Well folks, I got my car back from Al Piemonte Ford in Melrose Park, IL last night. Despite my request of the service manager to take his time with the car, as I have 4 other fantastic Ford vehicles at my disposal, the repair was completed in one day and I am pissed. I get in the car and the A-pillar panel is sticking out about a quarter inch, right in my face... easy enough to pop in, although it is never as good as factory... they must have broken a clip on the lower B pillar trim on the passenger side, because I can't pop it back in at all... the worst part was driving home and going over bumps, when it became apparent that the car's formerly fantastic sound dampening had given way to a medley of rattles from trim panels and something in the passenger side door, which according to the invoice had to be removed for the repair. I should have known that they would have to disconnect the battery, but I was still bummed to find that my drive times, fuel economy, and trip odometers were cleared... sat radio presets came back after a few minutes. Still haven't inspected the car in the light to see if the stain is gone or what else they broke during the repair, but I think I've already seen enough.
I had very high hopes for this car, as the first American-made Focus available with 4 wheel disk brakes, a leather steering wheel, and a manual transmission, and it has been one disappointment after another... In short, I hate this car. My advice to anyone else who had the misfortune of purchasing it is to live with the stain or sell the car. The cure is worse than the disease. It also begs the question: If Ford can't bolt on a trunk lid straight or use the right amount of glue on the headliner, how long do I have until the wheels just fall off?