When buying a new car what should we expect the dealership to tell us

Well I just bought my first ever brand new car. It had a whopping 12 miles on it when I drove it off the lot. Prior to purchase I did a number of searches on line on the car I was looking at and purchased (2019 Fiesta SE Hatchback automatic) and found nothing but glowing reviews on a multiple number of sights and even youtube sites. However today via a member here I was shown where previous years of this car and one other had some issues with their transmissions to the degree that Ford just settled a class action suit.

Now when I did my search I did not come across this information and I believe it may have effected my decision. At no time did the dealership inform me of this issue with previous years. According to Ford models post 2016 had this issue resolved. So my question to the group here is when you buy a new car, to what degree or length should the dealership go to informing a potential buyer of previous models and or any recalls or in this case a class action suit resolution. Or is it up the buyer to know what is up with a brand/car before buying.

A dealership–whether it is one that sells washing machines, or lawnmowers, or cars, or… whatever–is not going to voluntarily disclose problems regarding earlier iterations of a particular model, nor are they required to do this.

In an ideal world, salespeople would inform you about a history of problems with a product that you are about to buy, but we don’t live in an ideal world. That is why it behooves consumers to do A LOT of research prior to making a major purchase, and to NOT assume that a salesperson will function as a Consumer Protection Agency…


Since you now have the car, have the transmission serviced every 30,000 miles. Your maintenance schedule may not say this, but it is good practice to get the best life out of your transmission.

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Yea I think being proactive is key, I need to see what all is done on my transmission when serviced if more then just a fluid change or if there is a filter to change out also.

Consider this a learning experience. Next time do your research at recognized sources. I start with the Consumer Reports car buyers guide, lots of info, tests, and survey results. Not the end-all, but lots of good info.

And nope, no dealer will provide you with info regarding potential problems. They’ve always ‘been solved, don’t worry about it!’


The dealer ship is selling vehicles , plain and simple and they cannot predict future problems on a new vehicle . Recalls are handled by written notification and may not effect the vehicle you bought.
Most people buying new vehicles realize they have a warranty so past models problems may not be of a concern.

You would think that if you did a google search on the model it would list enough sources. I reviewed probably 4-5 major sites like edmunds and such and did a search on youtube who had a number of reviews and test drives. Until having this issue brought to my attention today, under any google search on 2019 Ford Fiesta SE Hatchback did I see anything about a transmission issue on previous models. I guess maybe I should have widen my search to just ford fiestas

This transmission has been a source of complaints for both the Focus and Fiesta for some years now. Possibly they’ve improved them but i’d doubt it.

I have a 2018 Ford Fiesta purchased new . Am I worried about , absolutely not . I just plan to do service and drive it .

Yeah it is never going to happen. They will never talk about potential issues with a product. As far as explaining the features and how things work, I’ve had nothing but just read the manual, to the salesperson spending time going over everything. Then after a month or so a 2-3 hour dinner and seminar on everything from features to maintenance. That’s when you ask the service managers, etc. about any issues and how to avoid them, like rear end fluid change at the first 10K and trans fluid every 30K, etc.

Rear end fluid change?

We’re you aware of the transmission issues prior to purchase?

Yep on an AWD, they said to make sure to change the rear differential at the first 10,000 miles then at 30,000 along with the transfer case and transmission after that. It ain’t in the book.

Oh I didn’t know they offered an AWD, I have the FWD 2019 Fiesta SE Hatchback with an automatic.

No all wheel drive for the Ford Fiesta , front wheel only .
Bertrand , maybe you should just drive this thing any way you want to . Don’t spend extra money to rent a vehicle . And if you want to make yourself feel good on this upcoming trip see if you can beat the EPA hwy MPG . I took mine on a trip to and back to a golf course 65 miles away that was all highway except for the 4 miles to the gas station . Filled before trip and filled when returned and by pen and paper I got 45 MPG at 60 and 65 MPH .

If you want another source, look at safercar.gov. Input your VIN and the site will tell you all the recalls, complaints, investigations, and manufacturer communications related to the 2019 Fiesta.

No salesperson is going to volunteer information that will hurt the sale, nor should you expect them to. Their duty is to their employer and it is to make sales.

That is why so many Jeep customers wind up with the wrong 4 wheel drive system. The salespeople know people are shopping across brands for price so they don’t want to tell less knowledgeable customers about the more expensive drive systems that would be better for them.


The dealership isn’t required to speculate about what it thinks may be the car’s future problems. Likewise I don’t believe they are required by any law I’m familiar with to inform a potential customer what problems the car’s predecessors (previous model years) have had. What you got going for you is the dealership and the manufacturer want to have a good reputation — they know this helps sell cars – so it is safe to assume, when dealing with a dealership of a major manufacturer, they are going to try their best to sell you a car that does the functions they specify it will, and is competitively reliable. Note that doesn’t mean the same as “perfectly reliable”.

So what does all that mean? Before buying a new car, do some homework before writing any checks. A google search is a good first step. But remember you don’t know the qualifications, conflicts or interests, or motivations of the source of most information on web pages. Therefore you can’t rely on only a google search. There’s four other good sources of information you’d ideally check when buying a new car

  • Ask independent experts, diy’ers, and hobbyists, which describes many of the regular posters here.
  • What does Consumer Reports New Car Guide say about it?
  • Ask the owner of an independent shop their opinion.
  • Ask what sort of resources are available at your local public library for this type of research. For example some public libraries offer database services that allow you to view recalls, technical service bulletins, etc.

BTW, I like the Fiesta and have always liked it since it first appeared in the late 70’s. I don’t think you can go very far wrong buying a new Fiesta. With any car you’ll get better reliability if you follow the manufacturer’s routine maintenance suggestions.

Heres a good site, looks like tranny problems have dropped off. Hope that holds:

Most reviews you’ll read don’t take reliability into account, just a test drive.