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What do you do when an independant Ford dealership returns your vehicle in worse shape than you gave it to them. When we spoke to the Service Manager, he offered absolutely nothing. Ford said that they couldn't do anything to help us, because the dealership was independant. What recourse does a consumer have? Thanks, Amy

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Amy Mattinat, Owner and Author at Auto Craftsmen Ltd already answered this!

Patty Streeter,  at Amy, It's hard to tell what your recourse should be without knowing what happened. I would need more specific information in order to tell you exactly what to do: Year, make & model for your vehicle... What did it go into the dealer for? What was done, and how is it in worse shape? My suggestion would be to contact the local Better Business Bureau or take the dealer to small claims if there was noticeable damage. Unfortunately, Ford has no responsibility when you use an independent car repair facility. For suture repairs, ONLY take your car to an ASE certified technician or dealership. You can search for a certified tech in your area here: You might want to take it to a certified tech right away so they see what was done wrong and write up a report for you to use against the other dealer. If you can prove there was work done wrong, they may try to fix it for you. Good luck! HERE IS ANOTHER EXPERT RESPONSE: You would be amazed at what they writing a letter can do. If you spoke to the Services Manager, take it a step up. Did you talk to the GM or the owner prior to going to Ford? If not, document your concerns (with all the pertinent information) in a letter as a formal complaint. Cc the letter to the GM and Owner. Usually the culture is created from the top down, but here's to hoping that's not the case. See if that gets you anywhere. Don't hesitate to use any leverage you may have (influence or involvement in organizations and/or community, e.g. let them know that). If you're a real rebel, try reaching out to your local paper or consumer advocates group. Businesses hate bad publicity. Bottom line, you'll have to hit them where it will impact them most --- potential loss of sales.

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