Ford Motor Company / recall on 2012 escape led to additional necessary repairs not covered
I have sent a letter to Mark Fields, Ford Corp, with no response.
Here is the letter content:
Ford Motor Company
Attn: Mark Fields
Customer Relationship Center
P.O. Box 6248
Dearborn, MI 48126
Dec 29, 2017
Dear Mr Fields,
I want to start on a very positive note.
I bought my first Ford when I was only 14 in 1979, a Ford Maverick. I had to wait 2 years before I could legally drive it, but I loved that car! Since then, my husband and I have owned a number of Fords - a 1997 F150 we sold after 300000+ miles, a F250 Diesel with 130000 miles - no, we do not want to sell it!, 2 Ford Explorers, a 2012 Ford Escape, a 2015 Ford Mustang, and I just purchased a 2017 Lincoln MKX reserve.
As you can see, I am a loyal Ford customer. My father always trusted Ford and I learned a lot from him. He even restored Model T's and Model A's when I was a child.
Here is the situation:
On Dec 4, 2017, I took my Escape in to Bill Utter Ford in Denton, TX for a recall. There were actually 2, so I had them complete them. I was not feeling well and actually slept in the waiting area the 2.5 hours it took to complete them. It was then nearing time for me to go to work, so I went to the service department counter to find out the status. I was told it was done and was being brought around. 20 minutes later, the service rep, John, went and got it. When I got in the vehicle, I noticed a heavy gasoline smell. I did not say anything, because I was now late for work. I did not call them about it because it simply slipped my mind with work and preparing for a trip to Missouri for family Christmas.
The invoice number is 312930. The invoice shows a complete check of all systems including the battery, brakes and tires; finding no deficiencies. I drove it for 2 days with no issues. On Wed, Dec 6, I towed the Escape to Missouri as I had plans to sell the car to my mother and buy a new one by year end. We drove the Escape while I was there with no incidences.
I returned home on Sunday, Dec 10. On Tuesday, my mother was unable to get the car started. I called Bill Utter ford and talked with them and we had the car towed to Mac Ford in Harrisonville, Mo. At this time, there was a guarter tank of gas in it, at least. On Dec 14. Since I had just had the recalls done, we thought it might be related to that- the throttle body and the fuel delivery module flange. Since I still owned the vehicle, I authorized the diagnostics. Jerry K. at Max Ford told me that the battery was dead and that the fuel sending unit was bad. I debated this since the Dec 4 visit yielded no issues. I was told it was simply a coincidence that it failed so shortly after the recalls were performed. I spoke with the Service manager at each location, Travis for Max Ford and Randy at Bill Utter and both assured me that it has nothing to do with the recalls. I mentioned the gas odor to them both and they agreed to detail the car for no charge to remove the odor. I realized that the battery could need replaced and I authorized the air filter to be replaced. (However, now, looking at the 12/4/17 Invoice, how does a battery go bad in 1 week??) After several days, I called Max Ford for an update and was told the part was unavailable. They had a "request" out nationwide for the part. After a few more days, I called and spoke with Travis. I asked that if I located the part, would they be able to install it. I was told as long as it was a Motorcraft part, yes, they would. Travis, from Max Ford, texted me the exact part number and I located it at Rock Auto. I had the part shipped to my mother and she got it to Max Ford. The part was installed and was ready for pickup on Dec 27. Several times while waiting for the part directly from Ford, I called and spoke with Jerry and/or Travis at Max Ford. I was NOT told until Dec 26 that the throttle body installed by Bill Utter had also gone "bad" and they replaced it after just a few weeks.
My 73 year old mother picked up the Escape from Max Ford in Harrisonville, Mo on 12/27 (invoice # 37536) after being in the shop since the 14th. She is not in the best health with diabetes, high blood pressure and having been sick for the last 2 weeks with ear and upper respiratory issues. I paid the bill by phone, since I technically still owned it when all this started, and my mother started to leave. They told her at Max Ford, "oh, you will need to get gas before you get very far." It was between 1 degree and 12 degrees outside WITHOUT the wind chill. When she started the vehicle, the readout told her she had "zero miles to empty", so she stopped and got gas, about $20 worth putting it just below ½ tank. She entered the highway going north, and the hood started to rattle; so she pulled over and tried to shut it. She thought she had, so she got back on the road. Only to find out, that the hood was still not latched. She stopped again and was able to get the hood latched. She went straight home. She noticed that the fuel gage was still registering zero, even though she had just put in gas. So, on Dec 28th, she called Max Ford and they told her to bring it in around 2 pm. At 4 pm, she called me. The part I had sent there was "bad". I spoke with Jerry K and was told that the part was bad and they needed the receipt so they could fix it under warranty. I told him I had purchased it from Rock Auto and he them told me that there was nothing he could do with a warranty and he would need a new part. So, I went online to Rock auto and filed a warranty claim with them. The part was being shipped to my mother and we would repeat the process and I would return the original part for the warranty. Jerry told me his tech had spent about 2.6 hours or so uninstalling the part and diagnosing the issue, and I would need to pay for it. He agreed to comp it down to 1 hour of labor since I was having so much trouble (invoice # 38141). I found out a short time later, that, WITHOUT discussing this with me or my mother, a technician at Max Ford opened the fuel sending unit and "reconnected the electrical wires" and reinstalled the unit. This voids the warranty with Rock auto. It seems to be running fine now; however I had to pay for the install, again. I am 8.5 hours away from her and the Escape and am very frustrated. I do not want my mother having these kinds of issues. As of today, she has been diagnosed with pneumonia. I am sure being out in the cold the last 2 days dealing with this has not helped.
So, how would you feel if your 73 your old mother, on a VERY cold day, was sent out of the dealership with a vehicle with NO gas and the hood NOT shut?
I was furious. I called Max Ford and spoke with Travis, the service manager, and was given some song and dance about, "it happens", "the dealership there must have installed the throttle body wrong because we had to replace it", "they leaked gas inside your car", " they must have broken something while working on it", etc. This is when I was told that the technician has opened up the part and "repaired it". Travis also stated that since it is working properly now, to get another part would cost me uninstall and reinstall labor again and I also took a chance on the "after market" part being broken as the first one was. I then cancelled the "warranty" replacement from Rock Auto, because opening the unit voided the warranty AND I was told it was now working fine and replacing it again would be a gamble.
So, I called Bill Utter ford and spoke with Randy, the service manger there. Randy says when he last spoke with Travis, they had agreed it was a "fluke" that everything broke after leaving Texas and Bill Utter's dealership. I am finding this hard to believe. How can a vehicle check out "good" in all categories in one dealership, then only 10 days later need all these repairs? That makes no sense.
Common sense would also dictate that if you are working on the fuel system, the amount gas that was in the vehicle should be noted and replaced once it has been repaired. I find it very irresponsible for ANY repair place to let a vehicle leave their facility without ANY gas and with the hood unlatched. That leads me to believe that the Escape was never test driven after the repairs; especially since the mileage in and out on both invoices shows zero change. Additionally, opening the fuel sending unit voided my warranty on it. IF it does break again, I now have NO RECOURSE to pay for everything again.
I am a manager in a retail environment and I can tell you, if this had happened at my place of business, I would have been falling all over myself to take care of the customer. I have never had this kind of treatment or run around from a dealership. Randy, at Bill Utter, has assured me his technicians did nothing wrong, other than the gas leaking in the vehicle. He remedied that by having it detailed at Max Ford and has offered me a service credit on my next service.
However, I find tremendous fault with Travis and the service team at Max Ford. I can honestly tell you, that I will NEVER give them any of my business, nor will my mother. If the Escape has any additional issues, we will find another Ford Dealership to handle it.
I am currently out a total of $67.78 + $604.11 + $125.00. For a car that was in fine working order, I am really upset. I have all the maintenance records for my Escape and take good care of ALL my vehicles.
I have always wanted a Lincoln, so on Dec 16, I bought one. I will continue to use Ford products as I truly believe they are a great vehicles when properly maintained. But the service I have received has left a very bitter taste in my mouth.
I sincerely hope that you can find some way to "make this right". I have NOT posted anything on social media, but if I do not get a response from you shortly, I will be doing so. I do not consider this a threat, I just want people to know what happened that should not have happened.
Lisa G. (Turpin) Kizer
494 Chisam Rd
Valley View, TX 76272
Resolution requested: I believe that the vehicle should be repaired in regards to the fuel sending unit, and now, we are told that the fuel pump has gone out.
I have all the invoices available, but I do not want to attach them. I request a phone call and a letter to address this issue.
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