You might seek out a Ford Certified Pre-Owned vehicle in order to have greater peace of mind with the expectation that you will purchase a quality used car. In Ford’s words, “The Ford Certified Pre-Owned Program takes the risk out of buying a previously owned vehicle.”
Unfortunately, don’t expect to pay a premium in return for that quality assurance if the CPO inspection was performed by Washington Ford. On my 2014 CPO Explorer I originally noticed that the liftgate was misaligned the day I purchased the car. According to line item 27, “Doors, Hood, Decklid/Tailgate Alignment”, of the CPO checklist, the liftgate alignment should have been explicitly checked and corrected in order to receive certification. This clearly went unnoticed despite being certified as the left side stuck out about 1”.
Fast forward to present day 8mo later and my liftgate has rust bubbles penetrating the exterior. After taking the car to a local Ford dealer, they noticed that the liftgate has been unprofessionally patched (not to Ford quality) and where it was damaged is now experiencing rust. With this information I reached out to Washington Ford since this was not a disclosed issue when the vehicle was purchased despite line item 26 of the CPO inspection calling for a “Doors, Hood, Decklid/Tailgate and Roof Inspection” and being that I had a documented issue with the liftgate previously.
It was requested that I drive to Washington Ford (5hrs round trip) in order for their people to inspect the liftgate. Upon doing so, the sales manager (not a service/warranty manager) looked at the liftgate and claimed that “if the issue is less than the size of a credit card there is no problem.” Furthermore, he stated that he would still pass this vehicle as a CPO car despite seeing the flaws in the repair work. After a 15 minute debate of the sales manager, Kevin, contradicting himself whenever I would question his judgement on the issue, he ended the conversation claiming that he had “customers to deal with,” as if I was not a paying customer of Washington Ford. Ultimately he left me with two options, “trade it in for something we have that you think is clean enough for you, or get on the road.”
To borrow another few quotes from Ford:
“Before you hit the road in a Ford Certified Pre-Owned vehicle, we put every car, truck, SUV and crossover to the test. Only the vehicles that pass our 172-point inspection become
Ford Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) vehicles.”
“Before any vehicle can be called a Ford Certified Pre-Owned vehicle,
it must pass a stringent 172-point inspection. Factory-trained technicians recondition any component that does not meet program standards, or they replace it with only new Ford Motorcraft® or Ford Authorized Remanufactured Parts.”
Kevin, the sales manager insisted that these quotes and their interpretations were merely my opinions despite the clear technical language written by Ford Motor Company regarding their CPO inspection.
In conclusion, Washington Ford does not accurately and honestly inspect all of their CPO vehicles. If I could go back in time, I probably would not purchase another Ford due to the lack of accountability dealers are held to, but I ABSOLUTELY would not make a purchase from Washington Ford ever again based on their unwillingness to take responsibility for their shortcomings and treating a customer rudely in addition to being inconsiderate regarding the time and expense for me to make a 5hr drive for them to “inspect” my issue.