Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Since Ford, do Land Rovers really not offer (some) replacement parts?

A friend said he needed a new CPU/DME/Computer b/c it got wet (bad design)
They told him they don’t sell that part. ie: You need a new car.
He ended up getting one from a junkyard car after many phone calls

He said this started ever since Ford bought Land Rover.

When you buy an imported vehicle from a perpetually bankrupt company, these are the kinds of problems you can get into…

Ford no longer owns LR.

Right LR along with Jag is owned by an Indian company “Tata motors”… But Land Rovers have been a hand full for years… Lots of issues, lots of $$$ to repair.

Here’s the convoluted history of Land Rover, per wiki:
1947: Rover’s chief designer Maurice Wilks and his associates create a prototype for a new off-road vehicle
1948: The first Land Rover was officially launched 30 April 1948, at the Amsterdam Motor Show
1967: Rover becomes part of Leyland Motors Ltd, later British Leyland (BL) as Rover Triumph
1975: BL collapses and is nationalised, publication of the Ryder Report recommends that Land Rover be split from Rover and be treated as a separate company within BL and becomes part of the new commercial vehicle division called the Land Rover Leyland Group
1978: Land Rover Limited formed as a separate subsidiary of British Leyland
1980: Rover car production ends at Solihull with the transfer of SD1 production to Cowley, Oxford; Solihull is now exclusively for Land Rover manufacture. 5-door Range Rover introduced.
1986: BL plc becomes Rover Group plc
1988: Rover Group is privatised and becomes part of British Aerospace, and is now known simply as Rover
1986: Range Rover is introduced to the U.S market in April 1986
1994: Rover Group is taken over by BMW.
2000: BMW breaks up the Rover Group and sells Land Rover to Ford for £1.8 billion
2005: Land Rover ‘founder’ Rover, collapses under the ownership of MG Rover Group
2006: Ford acquires the Rover trademark from BMW, who previously licensed its use to MG Rover Group
2007: Announcement from the Ford Motor Company that it plans to sell Land Rover and also Jaguar Cars
2007: India’s Tata Motors and Mahindra and Mahindra as well as financial sponsors Cerberus Capital Management, TPG Capital and Apollo Global Management expressed their interest in purchasing Jaguar Cars and Land Rover from the Ford Motor Company.
26 March 2008: Ford agreed to sell their Jaguar Land Rover operations to Tata Motors.
2 June 2008:Tata Motors finalised their purchase of Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford.

So it’s been just over 4 years since Ford had anything to do with Rover.

Wow. The ultimate foster child.

What year Land Rover? If it’s 2 years old, this is a problem. If it’s 20 years old, how long do you expect car companies to keep making spares for low-volume vehicles?

There are cases where warehouses full of spare parts are simply sold for scrap to lower the value of a company and make it more attractive to a buyer…

federal law requires that manufacturers continue to provide replacement parts for x years after a vehicle model year (i’m sorry that i don’t remember exactly, but i believe it to be 10-15 years). that’s the reason why olds parts were available through gm dealers long after the demise of the brand. it’s possible that a new ecu/cpu is not available, but a rebuilt/reman unit is. sounds like mitigating circumstances. how old was this vehicle?

No such “Federal Law”…Decent manufacturers try to stock parts for 10 years…Some do better than others. All bets are off when a car maker goes bankrupt…people with 5-10 year old Chrysler products are discovering parts support is non-existent…However most of the common replacement parts are available in the aftermarket.

Car owners go through this with every car maker. There’s not one that will assure anyone of a perpetual part stash and the rarer the car, the worse it is. This is where the dreaded phrase “back ordered” often rears its ugly head.

Even worse was (may still be as far as I know) Subaru of America trashing a fortune in parts at Subaru dealers. Corporate bought these parts back at cost LESS 10% followed by placing them on the floor and giving each one a sharp rap with a hammer to assure it was nothing more than junk.
One could consider this program “planned obsolescence”. :slight_smile:

@ok4450 - how do you know this happened?

How do I know it happened? Because I was working for a Subaru dealer when this parts obsolescence program started and personally knew the regional Subaru parts rep who was doing the hammering.

When he was at the dealer laying out parts for several days I was under the impression it was some kind of corporate inventory going on or something like that. About the 2nd or 3rd day there as I went to the counter to get parts I heard hammering going on and hopped up on the counter so I could get a better look down the aisle. The guy was kneeled down with a 4 or 5 pound hammer and whaling away on brand new OEM parts.
When I asked WTH he was doing he filled me in on the details. This led to some harsh words because getting parts PDQ was one of the biggest headaches we had and seeing brand new items smacked with a hammer was maddening.

The parts dept. had their small pickup backed up to the delivery door and once full they would drive it around back to the dumpster and unload; only to return for the next load when done.
The parts rep got so tired of hammering that he finally just started giving each part an obligatory light rap and throwing it in the disposal pile.

Since I owned 2 Subarus I parked my work car next to the dumpster and every time I saw them unload a pile I’d stroll out back and load up. To this day I still have a large pile of NOS, undamaged Subaru parts in my basement; everything from door and glass seals, shock absorbers and struts, gasket sets, master cylinders, windshields, you name it although I did sell off quite a bit of it on eBay and Craigslist.

This was a nationwide program and some dealers opted out of it; at least the smart ones. Needless to say, this made our job as mechanics much harder because of the homemade parts scarcity. Supply and demand took over so this drove parts prices through the roof. (Example was a heater blower motor which at the time was about 70 dollars. Within a few months of the above incident the price of that blower was 330 bucks.)
Nope, the parts rep said, prices will not be affected by this program. :wink:

@ok4450 - thanks for the details. That is an amazing (and amazingly stupid) thing Subaru did.

The act itself was stupid but the intent behind it was downright unethical. Seeing as how wrestling with the parts department was a daily headache (a mechanic wants a part NOW or ASAP) the others were just as upset as I was when I told them what the reason was for the hammering going on back there.

A few months later corporate Subaru also pulled something else just as bad if not worse. We were told that the mechanic who worked closest to the parts counter had to give up his stall and rack for a couple of days.
That was not that big a problem as we had a few extras but the reason for it turned out to be shady.

The same Subaru parts rep was under orders to contact owners in the area who owned a certain model to bring them in for a modification at no charge. These were scheduled one after the other and the owners given a car to drive while this mod was performed. Apparently these Subarus were having a problem with going into a severe speed wobble at high speed (intermittent) and it was due to a faulty pinion spring in the steering rack.

So what Subaru did was have their parts rep (not service reps) swap these springs out. Mechanics were not allowed to do them and there was no paper trail behind these repairs. This eliminated any bad press and more importantly, kept the Feds out of the loop and prevented a Recall. In a nutshell, the point could be made that this problem never existed.

That’s just a couple of reasons why my opinion of corporate Subaru is about as low as it gets and I could pile on even more. ;-(

Subaru is not alone…When Chrysler was on the auction block, they had a regional parts warehouse in Denver…Instead of selling the inventory for cash to a third party it was destroyed and hauled to a landfill…

This happened across the country to lower the value of the company and make it more attractive to potential buyers (Fiat and Ram)…

Does Subaru also own a bank? The ethics parallels are eerily similar.

I worked in a Chrysler dealership when they decided they would no longer have dealer mechanics do warranty repairs on automatic transmissions. All auto transmission rebuilds under warranty were now to be done at the factory and rebuilt units would be sent to the dealers.

We were all stunned when the Chrysler district representative came in one day with a sledge hammer and began breaking the cases of all the automatics we had in the corner to be sent back to Detroit. He said it was new company policy and that he was operating under orders from his boss.

Caddyman is pretty much correct about a lack of a federal law, but there are states with laws requiring that parts can be obtained for various lengths of time. I believe California requires 7 years… and with those laws, effectively a maker is forced to guarantee part availability nationwide.

HOWEVER, that does not mean that there aren’t exceptions:

  1. Bankruptcy. all bets are off

  2. The part does not necessarily have to be new.

  3. There is almost never a time constraint to availability of the part - it could take 5 minutes to obtain, it could take 3 months.

  4. There isn’t even a guarantee that it is the same part and not just a functional equivalent. For example, I recently replaced the anode in my water heater, which was purchased new from Sears 8 years ago. They offer replacement parts, but the new anode is not the same design as the old one. It works, but there are differences. The same can go for cars. They could use ambient lighting on your instrument cluster that lets you change colors, but only give you white replacement bulbs (I actually ran into this with Toyota in the past - they stocked white bulbs instead of the green stock bulbs)

All that said, remember that, as others have pointed out, Land Rover’s history is a MESS. For example, when Ford bought Land Rover, BMW actually agreed to take on the legal responsibility of maintaining parts availability for the vehicles that were currently in production as well as previous years, and doing the same for components that Ford kept using (ie, the BMW 4.4L V8 in the Range Rover used until 2006). So if, for example, you bought a 2001 Range Rover, well, Ford owned Land Rover at the time, but that model was developed by BMW and under the sales agreement, BMW was the one legally responsible for maintaining parts supply.

So now you would a vehicle from a maker currently owned by Tata, but its parts supply was still actually the responsibility of BMW, even though Ford owned the maker when you bought the vehicle.

Confused yet?

Some laws/regulations/policies have a stupidity clause built in. When I was in Diesel mechanics school years ago I had to help destroy 3 Ford diesel farm tractors. Ford had donated them for use in my school. The school administration could not dispose of them unless they were totally scrapped first. The tractors were basically brand new but the engines had been rebuilt dozens of times. Soon after they were sold for scrap…Ford donated 4 new tractors and the process started all over again.