I bought a program 2003 Mercury Grand Marquis on Feb 9th..... I wrote on the
purchase and sales agreement a couple of things before I took delivery.
1. The car is to have a four wheel alignment
2. Tires to be rotated and balanced
3. Codes to be cleared from the computer.
I picked up the car asked if the things were done. Salesman says yes, I ask for
the RO's he says they are in the system not to worry..... Ya right...
I bring the car home. Car sits in the garage for a week. I go out yesterday.
One tire is flat and another is just about dead.......
I fill up the two tires go to my garage... They pull off the wheels, the two
tires that are loosing air have cheap garage plugs. I have them put on the
proper patch, I then look at the front tires they look like they have been on
the front of the car since it was made, never rotated. The backs look
great...... They put the car on the rack, the TOE is out.
So I have an appointment with the service manager to talk about the issues.
This should be fun.....
Car has 20k on the odo, was part of a rental fleet in Ocala Florida. Other than
the tires and the alligment and if they didn't do the codes I can do that
myself just take the negative cable out for the night the car is fine....
Your first clue that the salesman was not on the up and up should
have been when he told you a USED vehicle, previously owned by
rental car company, was a program car. The only owner of true
'Program vehicle' was Ford Motor company, not Ford Credit or a
fleet or retain car company. ;)
M Hayes529 wrote:
Well Mike, i hope you can enlighten us a little more about this whole
issue. I see the words "program car" batted around a lot in car adds.
So, an off lease vehicle from ford credit is not a program car?
Is a dealer demo car a program car?
No fleet buybacks or leases are program cars?
What are the warranty issues on a program car Vs lease return or used?
So, if the only True program cars are cars that Ford motor co personally used
internally, that seems like there would not be many around. What about lemon buy
backs? could they be resold as a program car? Tell us the whole story.
Ford dealer are loose with the term 'Program Vehicle,' using the
term to apply to ANY vehicle they buy at Ford sponsored auction.
That is NOT the case. The only owner of true 'Program Vehicle' is
Ford Motor company, not Ford Credit or any fleet or rental car
company. A true PV has a label on the window that states 'The
only previous owner of this vehicle was Ford Motor Company.'
Dealer domo's are untitled new vehicles used by the dealer and
not a PV. Dealer loners are in reality free rental cars, part of
a dealers fleet, owned by the dealerships. Off lease vehicles are
USED cars that just happened to be owned by Ford Credit, but not
Ford Motor Company. Leases and other 'buy backs' are owned by
Ford Credit, not FMC and are NOT program cars, since they were
sold to a customer and that fact is disclosed at the sale.
Manufactures can NOT sell vehicles to ANYONE except their
dealers. Fleets, both government and commercial, rental car
companies as well as Ford Credit just like every retail buyer
MUST buy their vehicle from a franchised dealer. About ten year
ago FMC bought out dealerships in several markets so as to sell
to large buyers. The Ford Dealers Association started litigation
saying ownership by a manufacture was a violation of US franchise
laws. The FDA won a case in court and Ford has to sell the
dealerships. Fords new car warranty follows the vehicle from the
in service date to the time mileage limit, regardless of previous
owners except in the case of a 'Lemon Law' buy back. In that
case the warranty is 12/12 BB, regardless of current mileage,
even if there is only 500 miles on the clock.
BOB URZ wrote:
I have not personally checked the dealer lots, but from the adds i have
seen i will bet a lot of cars being advertised as program cars don't fit
the description your gave.
Personally, i am sick of the huge adds in the sunday paper with the low
advertised price that only a one eyed disabled veteran that is a farm
bureau member would qualify for. In my opinion, its a form of bait and
switch. If they advertise rebates, they should all be listed separately
by amount and qualifications. Not just a lump total amount very few
(if any) people would qualify for all.
As far as the franchise bit goes, what's to stop ford from making a new
separate brand different from ford or mercury and having factory only
outlets for it? Could they get away with that?
The thing i see sad in the auto industry is the fading of GM's
experiment Saturn. Unique product. Non hassle pricing.
I think a LOT of people don't trust auto dealers. They may need a car,
but they don't want to get hassled or get took. I think that's why the
Internet auto shopping may get much bigger in the future. They cannot
hijack your drivers license and wear you down in the sales office on the
internet. They may be a lot of good straight shooter dealers out there.
But i am sure there are many who are not.
You certainly are entitled to you opinion but even when one
choose to purchase a vehicle though one of the on line services,
and pays their fee of at least $250, the final point of sale will
be a franchise dealer, period. HINT. Get the best price you can
get from the on line service than take that deal to a local
dealer and he will BEAT their price on the exact same vehicle by
at least $250.
Bob Urz wrote:
Remainder of factory warranty still applies.
If anyone else has been driving it around for more than maybe 50 miles
on test-drives, it's used or at best has been used as a demonstration
model.(not ever titled and under 1K miles, IMO)
I had the meeting with the Sales Manager and we had a nice chat...
1. I know the car was owned by either Hertz or someother rental place in
Florida. Before I bought it I did the car fax thing.
2. I have the rest of the warranty until it runs out.
3. The car is going back into the shop on Tuesday and they are going to run it
through the process they do to certify the car. The person that did the car in
Nov no longer works there and I demanded it be done again in front of me, they
4. This car is going to get driven from 8:00AM till midnight everyday, LIVERY
5. In three years it will be gone anyway....
An interesting FACT that not many people know , is some of the major rental
companies do not chnage the oil filter at the specified mileage, just the
oil. I have hired several entry level techs from rental companies who did
the maintenance on these cars and they all reported the same thing, extended
oil drain intervals, the cheapest oil available and NEVER change the filter.
Reportedly too costly. All these cars went back to the auction while still
in warranty so it was almost a zero risk factor for the company. The
consumer and dealer that sells the car is left holding the bucket when the
motor has an oil related failure. Would I ever drive an "x" rental now? No.
Unlike fleet vehicles that receive extensive maintenance because
the owners must keep them in service for five years, due to
depreciation tax laws, rental car companies can sell their
vehicles after only one year of service or anytime after the next
model year into date, WOF and still get the $400 fleet discount
from the manufacture. Very few rental cars ever accumulate many
miles and generally the only 'maintenance' they receive is pretty
much toping of fluids and fixing thing that break. To a
commercial or government fleet the vehicle is a 'tool' like any
other they need to use in their 'business.' Vehicles, to a
rental car company, is their' 'product,' like videos are to
Blockbuster, to be acquired, rented then sold.
Brad Coon wrote:
When I worked for DC our corporate Regional Service Managers regularily
cruised the auctions before opening to look at Rental vehicles. But Chrysler
in Canada has a grey Oil Filter's from factory, And Dealers can only get
white ones. Any Fleet vehicle over 12,000 km's with grey filters held
warranty held until fleet company had auctions change oil. Didn't do much
but at least the Company was tryiong to scare fleet's into maintenance.
Anyone can qualify for the fleet discount of $400, if they buy
five or more vehicles in a year. Corporate and government fleets
are a whole other animal vis-a-v rental car companies. There is
no comparison to the manner in which each maintains their
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