Giving advice is risky so my disclaimer is not to listen to anything I say/write.
The fact is you purchased a new vehicle instead of a used vehicle in order to avoid all the service issues, but you've obviously missed out on the new car experience. The vehicle was sold with a warranty that you are entitled to exercise, and you have already spent your time/money trying to resolve the issues and should be compensated or the situation rectified.
Any issue you have with your vehicle must be classified as a "nonconformity." In general, the issues must either make the vehicle unsafe to operate, unreliable (getting you from A to B), or diminish the resale value below that of the typical vehicle (like say 10% under KBB). The last item is where the water is murky, but consider this: you go to sell your car and a buyer asks for the service history, and you pop out a huge stack of receipts and issues the car has been having, and even if they are small the buyer is going to ask for cash off (a loss in resale value.)
With that in mind, if you think your vehicle qualifies, you should do two things very soon.
1) Notify Ford Corporate
issues in writing via certified mail
. Ford's dealers are independent, and you need a record of notification.
2) Assemble and copy all of your service records, loan record, bill of sale, registration, etc and ask the dealerships for receipts if you need them while you are still friends.
Next you have a few options:
1) Participate in the BBB Arbitration Process. There is no risk to you doing this, and the decision is not binding. You can go alone or with a lawyer, and you may get the resolution you seek with a simple hearing. However, these processes are often labelled unfair and anti-consumer.
2) Hire an attorney. Most Lemon Laws/Federal Consumer Protection laws have a fee-shifting provision that basically states the lawyer fees must be paid by Ford if you win. You should be able to find an attorney that will take on your case at no cost to you because of this provision. They will hear your claims and determine if it is worthwhile for them to pursue and collect their fees from Ford.
In any situation, the outcome should be one of the four things:
1) The vehicle is repaired
2) The vehicle is repaired and you get monetary compensation for the loss in resale value and your time, etc.
3) The vehicle is exchanged, MSRP for MSRP, for a new Focus (2012 or 2013), you can probably buy up and pay the difference.
4) Your full purchase price, incl sales tax, is refunded minus depreciation (typically 55.5/2 cents per mile from the first service incident).
I hope this helps, and always remember that a vehicle is an expense, a mode of transportation, just like the subway or bus. Do not take it personally with any of the service members or any other ford rep, it will be much less stressful that way.
I was thinking of coming to the Ford CSM with options like replacing the car with a used Focus with close to the same miles and a manual transmission, or filing the lemon law paperwork, and see what she has to say. Any thoughts on that?
Don't approach Ford directly with settlement demands. They will deny all liability and refuse any demand you make personally, and it will probably just frustrate you. Also don't settle any amount without consulting a lawyer familiar with the process. Remember Ford want's to get out as cheaply as possible from this situation. That means denying your claims and giving you lowball offers.