I am considering buying a Ford Fusion Hybrid. I have been told that Ford controls its information in a way that makes it difficult or expensive for independent repair shops to work on Ford vehicles. If that is true, I would be less inclined to purchase a Ford. Does anyone know the actual facts here?
No more so than any other hybrid.
Hybrid technology is new and unique. Even if Ford published all the data and manuals many independant shops won’t be able to afford specialized equipment and would not get much experience servicing a hybrid.
This means you can have routine stuff like oil changes, tire work, and the like done at local shops. If the hybrid isn’t running correctly or the check engine light comes on you are probably going to have to take it back to a Ford dealer for service. Since hybrid braking systems regenerate power there are sensors and such that I would take a hybrid back to Ford for brake work also.
If you live far from a Ford dealer, or don’t trust dealers in general, you would be happier with a conventional Fusion which just about anyone could work on most of the time.
I think it would be illegal for Ford to do what you suggest. Even if it weren’t illegal, who’d buy a Ford if you had to take it to the dealer for everything? Independent repair shops work on Ford vehicles every day, as they always have.
There may be things in the hybrid drive train that independent shops won’t want to mess around with, but that’s true of all hybrids.
The mechanical parts of the Fusion, hybrid or otherwise, can be serviced at any independent garage.
Buying a hybrid, however, does put you in a position where you may have to count on the dealer more than you would with a standard car. I suggest you discuss this with your independent mechanic before you decide you want the hybrid.
I wouldn’t buy any hybrid with the expectation that independent shops will be able to take care of everything. Normal maintenance, sure, but if something’s up with the hybrid system, I’d plan on going to the dealer, regardless of make. And I am seriously considering the Fusion Hybrid, so that’s what I’ll have to do.
No facts…Just being a hybrid gives you fewer repair options. But, from what I’ve read, the hybrid technology for US car companies, if it hasn’t already, may all be coming from Toyota. Hybrids seem to need less repair regardless. I wouldn’t be afraid of a Fusion hybrid if a hybrid is what you want.
This type of problem is common with all new technologies. If you by a Nissan with a CVT transmission, not even the dealer knows how to fix it. Any problem will result in the complete change out with a factory rebuilt unit.
Independent transmision shops don’t even want to talk to you.
I’m sure 10 years from now many shops will service hybrid systems.
Don’t you dare blame it all on ford.
All companies do the information withholding. From cars, refrigerators, tvs, and motorcycles to cel phones and computers, they all want to force you into the dealer for service.
The ‘right to repair’ has been as issue for independent shops for decades.
See righttorepair.org to see how some are fighting for legislation to force the automotive indutry to share technical data with the independent shops right away so as to expand one’s options after warranty.
Ford purchased the right to use Toyota hybrid technology from Toyota. Yet, Ford does use its own programing and other unique parts so while the basic systems are similar they are not exact and therefore Ford can’t service Toyota hybrids and vica versa.
This deal allowed Ford to get hybrids into production much faster than if they had to start from scratch with its own hybrid technology.
"I’m sure 10 years from now many shops will service hybrid systems."
I hope not; I hope they don’t proliferate enough. It will mean real solutions aren’t here yet.
There is a growing trend among ALL car companies to keep as much information “proprietary” as they can. If you think Ford is bad, try getting repair information for Volvos, Benz, Lexus, Saabs…It’s like pulling teeth…