May 1, 2002
 

Mr. William Ford, Jr., Chairman, CEO
Ford Motor Co.
One American Road
Dearborn, MI 48126

Re: 2001 SVT-Cobra

Dear Mr. Ford:

After viewing your recent commercial about how much you like the Mustang, you should drive mine.  Itís the white 2001 SVT-Cobra that your firm bought back (VIN #  1FAFP47V81F217332) in November 2001 to figure out why these cars exhibit a ďspark knockĒ problem.

I opted to get another 2001 SVT-Cobra, which seemed like a good idea at the time.  Right now, I wish that I had taken cash and bought something from another manufacturer.  I figured that if this car had the same problem, that would be ok because the problem is being looked into, and a solution will be forthcoming.  The replacement car exhibits the same problem, and there still is no solution.  Itís been 9 months since I first reported this problem with the first car.

Iíve enclosed all my correspondence with several of your employees, along with a summary of what has transpired since my initial purchase.  I hope you can see to it that this problem is resolved.  Currently I cannot enjoy the car in its current handicapped state and I want it fixed.  Local tuners that Iíve spoken to have successfully tuned these problematic cars by adding a computer chip, but of course that would most likely void my warrantee.  Why canít Ford fix this?

I bought a 2001 SVT-Cobra because of my prior experience with a 1998 SVT-Cobra.  That experience was such that when it was totaled in a wreck I immediately wanted another Cobra.  I waited three months for it to be built and delivered because this is the only car I wanted.  Now when I take the car to local Nor-Cal SAAC events and people ask me how I like the car, all I can tell them is my disappointment.

Cordially,
 

Kevin P. Laird
 
 

Summary of events:
(Details can be found in the enclosed e-mails)
 

May 23, 2001   Picked up my first 2001 SVT-Cobra

August 1, 2001  noticed the car detonating while on two vacation trips.  When I got back I posted on a few Internet message boards to see if anyone else had this issue.  Several people reported the same issue.  Pam Cooper Responded on the SCOA.org message board that I should take it to The dealer as there has been some reports regarding this condition.

September 5, 2001  I took the car to the dealer who ran several tests per SVT tech. line. couldnít find anything wrong.

September 6, 2001  Mark Wilson contacted me.  I exchanged with him the details about
when the condition exists.

October 4, 2001  I brought the car to the dealer per Mark Wilson and Rick Nowaczyk
for more tests.  These tests lasted a full week.  The result was that my motor was to be sent back to the factory for examination. A few days later they decided theyíd rather have the entire car to examine.

November 15, 2001  My original car is swapped for a new car.

January 16, 2002  I report to Mark that the new car has the same condition as the old
car.

January 24, 2002  Mark arranged for a test PCM to be sent out for me to try out for
them and tell them what I think.

January 25, 2002  I tell Mark the condition still exists.

March 8, 2002   Per Mark I take the car to the dealer to have them put my original
PCM back into the car and reflash it, effectively making it the same programming as the test PCM.  It still exhibits the problem.

April 27, 2002  Dealer called stating an engineer at Ford wanted me to bring the car in on Friday.  I can't due to prior engagement and ask what are they going to do.  He's not sure but that it isn't a fix.  I tell him to have the engineer call me since he doesn't know.  I never hear back from anyone.

May 1, 2002  Send above letter to Mr. Ford

May 22, 2002  Recieved a "complimentary" call from Ford stating they received my letter and are looking into it.

September 2002  Never heard anything from anyone.  Received in the mail a photocopy of a form letter stating that if I wanted further action it would go to Arbitration.  To go forward with that I had to mail a letter back requesting the forms.

October 2002  received the brochure and will submit as soon as possible.

December 2002  Dispute Settlement Board approved a 5yr/100,000mi. bumper-to-bumper warranty.  They can
                        be contacted at:
                            Ford Dispute Settlement Board
                            PO Box 5120
                            Southfield, MI 48086-5120
                            Toll free: 1-800-428-3718