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Worthless Warranty & Disturbing Trends

new 12/07/02, updated 3/09/03, 4/03/04


Last August (2002) Ron Turner lost an engine in his 97 SHO under ESP. Read your ESP agreement and they are not obliged to pay more for any one repair than the car is worth. Seems reasonable. Ronís car was worth about $12,000, retail cost on a new Ford crate engine (which no longer exists) is about $13,000 so Ron spent $1,000 out of pocket for a new motor. Not a huge tragedy given the large number of folks who bit the whole thing off with out any help from Ford.

In contrast, only 4 months later, this month December 2002, John Delmar lost a motor in his 96 SHO due to cam failure under the same warranty. They told him at the Ford dealership he needed a $6,000 just in parts but his car is worth only $4,000 so even with an ESP warranty forget a new $13,000 engine. - Forget any real help under a $2000 ESP warranty John paid for. 

As the Detroit Free Press reported the resale value of our cars has tanked because the word is out that the cam failure problem is pandemic.

The ESP calculation works like this. What is the wholesale value of the car? Is it more than the retail value of parts and labor? Then the ESP you paid for in good faith using reasonable assumptions when the car was new is now next to worthless.

Add to that the total lack of skills and information at the dealerships. This week a SHO owner thought he had a cam noise. The owner knew all about the cam issue. Well the dealership told him they would have to do an inspection to verify the condition. They charged him $1,100 just to inspect his cams! For half that they could / should weld the cams! Point is the dealership can charge $1,100 for 4 hours work, just to tell us what they should already know; all that without even fixing anything, yet telling us our cars arenít worth anything Ė which is their damn fault?

None of us like this situation, and yes none of us need to sit still for it. Yet any legal remedy will take YEARS to work out. What you can do is get your cams welded ASAP. Recently I have one failure a day reported to V8SHO. If you donít have an ESP warranty you have no excuse to not weld your cams.

Until recently if you had an ESP warranty the risk of voiding a warranty discouraged many from getting their cams welded. What we see now is folks with a warranty getting little or no help from Ford. Don Mallinson had a guy contact him off-list for a recommendation. Don talked the guy into making plans to get the cams welded, with in a month. Well he put it off and now the guy needs a whole new engine. Bad month, putting it off cost him $7,000.

Our cars are only getting older, ĺ of V8 SHOs were made during the first two years of production. We are in the season of slaughter. Look at this trend for reported failures by month for 2002:

JAN

7

FEB

MAR

1

APR

4

MAY

7

JUN

7

JUL

8

AUG

16

SEP

11

OCT

4

NOV

14

DEC  28
Jan 03 33
Feb 03 26
Mar 03 10

(See also Statistical Look Number 4)

Notice the trend? We havenít yet seen this problem get started. Failures start at about 70,000 miles but you are never safe. For every one of the 150 failures we can document we estimate at least 10 cars owners do not know V8SHO cam failures exists and do not report to us. If only 10% of the cars have cam failure so far, in time we have no reason to assume they will not ALL fail unless preventive steps are taken. So far every year has had failures. Each of the 4 cams has failed many times. We are getting more and more reports of several failures per car. An owner replaces a bad cam with a new one and a year or so latter another cam fails. Ford now recommends the owner replace all 4 cams when the customer pays the bill or just the defective cam when they pay the bill. Until recently Ford wanted $1,100 per cam. We have no reason to assume the replacement cams are not the same "type and quality" that just failed.

I just would like to conclude with this recommendation, no matter what your warranty status is. It is so expensive and troublesome get your engine repaired, we recommend every owner take preventive precautions and get their cams welded or pinned ASAP.

Thanks for sharing the ride
Buford T Justice

 

Thanks to David Deines for this helpful graphic. 


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