DETROIT (Nov. 26, 2003) — Ford Motor Co. has revised several warranty payment schedules to placate car dealers who say technicians aren't allotted enough time to make some repairs.
Ford compensates dealerships based on the time it says is needed to complete warranty work. But technicians say some fixed labor times aren't realistic.
Francisco Codina, Ford's vice president of customer service, said four or five warranty repair concerns have been brought to his attention, “and we have fixed them.”
Ford was criticized for reducing repair times and compensation while updating warranty procedures in 1998, 1999 and 2000.
Last summer, a committee of car dealership technicians was set up to review a new set of changes to Ford's procedures that will be implemented Nov. 16.
Mr. Codina said Ford would post the changes on its internal Web site and allow technicians up to 60 days to voice concerns. Ford will meet again with the committee Dec. 6 to review the adjustments.
The committee consists of technicians from Ford, Lincoln and Mercury dealerships—including at least two from each of the auto maker's 17 sales regions.
Mr. Codina said Ford wants to build trust between technicians and the company. “If we have some labor times wrong, we'll fix them,” he said. “There is nothing to hide. We will make changes as they are required.”
He said the panel does not have veto power over the proposed changes.
“But their influence will be huge,” he said. “We have to have a collaborative environment.”