The Story of MobileBeats / Rookie

Rookie

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Fort Wayne, IN
Just so everyone is aware, this is in reference to Cavalier Ford Greenbrier in Chesapeake, VA and my insurance company is USAA.

Some of you have been in the loop on this evolving story but I figured it is time to get it out there for everyone to see. This is also so that Crystal can work her magic as quite frankly, I am fed up. For now, the names of the each company will be listed anonymously as I am not going to bash someone if it is ultimately made right. Most of these issues are with the dealer but some are with the insurance company. This post will be a living post and I will update accordingly with information as I receive it. I appreciate any advice, thoughts, opinions, etc. from each of you as I can use as much help as possible at this point. The issues I list may not be in chronological order but I will do my best to organize it so it is easier to understand. A lot of these issues were found at random points. I will add pictures later of what I took already.

On a side note, I am what a lot of people would consider passive. Some of the issues were not addressed because in my mind it is not worth fighting with them about. I feel it has become a “take advantage of the nice guy” situation.

On March 20th I had an incident with my truck that resulted in water damage. There was about 4” of water on the passenger floor board. Truck was extracted successfully after many failed attempts and sitting in the water for almost six hours waiting on a tow truck that could get it out. It was running but poorly so I hopped on home and tried to clean it up and start investigating. My own diagnosis found that cylinders 2, 3, and 4 were misfiring and over a dozen various codes were being thrown. With there being a fuse box assembly on the passenger kick panel this makes sense as it would have been completely submerged in water. I drove the truck over to my local dealer to let them diagnose the issues and see what I would be looking at for repairs. They called and told me it would be in my best interest to get insurance involved as the engine had sucked in water and needed to be replaced. I called my insurance company and while speaking with the lady for the initial report she informed me that I had the option to use my own repair center or I could use one of their authorized service centers and the repairs would be warrantied for life. This wasn’t the time to make that decision; she was just informing me of my options.

On March 31st the insurance appraiser went to the dealer and developed an estimate. I found out via email that it was complete and uploaded to my claims center. On April 1st I received a call from the dealer stating the parts had been ordered. Within a few days of this I placed a phone call to insurance as the bumper had been damaged but the dealer would not conduct these repairs. I wanted to see how I could go about getting that money directly so I could pay the difference and upgrade to an aftermarket bumper. While discussing this with the insurance company I asked who had approved the work to commence with the dealership. The lady I was speaking with put me on hold to call the field appraiser and ask him. He did not answer so she left a voicemail and said he should call her back. They couldn’t issue me a check because at this point the repairs were at $11,715 and it would have to be a two party check. The bank said they would apply it to the loan so I called the dealer and they said it shouldn’t be an issue just giving me a check for the balance.

On April 29th I received a call that the truck was complete. Even though the balance on the invoice was paid in full because of the extra money from the bumper, they wouldn’t release the truck to me because they had received all of the checks from insurance. All of the checks finally arrived and I was able to pick up the truck. Upon first inspection I noticed a few issues but nothing that I couldn’t easily take care of myself. During the drive home I noticed some other issues and once I had finally stopped and taken a deeper look I noticed even more. I called up my dealer and told him I was bringing it back as soon as I got off work. Below are the issues I found and a brief explanation and the final result.

1. Padding underneath the carpet. They were paid $600 to pull the carpet, allow it to dry, and replace the pad. Upon initial inspection it looked as if they had pulled the carpet and completely removed the padding. I pulled up the edges of the carpet and found that the padding was at least 12” from the edges. This left a significant amount of area without any padding and even worse was the gap it created underneath the plastic panels due to the reduced carpet height. Result: Carpet is going to get pulled again and they are going to cut one big piece for the entire truck to fit into it. They said that they cannot order the padding like they can order the carpet so they have to utilize a bulk roll.

The padding has been fixed and it runs up to the edges like it's supposed to.

This is what it looks like under the carpet along the edges.
9463-missing-padding.jpg


2. Mud flap missing. I had four PDP mud flaps on the truck. During the incident the front passenger flap was torn off. Someone took it upon themselves to remove the driver’s side flap also. Result: Missing mud flap.

3. NAV/Audio. One of the issues that arose was the NAV screen failed to come on. The dealer said that they replaced the entire unit. When I first got in it appeared to be working fine. I soon realized that there was no audio and where the navigation was usually located was now an information tab. My problem with this was that I don’t know any installer on this earth that would replace a head unit and not check to see if there was audio. Also, if they knew anything about the vehicle, they would know that the only way it has that screen is if it has navigation. Result: Amp was shorted out and needed replaced. I was told the navigation was just a programming issue. Both problems were resolved.

4. Driver’s seat controls. The driver’s seat control panel was hanging off. When I tried to push it back on it seemed that the clips had been broken as it would not stay in place. Result: Piece was put back in place, presumably with something else holding it there.

9462-broken-drivers-controls.jpg


5. Fender Flare. I’m not sure why but the passenger side fender flare was taken off and when they reinstalled it, 3 of the clips weren’t even put in correctly. This left a gap between the flare and the truck where you could see the bent clips. They also used two of the retaining clips that are not even close to being the correct ones on the flares. For some reason they used the ones that insert and then you push the tab in to expand the retainers. The only reason I noticed was because they inserted them into the flare and didn’t push the tab in so there was 1” piece of plastic sticking out. This is also where I noticed issues with the vinyl. Result: Flare was reinstalled properly. I had to replace the incorrect clips with correct ones myself. I fixed the vinyl once but somehow it has been pushed back up again.

Clips used to hold up fender flare.
9467-clip-flare.jpg


6. Shifter. For some reason the shifter was extremely stiff. I attempted to cycle it back and forth but it did not help at all. Result: Dealer said they fixed it but it was still the same. When I reinstalled the VHF radio I found two wiring harnesses wrapped around the rod/mechanism. Works smoothly now.

I'm not sure what they did on this last repair but it is back to being stiff. When I popped the driver's side kick panel out to look at the NAV-TV the shifter cable is bunched up like it's not in the right spot.

7. Whining noise from engine bay. There was an obvious whine coming from the engine bay. It could only have been missed by someone’s laziness. Result: Idler pulley replaced.

8. Front wind fabric. When the swapped the engine I am sure it was necessary to remove the fabric pieces on the front that help with channeling air flow into the radiator but whoever was tasked with putting them back did it like a 6 month old trying to fit a square into a circular hole. The side pieces weren’t even completely reconnected and the bottom piece had the plastic retaining clips shoved into random holes. It wasn’t even close to being in the spot it needed to be. Result: They put the side ones back in correctly but didn’t touch the bottom one. Apparently the wind is supposed to go down into the skid plate. The bottom one is now disconnected due to my aftermarket bumper.

9. MRE cases in bed. This only bothers me because it’s the fact of the matter. I had two cases of MREs in the bed of the truck, which was locked, and they mysteriously disappeared. Some of you know that those go for around $75 a case depending on where you buy them. Maybe the mechanics don’t get paid enough to buy food. Result: I was given a blank stare when I asked about them. Already pissed off I just walked away.

10. Missing key. The last bullet leads me to this. I received a phone call asking if I had my spare key. Apparently the key I gave them came up missing while it exchanged multiple hands at the dealer. No big deal right? Replace it and I’m good to go. How about there is a key to my truck floating around a place that someone could have access to my information. If you had a contractor working on your house lose a key would you just replace the key and call it good? I think not. Result: At this point I’d lost any hope of obtaining results from the dealer.

Because a new key was cut the programming was reset so the old keys could still unlock the door but not start the truck. I now have three keys as they had to have two in order to program the spare. Security is no longer as big of a concern considering I am about 800 miles away.

11. VHF Radio. I’m not even sure where to begin on this issue. At first glance I noticed the radio, which is mounted in my center console had been removed from the mounting bracket and was lying in the console. After further inspection I figured out that they had completely disconnected the radio. This included cutting the power and ground wires, cutting the speaker wire up to center speaker, and removing the screws for the mount. Additionally, the 3.5mm headphone jack adapter, cat 5 cable, cat 5 plug, quick connect for power and ground, and mounting screws were completely missing. As most of you know, installing something like this isn’t just a walk in the park so it’s a safe bet to assume I was slightly aggravated that all my work had just been torn out. Result: Dealer said they had no experience with “these systems” and that I would have to pay a local shop to reinstall it and they would reimburse me. I ended up installing it myself again, and with no way to quantify my time I will not be reimbursed for their screw up.

Most recent repair has things disconnected again but not as bad. The Ethernet cable was not ran back to the radio but everything else appears to be, at a minimum, present.

Female side of connector that was missing.
9470-missing-connector.jpg

Radio laying in center console disconnected. This is what I first saw when I picked it up.
9465-vhf-radio.jpg

There was a cat 5 plug here. The cable and plug were completely gone.
9464-missing-cat-5-plug.jpg


12. Brian Lacy my service advisor. I’ve started to realize that while my service manager isn’t the one doing the repairs, conducting quality control checks, or anything other than playing middle man he definitely isn’t helping the situation. I’d have to say his communication has been less than satisfactory. Often times I have to call and ask for an update rather than him keeping me in the loop of what’s going on. I can’t say I’ve seen him smile one time. While this may not seem like a big deal, studies have shown that someone will determine if they like you within three seconds of meeting you. The first thing they notice is your smile. If I had to describe his demeanor, it’s as if someone ****** in his cheerios every morning. He isn’t the only one with this attitude issue but he’s the one I primarily deal with. I’d also like to mention that cutting a customer off on the phone repeatedly is a quick way to **** them off. Result: Nothing. I have not spoken with him since this thread was given to the head service manager. I have either spoken with the head service manager or the assistant service manager.

13. Vinyl. While my vinyl has been installed by myself, isn’t complete, and has been through some rough stuff I still expect it to come out of the shop the same way I gave it to them. Where they had messed up the installation of the front passenger fender flare they managed to crinkle the vinyl. There were also two small chunks missing from the front lower grill fascia. Result: Spot near fender flare I was able to slightly fix while the front will either need patched or redone completely. Somehow the vinyl on the flare has been pushed back up again.

On the same day I picked up the truck I also returned it to fix some of the above issues. They didn’t get everything fixed until May 15th when I picked the truck up again. This time I had the same issue with the insurance payments and taking possession of the vehicle. I offered to pay the balance in full so that I could pick the truck up as I had a lot of stuff to get done before the NC/SC meet up on Memorial Day weekend. I was told that couldn’t be done, as it’s another liability issue. At this point I’m starting to think it’s more of a laziness issue as crunching all of the numbers might make someone actually work. Regardless, I found more issues but they were all things I’d rather correct myself, as I was tired of dealing with an incompetent service department. Below are the issues I discovered this time around and the results.

1. Missing dash screws. I didn’t reinstall the VHF radio until after I got my truck this time. During the installation I noticed at least half a dozen missing screws in various spots of the dash and there were some areas they utilized the incorrect screws. I had two 5/16” self-tapping screws in the cup holder when I dropped it off. These were used on the two bottom portions that help keep the center console from sliding back. Result: I fixed what I could but there are still missing screws.

Self-Tapping screw used on bottom of center console.
9469-screw-dash.jpg


2. Scuffed/Dented tailgate. It was my friend that actually noticed this when he was walking around to get in the truck. The tailgate was dented/scuffed below and to the right of the Ford emblem. It looks like something fell down as the scuffs progress down and at a slight angle. The dent is subtle but you can see a slight crease when looking at it from an angle. Result: Didn’t expect dealer to acknowledge damage so I left it alone. Looks like they may have attempted to buff it out but it is still present.

9466-tailgate.jpg


3. Fender well clips. Driving down the highway I noticed a rubbing/whining noise that was intermittent. Trying to isolate the problem I started to realize it was at higher speeds going over dips/bumps. We ended up pulling over on the side of the road to find out the plastic retaining clips that hold the wheel well liners in place were missing. The wind was catching the liner and pulling it down into the wheel. This resulted in a nice cutout on the liner from the rubbing on the wheel. Luckily it didn’t get stuck down, as it would have been completely ripped off if in reverse. Result: No major damage occurred so we stopped at the next auto parts store and I installed the missing clips to prevent further damage.

4. Passenger side plastic panel. Once again, my passenger noticed this as it was not something I expected to have to worry about. The left panel on the passenger side that has to be removed when pulling apart the dash was broken. Result: Dealer is going to replace the panel. Panel has been replaced.

Broken side panel.
9468-broken-panel.jpg


5. Cracked antenna bezel. Not sure why this would have been touched but it wasn’t cracked before I dropped it off at the dealer. Not sure when during the service it would have occurred though as it doesn’t stand out unless you’re looking for it. Result: Dealer is going to replace the bezel. Bezel has been replaced.

On May 23rd we left for the NC/SC meet up and this is where a lot more items started to pop up. Nothing that we did on this trip would/could have caused the following issues. They arose because they were given more time to develop/appear.

1. NAV/Battery message. This was an issue before the actual incident ever occurred. While driving the navigation screen would go to the “Powering down to save battery” screen as if you had left the truck on without the engine running. Finally getting mad enough one day I smacked the top of the dash and it came back on. Turns out, every time it started the count down I could smack the top of the dash and it would come back on. Clear sign of a dead short in the dash but I could not isolate the issue. I thought it might be related to NAV-TV so I uninstalled that which resulted with the same issue. The dealer must have assumed that by them replacing the entire unit that the issue had been resolved. I don’t think you realize how annoying an eight-hour road trip is with a radio that you have to hit to make it work. Result: Unsure at this time. Dealer has not mentioned their solution. The dealer invoice states that aftermarket wiring was the cause. I'm assuming that they are talking about the NAV-TV. They didn't disconnect the modules but only cut the wire running to the front camera. So far I haven't had any issues. I'm going to reinstall to see if the issue occurs again.

2. Memorial Day Weekend ended early. On day two we started on a gravel road and on the way out my truck died. Restarted and continued but the engine light was on, service advancetrac, and hill descent control fault. We got to a stopping point where we tried to diagnose the issue. The tuner was reading nine random codes, which pointed towards an electrical issue. We popped the hood and while looking around someone noticed there was one of the three main wiring harnesses leading to the PCM lying on the header. The harness has heat tape on it which might prevent it from catching on fire but that won’t prevent it from melting every wire inside that harness. During this inspection it was also noted that almost every wiring harness in the engine bay were not secured and freely hanging. Almost all of the spark plug wire clips were broken off as if they couldn’t remove them easily so they just broke them. There was a harness on the driver’s side that was hanging down into the wheel well. With the truck able to limp home we loaded up and cut the weekend short. On the way home I also noticed the cruise control was not working. Result: Dealer decided to replace the MAF sensor, RCM (restraint control module?), abs module, and both VCT solenoids. I received a call on June 12th asking what modifications went to what so they could figure out how I had things wired up. On June 13th I received another phone call telling me that my modifications to the truck were causing the issues. I was told that something was plugged into the PCM, which they removed, and it got rid of one of the codes. The only device connected to anything electrical of that nature is the NAV-TV, which has been on since day one of them having the truck. I was then told that the other code (I believe he mentioned an ABS issue) was being caused by another modification and they wanted to return the truck to stock by disconnecting everything. Here’s the best part, they said it isn’t damage related so I will have to pay for the repairs, as insurance won’t cover it.

At this point I’m on the assumption that they cannot figure out what is wrong and they are trying to blame it on something I have done. The only mods I have done since they first started working on the truck were the swapping of lights for the bumper and the addition of onboard air. Neither of which should be affecting the PCM like they are stating. Now that I have over $3,000 in rental costs (get the rental coverage!) and have been without my only vehicle for over 11 weeks I am still waiting for someone to own up to the fact that they screwed up. I see a lot of issues from both parties and neither care to take responsibility for them. If the dealer would own up then my truck would be back to me in good condition again and I wouldn’t have to fight insurance over who authorized the work. If they don’t then the insurance company should own up for not consulting me when the decision was made to not utilize their authorized service center.

Insurance: Personally, they should have totaled it from the start. With the damages at $19,126 they could have totaled it, sent it to auction, and probably only have been $15,000 in the hole. They also will need to show the burden of proof on where I said they could authorize the dealer to do any repairs. If they actually record the phone calls like they claim, they will hear me asking one lady who authorized the repairs to commence. My problem is the truck will never be whole again. What is the purpose of having insurance if they only half fix the truck. They repeatedly tell me that it is my responsibility to take care of issues with the dealer but these are not issues the dealer caused. For example, the interior is a mess and the rear end squeaks like crazy.

Dealer: Overall for the size of this dealer they have done well below satisfactory repairs. If it were my company, I would fire every mechanic that touched the truck and make sure the guy allowing it to go out the door like that never worked on a customer’s product again. I don’t know a single business owner who would put their name on the work that was performed on my truck. I hate to throw the “it’s a $55,000 truck” in there but the fact of the matter is, it’s a $55,000 truck and I expect quality work to be done. I would expect quality work to be done on every vehicle but a Lamborghini is going to get treated a little different than a Ford ******. If they can’t figure out what’s wrong with it then they should own up to it and admit they don’t know rather than stripping insurance for everything they’ll pay and not getting any results.

One thing that doesn’t help matters is I am separating from the Navy on June 30th. That will be the last day I am in Virginia. I can’t have a truck in a repair shop in VA while I’m home in IN with no vehicle still. My decision to separate did not come lightly as a reduction in income is obvious. I didn’t expect to be dealing with this mess though. Even if the dealer “fixes” the truck, with how their past repairs have been how am I supposed to trust the truck on the 985 mile journey home where my wife and child will be driving it as I am driving the U-Haul truck. What happens once I get it home? The dealer has clearly made a lot of repairs that were less than satisfactory and when those fail I don’t foresee another dealer cleaning up their mess. If neither party takes responsibility then I am left with no other option than to consult legal council.

Update 13JUN 1823: Service manager called and said they are still trying to find the source of the problem and need more time. He will call me on Monday 16JUN.

Update 14JUN 1155: I forgot to mention that I still have not received the check for the remaining balance from the bumper. Even though I was told they could work something out the dealer ended up telling me they couldn't give the money back to me and they had to send it back to the insurance company. I called the insurance company and they made a call to the dealership and informed them not to send the money back and to give it to me. This was about six weeks ago and I still have not received the money for the bumper from the dealership. I also found that there is a discrepancy they need to explain. The invoices I received thus far total to $13,672.67 but the dealer has been paid $16,180.51 including my deductible. That leaves $2,507.84 missing, part of which is the bumper money owed to me but that total was around $1,800. Either I am due $2,507.84 or they need to provide proof of where this money went.

Update 16JUN14 1832: Went in to the dealer this afternoon and spoke with the managing partner (general manager?) and I feel these issues are going to be resolved. He expressed a lot of concern that I hadn't received the money due to me yet. Ultimately I was cut a check (incorrect amount but they are working on getting it figured out) and a few of the parts that were broke are going to be replaced. I also expressed my concern for them blaming my mods on the current issue at hand and it is still being investigated. The truck was sitting out back so that means they either hadn't pulled it in the shop yet or they had and failed to call and keep me in the loop like promised.

Before I left I figured out that they had received this thread from higher ups (thanks Crystal) and that the service manager was going through it line by line. I informed them that I am departing VA in 14 days and that I NEED to have the truck back before then. At this point as long as the truck is running and nothing is broke I will be happy. I will deal with cleaning up any faulty installation or work. I just need to make sure I have a fully functional truck to take back to Indiana.

The discrepancy between what insurance has paid and what the invoices reflect are also being investigated. I received a check for the bumper of $1204.39 which by my calculations should be $1501.38. They failed to include paint/labor which insurance paid for but that is being worked out. As of now the discrepancy is at $1303.45.

Update 17JUN14 2020: Dealer called today and asked me to setup a meeting with the insurance company, them, and myself so that we can get this all figured out at one time. My assumption is that they have concluded they are unsure of what's causing the current issue and that they want to make the insurance company aware of the issue but this way we can come up with a resolution with the decision makers all at one point in time. There are multiple possibilities so I will have to wait and see. I'm just glad to see progress.

Update 19JUN14 1610: Had the meeting a little bit ago and I'll say we made some really good progress and I have a lot of answers now. The service manager started off by giving me a loaner vehicle. He said that the goal is to get the truck done before I leave but in case it is not done, he will provide a vehicle for me until the truck is done and then he will take care of getting it sent to Indiana. They are also going to make sure all of the workmanship issues are corrected and that any issue they can resolve will be resolved. Insurance agent was informed of what they were getting into as far as a possible replacement of the entire wiring harness. They are going to return the truck back to stock (disconnect all lights and accessories) by Monday and see how the truck behaves then. They want to work with it at a factory level so they can troubleshoot what is going on better.

My concern is that they said I put it in the mud again. They were convinced I had sunk it twice and that they hadn't seen some water intrusion in a wiring harness before I brought it back this time. I'm not sure what would make them think that I put it in a water hole again. Even though it saw a little mud in NC it did not see anything that would have caused new water intrusion into a wiring harness. I assured the service manager that this had not occurred, whether he believed me or not is unknown.

The real kick in the nuts was that after talking things over we walked back to look at the truck so they could show us what they were talking about. The insurance agent looked at me, apologized for the way everything has happened, and then informed me that if he had known how much water had actually came into the truck he would have totaled it. He didn't see much physically because I had thoroughly cleaned the interior before originally taking it to the dealer. What he saw was a clean interior with wet carpets. The way I understood it, now he can't consider it a total loss until the repairs reach 75% of the total value in VA.

I will be stopping by the dealer at 1500 on Monday 23JUN14 to see what the dealer has found and how everyone wants to proceed.

Update 23JUN14 1610: Went in to meet my insurance appraiser at the dealer at 1500. At 1540 I left because he hadn't shown up and I couldn't reach him on his phone. Left him a message to call me ASAP. The dealer seems to be trying their best to make sure this is taken care of before I leave but that is hard to do when the person approving stuff doesn't show up when he said he would. This puts a 24 hour delay on anything they wanted to do on the truck.

Dealer mentioned what they believe is causing the issue. I tapped into a blue wire off of a wiring harness on the passenger side. Noah recommended this wire so I'm sure he has used it before without incident. They claim that the slightest resistance can cause issues with the PCM and this could be causing the remaining codes. They said that three codes were cleared when they disconnected the NAV-TV module. What I don't understand with this, if they believe that this connection is causing the remaining codes then why don't they just disconnect it. All of a couple minutes might be involved in this but they have yet to do it. It is only being used for a remote wire to tell my digital pressure gauge to turn on.

Update 25JUN14 1615: Insurance appraiser just called and said that he approved the current repairs. They are replacing the PCM and wiring harness. He said that it looked like it was in mud again as that is a new engine and you could see where mud was all over it. You guys know what I did on that trip but they will believe what they want to believe. He said he could technically put it on a new claim but he was going to include it on this one. My problem would have been, how is this related to what you are replacing. I also believe the dealer got lucky because that harness which is probably melted is now being replaced by insurance due to "water intrusion." Now the question is, will it be complete before I leave VA.

Update 27JUN14 1420: Stopped by the dealer for an update on how long they expected it to take. They said the harness and computer came in last night which means they had to of overnighted it. They are wrapping the harness up and then installing the computer to test it. Either I'm wrong and this will fix the issues or they are wrong and that harness is melted. They're replacing the interior harness, not the one that was lying on the header. If all goes well, they planned on having it ready by Monday afternoon but I will be gone by then. He said they will try and get someone to come in tomorrow to wrap it up and have it ready by tomorrow afternoon.

Update 28JUN14 0953: Dealer just called and said they got everything in yesterday and it didn't seem to be having any issues. They are getting the new padding taken care of right now and then the manager is going to take it for a good test drive to make sure there's nothing wrong. They are on track to have it done by the end of today.

Update 28JUN14 1742: They got everything done but are now having issues with the airbag light. I was given the option to drive it home and take it to a local dealer and have them fix that or I could keep the loaner and they would ship the truck to me. I told them I wasn't comfortable letting my wife and child drive it home 800 miles with an airbag light on. I was extremely surprised they would even offer this to me as their could be some legal issues if something were to have occurred during the trip and the airbags didn't deploy.

Update 01JUL14: They found a bad ground under the center console. They cleaned it up and it got rid of the airbag light. The service manager is going to drive it around over the next couple of days to see if anything else pops up.

Update 04JUL14: They put about 120 miles on it over the past couple of days and the only issue is the check engine light from the O2 sensors. He said if I don't hear from them on Saturday that they will definitely be in contact on Monday.

Update 08JUL14: No contact from the dealer yet.

Update 09JUL14: Received a phone call from the guy shipping the truck that he would be here around 1400.

Update 09JUL14: Truck arrived at about 1330. They didn't trailer it up here but I guess they never said that is what was going to happen. The guy drove it up here and is going to drive the service loaner back to VA. This bothered me at first but that's roughly 800 miles of road testing. He said they told him the check engine light might come on from not having cats but he said it never came on. Truck needs professionally cleaned on the inside but other than that it runs good. I did notice that the driver's side license plate bulb blinks every five seconds. I can't find anything on this but due to the consistency of the blink I can't imagine it being a short or loose wire.

I've noticed that there are still a lot of workmanship issues, particularly in the engine bay. Nothing that is causing issues with the truck but looks like an amateur installed the engine (i.e. the positive battery cables wrapped around the radiator hose like they installed the hose and realized the cable should have been connected first, multiple harnesses not connected in their factory locations, and a main harness that looks like it has been modified). Now that I am home I have my dad who has worked on vehicles all his life and my grandfather who is an ASE certified mechanic, both of which have been avid Ford owners, they are able to see things that I may not see. I will be posting pictures so I can relay what I am talking about but some of the people at the NC meet saw it first hand. The more my dad looked it over the more pissed he became, to the point that the next day he apologized in case I thought he was mad at me. He said it upsets him that a Ford dealer would perform this kind of work, it is an embarrassment to Ford, to that dealership, and to other dealerships that will end up making it right.

I'm going to send the current list to the service manager at the original dealer and give him an opportunity to respond. They still owe me some more money for the bumper and they have two-two party checks that don't have my signature on them from the last set of repairs.


UPDATE 24AUG14

This is going to be sent to the GM of the dealer and the service manager first thing on Monday morning. I may have said this before but I've finally been pushed over the edge. Tonight I had to stop on the side of a major highway, over an hour from home, with my wife and kid in the truck because this POS dealership decided to mangle and reuse the lower radiator hose clip and it wasn't properly seated. Mind you, this part is $3.69 online. Chris said it very well, the fact that I was able to remedy this situation on the side of the road at 11pm but yet a mechanic employed by a large Ford dealership couldn't get it right.



This was my clip:
ajyga4yd.jpg


This is from Tasca:
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1.Padding – The padding underneath the carpet is still not satisfactorily reinstalled. There are clips missing in the rear that cannot be replaced due to excessive padding or padding where it is not supposed to be installed. The carpet at the rear of the center console is not correct and the padding was never added to other areas along the trim. The driver’s side was corrected but the rest of the truck still has the same issue (gaps between the plastic and carpet because there is ½” missing from underneath the carpet).



a.I expect the padding to be completely fixed. If this cannot be achieved because a pad cannot be ordered from the factory then the entire carpet kit needs to be ordered.



2.Mudflap – Someone at the dealership removed a mudflap from the front of the vehicle and it was never returned.



a.I expect the mudflap to be replaced.



3.MREs – Two cases of MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) were missing from the bed of the truck after the first set of repairs.



a.I expect both cases to be replaced.



4.Accessories – Almost all of my accessories were disconnected because they were being blamed for the issues. Since then I have reconnected all of those accessories exactly how they were before with no negative results. The onboard air pressure gauge also had to be sent in for warranty repair, which worked before it was disconnected.



a.I expect to be reimbursed for my time spent reinstalling all of the accessories including ones disconnected intentionally or unintentionally (i.e. VHF radio which I have reinstalled twice). I also expect to be reimbursed for the shipping of the pressure gauge.



5.Tailgate – There was a scuff/dent present on the tailgate like something fell down into it after one of the visits.



a.I expect the necessary repairs to be made.



6.Bumper – The remaining balance for the bumper cost has still not been returned to me. Over the past 2-3 weeks I have spoken with Ken Nelson two or three times and Paul Saltarelli once. I have not been able to get answers on the reimbursement of this money.



a.I expect the full amount remaining for the bumper repairs that insurance paid for to be reimbursed.



7.Missing/Broken Items – Since I have received the truck after what was supposed to be the final set of repairs I have found various missing screws, items, or broken pieces. To include: 2 C Pillar Screws, 2 C Pillar Caps, and 1 Front Vent.



a.I expect to be reimbursed for all parts replaced.



8.Radiator Clip – While over an hour away from home with my family I had to pull over on the side of the highway due to the truck overheating. After investigating I found the lower radiator hose clip not properly seated resulting in the hose to become disconnected. The clip was bent in a way that it was not securing the hose with the ring on the snout. I was able to reseat the hose and bend the clip so that it would hold the hose on. After returning home and finding the part I confirmed the clip used was not in the correct shape. A $3.69 clip was mangled and reused resulting in this extremely frustrating incident instead of simply replacing the clip.



a.I expect the radiator hose clip to be replaced, reimbursement for the coolant used to remedy the situation, and a full flush and refill with the appropriate factory fluid. This also further prompted my need for a full inspection of all repairs conducted by the original dealer. I want to drop the truck off with my local dealer for them to inspect and give their opinion on the repairs conducted. I also expect a loaner vehicle during the time it takes for this assessment.


UPDATE 25AUG14:
Turns out that it was not even the correct clip at all. Most likely a clip from another vehicle.


UPDATE 17SEP14:
I have been unsuccessful at reaching Ken Nelson, Paul Saltarelli, and the General Manager Ken Childress. My most recent phone calls on Friday 12SEP14 all resulted in voicemails and still no response. I am going to start publicly blasting them, filing complaints with BBB, and trying to submit this thread up the chain at Ford. I thought I finally got my truck (which I shouldn't have had to do) back to 100% and then the radiator hose issue happened. I have no way of knowing if anything else will go wrong like that from an unsatisfactory repair and they still owe me money.

I also want to note that the other day I was under the truck and found that they failed to put the O2 sensor wires back up properly so they are all frayed and the plastic coating on the wire is gone in some spots. I also saw where the shifter cable comes out of the cab and there's a rubber grommet that wasn't connected so water and debris can get up into the cab through that cavity. I attempted to move it but the grommet appears secured at that point on the cable.
 
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6cuda6

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Call your insurance and explain to them that the dealer is milking them and the work is shoddy. Ask them if you can get your truck transferred to another dealer closer to you...
 
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The Story of MobileBeats

Call your insurance and explain to them that the dealer is milking them and the work is shoddy. Ask them if you can get your truck transferred to another dealer closer to you...


I attempted this. The only way to explain it is the insurance company steps back, throws their hands in the air, and says not our problem because the dealer is not an authorized service center. Any new issues that arise from the incident can be taken to a new repair center but anything that has already been listed on an estimate has to be taken care of by the dealer because they failed to fix it or didn't fix it properly. Since they don't work with the insurance company the dealer is treated like someone I hired and am paying myself. They don't seem to care that they've taken $19k of their money.

Note: I will be uploading all invoices and estimates as soon as I have the opportunity to remove personally identifiable information.
 

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As I have said before. I think it is time to forget about being Mr Nice guy and get really pissed off. That doesn't mean you have to be aggressive in your speech, but aggressive in your actions. I would call the insurance and request someone visit the dealership at an appointed time when you and they can meet with the service manager and general manager of the dealership. If it is an actual Ford Dealership, contact Ford Service and make them aware of everything and make sure they know about the meeting as well. It's time to get very serious with this. If you did not authorize the start of the repairs, that is the first fault. The low quality work I saw at the last meet warrants a the very least a good swift kick in the wallet or job stability of the service manager, servicing tecchnician(s).

Lastly, it is the responsibility of the insurance company to ensure that the vehicle is made whole again. Sure, it may not look 100%, but it should run 100% and that includes repairing the damage to your radio and other items that resulted from the poor work. There is no middle ground. It was the decision of the insurance company to attempt the repair instead of deeming the truck a total loss. If the repairs have not fixed it, then it is on them to total it and move forward from there.

In my humble opinion, it is definitely time to consult an attorney. It is way too expensive a vehicle to be playing games with.
 

6cuda6

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I have to agree...I'm probably the most patient guy you'll ever meet but I would have lost it on them by now....

Yup...layer, ford rep, insurance and all parties meeting time.....get it sorted to your satisfaction after all your paying the insurance premiums.
 

Ricky B

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Chris @ Free Moto is 100% correct on what to do. These clowns can sense that you are a young passive type guy and will take full advantage of you. You need to climb the ladder. Everyone has a boss. Keep going to the person higher up the ranks. Even with your insurance company. Their has to be someone higher than your agent...and so on. GOOD LUCK!

---------- Post added at 09:30 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:19 PM ----------

And how in the hell can't a Ford dealership be an authorized service facility! Let's **** with the military guy, what's he done for us lately. This ****** me off!!!
 

Dv8tor

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I hate to say it but whenever a vehicle gets flood damage, it'll never be the same. I have family that owns a collision shop and I worked there for years, flood vehicles were almost worse out of all the other types of damage I saw while I was there. With that being said, I'd definitely call a lawyer. There's no other options. Tell the lawyer either they fix it right or buy you a new truck. Tell them that's the Only way you'll be satisfied. Tell them about all the electrically issues and it'll get noted and I'm sure a good lawyer would then do everything they could do to get you a new truck. Reading your story made me angry and probably ruined my night. I'll never let another dealer touch my truck. I do all my own work as it is. I'm afraid too because I got to do the NAV software update too. **** the dealers. After I brought my truck home from when I ordered it, it was ****** up in certain spots. That really turned me off ever going back to the dealers. Good luck bud and call that lawyer ASAP!
 

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I agree with the advice above wholeheartedly. Especially with the climbing the ladder comments. You will need to dedicate some time to be on the phone but I suggest calling your insurance first. Explain to whomever answers that you would like a supervisor. At this point you will start telling your story for god knows how many times. Be polite but firm and most importantly do not leave any messages. Stay on the phone! If you end in a recording leave a message then call right back. Your goal is to get to someone with authority to provide you answers while you are on the phone. Best weapon you have is your attitude. Stay calm and polite as possible. Ask each person you talk to for help getting to someone who can help. Quite often this approach will get you past the "gatekeepers" who block calls from moving up the ladder. Losing your temper with any of them ensures you won't get through or get answers. This doesn't mean be passive. Must be firm and let your concerns show through. Tell the story as you just did to us. Include the concern for your family!

For the dealer I suggest calling and asking for the general manager or the owner. My Ford dealer is family owned and anyone can get through to the owner. Not sure about this dealer. Anyway the path to a decision maker should be shorter than with insurance company. When you get to one repeat the story and ask for a meeting the next day. Don't accept open ended statements like "we will get back to you by the end of this week". Set a concrete meeting time with the gm or owner and the service manager. Picking a time ensures you have the opportunity to have them all together. Otherwise one or the other could be legitimately (or fake) busy and you can't accomplish anything.

I would agree an attorney is an option. Would caution you to attempt the above first without the attorney. Otherwise the response may be that they refuse to talk except through their attorney. As a business owner myself I can tell you that it only makes sense for them if an attorney contacts them for them to let their counsel handle it. Otherwise they could be opening themselves up for trouble. Business owner is less likely to be put off by an attorney. Employee gm for example will be concerned that if they say something wrong to your attorney it could blow up in their face and endanger their own job. Most rational people become concerned by this and clam up.

Would also send a pm to Crystal here on FRF. She can have a Regional Customer Service representative from Ford call you directly. Those people can get results. Your dealer will talk to them even if they do not want to talk to you.

Good luck. Sorry for the really long post. I just have a lot of experience dealing with this type of problem. Use your natural easygoing temperament and honesty to get through to the decision makers.
 

weimer

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Man that really sucks to hear. Like everyone else has said lawyer up and talk to the owner of the dealership. Sounds like the same quality service I received on my 2005 Harley f350 when it was new. Probably the same dealership. Good luck.
 

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MB - I think Lab has the right approach here. I to am laid back and rather deal with things myself that have to worry about the dealer doing a crappy job. But in this situation that you're already in, you need to push for accountability. Even small ones like setting up times for discussions with decision makers.

Organize all you data like you have here in the thread. Problem, cause, result, final conclusion. Put an update next to each one when you get more info. An excel spreadsheet might help best with this.

During any phone called or meetings keep a list of actions that you noted. Go over those before the end and get a commitment date for when the action will be completed. Set up the next meeting as well. Even if it's just for an update.

Think of it as project at work that got *****'ed. Now your the commanding officer and you want things back on track and done correctly.

Good luck.

Yukon Joe
www.RUNRAPTORRUN.com
 
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