Ford frustrates Calgary hybrid SUV owners – Calgary

Rising fuel prices might make some Canadians consider buying a hybrid vehicle, but one Calgary man is actually reconsidering his purchase.

Gary Lambert, who considers himself environmentally conscious, bought the Ford Explorer Hybrid in 2020.

“I’ve been a tree hugger for a long time,” he told Global News. “This is the first vehicle designed specifically for towing a trailer that is a hybrid.”

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Unfortunately, ever since he bought it, the car has been parked at the dealership a lot.

“I took it in November (2020) and the first time I had a problem was January 2021,” he said. “I got an error message saying there was a power train failure and to check the engine.”

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“I took it and they reprogrammed the control module and a few other things and said, ‘Should be good to go.’”

Gary Lambert's vehicle sitting in the parking lot

Gary Lambert’s vehicle sat in the parking lot.

Source: Gary Lambert

But sadly he said his only final destination was back at the shop.

“I got three more from the power train and inspected the engine incidents in the past year or so,” he added.

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After several repairs, dealers diagnosed the problem as a problem with the vehicle’s lithium battery, Lambert said. The shop ordered a new one, which finally arrived about five months later.

“I brought the vehicle on May 9,” he said. “They said it took two days to replace the battery.”

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“That was the last time I had my car. It’s been at the dealership ever since. ”

Dealers, manufacturers try to make good

“We did everything humanly possible to get Mr. Lambert to him,” Marlborough Ford service manager Gordon Goulding told Global News by telephone.

When asked what the problem was, Goulding said dealers “did have problems getting the parts they needed.”

Lambert did not dispute growing concerns about supply chain issues. But he questioned the knowledge and training of Marlborough Ford staff in hybrid vehicles.

“They said in January that it was the battery,” he said. “Then after nine months of testing, they turned around when I brought the car and said we needed to do more tests – maybe not the battery.”

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Ford began producing hybrid vehicles in 2009.

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“I want them to find the problem and fix it. Change the battery. Or if they really want to keep testing it, bring it back to Ford and get me a new vehicle.”

Ford Canada also responded to Global News inquiries.

In a statement, the automaker said: “In a recent customer vehicle test, it ran without problems.

“Due to this inconvenience, we are offering this customer a two-month payment and apologize for the time spent without their vehicle.”

Global News asked repeatedly about Lambert’s concerns that Ford might not be sufficiently prepared to tackle issues involving hybrid or electric vehicles, but received no response.

We also asked the Canadian Association of Automobile Manufacturers the same question, but were referred back to Ford.

Gary Lambert waiting for the vehicle to be repaired.

Calgary Global

Lambert told Global News he has now heard from Ford. He said he was told the store didn’t replace the batteries, which he called “frustrating.” But he said they had replaced the battery controller module, which the manufacturer said appeared to fix the error code problem.

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He hoped for the best and was happy to finally get an explanation.

As for choosing a hybrid, he told Global News despite these issues, he doesn’t regret it.

“I really like the fuel economy, I love the environmental effect,” he added. “I really liked it, when it worked.”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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