BOUGHT THE SEMI USED VAN IN 08, the beginning of 08, end of Feb. It had around 32,000 miles on it from Florida, 1 previous owner, and it came with a 1 yr warranty I believe, however we purchased an extended warranty for the power train.
While driving between 55 - 70 miles an hour on a country road, all of a sudden, out of nowhere, I lost all acceleration. The van would not go; it was like pressing on the gas pedal was like pressing on air. I had it towed to where I bought it; I believe this was towards the end of 08, beginning of 09, within the first year of my purchase. The dealer says the torque converter went out; they fixed it, it took a couple of weeks, and it was covered under my warranty.
This was not the first or last problem during the first year we had owned it. Too many to list, all fixed under warranty...
End November, beginning December 2010, while driving around 65 miles an hour, again I lose all acceleration with no notice or warning. The van is done, had to have it towed, a huge ordeal; was an hour and a half away from home. The dealership calls to tell me it is yet again the torque converter. Just wait, it gets better... According to computer match up, we are the only people in Illinois who's 04 Freestar torque converter has gone out twice on them. The only ones, even though countless amounts of 04 Freestar's torques have gone out once, we were the lucky ones.
Oh, and then it gets even better. Our extended warranty had gone up due to the mileage, not the months, just recently. I was responsible for the repairs. Almost 2 months, yep that's what I said, almost 2 months and 1700 dollars later, I got my van back, I think Jan 16 2011.
We are now in May, the 24th to be exact, and twice in the last two weeks, while accelerating from a stop, when I reach between 30 - 40 mph, all of a sudden it feels like it is just stuck. The RPMs are revving around 4, but the speed needle is not moving; it is sitting around 30 mph. After letting up both times, and then giving it some gas, it jerked forward very hard, and then drove fine and dandy, and didn't miss a beat... I take back to dealer; of course it drives great when they test it, so all they can go on is what I tell them it did, and it did it to me twice. According to a Ford tranny specialist, he is sure that my actual tranny, not the torque converter (what I assumed it was, and is under warranty from the last time it was fixed) that is going out. Says it will do what it did more and more, just get progressively worse over time, until it does it so many times it will eventually trigger a warning light. They informed me when that time comes, and it will, they said do not disconnect the battery, bring in right away, they will run the code and confirm I need to replace the tranny.. he basically implied without coming right out and saying it, that "your clutches on your tranny have become weakened and it is on its way out the door". I take that statement to really mean, that because the Ford company has a major defect in the torque converters in all 04 and 05 Freestars, and will not recall, we have had to replace the torque twice in less than a 2 year period of each other, which resulted in us obviously having to tear the tranny apart completely, which most likely ended up straining and weakening the clutches of the tranny, which is causing it not to want to shift into the gear it is supposed to, but become stuck until forced to go eventually, and will go out completely.
I am stuck with the 2500 (estimate) bill, as it is the tranny they claim, not the torque converter. Had it been the torque converter, I would have still been covered under their measly warranty they give for repairing it. However, this is on me, even though this is a direct result from their known defect that I just had to dump 1700 dollars into, not even 4 months and around 7,000 miles ago.
So I have no real choice but to fix it, so I will have put almost 5,000 dollars into this piece of garbage in a matter of 4 months... does anyone else see a huge ethical problem with this situation??? And furthermore, the best warranty they're willing to give after replacing the tranny is the same they gave me for the torque converter... 12,000 miles or 12 months, whatever comes first...
OK, so now I am prepared to fix it after I scrape and save the money for at least 2 months, and pray in the mean time the van will last until I have enough, and then not only be prepared to have to do it all over again a year or so from now, as it seems to be the cycle, but have to worry every time I get in it if the tranny is going to go, and when it will go, where I will be when it decides to go... I have 4 small children I tote around, and this is highly dangerous if it goes out, and I have no choice but to coast and try to get off to the side. I'm taking a huge chance of getting rear ended or worse, but Ford obviously does not care about the safety of its customers at all, or they would have recalled this proven defect already... Let's forget about the high cost of the same repair constantly, and focus on safety.. Is this worth someone's life?? Really???
Now all I can think about is how I paid around 15,000 cash for this van, so that I would have a reliable, dependable vehicle, and would not have to worry about things like this, only to have been stuck with a money pit that has had one issue after another since I purchased the thing...
What would I like to see happen? Well it never will, but I do believe Ford is to blame for the tranny going out, as it was likely to be their defect that caused this current situation, therefore at the very least they should eat at least half of the repair costs, if not all of it... some sort of break or discount, or something, anything should be given, and I should not have to even ask for it or complain till I'm blue about it, it should just be done... And seeing as I'm the only one in Illinois who has had to replace the defective torque twice, in a short period of time for that matter, I should be getting treated with the utmost sincerity and respect, and should have it recognized that this is wrong on so many different levels. The dealership itself should be doing anything in their power to accommodate me, but all I get is grief and attitude; even giving me a hard time when it went the first time, and I was under warranty and I demanded a loaner vehicle; I mean really??? I think that is the very least you can offer me... so I am open to suggestions; where do I go from here?
I have already called Ford headquarters, and filed a formal complaint that has been documented, and contacted the law group that is suing Ford for this defective torque converter in a class action lawsuit, and am currently waiting to hear back from them still... What else is left for a consumer to do? This is completely ridiculous and a known danger to our safety, but what choice do I have, other than to wait for it to finally go, then fix it? I cannot sell it to some poor soul knowing its problems; that would make me the same as Ford. If I trade it in, I'm losing loads of money, and gaining a car payment that I do not want, which is the whole entire reason I paid in full for the vehicle in the first place. Someone please tell me you have a similar story, as I've read all the complaints I can find, and all are bad, however mine is way worse. Only wish I had to deal with this just once!!! Someone help me!!!