the brake TSB, which addressed the groan, and clearly stated, for Performance Package Taurus SHOs, NOT TO REPLACE THE BRAKE PADS. Guess what? They replaced the pads. When I picked the car up, I read the paperwork and pointed out to the advisor that the TSB was performed incorrectly. The advisor also told me that the clicking noise was gone. He offered to change the pads back to the original ones, however, I had no time, so I just got them back and left.

When I got the car back, I noticed that the clicking noise was still present, as well as the rough idle, to the point where the car died, however, immediately restarted. I called the Dealer and talked to my advisor, and explained that I was really disappointed. I buy from Tommie Vaughn for the good reputation. I took it for service there because thats where the car was purchased. I know Ford doesn't offer loaner cars unless you buy extended warranty, so I didnt expect them to provide me with alternate wheels, but I asked what his suggestion would be to resolve this problem. He told me to bring the car in and they would give me something to drive. I took the car in again. This time, they kept the car for 9 Days. I drove to the credit union to make a car payment in a rental car.

I picked the car up, they replaced the spark plugs, and the brake pads (to the correct ones) and the Brake Calipers. Supposedly the cause of the clicking noise. When I picked the car up and left, I noticed that the brakes didnt feel quite right. I brushed it off as to having driven a different car for a week and I'd get used to it. Well, when I left the office that evening, first stoplight, the brake pedal goes to the floor. To add insult to injury, while waiting for the light to turn green, the car exhibits the rough idle again. I immediately called the dealer. He advised me to bring it in.

Over the weekend and part of the next week, I drove my other vehicle, because I did not feel safe driving the car in the way that it was with the soft brakes. I did take the car in, around November 16th and I met with the Service writer, as well as the Service manager. I explained my frustration that this was the THIRD time the car was going in. He assured me that this would be taken care of and put me in another rental car. I suggested getting a Field Service Engineer involved or Ford direct. Later that week, my advisor called and said that they found #1 Cylinder was 'dropping out' and coming back. Ford techline advised them to move the spark plug and coil somewhere else to see if the 'drop out' followed. It did not. Ford techline suggests that the dealer replace the fuel injector, so they "emergency ordered" an injector. On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, I got a call stating that the injector was in, and the technician would be installing the injector to see if the problem was fixed. Friday, I called the dealer and talked to the service advisor, and he told me that the tech that was working on my car was on vacation, and that I would need to check back on Monday. Monday, my advisor calls me and says that the Shop Foreman actually drove my car and the problem was still present. So the FSE told them that they wanted to swap the computer, and could I bring my other key to the dealership, since they would need to reprogram both keys. I took my spare key to the dealer and my service writer was not there.

I spoke to the service manager after he got back from lunch. I asked him for an update, which he was not aware of any further updates. I told him to keep "throwing parts" at the car until they had it fixed. He said "Well, we're not throwing parts at it, we're diagnosing." Lets see. You have reflashed the PCM, Replaced Spark Plugs, Moved Coils, replaced the Fuel Injector, and now, you want to change the PCM. If thats not throwing parts at the problem I'm not sure what is.

Later that week, my advisor called and told me that the SHO they had on their lot that they were planning on swapping PCMs with did not match my car, however, when they pulled the spark plug on #1, the technician saw "Something Shiny" down the plug hole. So the Ford Engineer asked them to pull the head. The advisor thought that the engine would have to be removed for this operation and I tended to agree with him. This was around December 3. Over the weekend, I went to the dealer and took photos of my car sitting on the rack, which the exhaust unbolted, in various stages of disassembly. Looked like they were well on their way.

Tuesday, December 7th, I called the dealer for an update. The advisor had left, so I talked to the Service manager. He advised that they were told to pull heads by the Ford Engineer. Which I already knew. He claimed that the engine did NOT have to be removed.

Wednesday, December 8th, My advisor called around noon to tell me that the heads were off and the valves were "Carboned up" Like you would not believe. Then he starts asking me about what kind of Gasoline I used. I told him, Premium, only Chevron or Shell. Then he told me that the service manager said that only 87 should be used. I told him that I thought this was incorrect, they may want to check the owners manual in the car, as well as on the gas tank door. 87 Octane is acceptable, however, 91 or better is recommended for optimum performance in the SHO motor.

So here we have it folks. As of December 10th, 2010, I have a car that has been in the shop for a total of thirty six days. I have made two payments to the bank in a rental car.

Frustrated? Yes.
Angry? Yes.
Feel like I'm not being taken seriously by Ford or the Dealer? Yes.

Maybe its a lemon I have, but I feel like I'm not being given priority or consideration in this matter. The dealer blames it on their lack of Knowledge on the Ecoboost engine. I don't care what it is at this point. I'm tired of being jerked around and tired of being told one story to the next. I've always been a Ford product advocate and right now, I feel like its a huge slap in the face. I have a damn near 40,000 dollar paperweight that I don't see or get to use. Instead, I'm driving a Budget rent a car Hyundai. Thanks a lot Ford.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just found your site and read the post on your SHO. What happened with that car?