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DonShockley

Failed Door Latch 4 days past 3 year warranty

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Still sounds like Ford and the dealership have work to do. The fact that there is no way for either operation to keep track of the recall does not speak well of the process.

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This is why people "lawyer up".  

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This is why I do all work possible myself. I know I can screw up much less frequently than others. Of course recalls are the exception.

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Just got back from the dealers. Finally the dealer took my initial suspicion seriously and did some actual investigation. Although the part numbers are different for front and slider, once they actually compared them they were virtually identical externally and slider latches would be possible to install in the front. Next step was to pull the door panels in the front to check if slider latches were actually installed. Turns out this was NOT what happened and the original latches were still in place complete with factory witness marks undisturbed. But they were prepared to replace the front latches had they found slider latches in the wrong location. They did end up installing the passenger slider latch since it was obvious the recall had never actually been installed in that door. There's still some more hoops the dealer is having to do on their end to straighten out all the paperwork since their system won't let them do a direct credit card refund on a customer delivered part without a corresponding return of a part into their inventory. They weren't sure they could get it fixed and refunded today even if I waited, so I took delivery of my vehicle now with both slider latches freshly replaced. But they will be issuing a full refund of what I paid, including the Ford Warranty Deductible. Although it may have to be as a refund check instead of a credit card refund.

 

I do have to give the service manager credit, once he realized that I might be right and the paperwork was wrong he immediatly offered a pretty genuine apology. And he immediately got somebody to drop everything else and get all four door latches checked to make sure the correct parts were installed and do the one remaining replacement ASAP. I am sure there will likely be some repercussions for the staff guy for never actually installing the recall a year ago, but that's the dealers issue. The recent fiasco seems due to young techs without a lick of common sense. Not realizing that a prior recall repair should have meant signs of prior work, and if the door they were working on didn't show that prior work then likely the other side wasn't done either and needed to be fixed also.

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If they can't figure out how to refund you, tell them that you will accept cash.  They have petty cash on hand to buy donuts every day.  They can go without.  You need to be reimbursed for your loss.

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The more I hear about Ford and what they let their dealers get away with, the more sure I become that this will be the only Ford I ever own. I specialized in Subarus with my shop but I worked on most makes of Japanese vehicles from time to time. In working with the dealers and factory for parts and information, I NEVER ran into the kind of bullshit I have with Ford in just a year of owning my van. None of my customers ever had this kind of crazy story either. Sometimes a dealer would try to cut a corner but a call to the factory rep always brought down the wrath of god.

 

Going from Japanese made vehicles to an American made (corporate culture, even though the van was made in Europe) has been a hell of a downgrade.

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I think this particular issue is almost exclusively the dealer and not Ford. I actually plan on following up with Ford, and NHTSA, regarding the failure to actually install any parts during the earlier recall repair. This stopped being about money the second it became apparent that's what actually happened and not a simple mistake of installing on the wrong doors. I've still got to pull the front door panels myself and get photo evidence of my own to prove that issue since right now I am just relying on the dealer's photos at the time. Continued dealer actions will also guide what I do going forward. If they seem to understand the implications of a tech not installing a safety recall part and respond accordingly, I'll tend to do less. If they seem to be concealing or minimizing the error, I'll take it further outside their system. So far I've got a ton of hard evidence, except for the old parts in hand. I just wish I had thought to pull all the door panels before it went into the shop to be able to show all seals intact after the supposed recall install. But all phone calls were recorded and saved, and I did get most of the last in person interaction recorded. All this with the dashcam videos and paperwork would probably make a strong court case if it ever came to that.

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Posted (edited)

Dealer problems ARE Ford problems. All of the makes are perfectly capable of forcing their dealerships to toe the company line on business ethics. When a dealer feels safe to pull a stunt like they're doing with you, it's because they know they won't face consequences from the mothership. It's been the same way with the Ford dealerships I've had to visit in the last year with this van. All of them know they can get away with ripping you off or just providing bad service. With my wife's current foreign car, a dealer tech screwed up badly though not as bad as your current experience. Without us doing anything other than saying "hey, there's a problem you created, we need you to fix it", we got a formal apology from the dealer, a formal apology from the manufacturer, a loaner car until the repair was complete, and the manufacturer paid 3 months of the loan off for us. The tech who did it was, of course, fired and the dealership lost whatever that make's equivalent for Ford's "certified Blue Oval" status was for a year before they were allowed to re-certify (though I STRONGLY suspect we were merely the straw that broke the camel's back on that one and they'd been naughty before).

Edited by williaty

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51 minutes ago, williaty said:

Dealer problems ARE Ford problems. All of the makes are perfectly capable of forcing their dealerships to toe the company line on business ethics. When a dealer feels safe to pull a stunt like they're doing with you, it's because they know they won't face consequences from the mothership. It's been the same way with the Ford dealerships I've had to visit in the last year with this van. All of them know they can get away with ripping you off or just providing bad service.

 

 

 

 

Wars are won by soldiers, but lost by generals. 

 

Everything is top down.  The only reasons that employees at the service level are doing things wrong are:  A> Management orders them to take short cuts and do things wrong in the interest of the bottom line, B> Management is incompetent and does not know it is going on, C> Employees are so disgruntled with management that they take it out on the customer.  

 

In any operation, management is responsible for training & oversight.  Any and all employee failures are management's fault.  Got a bad tech?  Whose fault is it that the tech is allowed to work without the proper tools and training, and his work is unsupervised?  Got a bad service writer?  Who is responsible for what that one guy is doing or not doing?  If you go to a restaurant without a chef expediting on the line, it is not the line cooks fault that every dish is wrong.  

 

As I usually maintain my own vehicles, I don't normally go into the dealership.  To do a favor for a friend, I recently brought a vehicle in for an oil change, with an appointment.  It took 5 hours.  Her car sat there for 4.5 hours.  The service writer made some excuse about it being busy that day.  I don't care.  What is the point of having an appointment system?  If you can't service my car until after lunch, why would you make an appointment for 8 AM?  That was reflected in the followup service survey.  The service manager called me back.  But what could he do at that point?  I lost 5 hours on a 30 minute oil change.  I said, "look dude, Jiffy Lube could do a better job of doing service work with appointments first, and explaining to walk-in customers that there are appointments ahead of them".  No idiot would work on cars that the owners have dropped off and won't be back until end of day, while there are customers waiting.

 

A few months go by.  Into the next business quarter, I get a call.  "Hi, this is ___________.  I just reviewed your file.  It says here that you wrote in your corporate service survey, that we have lost your business for good and that you will never return to this dealership.  I'm the owner of the dealership.  How can I change that?"  

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1 hour ago, Fifty150 said:

 

 Whose fault is it that the tech is allowed to work without the proper tools and training, and his work is unsupervised? 

The union's. 

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2 minutes ago, Mike Chell said:

The union's. 

Mechanics are unionized where you live? They aren't around here. There's absolutely nothing standing in the way of the dealership firing techs. Employment at will state, right to work state, and no unions means no protection of any kind for techs.

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7 minutes ago, williaty said:

Mechanics are unionized where you live? They aren't around here. There's absolutely nothing standing in the way of the dealership firing techs. Employment at will state, right to work state, and no unions means no protection of any kind for techs.

 

 

CA is an at will employment state, but the unions are still very powerful.  They lobby the politicians at every level to keep certain jobs as union jobs.  Even the government employees are unionized.  A lot of government contracts are only awarded to bidders with union employees.  Unfortunately, for some jobs, there is no option out.  If you want to work there, you have to be in the union.  In some cases, the union does not benefit the worker, and union led negotiations result in the workers taking a cut back in wages and/or benefits.  

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1 hour ago, Fifty150 said:

 

1 hour ago, Fifty150 said:

 

 

CA is an at will employment state, but the unions are still very powerful.  They lobby the politicians at every level to keep certain jobs as union jobs.  Even the government employees are unionized.  A lot of government contracts are only awarded to bidders with union employees.  Unfortunately, for some jobs, there is no option out.  If you want to work there, you have to be in the union.  In some cases, the union does not benefit the worker, and union led negotiations result in the workers taking a cut back in wages and/or benefits.  

Huh, that's a strange world to me! After working as a mechanic and even owning my own shop for a decade, I had no idea there was a union.

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3 hours ago, Fifty150 said:

...Everything is top down.  The only reasons that employees at the service level are doing things wrong are:  ....  

 

In any operation, management is responsible for training & oversight.  Any and all employee failures are management's fault. .....

That's the direction I'm pushing. I'm starting to suspect some of what's going on is the service department trying to keep the issue contained so I'm not sure how much is making it up the chain. Tomorrow I'm going in to get my prepaid service contract cancelled. At the same time, I plan to check what's making it over to the management side. And this is another area where I've got a bit of extra leg up in addition to all the recorded evidence I've collected.

 

Although it's not a close relationship, I do have a non-business link to the general manager of the dealership. My mother has been a friend of his since he was a lowly salesman and she was the one who directed me to him for my initial vehicle purchase. Although IIRC he was just an assistant manager in sales at that time and I mostly worked with a different salesman. I'm not somebody to try to throw names around to try for special treatment so I've been trying to get the service guys to handle it right without mentioning him. But I plan to insist on speaking to him tomorrow and I'll be interested to see if he's heard of the problem. And either way, his reaction will tell me how severe of a dealer problem it may be and serve as a guide to how much further I need to go.

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I think that the service manager knows that he is ultimately responsible for what those techs are doing, or not doing.  And some, if not all of their activity, is at his direction.  I can see how a car comes in for a recall, they take a look at it, park it in the back, return the car without doing the work, then bill Ford for the recall service.  Same way lube shops, for years, sell customers on transmission and engine flushes, tell the customer to come back in a few hours, then never do the work but charge the customer.  Common practice. 

 

A guy I know at a gas station (the owner) likes to have coffee, smoke cigarettes, and tell me about all the BS that other shops are known to do.  Sell you a "premium synthetic oil change" and if you're not looking.......they will let 2 quarts out, top off with 2 new quarts, and wipe off the filter.  The oil is whatever gunk that comes in a 55 gallon drum.  Same way you have no idea what they are using when the lube tech pulls the dispenser gun from the wall.  Even the most basic service, an oil change; they find a way to screw you out of the least amount of money, $16.95.

 

Makes me think that even at the dealership level, there is dishonesty.  After all, they cheat you when they sell you the car.  

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47 minutes ago, williaty said:

 

Huh, that's a strange world to me! After working as a mechanic and even owning my own shop for a decade, I had no idea there was a union.

 

 

You owned your own shop, so you know, that there is no way that an independent shop can support more than a handful of guys, and those guys can't unionize against you.  But mechanics who work for large corporations, dealerships, fleet service companies, trucking firms, rental agencies, and government will all be union.  Imagine mechanics at the airport, the guy who wrenches the police department Harleys, the wrench turners @ Ryder, Costco, Hertz........not to mention all the car dealerships.  

 

Geography and demographics.  A major metropolitan area, with a lot of Democrats.  Unions make a lot of campaign contributions in their direction.  Not to mention that the idea of unionization is very left wing.  Ever wonder why all those communist groups purport to the "party of the worker"?  You're banding together to take back what's yours, which was produced by your sweat, blood, & tears.  So that the rich, fat, greedy capitalist stops profiteering from your agony.

 

Interesting story is that I know this guy whose family operates a small electrical service business.  Family business.  Grandpa started it.  His uncle took over.  Most of the men, and some of the women in the family work there.  Electricians.  Run wire.  Set up lighting.  Install breaker panels and transformers.  Nothing complicated.  Uncle bid on a county contract and won the bid.  They all had to join the union so that the family business could be awarded the contract to change lightbulbs at the courthouse, the jail, sewage plant,  wherever.  If the county workers in any department go on strike, the entire county is suppose to go on strike.  So if the janitors walk off, the secretaries, mechanics, carpenters, clerks, teachers are all suppose to honor the strike line.  We always joke about how awkward it would be at the dinner table when you have a picket sign and a bullhorn.  

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