When you take your car into the dealership, you expect it to be fixed by professionals who treat your vehicle better than their own.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen and this case is particularly cringeworthy as dashcam video has recorded a dealership employee learning how to drive a stick in a customer’s Ford Focus RS.
As you can see in the clip, the driver is clearly unsure of how to operate a manual transmission so he’s being coached by another employee who is apparently seated in the front passenger seat. This becomes readily apparent as the duo reach a stop sign and the ‘coach’ has to remind the driver to use the clutch.
After slowly going through the intersection, the driver appears to accidentally shift into neutral. These mistakes continue for a bit and, at the 4:15 mark, the coach tells the driver to put the Focus into neutral, rev the engine up to 4,000 rpm and then shift into gear. The first attempt fails due to a miscommunication, while the second results in the driver stalling out. After another failed attempt, the driver and coach switch positions and the coach (now driver) shows the other person how to drive.
They switch positions once again and joke about how they don’t have to worry if they screw something up because the car is new. Eventually, they return to the dealership where the driver manages to stall out mid turn.
This obviously shouldn’t have happened and Jalopnik talked to the Focus’ owner, Karol Zwolinski, who was clearly upset. As Zwolinski explained, he took his car into Hawk Ford of Oak Lawn, Illinois to have the head gasket replaced as part of a recall. After noticing the car had been driven for 10 miles (16 km), when the dealership said it hasn’t been driven on the paperwork, he reviewed the dashcam footage.
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After reviewing the video, Zwolinski made a copy and dropped it off at the dealership where he viewed some of the footage with an employee. That person said they would show the footage to their boss and get back to Zwolinski shortly. However, the dealership never called or replied to e-mails. As a result, Zwolinski published the video to YouTube to shame the dealer.
Jalopnik reached out the dealer, but hasn’t heard anything back. However, this seems to have motivated the dealer to respond to Zwolinski as they reportedly called offering him some “free maintenance services.”
What happens next remains unclear, but this certainly isn’t acceptable behavior from either the dealership or its employees.
Warning: Video contains NSFW language