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Dealer drives car without permission

Asked by Rob White

In June I took my 2010 Ford Escape to the local Ford dealer for a scheduled service and handed over my keys for the service to be carried out. I was asked if I had any specific problems, to which I replied no. On entering the dealer's car park I reset the tripmeter to zero. When I picked the car up after the service I was amazed to find that the vehicle had travelled 33.8 kilometres while it was in the dealer's care. When I asked them to explain how it could be that the car had been driven that far while they had it I was told that they had had problems with another Escape with a major vibration issue at 100 km/h, so they decided to see if my vehicle experienced the same issue, even though I had reported there were no issues whatsoever with the vehicle. I explained to that I was not happy and that I didn't consent to my vehicle being used as a "comparison" vehicle, and that they should have had the courtesy to advise me that the vehicle had been used for this purpose. I left the service department extremely dissatisfied with the lack of answers and angry at the blatant breach of trust shown by the dealer. On top of that, when I got into my car to drive off I found that my radio station had been changed, the air conditioner was on and the climate control was set to a different temperature, all of which raises serious doubts in my mind as to whether my vehicle was test driven for a specific purpose or used just to pick up the lunches" for the workshop boys. I now suspect the later. I am extremely unhappy with my vehicle being used in this manner and the response received thus far is unacceptable. I won't be using this dealer again, and would think seriously about buying another Ford if this is the level of service they give.

Answered by CarsGuide

18 Jul 2012 Graham Smith

You're right, they should have advised you that they wanted to test drive your car before actually doing it and hoping you wouldn't notice. I would speak to the dealer principal and express your displeasure at the treatment you receive and seek some form of compensation from him.

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