Why your Ford warranty is worthless...
I don't usually post rants, but I'm sure this has happened or will happen to someone else.
I'll shorten the story down to a few simple points:
It all starts with my 2007 Ford Mustang. The rear differential went out at 36k miles; the drivetrain warranty is 5yr/60k.
My car gets towed to the nearest dealer, they spend 4 days looking at it, then tell me it's not covered under the warranty due to "driving beyond the vehicle's limit" and now wants $2600 to repair it. I ended up buying a new rear end assembly from new take off and had my dealer install it, it came out to $2133 with rental car expenses, which I'll be seeking in reimbursement.
I did attend an arbitration meeting regarding the $2k differential reimbursement, for which I of course was denied, since it was a Ford arbitration... The absolute ignorance of Ford astounded me. I expected to actually talk to some engineers or at least product managers during the arbitration, however it was basically just a dealer service rep and two other equally clueless people. They made grossly inaccurate statements during the arbitration, things like: "If you spin the tires...it's not normal, and we're not responsible to fix it". "An open differential will spin both tires" and "a 3.55 gear ratio is not factory and is used for racing" The people trying to fight me didn't have the slightest clue what they were talking about, It was like arguing with a 6 year old, no intellectual conversion, just infuriating rewording and repetition over and over. I'll have the audio recording posted as soon as I get a copy of the tape. Update: They will not give me the audio recording, they will only provide a transcript...
UPDATE 2/18/11: So after replacing the rear end, guess what breaks about two months later? The driveshaft... I'm driving (80ish) along on the highway and the driveshaft basically exploded...it honestly sounded like a bomb went off under my car, a piece of something came up through the bottom of the car and broke the plastic around the handbrake. Anyway, Ford is using the same "not normal conditions/abuse" excuse and refused to replace the obviously defective driveshaft under warranty; the service manager stating "it wouldn't have broken if you were driving normally". Great logic there Ford... So I'm out another ~$800, bringing the total to about $3000. I can't wait to see Ford explain their logic in court.
Update 2/24/11: After paying the $800 and waiting 5 days for a new driveshaft (the dealer said it would be done the next business day)...I go and pick it up, after paying, the service adviser comes out and says "If you bring it back we'll void your entire warranty, just some friendly advice". I replied, "You've pretty much already done that." and left. I was absolutely disgusted with Ford, and just knowing that the car cost me $3k under warranty for no legitimate reason made me sick. I decided to cut my losses and trade it in for a 2011 VW GTI. The GTI is a great car, handles SO much better, it's light, nimble, great on gas, and the build quality is phenomenal, leaps and bounds above the Mustang.
So the moral of my story is this: If you have a Ford vehicle, the dealer and/or Ford Corporate/Field Service Tech can deny your warranty repair for literately any reason they want, even if it's just some "expert's opinion" or some nonsensical cause like "non-factory wheels/tires" (another excuse Ford Corporate tried to use when I called them, even though they were OEM Shelby's with the same factory overall diameter... )
If you don't have a Ford, consider yourself lucky. If you ever have a warranty claim and it gets denied, you're in for a hell of a time. I'm never buying any Ford or Ford owned vehicle ever again.
Source: Ford's Warranty is a joke.