2001 Ford E-350 van - worst experience with a vehicle in life

Posted on Monday, April 15th, 2002 at 12:00am CDT by 12ca1733

Company: 2001 Ford E-350 van - worst experience with a vehicle in life

Category: Other

# 14 for April 14, 2002

Complaints.com received the following consumer message on April 13, 2002:

From: Paige [COMPLAINTS.COM_FORM_MAIL_25202#]

RE: 2001 Ford E-350 van - worst experience with a vehicle in life

So far, this has been the worst experience with a vehicle in my life. I ordered the van through a mobility company. I have a son with severe physical handicaps and needed a modified vehicle for him. My last van was a Chevy, but my son outgrew it. I wanted another Chevy but I was told only the Ford could be modified with a lowered floor. It took well over three months to even get the van to the mobility place. Then another three months to modify it. Once I finally picked up the van, I thought my problems were over, after all, it only had a hundred or so miles on it.

It started falling apart the next day with a dead battery. I was stranded with my kids at the dentist parking lot. I called someone and had it jumped. That worked until I turned the van off. The next day, I tried to start the van with no success. I had to call a tow truck to come and jump the van again. Since I was afraid to turn it off, I went straight to my local Ford dealer (Conlon-Collins in Crystal Lake, IL). Well, they wouldn’t even look at it. I even explained the situation with my son. Nope.

So I drove down the street to National Tire and Battery. They looked at it right away and told me it was a “bad battery”, the warranty should cover that and I should take it back to the Ford dealer. I did and told them what National Tire and Battery said. They “squeezed me in” and replaced the battery. As I pulled out of the lot, the seat belt alarm started going off. I thought that was weird, but drove home. It stopped along the way. Not for long, though, as it continued to alarm whenever I put the car in gear. No matter what. If I put my seat belt on first, before even starting the van; if I put my seat belt on after starting the van; if I put it on after it started alarming, it didn’t matter. It would continue to alarm for about 15-20 minutes regardless. And still does. Then I noticed a “squeaking” sound coming from the back. Since I’m driving and there’s no one in the back to tell me what’s making the noise, I have yet to figure that one out. The next problem started a few weeks later. The CD player stopped working. I tried several different CD’s, same thing: “No disc”. So, I bought a cleaner for the unit. No luck. So in less than 1500 miles, we have no CD player, a bad battery (replaced), a seat belt alarm that keeps going off and a mysterious “squeaking” noise. I contacted a different Ford dealer (Buss Ford in McHenry, IL) to resolve these problems. I had to call them three times after dropping the van off, even though they said they would call me, and it took all day when they said it would only be an hour and a half. End result...nothing fixed and they “ordered the parts”. That was a month ago. Since that time, I received a card in the mail from the Buss Ford service department that one of the parts was in. I called to find out if they were all in because I cannot keep taking the van in every couple weeks or so. The person I talked to “couldn’t find any information about the parts” and he would have someone call me back. That was last week. In the meantime, the windshield wipers have started causing problems. They slam nearly off the windshield and then go very gently; they would sometimes go all the way down, and other times only half way. It was actually quite frightening, I was afraid they were going to break through the windshield. If it wasn’t raining so hard, I would have not used them at all. When I got home and turned the van off, they still wouldn’t go all the way down. So, now I have to call the dealer about that too. What really upsets me is that I paid over $40,000 for this vehicle (cash, there is no loan) and it has more problems than the $10,000 used Saturn I just bought. My son has significant medical problems and needs to go to a hospital that is 150 miles away. How am I supposed to feel comfortable driving this van that far with just he and I in the van?

Do I need to take my oldest son out of school just to have someone in the van with me? Or pay for a nurse? With the brief history I have with this vehicle, fixing it won’t resolve those feelings. I don’t trust this van to not break down on any given moment. Was this vehicle not thoroughly checked out before being sold? Or is this the standard quality one can expect from a Ford? I’m not sure what, if anything; short of a new vehicle can be done to resolve this. I do know that at this I am extremely cautious about buying another Ford, and I am hesitant to recommend one to anyone I know. Perhaps someone should look into this. Does anyone know who I can contact about this? Sincerely, Paige Engle


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