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Transmission failure - VERY unhappy with customer service

customer service bearing failure grinding noise warranty

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25 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   alanstri

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 11:30 AM

I have a 2013 C-Max SEL that I flat tow (in accordance with the Ford owners' manual) behind my motorhome.  2000 miles into an extended  around the country trip the transmission started making grinding bearing noises.  I have rented a car and purchased a tow dolly so that I could continue my trip.

 

After taking it to a dealer in St. Louis on 6/27/16, they confirmed that it was transmission failure.  They ran it while on the lift and localized the noise, and the fluid contained lots of metallic particles.  On 7/7 the service advisor called me and said the dealer was not willing to replace the transmission under warranty because they may be stuck with a $6,000 bill if the factory disallowed the claim.  They seemed to be concerned that because I was flat-towing, it could be a issue. The car is well within the term of the warranty (47k miles of the 80k).  He suggested that I call the Ford customer care number  800-392-3673, which I did on 7/8.

 

Customer care assigned me a case number and referred me to the regional service manager, Leah Shulga at 866-631-3788, x 53764

 

I have left numerous voice-mails since then, all following a recording that promised that someone would respond within 4 hours, even though Leah was out of the office last week.  I also sent an email summarizing the situation, with only an automated "out of office" response.

 

I have called the customer care number several more times, only to be transferred to the same voice mail...  I was promised a call back by close-of-business yesterday, but did not receive one.  When I called back yesterday afternoon (7/11), I was told that there was nothing else they could do and everyone had gone home for the day.  I asked to talk to the supervisor or manager, and was told "she doesn't take live calls".???

 

Has anyone experienced this horrible lack of concern?  Does anyone have a contact that could help cut through the automated phone system wall?

 

Besides the obvious issues, I have had to modify my trip plan to be able to return to St. Louis at some point to reclaim my car.  I live in Georgia, and had planned to travel to Canada and Alaska this summer, both of which are now on hold.









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#2 OFFLINE   Marc Smith

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 12:26 PM


you car has 47K indicated on the odomoeter.  If I was ford,  I'd be looking into how many miles are on the transmission.  IE  47K driven miles +  X number of towed miles.  Does the vehicle somewhere in its memory record these miles,  and if so,  can ford use them to deny a warranty claim...  On the same note,  if the computer records the towed miles,  then it also should  be able to record if the vehicle was placed in tow mode properly....

 

but I'm not ford

you really should not have to travel back to St Louis...  once the car is fixed, ford could ship it back to GA or hire a driver to get it to you where ever you may be at the time...  From a customer service standpoint,  this would be the ideal solution...

 

good luck



#3 OFFLINE   ptjones

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 12:47 PM

When I had mine fail in Albuquerque, FORD payed for car rental to GA and back to NM. The towing thing might be putting a monkey wrench to the warranty.   :sad:  :gaah:  Wonder if anyone else on this forum has experience with your situation. :shrug:  Do you have any idea how many miles you have towing? Do you put it in Neutral to do flat towing? I'm not sure who is our FORD Rep on this forum, but it might be Joy.

 

Paul



#4 OFFLINE   obob

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 02:19 PM

 

 

Has anyone experienced this horrible lack of concern?  Does anyone have a contact that could help cut through the automated phone system wall?

 

 

 

Yes I have.  I have experienced leaving messages and not getting a call or email back.  

 

There is a Ford rep that takes care of people on this message board.

 

You might want to send a message to http://fordcmaxhybri...79-fordservice/

 

 

 

This situation seems to be a no brainer.  You have a 2013 C-Max which is built with defect involved with the bearing and your transmission when bad. 

 

Ford knows about the problem for they have a service bulletin about it.  There are several message threads on this forum with about this problem.  Lots of 2013 transmissions go bad.

 

Here is one of the threads.

 

http://fordcmaxhybri...at-have-failed/

 

There is also another good one that you might be able to find.

 

There also probably are message threads on the fusion hybrid forum on the same transmission problem.

 

It seems to be worse for cars driven at highway speeds.


Edited by obob, 12 July 2016 - 02:30 PM.

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#5 OFFLINE   Plus 3 Golfer

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 03:22 PM

It sounds to me that the dealer contacted Ford between 6/27 and 7/7 and Ford did not approve your transmission replacement based on what the dealer described (probably including possible damage caused by the towing).  Thus, the dealer's reply to you on 7/7 about not fixing the transmission under warranty.  Unless I'm missing something, your transmission should be covered for 8 years and 100 k miles (per the odometer) per the New Car Limited Warranty / Unique Hybrid Electric Components Warranty as towing behind an RV is clearly permitted in the Owner's Manual.   

 

You might want to call the dealer back and clarify whether Ford denied the warranty and why. 

 

The one time I called Ford CS, CS indicated I'd hear from them in 24 hours and I did.  Sounds to me Ford is likely gathering details from the dealer and perhaps the reason they haven't called back yet. IMO the dealer should have been able to easily get Ford's approval for the warranty repair. There is nothing IMO out of the ordinary. 


Edited by Plus 3 Golfer, 12 July 2016 - 03:29 PM.


#6 OFFLINE   Adrian_L

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 05:23 PM

This situation seems to be a no brainer.  You have a 2013 C-Max which is built with defect involved with the bearing and your transmission when bad. 

 

Ford knows about the problem for they have a service bulletin about it.  There are several message threads on this forum with about this problem.  Lots of 2013 transmissions go bad.

 

Here is one of the threads.

 

http://fordcmaxhybri...at-have-failed/

 

There is also another good one that you might be able to find.

 

 

Really?  I searched on the forum and only found a couple of "transmission failure" threads.  Including the one where Automate surveyed the forum and found.....wait for it..........six Hybrids who have had failures.  


Edited by Adrian_L, 12 July 2016 - 05:24 PM.


#7 OFFLINE   obob

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 05:49 PM

Really?  I searched on the forum and only found a couple of "transmission failure" threads.  Including the one where Automate surveyed the forum and found.....wait for it..........six Hybrids who have had failures.  

 

The link I posted, the first message has like 20 and there are more mentioned in the latter part of the thread.

 

There is a thread that has the actual service bulletin which is a pretty good one.  I think there is also one started by a taxi driver, though they could be the same one.

 

 

Here's a post with the service bulletin I copied from some other thread:  http://fordcmaxhybri...ht-too/?p=56493


Edited by obob, 13 July 2016 - 12:30 AM.

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#8 OFFLINE   obob

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 12:29 AM

http://fordcmaxhybri...ge-3#entry59542

 

Meagan from Ford Service



#9 OFFLINE   alanstri

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Posted 14 July 2016 - 11:37 PM

*********** Update**************

 

I received an email today from Ford customer service manager Leah Shulga (still no "reply within 4 hours as her voice mail said) stating:

"I have reviewed your case with the Service Manager, John, at Lou Fusz. It was determined that the transmission failure occurred due to improper flat towing. The dealer has reached out to Ford’s technical division on your behalf to assist in the case. Ford warranty covers manufacturer defects under the coverage period timeframe. The dealership determines coverage under Ford warranty. The current concern was deemed as damage rather than a manufacturer defect, in which case, it is not covered."

 

Nobody has told me what I did that was "improper flat towing".  The manual instructions have been followed.  She suggested that I get a second opinion from another Ford dealer who might perform the repairs under warranty. HUH???

 

Now the dealer is the final arbiter of warranty claims!!!  I don't know what recourse I have now, other than being told to pound sand...

 

If a Ford rep is on this forum, I would appreciate a little guidance.



#10 OFFLINE   ptjones

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Posted 15 July 2016 - 08:08 AM

I thought someone said they had their trans go bad being flat towed on this forum.  I would find out what FORD Dealer they took their CMAX too and have it done there.  I'm assuming that the car is drive-able or tow-able. My experience is that you can go alot of miles with the Trans making noise. :sad:

 

Paul



#11 OFFLINE   stevedebi

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Posted 15 July 2016 - 10:52 AM

*********** Update**************

 

I received an email today from Ford customer service manager Leah Shulga (still no "reply within 4 hours as her voice mail said) stating:

"I have reviewed your case with the Service Manager, John, at Lou Fusz. It was determined that the transmission failure occurred due to improper flat towing. The dealer has reached out to Ford’s technical division on your behalf to assist in the case. Ford warranty covers manufacturer defects under the coverage period timeframe. The dealership determines coverage under Ford warranty. The current concern was deemed as damage rather than a manufacturer defect, in which case, it is not covered."

 

Nobody has told me what I did that was "improper flat towing".  The manual instructions have been followed.  She suggested that I get a second opinion from another Ford dealer who might perform the repairs under warranty. HUH???

 

Now the dealer is the final arbiter of warranty claims!!!  I don't know what recourse I have now, other than being told to pound sand...

 

If a Ford rep is on this forum, I would appreciate a little guidance.

The cost is less than 10K, if you think you did it properly, go to small claims court.



#12 OFFLINE   Adrian_L

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Posted 15 July 2016 - 01:15 PM

You're understandably frustrated, but who else would be the arbiter or warranty claims?

Whether it's a transmission or a chef's knife, the dealer assesses the broken item and determines if it was a manufacturing defect or user negligence.     You're free, as Paul suggests, to take the car for a second opinion.  But the defect that the service bulletin refers too will have specific criteria and evidence when the transmission is dismantled. 



#13 OFFLINE   obob

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Posted 15 July 2016 - 06:23 PM


 

 

 

There is a Ford rep that takes care of people on this message board.

 

You might want to send a message to http://fordcmaxhybri...79-fordservice/

 

or more specifically, click on that link, and then click on button that says something like send a message to me.  Give her your story and name phone number and VIN.


Edited by obob, 15 July 2016 - 06:25 PM.

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#14 OFFLINE   jmckinley

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 08:42 AM

I see that our Ford Rep for this forum is not responding to this.  

 

As usual.



#15 OFFLINE   Plus 3 Golfer

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 10:25 AM

I see that our Ford Rep for this forum is not responding to this.  

 

As usual.

 

LOL,  I wouldn't expect anything more.  No different than the latest Sync update (IIRC, Oct. - Nov. 2015) not showing up on the Ford Owner's website for many of our C-Maxes.

 

Quite frankly, they likely are not permitted to respond to any controversial subjects / requests as it's above their pay grade.  Silence is better than telling "everyone" they can't help in the matter. ;)   IMO, the Ford rep is just like a CS rep on the phone.  The rep is not on our side although IMO, many here might believe that they are truly here to represent "us".  



#16 OFFLINE   C-MaxSea

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 10:34 AM

They are paid by Ford and "represent" Ford - it has never been anything else other than that. 



#17 OFFLINE   obob

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 11:54 AM

I see that our Ford Rep for this forum is not responding to this.  

 

As usual.

 

It is not clear to me that anyone has contacted her.  My experience contacting the forum rep is that always have gotten a response within a week  The one problem that I have had has been with contact after that, but mostly it has been good.


Edited by obob, 17 July 2016 - 11:54 AM.

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#18 OFFLINE   wab

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 04:24 PM

Our towing experience.

In 2013 I tried to follow the owners manual but the ICE wouldn't start.
Nice cool day HVB charged = NO ICE.
I ran the AC for several minutes and the ICE started.
After another 200 miles the ICE still wouldn't start, till I put it in gear and pushed on the motor home, wife asked "what was that??".

It's now 2016 and we have 11644 towed miles with 56310 miles on the odometer.
After several attempts to start the ICE the first yr I don't even try, just hook it and go.
Transmission is still supper quite and smooth.

Our most recent trip was from Dallas/Ft. Worth to Panama City Beach (834 miles).
From Florida we towed to Tunica Mississippi.
Then on to Canyon City Colorado where the motor home will stay till fall.
Total towed miles this trip 2490.
This is the second time we've made this trip.

Liar was built in Jan 13, we bought him (women don't lie) in March of 2013. 

We're home in the cmax 710 non towed miles.



#19 OFFLINE   Plus 3 Golfer

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 06:18 PM

It is not clear to me that anyone has contacted her.  My experience contacting the forum rep is that always have gotten a response within a week  The one problem that I have had has been with contact after that, but mostly it has been good.

The issue is when the problem has already been brought to Ford's attention (by dealer) AND Ford has denied the claim, the rep is likely not going to give "a little guidance" as was requested by the OP.  The rep though should get back to the OP but will likely simply say your issue is already in our system and you can follow the procedures in the limited new car warranty document (see below).  That's likely all the rep can say.  It appears the OP has "completed" the first three items show below in Ford's warranty document.

 

The issue now is well above the reps pay grade since the OP received the e-mail. The ball is now in the OP hands.  The guidance I'd give is to seek legal advice if the OP is not comfortable in presenting his warranty claim denial in arbitration. It sounds like that is the direction Ford wants to go.  It wouldn't surprise me if Ford came back with a "good will" reduction in the cost to fix to avoid arbitration. 

 

We really don't know what the dealer "found" and the only way to find out now is likely in arbitration first and law suit as a last resort.

 

 
Your satisfaction is our #1 goal. If you have any questions or concerns, or
are unsatisfied with the service you are receiving, follow these steps:
1. Contact your Sales Representative or Service Advisor at your
selling/servicing dealership.
2. If your inquiry or concern remains unresolved, contact the Sales
Manager, Service Manager or Customer Relations Manager.
3. If you require assistance or clarification on Ford Motor Company policies
or procedures, please contact the Ford Customer Relationship Center.

 

 

 
Your satisfaction is important to Ford Motor Company and to your dealer.
If a warranty concern has not been resolved using the three-step
procedure outlined on the first page of the Customer Assistance section,
you may be eligible to participate in the BBB AUTO LINE program.
The BBB AUTO LINE program consists of two parts - mediation and
arbitration. During mediation, a representative of the BBB will contact
both you and Ford Motor Company to explore options for settlement of
the claim. If an agreement is not reached during mediation and your
claim is eligible, you may participate in the arbitration process. An
arbitration hearing will be scheduled so that you can present your case
in an informal setting before an impartial person. The arbitrator will
consider the testimony provided and make a decision after the hearing.
You are not bound by the decision, but should you choose to accept the
BBB AUTO LINE decision, Ford must abide by the accepted decision as
well. Disputes submitted to the BBB AUTO LINE program are usually
decided within forty days after you file your claim with the BBB
BBB AUTO LINE Application: Using the information provided below,
please call or write to request a program application. You will be asked
for your name and address, general information about your new vehicle,
information about your warranty concerns, and any steps you have
already taken to try to resolve them. A Customer Claim Form will be
mailed that will need to completed, signed, and returned to the BBB
along with proof of ownership. Upon receipt, the BBB will review the
claim for eligibility under the Program Summary Guidelines.
You can get more information by calling BBB AUTO LINE at
1-800-955-5100, or writing to:
BBB AUTO LINE
4200 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 800
Arlington, Virginia 22203-1833
BBB AUTO LINE applications can also be requested by calling the Ford
Motor Company Customer Relationship Center at 1-800-392-3673.
NOTE: Ford Motor Company reserves the right to change eligibility
limitations, modify procedures, or to discontinue this process at any time
without notice and without obligation.

 

 

 

Your satisfaction is our #1 goal. If you have any questions or concerns, or
are unsatisfied with the service you are receiving, follow these steps:

Edited by Plus 3 Golfer, 17 July 2016 - 07:00 PM.


#20 OFFLINE   alanstri

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 07:45 PM

You're understandably frustrated, but who else would be the arbiter or warranty claims?

Whether it's a transmission or a chef's knife, the dealer assesses the broken item and determines if it was a manufacturing defect or user negligence.     You're free, as Paul suggests, to take the car for a second opinion.  But the defect that the service bulletin refers too will have specific criteria and evidence when the transmission is dismantled. 

Adrian, Sorry you don't understand the situation....

 

If anybody from Ford had offered an evaluation and explanation of how the determination was made it would be a different issue. The  only diagnostics performed were listening to the noise and looking at the fluid. It has NOT been disassembled. 

 

I contacted the CSM on this forum twice (first time on 6/27) but have not received a response. 

 

I also have started the process with the  BBB on their website as

 outlined in the warranty booklet.  The response is "We will send you the forms to fill out and try to resolve all complaints within 40 days"








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