Crooked Dealership

Before purchasing my 2008 Ford Escape I noticed the transmission slipping. I made the salesman aware and had it checked out. They decided that it was a computer error. Since I was a new driver of the vehicle when I pushed the gas the computer was reading it wrong. So they reset that. Well that wasn’t the actual issue. So I brought it back in. They put in a new shifter but didn’t fix the transmission. They couldnt figure out what was wrong. They wanted me to wait for a phone call from the Ford Company. So I waited and waited and waited. No call ever came… The transmission got worse. The reverse went out. Imagine my surprise… I was less than thrilled but I was right anyway. Now they dont want to pay for any repairs. I do have a warranty but it doesnt cover eerything. About 1100 shy of the supposed 4000 grand it costs. What can I do to make them pay for the repairs. Do I call the warranty company? Do I get a lawyer? Do I just suck it up and pay for it? What are my rights? Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

What does the warrantee cover? If it doesn’t cover the transmission, then it is not any kind of a warrantee at all. Read the warrantee yourself. BTW, here is how you can tell when a used car salesman is lying, his/her lips move.

Is the warranty a Powertrain warranty?

If so, the transmission is part of the powertrain and should be covered.


“Since I was a new driver of the vehicle when I pushed the gas the computer was reading it wrong.” This statement is pure, unmitigated, bull. Period. Never believe anything a salesman tells you. Especially this one.

Unfortunately, your only possibility is small claims court. You bought a used car, which in most states is legally “as-is” unless otherwise specified in writing (or fraud can be proven) to begin with, and you bought it suspecting that it might have a tranny problem. And you even bought a supplementary insurance policy (your warranty) just in case. But the policy isn’t large enough to cover the repairs.

I’m sorry to say, you’re screwed. All you can do is write it off to the cost of an education.

You can call a lawyer, the first visit might be free, but all we can do is wish you the best.

Let this be a lesson to you. When red flags appear during a vehicle purchase…run away and don’t look back.

Guys, if I understood the OP correctly, the warranty is paying to its limits, which covers all but $1100 of the $4K cost. It was Ford that refused to pay any of the cost. To my mind, that would be perfectly understandable. It is not a reflection on Ford.

Aftermarket warranties may have as much as a $200 deductable. They often don’t pay for fluids or flushing the transmission cooler and cut the labor below what the labor guide shows.

Some of the $4000 estimate may not be transmission related and may not be a required repair; like worn brake pads.

If this was a recent purchase you should speak with the general manager about paying for the repair. If you bought the vehicle two years ago I don’t think they will pay the remainder of the bill.

So how many miles are on the Escape and when did you buy it?
Odds are that legally you are out of luck and the final answer will lie in the paperwork you agreed to.

The mistake was proceeding with a purchase when you knew there was a problem from the get-go UNLESS the dealer agrees in writing before the purchase to replace a questionable unit up front without quibbling, without argument, and at zero charge to you.


If I may ask . . . how long ago did you buy this vehicle?

What is the current mileage?

From my experience probably crooked dealership sounds quite accurate. Totally honest dealership may be an oxymoron. I worded it that way because I’m sure there may be exceptions. Dealerships are smart enough not to back their own warranty. They use mostly second party sounds good until you have a claim sorry that’s not covered warranties. Manufacturer warranties are straightforward. All I can say is caveat emptor (buyer beware). Now days with the internet there is no excuse to be had by these crooks. Check them out! If you do not have computer access go to your local library. I have worked (mechanic, no real knowledge of sales) for a dealership. I have also purchased a few new and used vehicles from dealerships. I have a story of a dealership sales practice which is so corrupt it is not to be believed. I will post later on this one.

I’ll go a little off topic here . . .

I also used to work at a dealership

Every once in awhile, one of the employees would try to buy a car . . . new and used . . . from the dealer

They tried to screw the employees so badly, that most of them wound up buying their cars elsewhere

It is shocking that they walked into the competing dealer’s showroom and got a much better deal . . . for the EXACT same car . . . from complete strangers, versus the dealer they were working for

One of the big shots at the dealership found out that the employees were buying their own personal cars from the competition, was upset, and asked why this was happening. When he was told . . . on multiple occasions how badly the sales department was trying to screw the employees . . . he didn’t have anything to say

In every case, the employees seeking to buy the cars told the salesmen that they were also employees there. Some of the salesmen even recognized the employees and still tried to screw them

Unfortunately, nothing ever changed

That sales department was so greedy . . . from top to bottom . . . that they would screw over their own mother for an extra nickel

I’m sure there are honest and decent car salesmen out there, but not at this place I used to work for

I had a friend that sold used cars at a dealership because there was more money in used vs new. Back to your issue, There is a limit on time where you can return a car, check your state statutes and give it back, It is a common phrase, the squeaky wheel gets the oil, and you may need to run it up the flagpole, but your car is in need of help, and you should try every means possible without expense.

I fully agree with db4690 about an employee trying to buy a vehicle from a dealer who employs them. Over the years I’ve had people ask me what kind of “deal” I might be able to swing for them. The answer is none because the person asking the question could walk in and get a better deal than I could.

At one time I had considered buying a Subaru demonstrator from a dealer I worked for and they were stuck on a certain price. They would not budge, no way, no how, so I walked away from it. The following week they sold the car to someone for 300 dollars less than I was prepared to offer.

The only car that I ever bought from a dealer that employed me was a very slick, low miles Subaru that had been traded in after an independent shop botched the engine. The dealer was going to wholesale the car so I jumped on it for the wholesale price/junk price of about 700 bucks. A few hundred dollars in parts and working through a week of lunches had me up and running. Other than that one, buying a car was a waste of time.


The employees would probably have been offered a much better deal if they hadn’t even mentioned they were working at the place

Just a gut feeling

Do you have a reputable transmission shop near you? Maybe they can fix it for less than the $1100 out of pocket that your going to be. Your probably not going to get any help from the dealer. Especially with the B.S. statement that your a new driver to the vehicle…

Well I’m going against the grain here…I think the dealer should be putting in a new transmission. It looks to me like they sold you a defective vehicle. This has nothing to do with warranty. Warranty covers parts that break after a certain time period from purchase. This was broken from the beginning. I’d seriously consider getting a lawyer involved ASAP. I firmly believe they knew there was a problem and they just passed this problem along with the sale.

If the OP lives in a state where an “AS IS” disclaimer is used they have no legal leg to stand on no matter what the dealer knew or even if they lied about the vehicle from A to Z.

The Feds started requiring those disclaimers decades ago because of complaints due to misunderstandings and squabbles over what if anything was covered. Some states went from there with additional requirements about mandatory limited warranties.

If the OP signed an “AS IS” disclaimer stating no warranty as it sits at the time of purchase they should have a copy of that and that paper trumps everything.

It stuns me somewhat to think that someone would notice a problem with a big ticket item like a transmission and like Admiral Farragut, used the Damn the Torpedoes, full speed ahead methodogy of car purchasing.

OP shouldn’t have bought the car in the first place

My rule of thumb is . . . if anything doesn’t feel right during a test drive, tell the seller “I’m not interested”

+1 to db4690’s comment.

I am not really faulting the OP if he/she is a true neophyte when it comes to buying used cars, but…the concept of dealers selling used cars that are not quite what they claim them to be is legendary, and is not exactly worthy of a bulletin on the evening news. Thus, if there is ANYTHING that seems less than perfect with a used car, it is best to simply avoid it.

Used cars are like commuter buses. If you miss out on one, another one will be along shortly.

My experience-its axiomatic-Kevin