Journeying East – Day ???

So, I don’t have the energy for any of my blogging M.O.’s….hysteric rants, sappy melodrama, amateur poetry or over-analytical self exploration.  I have facts, pure, terrifying, unbelievable facts.

I wrote on facebook, in jest last night, that we may end our travels in Albuquerque, due to the loveliness of the hotel and our desperate need for a break.  However, I had no idea that the silly thought would soon hold more truth than we imagined.

Smoke spewing out of the back of a vehicle is never a good thing, but it’s even less fortunate while in the middle of the desert with two small children.  Still, when the problem was noticed yesterday, I felt confident that the purchase of our Toyota vehicle, from a large and reputable Ford dealership on the 17th of December (not even three weeks ago) would be in good hands here at a Toyota dealership in Albuquerque.  It was after all, not only still covered by the factory warranty, but we purchased the additional bumper to bumper warranty as well.  I even felt that the mishap was a blessing of sorts, as I was longing to stay here another night and catch our breath before setting off once again.

When the dealership here in Albuquerque called to give the news of what the situation was, we felt paralyzed.  Not only did the mechanic open up the oil filter and plainly see that it was filled with sludge, but after punching in the VIN number in the Toyota database, it came up that the warranty was voided for this particular repair before we bought it, as it was due to maintenance neglect, and the entire engine was corroded. We purchased the vehicle with 26,000 miles on it, and it was documented that the oil had not been changed the entire 26,000 miles.   It was reported to Toyota that the car was severely unsafe and undrivable.  He was shocked and horrified that we had driven 900 miles and said that it could have ignited at any moment.

No, this isn't me or our car, but I found it online and it looks about right.

After frantic phone calls to the Ford company (who shall at this point remain nameless due to legal factors), they claimed that they had no idea that the engine was in this state, and said they would NEVER have sold us the car, had they known.  They were apologetic, they were horrified, the whole company now knows me by first name….great.  But, at day’s end, I still have nothing in writing.  The President of the company verbally told me on the phone today that he was sure they would “do the right thing and this would have a happy ending.”  But after they found out that we are not in CA where they could make it all go away with a new vehicle, I was called by another person saying the President would be in contact tomorrow.  I asked him to promise me that we would not be paying for this, and he said “_____Ford stands by their cars.  We don’t sell lemons.  If anyone would take a hit on this, it will be _____Ford”  I then asked him to promise me that we would not be stuck in Albuquerque for over a week.  He paused and said “I don’t know.”

So, that’s that.  I’m trying to feel confident that we aren’t out 7500 dollars, but the money for the extra hotel nights, food and rental car is questionable.  They did validate that this was a HUGE mistake and is of no fault of ours.  Of course, however, it’s not theirs either, just for the record. The President made sure to tell me that the information they now have from Toyota is not able to be accessed by them, and they would have no way of knowing.  However, the mechanic here said that if anyone lifted the lid of the oil tank, they would have seen the thick sludge.

Until I see in writing, what they are going to do to rectify it, I’m having a hard time trusting that we wont have to get lawyers involved.  I am just thankful we are in a nice and comfortable place that the kids are enjoying, and that rental cars in Albuquerque cost ten dollars a day.  Also, I am astoundingly grateful that this issue did not cause physical harm to my family while on the road. I welcome thoughts any of you may have if you have information on the laws of such matters.  For now…we wait for _____Ford to “do the right thing.”

Entertaining ourselves in the Hotel

The sign behind them says "No children allowed" Oops

13 responses to “Journeying East – Day ???

  1. I’m sure that when president Obama gets back to you, he will offer you air force one for the trip! Love ya… It’s going to have a VERY happy ending!

  2. Holy Crap indeed – that was my first thought! I’ll say a prayer it works out painlessly! In the meantime, I implore you to go Santa Fe, either by car or by train. I have only been once, but absolutely loved it. So will you!! 🙂 xo

  3. UGH. I just checked in to see how the adventure was going and read the latest. Glad you guys are safe. Hang in there!

  4. OK first…there’s clearly a reason you’re not supposed to on the road right now. FORD will do the right thing or you will sah-yooooo! They should be reimbursing you for the hotel, car rentals, food et. al. including the attorney’s fees for that nice lawyer in Albuquerque to write them the really polite, ball busting letter to that effect!! keep us posted Em and meantime enjoy the desert. Muah!

  5. Really? I mean….really? Shit balls!……I hope the kids arent reading this 😉

  6. Sending you the number of a good friend in Albuquerque who may be able to help out in some way.

  7. Oh Em!!! I’m so sorry!! I’m so glad none of you were hurt…that dealership is obviously reckless!! I can’t believe that NO ONE noticed the oil was sludge!?!? Really????? I’m astounded at how stupid people can be. My only piece of advice is to get something in writing…and I mean on your end. Find someones email address and write a letter documenting what happened and how you hope the situation is rectified. Every time I’ve documented something through email, it puts a fire under the companies behind b/c of the documentation aspect. You may have already done this but just thought I’d pass it along. Keep me posted and enjoy some down time OUT OF THE CAR!! 🙂 XOXO

  8. Hi Emily,
    Just left a voice message on your cell. There is lots to do here in albuquerque with little ones. If you would like any recommendations please don’t hesitate call!

    Hope things work out quickly.

    Pam (Jerry’s friend)

  9. I don’t have anything to offer other than sorry this has happened during your trip. 😦 Just remember things have a way of working out in the end.

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