Nalzaro: Brand-new car but defective?

·4 min read

NOT all brand-new things are durable and reliable. In the car industry, if you are looking for a quality and reliable new car, there are plenty to choose from. But beware because not all brand-new cars are in good condition and reliable.

Engineer Faustino “Jun” Masong Jr., a private contractor and a barangay councilor in Labangon, Cebu City, shared his sad experience with his brand-new Ford Raptor, a high-end pickup variant. He bought the unit from Ford Cebu in December 2020 for the amount of P2.3 million. But after three months of use, the vehicle developed a mechanical defect even thought it has never gotten into a road accident. Until now, the dealer has yet to fix the unit.

Masong, who owns several vehicles, including sports utility vehicles (SUV) and sports cars, said this is the first time he encountered such a problem with his Ford Raptor pickup. He demanded from the dealer to change it with another brand-new unit.

I was furnished a copy of his official complaint to the car dealer addressed to Mr. Andrew Borromeo, general manager of Ford Philippines, Cebu branch, Nivel Hills.

Through his lawyer Jessican Cagara, here’s Masong’s demand letter in toto.

“I write in behalf of my client, Mr. Faustino Masong Jr., as representative of Big Buzz Construction and General Services, relative to his unit, a Ford Raptor with plate number No. GAM 1265.

“Discussions with my client revealed that he had the said unit serviced at your establishment last March 26, 2021 due to an alarm indication in the dashboard showing that the unit was experiencing ‘low pressure oil.’ Your technicians stated that the unit needs only to be changed oil and for this reason only change oil was done. On April 3, 2021, the unit stalled and was towed to your service area on the same day. On April 5, 2021, it was determined by another technician that the problem was with the oil pump which did not function. Although a new oil pump was installed, the unit would still not function due to the fact that the other parts of the machine had already been affected. Up to the present, no word was heard from your establishment as to how this matter will be resolved.

“It is with much regret that I have to demand that your establishment replace the damaged unit of my client with another ‘brand new’ unit within twenty (20) days from receipt of this demand. Your failure to do so will constrain me to file the appropriate charges against you and your establishment. Costs of the suit and attorney’s fees equivalent to twenty five (25) per cent of the amount recoverable shall be charged against you.”

I requested dySS Super Radyo anchor/reporter LLoyd Suarez to get the reaction of Mr. Borromeo. Mr. Suarez went to Mr. Borromeo’s office several times, but the latter was always out.

Jessa Seville, the company’s sales supervisor, was the one who faced Mr. Suarez and told the radioman that the unit of Engineer Masong is still under repair as they are still waiting for parts from their main office. What? Still under repair for several months?

What’s the problem with Masong’s brand-new unit that the dealer itself cannot repair it immediately? Is it a factory defect or is it because of the unreliability of their product? Ford is an American automotive manufacturer and we presume that American products are reliable.

There have been several cases of this nature and some car manufacturers were forced to recall their products.

A recall is issued when a manufacturer determines that a vehicle equipment, car seat, or tire creates an unreasonable safety or fails. It is a safety recall your manufacturer will fix the problem free of charge. While car recall doesn’t have an expiration date, it is only enforced for reasonable periods. Basically, a recall is over if a vehicle’s manufacturer goes out of business or if the parts needed to make the necessary repair are no longer being made.

I don’t know the stand of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on this matter. Will DTI support Masong’s demand to change his defective unit to a brand-new one?

(This space is open for the explanation of Ford Cebu regarding this matter. They can email their response to bobbygnalzaro@gmail.com. – BGN)