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Robert Tucker -SHO Defender

new 5/24/02

(find some one serving our nation and ruin them) - Thanks for your letter, even more thanks for serving our nation. - Tim

1. VIN# 1FALP54N7TA310422

2. Date of malfunction: First noticed terrible noise on 5 May 02. Went to a dealer in Charleston, SC, who put shims in(I was home on leave). I spent $552 to put in $22 parts. I told them repeatedly that since buying the car I had learned that the cam sprockets were a problem. The noise was coming from exactly where the cam sprocket that failed was. They said nothing about the sprockets and would not acknowledge what I was telling them. I did not feel like they were listening to me at all, much less taking me seriously. After keeping the car for a week, I went to pick it up. There was absolutely zero difference in the noise. They assured me that I could drive the car like it was and that a valve might pump back up after 50 - 100 miles, thereby getting rid of the noise. I was told that so long as the noise got no worse to just drive it like it was. I again brought up the sprocket issue, but was told I probably had a valve problem that I couldn't hurt any worse than it already was by driving it. Besides, like they had said before, I might get lucky and it might pump back up. One block away from the dealer the sprocket failed. I had it towed back, then got so frustrated, I got a roll back from a family member in the body shop business and towed it myself to Pulliam Ford in Columbia, SC (803.254.4000). Tommy Robbins is the service manager and has been very helpful. I still don't think they know a ton about SHOs, but he is trying very hard for me. He finally got a cam, installed it and started the car. All four cylinders on that side have no compression. So now he has to tear it down further to determine the extent of the damage. I just found out moments ago at least one valve is down in the cylinder. They are now going to pull the motor out so they can remove the heads and get into the "meat" of it.

3. Where did the malfunction take place (highway, city streets, driveway, parking lot, etc.): City streets. I took a left turn out of the dealership, accelerated to perhaps 40 mph, and approached a red light approximately one block away. When I let off the accelerator to apply the brakes the engine died. I could barely get it to run enough to get it off the street. Little did I know I
was probably furthering the damage.

4. Odometer reading at time of malfunction: 78,000

5. How fast were you traveling? Decelerating from approximately 40 mph to stop at a red light.

6. Were you accelerating or staying at a constant speed? See answers to #3 and #5.

7. Estimated date of purchase, new or used? July 2001, Used.

8. Estimated Odometer reading at time of purchase: 58,000

9. Full Name, address, and a good phone # to reach you at during the day and night:

Robert E. Tucker, Jr.
e-mail: FourFans@nc.rr.com

Note: I am a flyer in the Air Force and am gone a lot. Please do not give up if you need/wish to talk to me. I will be TDY the entire month of June. Please call my cell to get me.

10. Brief description of the time of events leading towards the malfunction. (what did you hear and see before, during, and after the malfunction): See #2

11. Customer service phone # you called and the name of the person you talked to. (if you can remember): N/A

12. Did you feel satisfied with the answers customer service provided? Explain: N/A

13. Which dealership did you take your vehicle in for service? (name, address, phone#): See #2

14. What was the cause of failure determined by the dealer?

Cam sprocket failure and subsequent instantaneous catastrophic engine failure.

15. What was the cause of failure determined by you?

Cam sprocket failure as a result of poor design/production.

16. How much was your statement? (I hope you kept your receipt):

TBD -- $552 already spent to get absolutely zero results when the impending sprocket failure could have been caught before hand and the damage drastically reduced (See #2). This could have been a simple cam replacement and I could have driven away.

17. What can FOMOCO do to make you a satisfied Ford owner?


B. Put 4 newly designed/built cams in the engine that they will stand behind and rebuild the engine entirely to take care of damage caused by the cam failure. Then warranty this engine for a minimum 3 years/75,000 miles (and provide transportation in the meantime) OR

C. Put a new engine in the car with at least the warranty just mentioned OR

D. Pay off the remaining $9,000 I owe on the car, whichever is more financially beneficial to FOMOCO.

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