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Amy Kistler - Cam Failure #190

new 1/19/02, updated 2/13/03, 2/26/03

January 14, 2003

I was driving home from Carrolton, GA in my 1997 White Ford Taurus SHO going approximately 60-70 MPH in the left lane of Interstate 20 to Roswell, GA, my home, when suddenly, with no warning what so ever, I lost all acceleration to my vehicle. I continued driving, but the speedometer began declining until I was finally able to steer my vehicle off the road onto the shoulder…By this time, my car had de-accelerated to –0- MPH. I was very scared as it was dark and cold and many 18-wheel trucks were passing me by at very high speeds. I was able to call 911 and a towing service from my cell phone, however, the entire time I sat on the shoulder of that road, I was very frightened. The Douglas County police sent a deputy, and finally, I was able to sit in the back of his police car until the towing service got there approximately 45 mins later. The car was towed to the nearest FORD dealership, which was John Bleakley Ford, Douglasville, GA. I then, was approximately 40-50 miles from my home and had to find 2 friends to bring me home. The entire ordeal took about 5.5 hours!

The next morning, John Bleakley Ford (Larry) called and told me that the “CAM in the engine Blew” and that I was looking at approximately $3,400.00 worth of repair on the vehicle’s engine. I am a single mom, recently separated from my husband, and this amount of damage was shocking to me! My vehicle only has 64,000 miles on it, and it seemed strange to me that I would have a catastrophic engine failure on an engine so young. It was at this time, (January 15th, 2003, 10AM) that I made a customer relation’s call to FORD at their 800 number, and reported what had happened. The customer rep thought that FORD may give me some assistance, and that she would call Bleakley Ford to assist in this possibility. I did not hear back from Ford until Friday, January 24th, 2003 at the end of the day , where they left a voice message indicating that I would need to call them back to get the details on Monday January 20th, 2003. I did just that. When I called FORD CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP HEADQUARTERS, the notes in my file indicated that it was decided that FORD would NOT assist financially in this matter. The notes also indicated that my “CASE WAS CLOSED” AND THIS WAS THEIR FINAL RESPONSE”. 

That day, 1-20-2003, I got in touch with Timothy Wright and Larry Eck who are SHO enthusiasts and are members of the Taurus SHO Club for individuals who own these types of vehicles. (V8SHO.COM). These 2 gentlemen have filed a class action lawsuit alleging Ford Motor Co. concealed a defect with the car’s high-performance V8 engine, that causes extensive engine damage and expensive repairs. This lawsuit was filed in Chicago during the week of December 13, 2002. I spoke with both of these men and they advised me to document everything that was happening, and to have the car’s camshafts welded together to ensure this costly failure would not fail again. They referred me to FPS (Ford Performance Specialists, in Douglasville, GA. They indicated that a FORD dealership would not likely weld the cams for the $3400.00. Against their advice, I placed a call to Team Ford, in Alpharetta, Ga, a FORD dealership where I have had my car worked on in the past and in proximity to my home (3 miles away). I contacted TEAM FORD on 1-20-2003 and spoke with Rick Moore in the service dept. He said that since I had been a good customer in the past, that he “could do better than the dealership was quoting me in Douglasville and that TEAM FORD would pay for my towing if I had them work on it. So, on 1-21-2003 the vehicle was towed to TEAM FORD. I had to pay $75.00 to Bleakley Ford for the diagnosis. Approximately 3 days later, Rick contacted me to inform me that they could repair the car for $3,300.00. This was just $100.00 less than the previous estimate and would not include welding of the cams. He stated that the camshaft was indeed broken and that the valves and _____ needed replacing. It was at this point, that I contacted Doug Lewis at FPS, Ford Performance Specialists to see if he could repair my vehicle for less than the 2 prior estimates. Doug promised that he could do a complete and professional job on my vehicle, that he worked primarily on SHO engines and would weld the cams and have my vehicle back in working condition and would guarantee his work. I then decided to tow my car for the 3rd time to FPS and this was done on 1-27-2003. I had called to have it towed on Friday, 1-24-2003, but the car was not officially towed until the following Monday. (FPS does not conduct business over the weekend). In order for me to have the vehicle towed from the Team Ford dealership, I had to pay $411.00 for “4 hours worth of labor”. 

Doug Lewis, at FPS has had his mechanic take apart the heads of the engine and have discovered that the Cam was indeed the problem and that he could repair it and weld the cams for $3,000.00 dollars. Today, 2-4-2003, Doug called me to say he had run into another problem and that was that all 8 valves were bent and would need replacement. Also, that out of the 8 coils, 4 were missing. He was guessing that the dealership (TEAM FORD) who took the engine apart last week, may have kept the missing coils. Doug would need those valves back, or else charge me $160.00 per piece for new ones. I then contacted TEAM FORD’s service supervisor, Russell Sicely and reported the missing coils. I again reported this issue to FORD’s relationship headquarters. 3 hours later, Russell kindly returned my call to say they had found the missing coils and would gladly ship the coils to FPS. To be continued….

P.S. I have to rent a car from Enterprise Rental, and so far have paid almost 600.00 for 3 weeks worth of rental. Today is the 3 week anniversary of my car’s engine failure.

Amy Kistler 

well today is the day i pick up my SHO at Doug Lewis's place out in Douglasville..... 50 mile drive from house....I will complete an email you can add to my "story" once I see all the damages and what went wrong....I am supposed to get the "bad" parts, rite??? I told him I wanted everything...but he tried to re-use lots of bent parts that could be repaired by the machinist.... any other things I need to know before I write that big check for over 3K??? plus my rental car....850.00! geeze...what a month..... thanks for your help. I hope I don't get #2 and #3 failures.....or else............I'm dumping her! Do you know of anyone who would want to buy it?? 

Amy Kistler

Well she runs like a charm!! Doug gave me a test run...got er up to 120...geeze..I hate speed! Yes, he welded the cams...should be a good job..he gave me a fair deal....total came to 1500.00 plus 850 and change....very fair....have all my receipts...including manicures!! rental cost was 500...so that was much better than anticipated...for one month of rental! ok..i'll write it up in a nice professional way....and hope I get my 35.00 from ford someday!! haha! ps. the only parts i got back were the bent....i cant think of their name...he re-used the broken cam...so its in the car!! what a place he has there..i've never seen so many broken SHO's!

what FUD? Do you mean FORD? ha ha..... I got to work in under 20 minutes today...I am beginning to love this car..You guys got me worked up over it....I'll NEVER sell it now! I seem to be the only female in GA who owns one of these! what does that mean?????

> Fud dealership would have charged you $1,300 just to 
> diagnose the problem. I am glad it worked out for you.

> Blessings,

> Tim


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