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In mid March 2018, I noticed the paint bubbling on the front of the hood on my triple yellow 2015 Mustang GT PP 50 year package. It was about the size of a dime, right above the passenger side head light. I contacted Cloninger Ford of Hickory (North Carolina) and explained the issue to the representative. I was told that the issue was a paint issue (not a corrosion issue) and would not be covered.

At this point, I grew concerned because the vehicle had less than 30,000 miles, is garage kept, and I am insanely anal about cleaning, detailing, and keeping my Mustang looking and running perfectly. I plan to pass it down to my daughter and am trying to preserve the factory paint to the best of my ability. My father did body work and painting for Porsche, so I have a bit of knowledge with what I'm doing.

I contacted Ford corporate and was told that it's a corrosion issue that should be covered and they contacted Cloninger Ford of Hickory to schedule the repair.

On March 19th, 2018, with 28,925 miles, my car arrived at Cloninger Ford of Hickory. The transmission was inspected due to a clunking noise when releasing the clutch in first gear at low RPMs/parking lot speeds. I did not receive any type of answer on what was causing this issue, if it was resolved, or any further information. The vehicle still makes this noise and can still be reproduced. They performed the door handle recall and they were informed about the passenger side puddle light image deforming, which was resolved. At this time, a new hood was ordered and the work was scheduled to be performed at Custom Body Works Inc. in Hickory, NC.

I was given a loaner vehicle and they took my car to have the new hood that they ordered painted and placed on my vehicle. I was called by Cloninger Ford of Hickory and picked up my Mustang on April 7th, 2018. It was raining outside and my vehicle was in the parking lot of their dealership. There was black and gray wet sanding/compound residue running down the front fenders and bumper of my car, the hood was not aligned properly (closer to the passenger side and a larger gap on the driver side), the color did not match, there was a crack in the clear coat near where the original corrosion appeared (front passenger side headlight), the hood vent on the passenger side was not installed properly and was raised higher than the driver side. The vent also rattled when the car was driven above 40MPH. Also, on the driver side vent, there was a one inch line that appeared to be an indentation in the paint.

I went back inside the dealership, they contacted the third party body shop that they contracted the body work out to (Custom Body Works Inc.) and I was told that it would be fixed.

On April 9th, 2018 with ~29,500 miles on my Ford Mustang was brought back to Cloninger Ford of Hickory for the hood to be repainted. After a few days, I was called and told that the work was complete. The vehicle was returned with multiple imperfections in the paint, fish eyes, scratches, bubbles, and the under side of the hood did not match the outside or the inside of the engine bay. We brought my Mustang in to their service center, marked several areas with blue markers, and they took pictures of it to send to Ford corporate to be approved to be fixed.

A few days later, the car was send back to Custom Body Works Inc. and they attempted to fix the issues. It was returned with two spots in the center of the hood where they completely sanded through the clear coat and appear dull. At this point, the new hood has several layers of paint on it, it has been worked on three times, and the vents have even more paint on them than the hood due to being the original vents. I contacted Ford Corporate on April 16th, 2018 and explained the issue with the hood. They reached out to three managers at Cloninger Ford of Hickory and I was told to go speak with either Barry Wilson, John Cloninger, or Jeffrey Shepard.

When I arrived at the dealership, I spoke with Jeffrey Shepard and they attempted to upsell me on a 2018 Mustang or a 2017 GT350 that they had in the show room. I was offered $25,000 for my Mustang and was told that a 2018 would be $300/mo more than I currently pay. No thanks. I declined the offer and left, feeling extremely insulted and let down by the quality that Ford was providing to me.

I called Ford corporate when I arrived home and was told that they would contact me the next day.

On April 17th, 2018 (National Mustang Day) I received a call from Ford Corporate that my warranty claim is now complete and that any further issues must be resolved between me and Custom Body Works Inc. (The body shop that they [Ford/Cloninger] chose to use). I was also told that due to the repeated conflict that the warranty on my Mustang is now marked as void and any further warranty claim requests will not be processed or acknowledged by Ford.

At this point, I have lost all faith in Ford or Cloninger Ford ever making this right. I have owned several Mustangs and have been a Mustang enthusiast for over two decades. I find it incredibly insulting that Ford would call a customer and try to return a vehicle in such bad shape after a warranty repair.

Below, I have included several pictures displaying the imperfections and issues that have been outlined in my story above.


Sanded through clear coat: https://imgur.com/8jpQaQb


Another picture of where the clear coat is gone: https://imgur.com/3z2xMJv


Misaligned front of hood where it meets bumper: https://imgur.com/9ejf7lW


Flat spot/indent in paint: https://imgur.com/YFUbN55


Tags marking fish eyes, scratches, imperfections and other issues at the service center inside of Cloninger Ford of Hickory: https://imgur.com/3JS3BrX


Passenger side alignment of hood: https://imgur.com/ONbOWmz


Passenger side of hood from above: https://imgur.com/h0sHuNG


Driver side hood alignment: https://imgur.com/nBtgSQY


Driver side hood alignment from above: https://imgur.com/SGg9rS6
 

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Many of us are devoted Ford owners, but this is admittedly one of the ugly sides of a company that has been in the business of manufacturing automobiles for 115 years.
I can tell you that from their point of view, they sold you a car, not a damned piano! Although they try to make them look nice, because it makes them easier to sell, mass-produced "anything" is bound to have cosmetic flaws. They know that the majority of their vehicles will pass "muster" with their owners. And the few that don't?... Well, you can't please everyone, and it is a fool's errand to even try.

With that being said, you will need to retain an attorney who is well versed in automotive consumer law in your state, if you want to pursue this matter any further.
 

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Well your alignment actually looks better than half the cars coming out of the plant! Yeah, they're that bad. I don't understand how Ford can't do a better job of aligning the front fenders, bumper and hood.

From your pictures, the car looks like a 95% job. The problem is its 5% not perfect, and your garage kept baby was perfect (to you) before. If it was newer they would probably do more to fix your car, but considering its age and mileage they're not too concerned with getting it brand new perfect since the car isn't brand new anymore. Personally, I'd see if I could get them to come up on that trade in price to about $30k to make it worthwhile to possibly upgrade.

Get a 2018 convertible with A10, PP and that car will be a real keeper as probably one of the best V8 cars before the age of electric/hybrid cars takes over. Next generation will likely go 3.5L Ecoboost instead of V8, and/or hybrid.
 

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To me it sounds like you have all of this well documented. I would contact a lawyer as well.
 

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Get a lawyer or just suck it up and buy an aftermarket hood and have a legit shop do the paint/install/align everything properly.

Even if you do get it fixed properly the bubbling will come back, note all the 1st generation Coyote cars that got their hoods fixed only to have the bubbling come back a few years later. Plenty of companies out there that make really nice aftermarket hoods.
 

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Well your alignment actually looks better than half the cars coming out of the plant! Yeah, they're that bad. I don't understand how Ford can't do a better job of aligning the front fenders, bumper and hood.

From your pictures, the car looks like a 95% job. The problem is its 5% not perfect, and your garage kept baby was perfect (to you) before. If it was newer they would probably do more to fix your car, but considering its age and mileage they're not too concerned with getting it brand new perfect since the car isn't brand new anymore. Personally, I'd see if I could get them to come up on that trade in price to about $30k to make it worthwhile to possibly upgrade.

Get a 2018 convertible with A10, PP and that car will be a real keeper as probably one of the best V8 cars before the age of electric/hybrid cars takes over. Next generation will likely go 3.5L Ecoboost instead of V8, and/or hybrid.
This x1000. Agreed that the 2018 Coyote especially with the A10 will go down as one of the greatest V8 sports cars to ever release. Its that good.
 

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Before contacting a lawyer, since Ford seems to be lazy, find out if your local news stations have any type of News Investigators for their station. Let them investigate your claim, nothing like some "FREE PUBLICITY" to get them off of their lazy butts and to the job the right way.
 
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