Thanks to Grieco, and Florida’s Lemon Law, I Got A New Car. No Lawyers Needed. Grieco’s Sales, Service Teams Are Top Notch.
Ford Motor Company Does The Right Thing, Replaces New Vehicle With New Vehicle.
BY: ANDREW COLTON | Editor and Publisher
BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Copyright © 2021 MetroDesk Media, LLC) — I wrote back in August about my brand new Ford Explorer ST — a beautiful vehicle that inexplicably died on July 28th — roughly three months after I drove it off the lot. Dying near Target in West Boynton Beach, Ford roadside assistance sent the flatbed that took the Explorer to Grieco Ford on Federal Highway in Delray Beach. I assumed it would be fixed in a day. And if this was 2019, it would have been.
But in our 2021 world of COVID-related supply chain issues, what should have been a simple fix never happened. A $28 wiring harness, which was defective and led the car to smoke and eventually die, couldn’t be obtained by Ford. Its supplier, quite simply, wasn’t supplying.
If you want to skip to the end, here it is: After nearly 50 days of being unable to locate the wiring harness, Ford replaced the Explorer ST with a brand new Explorer ST. I took delivery of the new car earlier this week. While BocaNewsNow.com is not known for praise, I can not praise Grieco Ford Delray enough. Service Manager Jarrod Pilone became my advocate with Ford. His near daily emails took the professional tone and tact of a doctor sharing bad news with the family of a loved one needing a heart transplant. If it were an episode of a hospital drama, he’d be the doctor suggesting there’s always hope, but with no hearts in stock, it’s time to pray.
The prayers went unanswered. The days turned into weeks. My Explorer remained dead on Grieco’s lot.
While Jarrod worked with Ford to obtain the wiring harness, I worked with the Better Business Bureau. Under Florida statute, a car may need to be replaced, or repurchased, by the automaker if it remains out of service and unfixable for a specific amount of time — normally 30 days. To make a “lemon law” claim, there is a very specific checklist that must be followed, which includes opening a case with the BBB. Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody’s website explains it all. We’re linking to it, below.
With Jarrod and the Better Business Bureau on my team, Ford surprised me. After I rejected an offer of $1500 from Ford to basically go away, the BBB scheduled mediation on my behalf. But before we ever made it to the mediation table, Ford did the right thing. The company offered to buy back my dead SUV, or replace it.
For those not following car inventories as COVID-related chip shortages continue, it turns out there is very little inventory on most car lots and there is almost no ability to negotiate on what exists. That led me to realize that I really had one option: have Ford replace the vehicle with a similar vehicle. That’s where Grieco Sales Manager David Lyons and Fleet Manager Paul Wuest made magic happen. David worked with me while Paul worked with Ford Motor Company which secured and purchased an Explorer ST from Grieco’s inventory. Ford then gave me that vehicle.
Nearly 50 days after my new Explorer ST died, I’m back in a new Explorer ST. There was no cost to me at all.
Nothing is ever quite as simple as it should be, and new vehicles shouldn’t die — and be unfixable — just months after acquisition. But Grieco turned a bad situation into a customer service win.
Jarod, David and Paul helped me every step of the way. When loaner cars were available — also a rarity in 2021 — I was able to use one. When bad news came in from Ford’s suppliers, they passed the bad news to me directly. There was no sugarcoating, but there was advocacy. I truly felt Grieco was on my team. And if the company ended up profiting when Ford bought the car it gave to me as the replacement, so be it. Grieco worked hard for the sale.
It is a rare day that I recommend anything to anyone, but I absolutely recommend Grieco Ford to anyone in the market for a Ford. Not only is their new dealership on Federal Highway gorgeous, but the team that I worked with is a professional group of individuals.
I also have to thank a Lacey at Ford corporate in Michigan. She oversaw the replacement and also was a true professional.
Bad things happen. Sometimes vehicles break. But even with the craziness of COVID-19, both Ford Motor Company, and Grieco Ford in Delray Beach, truly turned a frown upside down. Jarod, Paul, David, Lacey: thanks.
Access Florida’s Lemon Law on Attorney General Ashley Moody’s website, here.
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