Dealership technicians are one of the most vital sources of product information for Ford Motor Company. The information that they provide to Ford today helps improve the quality of vehicles we build tomorrow. The comments, test results and other diagnostic information are provided to the engineering community, which draws this information from the warranty claims. (Per Warranty and Policy Manual, Section 1 – Version 2.5 – Page 8)
Technician Warranty Requirements per Ford:
Document the 3 C’s (Concern, Cause & Correction).
Concern: Re-verify the customers concern as documented during write up.
Cause: Why the repair is necessary/ identification of the defect as determined by the technician. Explain damage (water pump cracked at inlet tube causing coolant leak).
Correction: Describe repair steps performed to resolve the cause. Provide all steps completed and document all tests completed.
Technicians must record all (DOCUMENTED) key measurements, observations on the hard copy of the claim or in the computer. Record ALL DTC Codes, Pinpoint Test Results, Pressure Test, Voltage, or any other measurements from any test being performed by the technician to diagnose the customer concern, including equipment readings (wheel alignment etc).
If a technician is directed to a certain repair procedure by the Hot-Line or other technical assistance group, they still MUST document on the hard copy or computer along with providing a copy of the hot line report.
When doing a Cost Cap technicians MUST justify all the parts on that Cost Cap to Ford, why they need replaced and what the failure of each part is. Contaminated and metal fillings in the system is the end result but does not accurately support a true defect from the findings. Verbiage such as scored, gouged, frozen, excessively worn, broken, cracked etc. are the true defects that require the parts to either be replaced or included on the cost cap form.
When working on a modified vehicle (power vehicles, construction, ambulances etc.) technicians must document what they had to remove out of the way to get to the Ford component that failed. Do not use candid comments such as ambulance package because each unit will have different items added. List like radio, scanner, extra alternator, laptop mount, siren, lights, wire harness with 20 wires splice, cow pusher, snow plow etc.
As we all know Ford does a random audit of close to 33 dealers a year. We understand that some auditors are from a technical background, some former FSE’s. So they are looking more closely at tech comments, test results, PPT results (what test and pass/ fail and readings) any measurements from test equipment readings. Many times we get comments stating the pinpoint test used and yes or no to move to the next test. In order to get yes or no you must produce a numerical test or an observation. This will be required and needs to be documented in your story. This documentation will help support actual time if required and provide a starting point in possible future repairs. I know many times these test results are written in a notebook or scrap piece of paper but these are vital results that will support the claim for payment. Ford has a right to chargeback the repair within one year of the claim payment if they feel you are lacking proper documentation.
Here is an example of proper documentation of the pinpoint test from one of our dealerships warranty claims.
Example of how to document a proper PPT:
The technician is responsible to document accurate comments to support the parts and time that they have into every job to get paid.
If more than one part is replaced to support a repair all related damage parts must be supported with how they are related to the causal part with a true defect.
Also, remember that extensive test drives and talking to the Hot-Line is not able to be claimed as actual time because Ford feels this is management responsibility. What needs to be documented is the testing they are requesting with the findings added to the comments of the claim. Printing out the Hot-Line contact is important and should be stapled to the repair order and filed with the claim.
Recalls, ONP and TSB’s comments:
Recalls and ONP’s do require documentation of your findings and what steps you completed. Many of these have many paths you may follow so supporting the direction you went to repair the vehicle. Also, remember the TSB’s are the extension of the shop manual and require the same documentation as a regular repair. This include all test results and making sure that the use of TSB’s are supported by the vehicle and symptoms that you find. No one knows what you did if you do not have more comments than “Completed the recall or TSB”.
Bottom line the technician comments are the most vital part of the warranty claim process. Without an explanation of what was completed the claim is dead in the water. If during the water leak, wiring repair, wind noise repair you have to remove items from a vehicle you MUST document them because we cannot assume because Ford has no idea what was completed by the technician without detailed comments.
No one knows what was done without details written on the repair order. Lack of documentation will short change the technician and the dealership. We also want to insure Ford has very little grounds to debit your dealership back after the claims are paid. We at Summer Dealer Services are at the end of the process and these items must be addressed prior to us obtaining the repair order. We are a team and we want you to collect all the monies you are entitled to and nothing more. With your help we hope to prevent any sizable chargeback if your number is pulled by Ford. Thank you. Feel free to contact us at any time (989) 348-9755. We are all here for you!
See attached: a copy of Technician Responsibilities for Warranty Repairs produced by Ford.
January 12, 2018