9/1/10 I bought a new Ford Fusion. The next morning the power steering failed when I started it and it does so randomly ever since. When I took to the dealer, several times, they couldn’t recreate the problem. The GM said if it happened again he’d replace my car with another new one, but now he won’t return my calls. What to do now? I’d like to give the car back and start over with another dealer, make and model…
Document EVERYTHING. And keep all of your copies of the shop orders. And make them do shop orders, don’t let them look at it “off the record”.
Research your state’s lemon laws. Follow the statutory requirements “to the letter”. NOTE: your Owners’ Manual should have included with it information on these laws and on resolution of disputes. Read it.
Contact an attorney if necessary.
You are protected by your state’s Lemon Law. Check out the references below to find out your state’s rules. It may take time before the lemon law kicks in. In general the lemon law does not protect you from a bad car, but it requires the dealer/manufacturer to make it right. That can take a while.
If you fail to follow the requirements in the law, you may loose any right you have for correction.
The first step is education on the topic of the Lemon Law.
While the OP apparently thinks that the dealership is the agent that will replace his/her defective car, in reality it is the manufacturer with whom the plaintiff deals in this legal process.
If the manufacturer agrres to a Lemon Law settlement, the OP can probably even specify a different dealership for delivery of the replacement vehicle. In case the OP does not want another Ford, some states’ Lemon Laws provide for a full (including tax & title fees) refund. Only by educating him/herself will the OP know what the options may be in his/her state.
Hopefully, the OP has retained documentation of all failed repair attempts.
In most states, you need documentation of three failed attempts to repair a specific defect in order to press a Lemon Law claim. However, this detail may differ in the OP’s home state.
If the OP will take the time to use the links provided by Mr. Meehan, and to follow the procedure for his/her home state precisely, he/she will likely receive satisfaction.
Do you have it writing that they’ll replaced your car if it happens again? From the imformation you’ve provided us. It sounds like the dealership couldn’t reproduce the problem. You’ve also had the car in the shop a total of once. I don’t think that constitutes them giving you a new car. Most of the time the lemon law will call for you having to having to bring the car in no fewer than three times for the same problem over the course of x number of days/monthes.
You’re going to have to give them a few more cracks at it before you can invoke the lemon law (in most states).
The typical deal is that you return it 6 times for any reason in the first 2 years of ownership, and they will replace the car if it’s still not fixed. Before the car will be replaced, you have to contact Ford with the complaint, and they will want to see the record of unsuccessful visits to the dealer. You must make sure that you follow the rules your state has exactly, or you don’t qualify.
I know this because I almost got a new Taurus under the lemon law.