Supply chain issues with recalled car parts leave drivers without their cars for months

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) — Supply chain issues continue to impact drivers who have a recalled part on their car.

A Fayetteville woman waited months without her car, and she is not alone.

“I went to crank my car and it wouldn’t go in reverse,” Eboni Torres said. Once she called the Ford dealership, she quickly learned she would be left without her Ford Focus for more than a few days. The part she needed to fix her problem, a new transmission control module (TCM), was covered under her warranty but it was not easy for the dealership to get.

Torres said a representative at the dealership told her, “It’s on backorder and we can’t give you an update; we don’t know when we will get it in.”

This is not the first time ABC11 Troubleshooter Diane Wilson has covered an issue with this particular part before. Ross Asbill waited more than six months without his Ford Focus for the same recall repair.

“No rental, no loaner, no nothing. We’re just stuck without a vehicle,” Asbill said.

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Ford nor the dealerships are offering rental cars in these two situations, just telling drivers the TCM part is on backorder.

“I pay over $500 every month and then the insurance, so I got to pay all of that and then no update,” Torres said.

Recalls are a major problem for drivers.

“There are about one in five cars on the road with a current open recall. These are safety issues, and North Carolina is no different, it has more than 1.6 million vehicles currently on the road with an open recall,” Emily Voss with Carfax said. According to Carfax’s data, just over 18{09e594db938380acbda72fd0ffbcd1ef1c99380160786adb3aba3c50c4545157} of vehicles on the road in the Raleigh-Durham area have an open recall, that’s about 544,000 vehicles.

Carfax does have this free tool, where you can put in a VIN and check to see if there is an open recall. You need to make sure you do this if you’re in the market for a used car.

“There is a federal law in place that prevents new cars from being sold with an open recall. But there is nothing in place that prevents a used car from being sold with an open recall,” Voss said.

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When it comes to Torres and her Ford Focus. After waiting months and not getting updates from the dealership on when the recalled part would be in, she got in touch with Troubleshooter Diane Wilson. “I knew you could get me some help. I see how you get some other people’s help, and I need some help. I need my car back.”

Wilson got in touch with the dealership and within days of our involvement, Torres got a text from the dealership that the part was in and her car was ready. She picked it up and is so happy to be driving her car again.

Wilson continues to hear from other Ford car owners waiting for the same repair due to the part being on backorder. Also, Ford is not alone, as there is still a supply chain issue with several car parts, so other manufacturers are having the same issue with open recalls. That’s why it’s so important to do your research, especially if buying a used car, make sure you do a recall check to see if you’ll run into any problems.

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