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Ford Owner Very Critical of Ford Response to Problem

The following letter arrived from Ms. Caryn Griffith of Winfield, Illinois. She has had an ongoing issue with replacement headlamps on her 1999 Mercury Cougar. As you read her comments you can feel her frustration with the way her dealer(s) and Ford Motor Company are handling her problem. She details problems with replacement parts for an older car. Replacement headlamps are in short or no supply for her car. Her insurance company has told her that her car is dangerous to drive without the headlamps being replaced. And she is unhappy with the way Ford has reacted. Read on.
“Anger, frustration, no results…this is what I’ve experienced over the past several months. Over the past 3 ½ months, I’ve been without my car, due to lack of organization and stocking of headlamps by the Ford Motor Company. What aggravates me the most is that the Ford Motor Company doesn’t seem to show any remorse for the inconvenience I’ve endured as a customer. Nor have they had an initiative to take responsibility for their company’s actions. It is also implied that because they are such a large company and seem to have so much influence over the economy and society, it seems that no one is willing to take a stand for the consumer.
This is a shortened version of my very unpleasant story.
On October 2, 2006, my 1999 Mercury Cougar was damaged due to the flooding rains that we had that evening in the west suburbs of Illinois. When I took my car in for repairs to the Westgate Lincoln Mercury Dealer, on October 9, 2006, I wanted to have the headlights looked at because they contained puddles of rainwater inside them. I found out that the entire headlight casings would have to be replaced due to the water damage, so I was glad I placed a claim with my insurance company. Little did I know how long repairing my car would take.
My car sat at the Westgate Lincoln Mercury dealer in Lombard, IL for one month, until that site was closed and merged with Elmhurst Lincoln Mercury. My car was then transported over to that dealership for the remainder of the 4 month span. Why did it take 4 months just to replace headlamps? I’d like to know that answer as well, but Ford claims it’s because of a nation-wide back-order and faulty manufacturing of previous headlamp assemblies. I have found over the past several months that the various levels of the Ford Motor Company do not work together or communicate with each other.
I have also found that I’ve been lied to, pushed around and brushed off; all signs of poor customer service. The following list is a brief overview of what I’ve been through:
Continued below the fold…

1. The headlamp installation dates were changed numerous times. At first I was told that I’d have to wait one week, and then it changed to 3, then to a month, etc. Time and time again, dates came and went and still no parts for my car. We came to find out that this whole time, headlamps were not available because they have not been manufactured since January 2006 and new ones were in production and not expected to arrive to the USA until the end of February 2007. Obviously Ford knew of the production problem, and I should have been notified back in October when my car was first brought in for repairs. Instead I was told time and time again that the parts would be in stock in a matter of a couple of weeks. It wasn’t until we finally reached the executive level that we learned no parts would be available until the end of February 2007. Then to top it off, parts mysteriously appeared at the Elmhurst Lincoln Mercury Dealership around the 19th of January and no one knows where they came from. The parts contained no shipping labels, etc. Since parts are not supposed to arrive until the end of February, this tells me that the mysterious parts that arrived and were installed in my car were here in the USA and available all along. So this issue could have been solved back in October!!!
2. The dealership was notified that my rental car, paid for by my insurance company, would not be covered after 30 days. On October 22, 2006, Dave at Westgate Lincoln-Mercury told me that they would provide a loaner car to me once my car was transported to the Elmhurst Dealership. By the time the 30th day of waiting for parts hit, my insurance company refused to extend my rental car. I was forced to return it and have since been without a car. Just before returning the rental car, the dealer changed their story and told me there was no loaner car available to give me. To this day, neither Ford nor Lincoln Mercury has offered to compensate me for being without a vehicle since the beginning of November. I’ve been asked by Ford and Lincoln Mercury more than once as to why I just don’t take the car while waiting for the headlamps.
On November 30, 2006, I decided to go to the Elmhurst Lincoln Mercury dealership to check on my car. I went to the service desk and talked to one of the guys behind the desk. I asked if he had heard anything new on my car. He said no. I told him how that wasn’t acceptable to me. He could tell I was aggravated by the situation. He said, “Why don’t you just take your car?” I told him that I was told both by my insurance company, Liberty Mutual, and Kelly Makhlouf at Westgate Lincoln Mercury that I should not be driving the car, because if the head lights short out, it would be an unsafe vehicle to drive. And that’s why I was also given a rental car by my insurance company the first month that my car was at the dealership.
Karen Jones, of the Ford Motor Company Executive Offices, stated during conversations that the car was safe to drive according to Elmhurst Lincoln Mercury. However, neither Elmhurst nor Ford would write a letter stating that it was safe to drive. My insurance company, however, who assessed the car, did write a letter stating it was NOT a safe vehicle to drive.
I have requested compensation for my troubles since my rental vehicle was discontinued, with no success. I have asked for a loaner car, from both the Westgate and Elmhurst dealerships. I have also asked for a loaner or some kind of compensation from Margo Austin, who is a Rep. of the Midwest Market of the Ford Motor Company, still no success. I have also asked Joe Garcia, of the Elmhurst dealership, and Karen Jones, of the Ford executive offices, for some kind of compensation for this whole ordeal. At first, Karen Jones asked why I felt I needed to be compensated, that Ford should be charging me to keep my car on their lot. There was one and only time I actually got an “offer”, if you even call it that, from Karen Jones and that was the middle of February. The offer was to take the X-Plan price on a new Ford car, which is only about $400 under invoice, or to take the extended warranty on a new Ford vehicle. I have to say that is hardly compensation enough for all the time and trouble I’ve been though. I turned the offer down and picked up my Cougar on February 20, 2007 and found that the Elmhurst dealership was still going to charge me for parts and they had altered the original ticket so that it would appear my car was dropped off on January 22, 2007. So after 3 ½ months and a lot of headaches, I still come out with nothing. This whole mess was due to an error Ford had made on headlamps, and yet I have to pay for their mistake, not them. I feel I deserve a little more respect than that.
Like I said before, this is only a shortened version of my story. As of now, I’m in search of a new car that is not a Ford product. I would prefer to give my business to a company that treats their customers with respect and is more organized. However, I have not given up on voicing my story about Ford. I don’t want to see anyone else get treated the way I have.
Ford needs to stand by their mistakes and rectify them if they expect to retain returning customers. It’s obvious that at this time they are not ready to do that.
Again, I truly appreciate you taking the time to read my letter.
Caryn E. Griffith
Winfield, Illinois
Disappointed Ford Customer


  • Rochell| October 19, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    I’m leasing a Lincoln MKZ since and have had nothing but electrical problems since day one. Out of the 17 months I’ve leased it, it’s been in service 15 times. In service now. And after it just stopped on me, shut down completely in the middle of the street, they are ready to give it back to me because they couldn’t find anything wrong with it. I’ve heard that 15 times. I previously owned a Ford Explorer, Ford Fusion and now leasing what’s supposed to be one of their luxury vehicles. I would not even bother buying or leasing another Fusion which I had no problems whatsoever with. I never intend to ever own or lease a Ford vehicle again. For Ford Lincoln & the dealership to tell me basically, take back this lemon and while you have it, take your chances that it doesn’t stop on a freeway with you at over 70mph because guess what? Their motto is, WE DON’T GIVE A CARE IF YOU HAVE A FATALITY OR SERIOUS INJURY. JUST PAY YOUR MONTHLY PAYMENTS ON TIME TO LINCOLN FOR 3 YEARS ON YOUR LEASE! I learned from this lemon that Ford customer service is not only terrible but outrageous & pathetic.

    • Rochell| October 20, 2016 at 1:03 pm

      See Oct 19, 2016 post regarding a Lincoln MKZ lemon with all the electrical problems.

  • Alida Burhan| December 1, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    I have had a little shy of $4000.00 of repairs done at Mojave Ford in Barstow California. I have had to take the car back 5 times so far due to the repairs not being done correctly. One of the repairs was replacement of the radiator and the first radiator had holes in it. I took the car back to for and they said they replace the radiator again and for the second time the same problem the radiator was leaking and had holes all in it. I have now taken the car back a third time with the same issue the said new radiator also has holes in it and now Ford is saying they are not going to replace it unless I pay for a another radiator because supposedly the parts place they got the 2 radiators from doesn’t want to warranty them.

    I like my car and have wanted a Ford Mustang since I was a kid but if Ford can not repair their own cars and warranty the parts they install in their cars I will never buy a Ford car again and will advise everyone I know and come across not to buy a Ford.

  • ionosphere| January 10, 2008 at 11:08 am

    I hope that for the new 2008 Mercury Grand Marquis I am getting, that I won’t have problems in the future getting parts like headlamps, that I assume will eventually need replacing if I keep the car long enough.

  • Anonymous| November 11, 2007 at 6:59 pm

    It seems that if Ford stepped up to the plate to resolve the issue, no finger pointing would be involved. Too bad for Ford. I hear they’re having major problems…no wonder they’re closing down dealerships! I say so long!!!

  • John R. Hertzler, Jr.| October 20, 2007 at 7:42 pm

    I traded in my 1998 Lincoln Mark VIII because I could not obtain new headlights in 2006. I had always driven F-M-L products and will not buy another one. Too much money to become obsolete in 8 years, and as others have noted, two letters and no response from Ford. Toyota responded in one week to a service letter. Did I hear Ford was nearly bankrupt?

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