Space, comfort and fuel economy attracted Martin Gore to the Ford Mondeo, and in February he found what he thought was the perfect example at Arnold Clark in Leyland, Lancs. By the time Martin went to collect the car it was late and dark, and although he persevered with a cursory inspection, there was no time for a test drive.
After signing the paperwork, he noticed one of the front tyres was nearly flat. Not a good start. The salesman drove with Martin to a local garage to reinflate the tyre. Finally Martin was homeward bound, but he didn’t get far before the road noise prompted him to turn round and take the car right back to Arnold Clark.
The salesman he’d been dealing with had gone home for the evening, but one of his colleagues was able to help. He went out in the car with Martin but said he couldn’t hear anything unusual. He suggested the noise was due to Martin not being used to the car.
However, the next day Martin noticed a hesitation when changing from first to second gear. The revs rose by around 300rpm and then the car lurched forward. He went back to Arnold Clark who suggested he take the car to a Ford dealership. No one was able to find a fault with the gearbox, although the ECU was updated a number of times.
When the car’s fuel economy started to slump considerably, Martin tried to reject the car, only to be told by Arnold Clark that he couldn’t do that as he had bought the car on finance. He got in touch with the finance company but both parties insisted upon an independent report from DEKRA costing around £200.
Martin then called Helpdesk. We got in touch with Arnold Clark, outlining everything Martin had been through. After investigating further, it offered to pay for a full independent mechanical inspection of the car to reassure Martin or allow him to pursue repair or rejection.
As we went to press, the software on the Mondeo’s onboard computer had been updated by Ford, and Martin said he’d noticed an improvement in its running.
What if this happens to you?
- Always take a test drive, and if you're unhappy about any aspect of it, do not buy the car.
- Try to avoid taking delivery of the car when it's dark and time is limited.
- If you buy your car on finance, update your finance company as soon as possible and ask for its intervention.