I have had a pretty tough time with my car in the past years...
I'm done. I'm done dealing with this car.
I sent the following email to the top 40 executives at Ford Motor Company. I immediately received 20 "non-delivery" messages, but that's still 20 good ones! So, here is my email....
To whom it may concern,
Hello. My name is Dana Linze.
My husband purchased a 2005 Ford Freestyle in June of 2005. He purchased this vehicle from Reynolds Ford Motor Co. located in East Moline, IL. After his early passing, I now have the car and have to say that I am furious with every aspect of the car, the mechanics, and, at times, the service I have received with car problems.
The list of problems with this car is extensive. Let me inform you a bit.
1. The car is front wheel drive. At 2.5 years old, I had to pay out of pocket to have the BACK rotors replaced as they were completely ground through due to the BACK brake pads wearing out early. At the time, my front brake pads still had 50% life left. Now, I'm not a mechanic, however common sense tells me that if a car relies on the front breaks for breaking action, why would the back breaks wear so thin so fast? Now I know that there was a problem with this in the 2005-2007 model Freestyles and thankfully, I saved my receipt and was able to be reimbursed for the first set of rotors I replaced. However, I was NEVER notified of this, I had to find this out through another Ford Freestyle owner who had the same problems. I was also not told one single intelligent or explainable reason as to why this happened, nor was I compensated for the time, and effort I had to personally put into having the rotors replaced. Now, at approx. 62,000 miles, will they need replacing again soon?
2. At 30,000 miles, I had a problem with the throttle body. Thankfully in this situation, my car was still under the standard warranty and the throttle body was replaced at Reynolds Motor Company.
3. At 60,000 miles, my CVT transmission was bad. Not fixable at all. I took my car to 2 different auto shops in my area and was told that since the transmission was a CVT transmission, I would have to take it to a Ford Dealership. In going to Reynolds Motor Company, I was informed that it would cost me $6,000.00 to replace my transmission. Now, at the time, I still owed $12,000 on this car and had 1.5 years left to the life of the loan. Being told I have to put $6,000.00 into a car that I am still paying $477.00 a month to drive is absolutely INFURIATING to discover. In this particular situation, I contacted a lemon lawyer, and requested all documentation of repairs and service from Reynolds Motor. As soon as this action was taken, a used transmission became available. Reynold's attempted to work with me by providing a rental car for no charge for the time my car was not driveable. They also wrote off anything over $2000.00 dollars (which I do believe totalled approx. $500). I am deeply appreciative to Mike Grems in particular for helping me in this situation. He went above and beyond his job title to help me in this situation.
HOWEVER, I am also rather intelligent and to have a transmission go bad at 60,000 miles is a problem. I have done some research and have also discovered that General Motors had a similar problem with their CVT transmissions, and a class action lawsuit was won for Saturn owners with this problem. (http://www.topix.com/forum/autos/THFO3AH3O3MV3A8P9) I also am an avid reader of many car forums located by a simple internet search and right now, there is ample proof by way of many forums that prove there are many others out there with this same problem involving these particular CVT transmissions.
I chose to not pursue this matter at the time since the dealership was more then helpful, however listing other problems, I have reconsidered talking to a lawyer again.
4. There was a recall issued on the Freestyle for faulty door latches. (http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/recalls/results.cfm) My car was "fixed" under this recall as shown by records kept at Reynolds Ford. Last winter, the latches started to not work again. As a matter of fact, I discovered this WHILE DRIVING MY THREE CHILDREN TO SCHOOL. I called Reynolds and they advised me to bring the car in. I drove 20 minutes to bring the car in, once I arrived, the car had warmed up, and the latches were working once again. I was told there was nothing that could be done so I needed to leave. I continued to press further and went into the office to complain. My complaint was met. The dealership lubed up the latches and sent me on my way.
This year (as of TODAY) the latches are freezing up again. Yesterday, I drove ten miles home from my place of employment with my ARM outside the open window holding my car door shut, in freezing temperatures none the less. This morning, I called another local dealership, Dahl Ford located in Davenport, IA. (I refuse to use Reynolds Motor Company in regards to this situation as I was treated in an extremely rude manner the last time) They lubed up my locks ONCE AGAIN and I am now currently driving my vehicle again.
This is a HUGE problem for me. There is absolutely NO REASON I can reasonably think of to have to go into a dealership each time the temperature falls below freezing to have my door latches repeatedly lubricated. It is also a HUGE problem for me as a mother of FOUR children now. While the car is in motion, one of these doors could open. My children always wear a seat belt but that is no conciliation for the fear I have that one of my children could fall out of a MOVING VEHICLE. If this scenario were to ever happen, I would be personally holding Ford Motor Company responsible.
That sums up some of the major defects I have recently had with this particular car. I have failed to mention that I have owned other Ford vehicles and have had problems with them as well.
I am writing you this letter in the hopes that you will personally respond to my situation. Replacing the car, compensating monetarily, contacting any local dealership to have my door locks replaced, all of these are very viable options in your response.
I would also like a response within a timely fashion. If I have not received a response with in 5 business days, I will be taking the following action:
1. I will be contacting a lemon lawyer to pursue action against Ford Motor Company.
2. I will contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration with these defects and file a complaint in regards to the safety of this vehicle.
3. I will inform Consumerist.com of the many problems with my vehicle in hopes that they will publish this story, this letter, and your response to this situation on a nationally recognized consumer website.
4. I will personally see to it that I post a public blog, contact any local media, and utilize all social networking sites I am a member of to relay once again these problems, this letter of complaint, and your response as a company to my problems.
When safety is an issue, in regards to my children, I take this matter very seriously. I have ample amounts of time and money to pursue this situation.
I eagerly await your response to this matter.
Anyone out there care to add to this email? I have plenty of email addresses if you need them....