BIG TIME EMRGENCY...03 COBRA, HELP.

Discussion in 'SVT Tech Forum' started by RedSquad7, Mar 14, 2004.


  1. intellimatic

    intellimatic New Member

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    Magnuson Moss Act

    Their is a lot of information about this problem on the internet. The fact is you are protected by federal law under the Magnuson-Moss act regulated by the FTC. The dealer would have to show that your modifications caused the engine to blow as a result of improper use or defect. These engines should work without an exhaust attached to them. Replacing the pipes back to original will probably avoid most of the arguing that you may have to do. I would guess that the dealers would still see that the pipes were changed out at one time. If they do you still have a strong argument to maintain the integrity of your warranty. Remember, they have to show improper use or defects in the 3rd party equipment caused your problem. Here is a site that gives a good overview of the law.

    http://www.impalaclub.com/naisso/magmoss.htm

    Just search in google and you can find more including the actual legislature. If you modified your cars computer to accommodate the O2 sensors be sure to put the program back to original. This is where the dealer may have a stronger case.

    To let you know I sat on the arbitration boards for the better business bureau where we ordered the buy back of cars because the dealer and MFG could not show reasonable cause that the 3rd party product caused the malfunction. Good luck to you hope it all works out because it’s great car.
  2. Uncle Meat

    Uncle Meat Banned

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    The dealer doesn't have to show you jack squat. They can deny warranty work based on an owners modifications of stock equipment. Once they deny the work what are you going to do about it? Call the cops? You will have to go to court to get any satisfaction!
    That's all fine and dandy if you have the money and the time to fight "Big Brother" a.k.a. Ford! Most of us know about the Magnuson-Moss act and what it's all about. The problem is most of us don't have the time or money to pursue litigation against Ford when we as the owner of the vehicle have been denied warranty work.

    It be nice if you could just walk in to your local Ford service advisor waving the Magnuson-Moss act in their face and demanding they fix your car. Looks really good on paper, but is not practical for the average man in the real world.

    It's cool that you worked on the board for the BBB, but you only got to see the cases that made it that far into the legal process. Most of us will never get father than the dealer...

    My 2 cents...

    U.M.
  3. intellimatic

    intellimatic New Member

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    Not sure of the lemon laws in your state however in Florida once warranty work is denied the next step is to ask the dealer to meet the local Ford rep or contact ford for an appointment with the regional area ford rep. Discuss the matter with them and if you don’t get satisfaction and you think you are right then file through the lemon law act. This brings you in front of either a state representative or the BBB. NO lawyers or cost out of your pocket is needed. You are in fact better to represent yourself. In most of the cases I sat on the lawyers lost the case for the client. The forum is quite different then a court room. If you loose you don't owe ford a penny. If you win Ford may have to buy back your car. Obviously this method depends on your available time and how much you want to pursue the issue. Just some info for other who may think they don't have a chance in winning against a large car MFG. The reason why I became an arbitrator for the Lemon law was because I won a buy back of my Pontiac Firebird and felt the system worked. My time as an arbitrator is free. Your point is well taken you need to justify the effort of fighting versus replacing the parts back to original. I’m interested to find out the outcome of RedSquad7 ‘s problem.
  4. COBRA_SVT_VERT

    COBRA_SVT_VERT Founding Member

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    I wouldn't be scared of the dealer...I'd be ****ed. To few a miles on to good a motor for something like this to happen.

    Make sure you call SVT if the dealer doesn't have some good information for you today. They shouldn't be making you wait for long.
  5. AdamantiumKnot

    AdamantiumKnot Founding Member

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    I don't have a cobra but i spun three bearings in my motor and the car went in with the catted x-pipe and catback exhaust and they didn't question it at all. they just asked why my tires were worn.
  6. Uncle Meat

    Uncle Meat Banned

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    Yep! Some dealers are cool and some are ANAL RETENTIVE! It's the luck of the draw.... My service department doesn't have a problem with my headers, x-pipe, cat-back, or CAI. Hell... they are the ones who actually INSTALLED my headers!

    U.M.
  7. 92gt5.0

    92gt5.0 Founding Member

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    Let us all know when you find out what happened. Good luck dont worry they will take care of it for you. :nice:
  8. RedSquad7

    RedSquad7 New Member

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    Allright fellas,
    It put a rod through the engine block!!! The dealer is having an inspector look at the car and investigate- I guess. The service rep has said as little as possible so far...once the inspector has done his thing he'll authorize the new engine and the work. I should get another call tomorrow with more info...and I'll let you guys know.
    Thanks again for all the input...it's helped with the stress :mad:
  9. COBRA90GT

    COBRA90GT Mod Dude

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    :jaw: Hope it gets taken care of. Based on what you described in your very first post above, I can't see why Ford wouldn't choose to warranty it (it seems like something wasn't right w/ that engine from day 1).

    FWIW -

    @ intellimatic: And yes, Uncle Meat is correct about how dealers interpret the Moss-Magnuson Warranty Act. Some service departments are very picky when it comes to the slightest modifications, while others are more "reasonable," for lack of a better term. Remember, Moss-Magnuson is just a piece of paper to many dealerships & it accomplishes very little, if anything, in the real world outside of a courthouse (read: you wind up spending extra $$$ on a lawyer for a case that drags on for weeks, if not months). :D
  10. Uncle Meat

    Uncle Meat Banned

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    OK RedSquad7 - This is where you want to be really cool when you deal with the service advisor. When he says that an "inspector" is coming to look at the motor, what he means is the regional Ford representitive is coming to look at the car and make a decision on whether Ford is going to give you a replacement motor or not! He'll be the one who will give the OK for major warranty repairs BASED ON WHAT HE SEES! This is where the cleaning of the fenderwells, removal of all mods and such pays off. He's going to scour your car looking for any signs of abuse he could use as a basis for warranty denial. I'll bet you $50 the first thing he does, checks, or asks is if there's a smaller than stock pulley on the car and whether the J3 port on the ECM has been scraped clean.

    I think you're going to be okay myself. You don't have very many miles on the car and no mods. The only thing you have left on the car are the springs and he won't even notice those...

    Good luck and hopefully you'll have a new motor in her before too long!

    U.M.
  11. WMDPALMER

    WMDPALMER Founding Member

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    Good luck man! Take no prisoners!!!!!
  12. stvdman

    stvdman Founding Member

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    This is EXACTLY why I am choosing to keep my car very close to stock for the 1st year or so.

    Ill drive it pretty hard (who am I kidding, BEAT it pretty hard) and if nothing breaks I will then be confident enough to start the mods.

    It seems as though these "hand-built" engines can vary from being put together pretty poorly to extremely well built. With like ~5% being each (high and low quality) and the other 80%-90% being built within an acceptable quality range. I just want to wait long enough to realize where mine happens to be. I dont feel like taking my chances with a $12,000 engine.
  13. RedSquad7

    RedSquad7 New Member

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    stvdman quote: This is EXACTLY why I am choosing to keep my car very close to stock for the 1st year or so.

    I hear ya Bro!! I really think this was a freak incident though. I havent talked to a single person who has encountered something like this with one of these cars...The SVT guys at Ford were surprised too.

    So here's the latest...Service rep called this morning and said that ford authorized the replacement of the engine. Thank heaven for that!! They expect to have the car back to me around tues/wed next week...we'll see.

    A little birdie also told me that my PCM (or is it ECM?) appeared to have been wiped clean and had no codes on it???? So there may have been some suspicion of me having a programmer (Predator or Superchips). Well I dont have one...would like to in the future...And nothing like that has had a chance to get near the car. Its a mystery to me. Now i disconnected the negative on the battery before I put the car on stands to inspect the damage on sunday. I dont however think that clears the computer...it did'nt clear my station presets on the radio. It was only d/c for about 40-45mins.
    Any thoughts???
  14. stvdman

    stvdman Founding Member

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    "A little birdie also told me that my PCM (or is it ECM?) appeared to have been wiped clean "

    Setting you up for a fall. They may have been baiting you into saying something.
  15. Matts01cobra

    Matts01cobra New Member

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    That (disconnecting the battery cable) is probably exactly why you have no codes in the ECU. Your radio presets are retained in the radio. I do this all the time to clear the KAM while programming my 01 cobra. When you do this it actually sets a code its called OBD II drive cycle not complete or incomplete or something to that effect. As far as the J3 port there would be no mistake about wether or not it had been cleaned. If you have ever tried to get all that crap off of there you would understand what I'm talking about. They know that.....probably trying to get you to say something like stvdman suggested.
  16. COBRA90GT

    COBRA90GT Mod Dude

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    That's a very good point. They could have been "fishing." It wouldn't surprise me, I'll leave it at that. :)


    RedSquad7 - Congrats on the good news. :cheers:
  17. polakee

    polakee Founding Member

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    A friend in K.C. had his claim for a new motor denied due to the information retrieved from the "black box" Showed excessive speeds just before the motor let go. The information contained in that memory shows the operation of the vehicle for the last 15 minutes. You can't erase it or modify it. Trust me they checked it before they told you they'd take care of the new motor. I had another friend with an'01 Bullet that had a Procharger on it, blew the engine, put the car completely stock before having it towed in and the box got him too.
  18. Uncle Meat

    Uncle Meat Banned

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    Your post is a little off.... The current Mustangs, Cobra/Mach/Bullit/GT do not have the ability to record the last 15 minutes in some "Black Box". I believe I read they can store the last 5 seconds prior to air bag deployment. I'm not saying all cars don't have this ability because some of the newer ones do, but NOT the Mustang! They DO however have the ability to record specific vehicle parameters when there has been an Air Bag deployment, like in an accident. The ECM records throttle position, brake position, gear selection, RPM's, and vehicle speed at the time of deployment. The ECM also has the ability to save these same parameters when there is a major engine malfunction that causes certain error codes to be thrown. This is probably how they "busted" your friend in K.C..

    As for RedSquad7 he disconnected his battery for 45 minutes before it was taken in to the dealer and this cleared any trouble codes that may have been stored in the ECM's memory.

    U.M.
  19. stvdman

    stvdman Founding Member

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    This whole black box thing sounds like a ploy. Maybe they "say" there is a black box in there and that it recorded the last 15 mins of vehicle parameters HOPING you will fall for it and just take it up the ARSE instead of coming right back with a nice and loud........BULL$HIT!

    I would say "SHOW ME THE LAST 15 MINS, THEN ILL BELIEVE YOU!"

    They must be able to show that, someone supposedly "saw" it.....
  20. RedSquad7

    RedSquad7 New Member

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    Who knows what they can "Really" do. Whatever they have or havent found on my vehicle they've kept pretty tight lipped. I've gotten only the bare minimum from the service rep. Any additional info I have recieved has been from a caring salesman. When you have a car like we have everyone automatically assumes you've been flogging it without mercy and boiling the tires at every light....Some guys might, but you know what? You dont build and sell a supercharged 400hp car not to be driven!!! (Within reason of course). These are purpose built vehicles, advertised and sold that way....What if I pulled a powerstroke into the dealer with a fried tranny after pullin a horse trailer or something? Are they gonna say "Well you really should'nt be haulin' in this truck"!! Thats what has frustrated me the most....I've had to make all the calls for info. Ford or the dealer has never called to atleast say "Buddy, we're sorry this has happened to your car. We're looking into it and we'll do our best to help you". I would have had to been murdering this car to kill it in 1286.5 miles!!! I have more respect than that for the first new and most expensive car I've purchased. Its seems to be an outlandish concept to the Ford and SVT people I spoke with that this may have simply been a bad engine!! An SVT guy told that when my busted engine is shipped to them they are gonna tear it down and look for signs of Nitrous and whatever else!! Good Luck....I never had the chance.

    Sorry for the venting....I'll get over it. Hope to enjoy my car again next week.

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