Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Ford, and no bailout.

For those who are curious I drive a Ford.  It is not something that I do by choice, it was the right price, and it was a long way to get where I am today with the truck I have now.  I have previously owned 2 F-150 trucks, all three have had major tire issues, at least with the last it is only an abnormal wearing pattern.  However, I hear people roast GM and Chrysler over taking bailouts from the government, they roast the government for bailing these two companies out, but the truth is, it should have been Ford needing the bailout.  I had two bad trucks out of them in several years, shoddy customer service on all three, and the trucks are just bad, with the newest one being decent at best.  Eventually Ford thought it best to take back the previous trucks, and they did attempt to make it right with me, but I had to threaten to spill the beans on exactly what they were selling and to some extent, I did.  I actually started a petition to force Ford to make whole all individuals who had the following problems with their 2004-2009 F-150s, and any vehicles with the following problems, failed radiators, severe rusting problems, broken and or seized spark plugs, and failed cam-phasers (which afflicted around a quarter of their 5.4l 3v V8 engines).

Below is the list of what failed and was replaced on my previous truck in the 4 years I owned it:

1.  Radiator (5 in total)

2.  Power window motors (4 in total)
3.  Broken Multi-leaf spring
4.  Upgraded front and rear suspension
5.  Stereo failure (4 in total)
6.  Failure of the wheel bearings
7.  Tie-rod and tie-rod end failure
8.  Electrical short (unable to be located)
9.  Alternator
10.  Mass Air Flow sensor
11.  Severe Rust issues around the undercarriage, fuel door, and front doors (rusted through in places)
12.  Seized and broken spark plugs
13.  Idler pulley failure
14.  Timing issues with the engine
15.  Cam-shaft failure (resulting in new engine)
16. Power Steering failure (unknown replacement time when vehicle was taken back)

That does not take into account the first set of tires that had chunks of tread coming out of it, because the tire was meant for small SUVs and Cross Overs.  Now to say that these things will never happen to a vehicle over the course of its lifetime would be a lie.  You use a vehicle, things will break, but each and every one of those things happened before the truck reached 75,000 miles.  Granted my job was hard on vehicles, but given the reputation Ford has, I was not expecting that.  I know, I know, running a work truck is hard on them, but all maintenance was kept up properly, and for where the truck had been, it was clean, something impossible to do around coalmines.  I will admit that this newer one has held up better, but it is not being used as a work truck, the most it has done was hauled the landlords new mid-sized ATV, and pulled two ten foot long wooden bridges across her property, but it still has its problems.  The transmission isn’t quite right, it tends to downshift randomly without warning, then lock in third gear.  The tires at ten thousand miles are worn in an odd pattern; all four tires are worn on the inside, something that was not noticed at the 5,000-mile rotation.  The truck will also, and I do not know how to say this properly, randomly decide that it doesn’t want to move across a parking lot, act like it wants to change gears, but won’t it just lurches forward until you put more pressure on the gas, then it will hard shift to another gear.

Look, I admit Ford has come a long way in the past several years, but I still wouldn’t recommend anything they put out for the public. Also Ford's policy is to not recall anything that is not considered a "Safety" issue.  Kind of scary when you think about it, if it is shoddy design or becomes a known issue, they will not recall the vehicle until it is determined to be a safety hazard.  An engine failure at 70 mph is not considered a safety hazard in the eyes of Ford.  They play the numbers game, and that makes for a very poor customer experience.