HELP! 2001 Ford Focus - catastrophic engine failure at 100,000 kms?!

Last Friday night my 2001 Ford Focus's engine died on me. Apparently, there is a broken piston rod, which ended up cause a cracked block and a hole in the oil pan. The kicker is that my 100,000km warranty JUST
expired 1,542 kms ago. This just can't be right! Even the guys at the Ford dealership I had my car towed to are flabbergasted as to how this could have happened and are pretty sure it's no fault of mine. I have NEVER missed any regular maintenance on the vehicle, there were no oil/fluid leaks, smells, noises and no indicator lights came on to warn me of any problems. My car was just at Ford in May (prior to hitting 100,000 kms) gettting the fuel delivery module replaced (for free) on a safety campaign, and at the same time I had them go over my car and do any maintenence that needed to be done (replaced spark plugs etc...$400 in maintenance). My car was hooked up to the diagnostics computer and the only problem they found was that they confirmed my engine hesitation problem was due to the faulty fuel delivery module. I also had just gotten and oil change about 2,000 km before that, and have had it done since that service. I always use the reccommended 87 octane (Chevron), and always check my oil (I've never had to fill it). I am the one and only owner of this car. I drive it every day to and from work (about 6 kms each way), plus I make at least one out of town trip (on the freeway) each week. I park the car inside most of the time and the weather here (Vancouver, B.C.) doesn't really get that bad that it would affect anything.
I'm in for a huge battle with Ford as I was advised today by Ford Motor Company (Canada) that Ford is flat out REFUSING to help me out with the cost of the repair, which might I add is a hefty $8,300 for a new engine (including labour), because I am passed my 100,000km warranty peroid! My family has been long time Ford customers (including using Ford trucks for my Dad's fleet of work trucks), but that's all changing now due to the HORRIBLE service I received today on the phone. The dealership I'm dealing with has been GREAT, but Ford has been nasty.
So, what my question to you is...What in the hell would have caused the broken piston rod?
If anyone can offer any words that would help me in my battle with Ford, I would really appreciate it! I don't want to use the lawsuit card unless I have to.
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I used to love my ford wrote:

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I used to love my ford wrote:

I don't know that you'd win a lawsuit. The engine was warranted for 100,000 kms and it went past that before it failed. It's unfortunate but that's the way it goes sometimes. I would NOT pay Ford for a $8300 for a new engine. Get one out of a junkyard instead or replace the whole car. The junkyard option should be your cheapest by far. If you're uneasy about using something like that you could always buy a long block from a reputable supplier for more than the junkyard, less than Ford.
--
Mortimer Schnerd, RN
mschnerdatcarolina.rr.com
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Well $8,300 seems excessive for a replacement engine, even in Canadian Dollars. With Ford offering huge incentives on Foci, a new car would make more sense. Sometimes parts just fail because they are defective (even if they are generally 99.999% reliable). To have a connecting rod fail at 100,000 km (just over 60,000 miles) is highly unusual.
However, I think you are battling with the wrong party. You seem to be blaming Ford of Canada for not rolling over and giving you a new engine. I think this is the wrong attitude. They (Ford of Canada) don't know you. For all they know, you have not serviced the engine and/or you have abused it. The dealer you are so highly praising should be your champion in this matter. They know you, they have been servicing the car. They should take your case to Ford of Canada and get you some relief. I have had dealers go out of their way to work with Ford (USA) to partially compensate me for out of warranty failures that were clearly related to defective parts. I don't know the rules in Canada, but many US States have laws that prevent manufacturers from limiting warranties for failures that are clearly manufacturing defects. For instance, in your case, a failed connecting rod would be a clear manufacturing defect (assuming you haven't omitted that you did something to damage the engine, like over revving it, or running the car through deep water and sucking water in through the intake). In states with implied warranty laws, a clear manufacturing defect has no time limit on coverage. I assume Canada has Consumer Affairs Bureaus or Departments. It might be worth checking with one of those about implied warranties. See http://law.unb.ca/cpwala/implied.htm .

Defective part, over revving the engine, running the car through deep water and ingesting water into the engine, a seized piston or rod bearing due to low oil or low oil pressure, failed piston pin, broken rod bolt, etc. My Father's employee once ran his lawn tractor out of oil, the piston seized, the rod broke and poked a hole in the block.

Talk to your good friends at the dealer you seem to hold blameless and press your dealer for more help. Ask to speak to the Ford zone representative when they visit the dealer. Call your local Consumer Affairs agency and talk with them. . Remember, as far as Ford is concerned, the Dealer is their real Customer, not you. They didn't sell you the car, the dealer did. They didn't service the car, the dealer did. They don't know you personally, the dealer does.
Ed
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C. E. White wrote:

Thanks Ed for your response. You gave me some good advice.
The dealership where my car is sitting in storage is not where I bought the car, so really they are not to blame. I no longer live in the town where I bought the car. However, I will be asking the dealer who has my car (and who performed the last service) if they will help me out by calling Ford for me and pleading my case. Even they agree that this couldn't have been due to any lack of maintenance, and that it looked like a faulty piston rod. I have all my service records, thank goodness, and I had checked my oil a day or two before this happend and it was fine. I will be providing service records and photos of the engine to Ford Motor Company. I can't really blame Ford this early in the game for being jerks to me; I wouldn't just give in to a repair like that after only one telephone call either. If they want persistence, they've got it. I'm stubborn.
Canada doesn't seem to have the same laws as the U.S. in regards to lemons and warrantys, but maybe I just haven't found it yet...I'm still trying to do my research on this. I think the Sale of Goods Act might be of help, and in the meantime I will continue my search.
Thanks again for your words of advice.
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C. E. White wrote:

On another forum I recently read a post from a Honda Civic owner who had an unusual engine failure at 5 years and 60k miles, outside the warranty period. Honda without a fight covered all the parts and the customer paid for labor. A reasonable compromise in that situation.
Ford, like GM and others, seems to focus entirely on eliminating warranty claim cost whenever possible and could care less about the damage to it's customer relationships which results.
Consequently, one by one former loyal customers join the NEVER AGAIN club. Why these big companies spend so much money on advertising and executive pay packages and so little on customer retention is one of the mysteries of the modern business world.
I wouldn't put another dime into the vehicle. Ditch it and get yourself a nice Toyota or Honda.
John
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John Horner wrote:

Oh, yes...the next car I'll buy will DEFINITELY be either a Honda or a Toyota. Ford called me when they received my letter, and refused to help me. They basically told me that they don't care if I ever buy another Ford or if anyone I know ever buys a Ford. Horrible. I thought they would cover at least a SMALL part of the cost, but NOPE. Nothing. They just don't care. Sad.
On a side note, I received an email from another Focus owner who recently had the same thing happen to his car at 96,000km. He even lives in the same city as me. Very interesting. Hopefully we can band together on this!
Cheers, Kate
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Just a thought but it occurs to me that the mileage difference of 1.542% off the warranty period could be suspect. I doubt that the odometer accuracy is that good and/or could be proven to be that good. I think you would be successful in a small claims action and the cost to file is $100.00+/-. Dollar limit I believe is now $25,000. Chances are you will get a default judgment as it is likely that Ford will not even make an appearance for such a small amount ($8300). But hell for the $100.00 you can have lots of fun if you're willing to push this matter. Also I believe that all small claim matters now have a settlement conference process before the matter would go to trial. Very informal and again I think the judge will most likely side with you in this phase.
--
Richard

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Richard wrote:

Thanks Richard! I appreciate your encouragement. :) I will be commencing a small claims action once I manage to finish my demand letter - assuming Ford doesn't respond favourably. I'd like to give them at least 14 days to respond so that I don't seem like I'm jumping the gun on this and running to our court system. You are correct about the process and the cost to commence the action. It's not very difficult to do...user friendly for lay litigants. I've represented my self in court once before (traffic court for a parking ticket. LOL!), and I mananged to get off. I just want what's right, If they'd offer to pay for all but a thousand or two of the cost, I'd be willing to accept it. We'll see what happens - I'll be posting updates!
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I used to love my ford wrote: If they'd offer

I don't know if this engine fits your car or not. And maybe the part has long been discontinued, but: I have a 2004 Motorsport catalog that has the 2.0 long block (complete with everything, including oil pan, throttle body, exhaust manifold, flywheel, engine injector harness, etc) listed for $$2,595. (part number M-6007-ZX3) The short block assembly is listed for $650. (part number M-6009-ZX3) These are new production parts and are a far cry from $8300. (I know, labor can be high) Anyway, maybe your Ford dealer could work with you to get the price down to an acceptible level. Description for both of these parts is 2.0 Zetec engine that fits 2002 Focus ZX-3. Would this engine be similar to yours?
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If he goes with an outside supplier for an engine, then the Ford dealer probably won't touch it. If he gets a new short block and reconditions the head, it should cost around $1000 + labor. And the labor would be cheaper at a private garage.
Jeff
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Jeff wrote:

The Ford Motorsport catalog lists Ford parts available from the Ford dealership. The part numbers that I listed are Ford part numbers. The Motorsport catalog is the aftermarket division of Ford so maybe the dealer would be leary about ordering it, but I've never seen that. However......I guess the point is irrelevent because he has a different engine. The Motorsport catalog is available at most Ford dealer parts counters although not all Ford dealers are Motorsport dealers.
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Kruse wrote:

I have the SPI engine, so no, it's not the same. :( Thanks for your help though!
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