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fullerp 08-20-2012 08:32 PM

Dealer body shop ruined my Focus.
First I want to apologize if I'm posting this in the wrong forum, I did look to see if their was an advice forum in regards to dealer workmanship and I didn't find anything that quite fit my problem.

On Friday June 1st, three weeks and one day after I purchased my dealer new 2012 Focus 5 door I was t-boned by a drunk driver who ran a red light at about 50 MPH. Luckily no one at the scene was critically injured but I was rushed to emergency for head and neck trauma so I was not at the scene when the vehicle was towed to the police impound. June Saturday June 2nd I confirmed that my vehicle was at the impound and had my personal effects removed from the vehicle. I signed an order for the vehicle to be taken to the same dealer that I purchased the vehicle from to do the body repairs. The vehicle arrived at the dealer at 8:30 A.M. on June 4th, the Monday after the accident. I spoke with the body shop manager at 8:30 as the vehicle was being brought in and by first look he estimated that the vehicle repairs should take about 3 weeks. On Thursday June 21st I called the dealer to ask him what the stats of my vehicle was since he said that he expected it to be done on Friday the 22nd. At this point I was informed that he expected my Vehicle to be done on Wednesday June 27th over the phone. On Wednesday June 26th, I emailed him about the status of my vehicle and I was informed that he didn't expect it to be done on this target date stating "Sorry for the delay but accidents like these are hard to judge a target date accurately" he gave me an update saying that the vehicle was together, and the jambs were painted but the exterior panels still had to be painted. This is not unreasonable to me considering the extent of the damage done to my vehicle.

At this point my rental coverage was running out, we exchanged another email saying he would have a loaner for me and that my vehicle would not be ready by Friday June 29th, the day my rental coverage expired. I spoke with my insurance agent and I was given an extension until the 5th of July on my rental. At this point I requested a loaner from the dealership and they provided me with a very nice Ford Taurus to drive until my vehicle was completed. At this point I was satisfied that I wasn't going to incur any out of pocket expenses for rental coverage so I left the dealership alone and told them to call me when my car was ready.

Monday, July 23rd I received a call 8 weeks after my car was brought to the dealership for repairs. I was informed that my vehicle was ready to be picked up and boy was I excited. The lighting was poor in the area I picked my car up but I opened all the doors involved in the accident and inspected everything that I expected to be repaired by the body shop. My body lines were very good, the paint job looked like they had done a respectable job, except for a noticeable clear coat run on the right rear door on the body line that meets the rear quarter panel. A Cursory look at the interior didn't turn up anything that I felt was a show stopper, a little dusty at first look but nothing that I wasn't going to fix after I detailed the inside of it. They also told me that my gas tank was empty, which didn't make sense to me since I had 3/4ths of a tank when I was hit. I track all of my miles for work so I told the dealer I'd check my mileage and he said that he'd be happy to fill it up if I find I'm correct. I signed off on the car, took it home, and went to bed.

Tuesday July 24th I began to notice quite a few things wrong with the interior that wasn't noticeable nor was I expecting. The initial issue was my driver sun visor was not attached properly, then I noticed that there was dust inside my gauge cluster, and that my drivers B pillar trim near the floor had a very large gouge, about 1/2 inch by 5 inches. I called my dealership and informed them that I had issue with my car and I would like to bring it to them and discuss the problems. At this point I was informed that they were not surprised that I had issues and that the original body shop manager who was in charge when I brought my car initially had been fired due to customer complaints and poor workmanship in the body shop.

At this point I decide I'm going to detail the interior, document any issues I have and bring them with me when I arrive. That took about 5 minutes of me opening up all my doors, lifting my rear seats, and opening my hatch and hood before I decided that I should not do anything. The vehicle was a mess, their was layers of dust covering anything that wasn't directly visible to the eye, their was scratches to almost every piece of plastic trim in the car, my overhead console wasn't installed properly and fell out when I closed the doors, my Sony sub woofer enclosure had damage to it, my right front window no longer rolled up or down automatically, my shoulder adjustment on the drivers side didn't function anymore, my headliner had creases in it from being set on something for long periods of time, the headliner had grease stains in a few places, the "airbag" screw cover trim had been removed with a screw driver and greasy hands and their was damage to both the caps and the B Pillar trim. On further inspection of the body work I noticed that their was multiple pain discolorations on the car in areas that were not affected by the accident, they wheeled off my pin striping on the side that wasn't affected by the accident, their were multiple runs of clear coat including one on the front passenger door right below the ridge that runs along it that extended almost the entire length of the door, their was 2 chips in the paint near the drivers mirror, and the pièce de résistance was the giant blotch of over spray and masking tape residue that was about 3/4ths of a square foot on the front bumper cover.

This brings us to the present day, they've now had my car for a cumulative total of 12 weeks. I've made 3 payments on my car, none of which I've had possession of my car. When I took it back to them they claimed they'd "make it right". I've yet to hear a single word from them. I know my car was in an accident but it was brand new inside and out except for the damage done by the drunk driver on the exterior.

Now I'm worried, I don't expect them to return the vehicle in the condition that I want it. I know it was in an accident but I firmly expect the interior to be showroom new, and the exterior to be at least good enough that I'd have to really be picky to find anything wrong.

If it's not and I'm not satisfied with what they do what are my options either through Ford or through legal channels? What should I expect from them when I receive the car back? Am I out of place expecting that the vehicle be returned to me in showroom condition inside and out? Is 12 weeks to repair my car a reasonable amount of time? I'm a first time Ford owner and this whole experience has left me sick to my stomach, any and all advice is welcome at this point.

P.S. I'm not trying to bash the dealer which is why I intentionally left any information that could identify them out of this post. My hope is that the dealership makes good on it's promise to satisfy me.

Malibooya 08-20-2012 08:44 PM

T-boned at 50mph? And the insurance didn't total it? Damn, I hope it was a lease, because there goes your resale value.

There's a Ford customer service rep on here (I think there are two or three, actually), but I don't know their names offhand. I'm sure someone will page them here soon.

fullerp 08-20-2012 08:47 PM


Originally Posted by Malibooya (Post 4314693)
T-boned at 50mph? And the insurance didn't total it? Damn, I hope it was a lease, because there goes your resale value.

There's a Ford customer service rep on here (I think there are two or three, actually), but I don't know their names offhand. I'm sure someone will page them here soon.

Yea, I'm impressed at how well the vehicle survived the damage, I definitely owe Ford engineers a big thank you for saving me from any crippling injuries. The accident wasn't a complete T-Bone, the girl hit me at about 75 degrees instead of 90 because she clipped a minivan before she hit me. But yea, my resale is ruined I'm sure.

Nik00117 08-20-2012 09:07 PM

At a certain point this is going get too $$$ to fix and should be totaled.

VEGAS 08-20-2012 10:04 PM

they didnt total mine, but when i got it back after being T-boned at 40, they Cut SO many corners, like not replacing the foam in the door, and window guides....

Elizabeth 08-21-2012 01:27 AM

Never keep a car badly damaged. NEVER. Even if it costs you money.
Secondly, The dealer wanted to work, so they lied about the estimate, then probably seriously cut corners to keep it under estimate.
Solution. Call your INSURANCE company. NOT THE DEALER.

The insurance company paid for it. they are the ones with major leverage to screw the dealer.
CALL YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY Explain the car was only a few weeks old, how they have the responsibility to see it is returned to you just like it was before the accident.

Also, if you can, get the insurance company to take the car to what ever place is the best in your area for collision estimates and repairs. Get them to go over it and create a report of what was NOT properly fixed, and all.
I guarantee you the dealer cut major corners.
In all this your only friend is your insurance company. If they do not care. sue them for breach of contract.

fullerp 08-21-2012 07:52 PM

I can't sell a car that I don't have, so until I get the car back in satisfactory condition I stuck.

I did get my insurance company involved and I got the dealership manager involved too. As far as getting the job, the dealership at the time was a State Farm preferred body shop which means that State Farm didn't even need to do an adjustment, they just take the dealers word for it and start the work early.

I'm debating getting corporate involved too. I can't imagine how they're going to restore my car to a new condition considering the amount of damage done to my interior.

walth 08-21-2012 08:43 PM

^^Elizabeth has an excellent post imo

sorry to hear the trouble you're having. hope it turns around for you and you come out on top

They never made an estimate? So you have nothing on paper from these people to show what they've claimed damaged even if you take it somewhere else afterwards?

rangerbay 08-21-2012 09:15 PM

The insurance company is supposed to guarantee any repairs for the life of your ownership of the vehicle. You also have the right to not accept the vehicle if the repairs are obviously poorly done. You need to sue the insurance company of the insured party that hit you due to loss of serviceability and loss of future value. In other words, make them pay for your loss! They are responsible!

fullerp 09-19-2012 05:11 PM

Still no car yet, corporate pretty much said that all dealers are privately owned and they won't do much of anything except give them a call.

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