Broomfield couple seeks answers about wind-damaged van; Ford mum on delivery date

Multiple cars 'pitted' at rail unloading facility

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BROOMFIELD, Colo. — A Broomfield couple, whose new car was damaged during an unusually strong April 17 windstorm, reached out to Contact 7 for help getting answers about the extent of the damage, and when it will be repaired.

Dave and Judith Morgan custom ordered a Ford Transit 150 XLT van in late January.  

They wanted a vehicle with a towing package so they could pull their travel trailer on a cross-country trip along the route of the Lewis & Clark expedition.

"We looked at motorhomes," Dave Morgan said.  "We looked at trailers and decided to buy a travel trailer and then we wanted a vehicle to tow it."

They purchased their 2018 Transit Van from Spradley Barr Ford in Fort Collins for $42,280.

Mr. Morgan said they put $2,500 down and traded in their 2015 Honda Odyssey minivan.

He said, on March 30, they were told "the build was on schedule" and that "the vehicle would be here in mid-April."

"That's when we transferred possession of the trade-in," he said. "Around April 15, we were told the vehicle was in Denver and would be delivered by April 20."

Runaround

He said on the 20th, they were told it would be delivered no later than the 25th.

"On April 25, we were told the windstorm damaged many vehicles in a rail yard on April 17 and that Ford would not release them until the damage was reconciled with the insurance carrier," Morgan said.

"We've already missed one planned vacation in May," he added, "and we may have to cancel another."

Morgan said he's made several phone calls trying to get answers, with no success.

Denver7 reached out to the manufacturer, Ford Motor Company; to the dealer, Spradley Barr; and to Union Pacific Railroad, in at attempt to learn the extent of the damage and what kind of repairs are needed.

Ford Motor did not return repeated email requests for comment.

Jack Wroten, the General Manager at Spradley Barr did return a phone call and said, "the customer has been very understanding and has shown an extreme amount of patience, probably more than I would have."  

He said a number of cars at the off-loading facility were damaged by ferocious winds.

There are two major off-loading facilities in Metro Denver, Union Pacific's Rolla facility on I-76 in Henderson and Burlington Northern's Big Lift facility on Titan Road in Douglas County.

Wroten said he thinks the cars that were damaged were at the Rolla facility.

A spokeswoman for Union Pacific declined to talk about any damage to cars and directed us to Ford.

A Denver7 news crew observed a dent repair truck and a windshield repair truck leaving the Rolla facility late Thursday afternoon.

Wroten said all he's been able to learn from the manufacturer is that there was apparently some damage to paint and glass. 

"I've never even heard of a car having wind damage to the extent that it would prevent the car from being sold to the customer," he said.

He added that he hasn't been told how long the repairs will take.

"Believe me, in my business, those are the things that we can't control that are the most frustrating," he said, adding that "it wasn't just Fords that were damaged, but other makes as well."

Left in the dark

Morgan can't believe that paying customers are being left in the dark.

"Maybe the damage is a lot worse than they're implying," he said. "If it requires repainting, the repaint isn't going to be the same quality, or have the same life as the factory paint job. I'm really concerned about that, and will I even know?"

Wants options

Options:

  • Repair car now and return it ASAP
  • Return car for vacation use, repair afterward
  • Provide a loaner with tow package

Wroten said Ford may reach out to Morgan.

We will update this story to report any resolution.

 

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