Our rental car was a brand new 2011 Ford Fusion. We waited in line for what seemed like too long, especially since we were “Avis Preferred.” The fellow ahead of us in line was brokering a deal for an upgrade, and made a grand show of offering the reservationist Whopper coupons. When I was asked if a Ford Fusion would suit our needs, I reflexively answered, “What else do you have?”
Defensively, Customer-Service-Agent Whopper-Eater said, “But it’s brand new. It’s a nice car.”
We drove the Fusion about 60 miles each day, filling it up twice in ten days. It cornered fine, accelerated adequately for both Tucson surface streets (which have speed limits from 35 to 50 mph) and the I-10 freeway, which has a speed limit of 75 mph outside the city limits. It had a classy leather interior, the air-conditioner blasted us with cold air when necessary, and the seat heaters were prompt. My daily driver is a nine-year old BMW wagon, which I love, but the Ford was reasonably pleasant. It really was brand new, having less than ten miles on the odometer.
It had one significant flaw.
The trunk is opened by depressing a button on the key fob, or a button on the dash. The trunk unlocks, and opens a crack. Nowhere on the trunk lid is there a handle for opening or closing it. There is a strap on the inside of the lid for bringing it down, but if you use it to try to close the lid it will slam it on your arm. When we took possession of it, we noticed the license plate was bent. We realized after a couple of days of regular use, someone had bent the license plate using it to open the trunk. Someone had bent the license plate within the first ten miles of the car’s life.
Do we think Ford knows?