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Your Beef: Customer won’t pay for part dealer broke

Driver would have been out for cost of part, extended car rental.

Published October 12, 2012
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Q: I have a 2004 Ford Freestar. I took it back to the selling dealer in Scarborough for a torque converter recall notice. I was told it would be there for two days and I’d be provided with a rental vehicle.

On the service date, they revised their estimate to four days and took me to the rental place to receive my vehicle.

On the “ready” date, I called the dealer and was told they required extra time because they’d broken a part during servicing.

After that new deadline passed, we asked the dealer how much longer they needed it and who would cover the extra rental vehicle time.

They called later, advising parts were back-ordered and they were looking into covering more of my vehicle rental time.

A few days later, the dealership said my battery was dead and wouldn’t hold a charge — even though it was less than a year old (aftermarket battery).

I was then told the van would be fixed on Monday if the parts arrive. He said that parts sometimes break (during removal) depending on age and vehicle condition. He said they wouldn’t cover the extra expenses incurred by me unless advised by Ford of Canada to do so.

Ford was updated of all these events throughout. They said they are not responsible for the van problems including the battery and the dealership is responsible if they broke some parts. Therefore, Ford would not intervene with the dealer.

Ultimately, through no fault of my own, I’ll be out of pocket for the extended vehicle rental and a new battery, just to get a recall completed. I don’t think that’s fair.

A: Erin Voth, spokesperson for Ford of Canada, replies:

Thank you for passing along your reader’s note regarding her vehicle repair and rental car coverage concern. Ford has looked into the situation and has let this customer know that the company will pay for the full vehicle rental period of 24 days.

In addition, the dealership will be covering the cost for the part broken during the initial repair. The customer has agreed to pay for the battery replacement that was identified as being necessary during the repair.

Ford of Canada has thanked this customer for her understanding, and apologized for any inconvenience caused.

WEIRD E-TEST FAIL:

It doesn’t exactly have wheels, but Canadian Tire’s gas-powered blender for outdoor camping (item No. 199-1768) is being recalled for not meeting emission standards. Hmm, I wonder if Drive Clean will issue a “conditional pass” on that?

Got a beef? Send it to Eric Lai at wheels@thestar.ca. Include year, make, model and kilometres of autos cited, plus your name, address and telephone number. Personal replies cannot be handled due to volume.

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