Originally Posted by paul21
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.)
1) Notify Ford Corporate of all 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.
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.
Good call on not approaching them directly with any ultimatums or demands, I ruled that one out. Thanks for the advice and I will be looking into the attorney aspect today, as well as the BBB arbitration process which someone else also provided me a link to.
Thus far I have been nothing but the best of customers when dealing with everyone that works at Ford. I have expressed my frustration, but in a polite way and in hope that they will try to keep me as a valued customer. The idea of trading up to a '13 or similarly equipped '12 seems like a great thing that could happen, although I'm not sure if my dealer would go for it.
I think the best idea may be to subtly ask for the clutch(es) and computer that controls them to be replaced the next time I take it in (through asking the Ford Customer Service rep that I've been dealing with that is independant of the dealership. This thought occurs since the person that posted the video of the sound that is like mine has had 2 transmissions replaced without the problem being solved.
The car jerks while driving it, during shifts. This only happens occasionally, I'd say 1 in 5 accelerations. The noise happens almost every time, and the stuttering every few times.
I'd also like to point out that during the 8 times that the car has been in for this problem, not a single part has been replaced or taken out and tested. I'd be surprised if they even took off the dust cover on the bottom of the car. The techs just keep trying "reprogram" after "reprogram" that is not working. Am I out of line for asking for a replacement on a couple of parts to see if that solves the problem?
Thanks again for all of the sage advice that I'm getting, you guys are making it easier to handle for sure.