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Old 04-09-2004, 04:26 PM   #1
tarball
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Exclamation Was your ZX3 PZEV built in 2004?...

Was it built in Hermosillo, Mexico? A: all the hatchbacks are...

Well, sit down, I have something you should pay attention to.

I can't confirm that this will be a problem for you, but it will be a problem for some number of hatchbacks produced in January 2004 in Hermosillo.

Some of you may have read my threads related to a number of problems I've had with my PZEV since purchasing it in mid-March 2004 (problems have all occurred in under a month of ownership). Look around for my threads here to get the whole story (if you are interested). Today, I had 3 managers at my dealer admit something to me about why I'm having trouble with my car:

"BAD GAS AT FACTORY"

I kid you not.

I've had 3 CELs since owning the car, I've had the hesitation/chugging/stuttering, weakness under 4000 RPM, hesitance to go over 4000 RPM. The final analysis I was given was:

"Sorry sir, bad gas from factory, we'll replace CAT, fuel filter, fuel lines and plugs"

I am now in the process of starting action to have this car replaced (I don't care if they do "fix" it, how can you trust this now?). I've read the lemon laws in my state, consulted "off-the-record" with an attorney, and have put the service, customer relations and sales managers at my dealer (Universal Ford, Richmond, Virginia) on notice that I won't stop with this until I get satistfaction.

If "bad gas from factory" causes this many problems in under 1 month of ownership and causes so many fuel-related items to be replaced, I hold that this car as a "lemon" (systematically defective from factory) and will hold them to it.

I only give out a warning here too as they told me that a "batch" of cars from Hermosillo, built in January 2004, also had the "bad gas." Now, this dealer is digging themselves in DEEEEEEEP if they are lying to me. I am going to start a process of verification with Ford as well, but, if this is true, you may appreciate this HEAD'S UP.

I still plan on sticking with a Focus and will work it out such that they either replace this or fix anything on it for free for the lifetime of the car.

Here's to brighter focus days for me; I was so excited to join this community and hate that this dark cloud has moved in over my focus experience.

Jeff


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Old 04-09-2004, 04:37 PM   #2
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Unless Ford admits that there was "bad gas," then it's just hearsay that the dealer said this to you. No proof or documentation to proove that the gas was bad in your car.

Now, if they replace those parts and state in the repair invoice that the gas was bad from the factory, then you might have a case if the car fails after they replace those componenets you listed.
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Old 04-09-2004, 04:48 PM   #3
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Hi mircotonal,

True, and I hope that I made the hearsay clear, but when they speak of a "batch" of cars with "bad gas" I thought I'd just pass that along to the FocusFanatics crowd. Clearly, being a new member of the group and a new Focus owner, I am upset at the way things are starting for me.

I also realize they still may be blowing smoke, but I have made it clear to them that I won't stop with this until satisfaction arrives, so catching them out in B.S. is only going to dig it in deeper.

My paper trail suggests that they could have gotten to this conclusion on 03/16/2004 rather than now, so I propose the dealer has been negligent. Of course, my next step is to further verify with Ford and use proof of that verification to confirm/debunk my dealer's story. Many people in management positions are singing this tune at this dealership and certify that " it's just not your car," but we shall see.

I am not trying to be sensational, just trying to share. I see your point though... folks this is on the "hearsay" level for now, but could be true. All I can assert is:

January 2004
Hermosillo, Mexico
Bad "batch" of gas.

I will report what I find one way or another.

Jeff
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Old 04-09-2004, 05:10 PM   #4
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Hmmmm. Doesn't sound good. Bad gas can certainly cause those kinds of problems. It happens stateside, too. I know people who've had those kinds of problems from a single fillup, later diagnosed as contamination in the gas. I hate the fact that such reports have scared me away from mom and pop gas stations. The problem usually isn't the gas as delivered (everybody gets serviced by the same oil company trucks). I think the problem is with contamination in the underground tanks. And I just tend to assume that a large, corporate station is going to have better QC and risk analysis on tank inspections etc than mom-and-pop could afford to, because of the risk to the corporation of a major scandal if they ruin a few motorists' cars... But I am very much talking out of my hindquarters here.

And right about now I'm really missing my Contour's old locking gas cap!

... Never afraid to sound like a moron, our intrepid writer inquires: how do I tell where/when my darling little chariot was built? I knew how to tell this once I'm sure, but I forget. Wait, I don't even have those problems so why am I looking for something to worry about? Still, I'm curious...

BTW, is there a locking gas cap that is Ford warranty-approved i.e. they won't claim it screwed up the Focus' emissions vacuum system or whatever?
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Old 04-09-2004, 05:19 PM   #5
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Folkus,

It should be in on your passenger door. Your wagon was build in Wayne, Michigan. I don't mean to be a "drama queen" about this, just passing along info that has "hurt" me a bit.

Jeff
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Old 04-09-2004, 05:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by tarball
Hi mircotonal,

Clearly, being a new member of the group and a new Focus owner, I am upset at the way things are starting for me. <..> Jeff
I really feel sorry about this, Jeff. I think I understand how you feel, too. Because getting a real lemon is one of my worst fears. It is so bad for everything -- from blood pressure, to love life, to work productivity... it's just a toxic thing to have to deal with. We can't evaluate the strength of your argument, but we can definitely sympathize with your plight ... And even swap "war stories," since many of us have owned lemons at one point or another. Like my Saab 900. Oh man, babysitting that car at the mechanic EVERY WEEK made me feel something like THIS:
and and and and and wait, sorry, I'm drifting !

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Old 04-09-2004, 05:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by tarball
Folkus,

It should be in on your passenger door. Your wagon was build in Wayne, Michigan. I don't mean to be a "drama queen" about this, just passing along info that has "hurt" me a bit.

Jeff
Well, you won't seem like the drama queen after my emoticon orgy! But seriously, its terrible not being able to rely on your daily transportation. Hell I ALMOST bought a toyota corolla just to avoid the risk of reliability problems. I wound up indulging the performance-oriented side of me with the Focus, but if it starts to misbehave I'll be really upset with myself, at Ford, and at the world, not necessarily in that order!

Some random ideas, worth probably less than you paid for them :

(1) Pay for a consultation with an indepent expert mechanic or mechanical engineer about whether the replaces parts represent the possible longterm extent of damage, or whether a single tank of gas could cause longterm problems in the cylinders etc. If they think that's ridiculous, you can relax some (not completely). If they think it's plausible, you can use their opinion to bolster your argument for a buyback.

(2) Looking on the bright (??) side, if you have a lemon law in your state, your right to force a buyback gets triggered by repairs that fail repeatedly. So each failure is a step toward success!

(3) Document all days that you considered the car "inoperable" by your standards because of safety issues related to stumbling etc. Inoperable days are part of the lemon definition usually.

But hey, didn't you say you'd talked to a lawyer? So I'll stop playing one now...
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Old 04-09-2004, 05:39 PM   #8
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So, are you going to let them replace the parts you listed or are you going to try to lemon law the car ?
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Old 04-09-2004, 05:50 PM   #9
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Microtonal, I didn't think you could "lemon law" a car until repeated efforts to fix it had failed. Do you know something I don't?
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Old 04-09-2004, 05:58 PM   #10
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If you go here: http://www.carlemon.com/ and read everything for your state, it would seem that in most states some reasonable attempts must be made to fix first. I suppose I am just more in a fit right now and need to calm down. I am dealing with typical dealership stuff and shouldn't be so surprised.

I will say that my '95 Ford Ranger just about NEVER acted up. In terms of Lemon Law, the Commonwealth of Virginia indicates that the dealer should be given a reasonable chance to remedy. My problem with the dealer is their blase attitude about this all along. I am going to press them to do the right thing, but they must also be given a chance to remedy this under warranty. I will say that the onus is upon the dealershipt to PROVE unrelation between all past and all future CEL/PCM/ECU codes in light of my circumstances.

Jeff
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