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My Story
Ford 3.8L Problems?
My Story
3.8L Lemon-Aid
Survey Sez
Resources & Links
Build Your Site!

My story began when I needed to buy a family car. I had heard the quality of domestic cars had improved over the years. With that in mind, we purchased a 94 Sable with a 3.8L engine. It didn't take long to notice the differences in quality.

The most significant was in July 98 I diagnosed a failing headgasket. I had just booked the car at my friends shop for repairs. That very same day I received a recall notice .  Boy, did I feel lucky Ford was paying  for that repair!

While the car was being repaired, I felt I should call my Ford dealer ensure that what was being done was what I expected. To my surprise, they were doing a very bare bones replacement of the headgaskets. I began to feel NOT so lucky.

Then on June 13, 1999 (Not a Friday, but it may as well have been.). We were cruising down the highway 800Km (500mi.) from home (60Km North of Regina)  when a fatal loud knock started in my engine. I pulled the car over. My car and I were steaming together at this development. During the hour wait for a tow truck, I figured out what had happened was confident why it had happened. The glycol mixxing with the oil during the headgasket failure resulted in premature main-bearing failure.

Needless to say, my new engine was $2800 Canadian dollars. When I got back home, I called my local Edmonton Ford Dealer that had done the original repair to complain. The service manager said that I was not the only person this happened to. He added that there was a reasonable chance I'd get my money back. (I wasn't holding my breath for fear of turning blue. . . Ford blue, that is!! ;-)  ).

On Dec. 22,99, Ford notified me that their final decision was that they would  not pay. Merry Christmas to you too, Ford!!

Thus, I decided to get informed and hopefully make others aware of Ford's way of dealing with their customers. The links through out the site show there is alot of us in a similar situation. This site was initially launched on Jan. 12/00.

With updates happening almost weekly, this site grew and grew. In early Feb/00 a group of Ford owners launch a class action suit regarding the 3.8L in Chicago. The media was catching some related news items (see links), the Lemon-Aid author was pressuring Ford as well as the CAS (Centre for Auto Safety) and more related web sites were appearing.

On Feb 25/00 Ford decided to do the right thing and back their defective engine by extending the original very restricted recall on the 3.8L engine regarding the headgaskets. They also decided to revamp the Canadian Customer satisfaction department.

I re-submitted my claim to the local dealership after receiving my recall notice. On April 5, I received a call from my local dealership that they had sent me a cheque on April 4 for the full amount BUT Don't consider cashing the cheque. The reason being that the person who authorized my cheque was over ruled by someone above that person.

Mar. 21,2001.

This site has been updated to include recent events and  a new section with resources and books to assist you in making a wise vehicle purchase along with web site building suggestions.

I passed this bizare exchange along to the Lemon-Aid author and the Director of Customer Satisfaction for Ford Canada. No one could believe such a group of events could occur. Needless to say, Ford came back and apologised for the events that had occured and mailed me a new cheque that I could cash.

Now, I have decided to modify/expand the site once again to provide information and resources so you can make your experiences known for any vehicle type.

I feel that web sites today are the modern day version of parking your car infront of your not so favorite auto dealer with the big lemon signs on it.  The big difference being, you are reaching people on a global scale rather than a neighborhood perspective. The results show in the results of this 3.8L campaign. The other benefit is that you can still drive you car, assuming it still works and you still own it.

The upside for Ford is that those that now have engine headgasket failures are more likely to be happy Ford owners and buy their next vehicle from them. So, in a way it is a win-win for all involved. It is just unfortunate that us earlier headgasket failure owners had to go through some grief to achieve a fair decision for this group of Ford vehicle owners.

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