2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E: Wedding Anniversary Gift Turned Sour

Couple looks on as 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E is towed away.


By Suzanne Henderson
LETTER 151 – November 2023 | Frustrated in Fremont

Dear Suzanne,

When you get yourself a gift, you hope it doesn’t come back to bite you. Unfortunately this was the case with my car. My husband and I celebrated our anniversary last year and as a gift to ourselves we got our dream car. It was the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E, which we purchased brand new at a Ford dealership.

At the time it had less than 20 miles, and as it was brand new, didn’t have any aftermarket parts or anything. We’ve also not had any accidents, so all in all the car is still fairly new, only having 13,692 miles on it as I write this.


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Electrical Problems This Early? Shocking!

The problem now with the car revolves around the electrical system. We took pictures and videos as evidence of these issues which began only four months after getting the car. Since these issues started, we have taken the car multiple times to the dealership for repairs. This is where things get frustrating and complicated.

When I first ran into problems with the electrical system, I took the car back to the Ford dealership we purchased it at. But that was the first and last time I did that, because they couldn’t fix it at all. The dealer’s location is kinda too far from where I live so I don’t have the luxury of traveling far distances to have my car checked for issues without any fix.

Since I didn’t want to drive so far back and forth, I found another certified Ford dealer closer to me and took it in. Everything seemed fine when I left it in their shop, but they said it would be about a month with the promise that they would fix everything by the time I get the car back. During this period they did not offer me a rental.

As such, I had to rely on ordering Uber rides to go to work or whenever I wanted to go out. In total, I’ve spent no less than $700 on Uber rides in the time they kept my car. This isn’t including the monthly payments I’m still making on the car I can’t even drive.

The worst part is that after I got the car back, the issues were still present. I can’t believe they never tested it after the repair, so the only thing I can imagine is they just said “eh, we did our best” and gave me back a broken car. Another small thing is I noticed they had removed the sticker that I left on the windscreen.

It was an intentional move not to remove this sticker that came with the car when we purchased it. It had information on when and where it was purchased. I don’t really understand why they removed it since it wasn’t in the way of any repairs they needed to do. This may seem like a trivial thing, but I’m a meticulous person when it comes to certain things. I like to have things the way I left them.

A couple of days after they returned the car, I received a dashboard notification. It read “Collision avoidance system not functioning”. Not long after, another message popped up in succession saying “The front and rear cameras do not work”. All this from a car that the dealer claimed they had fixed. I don’t know what to believe anymore. It makes me wonder what kind of car I’m driving if we’re paying almost $1000 per month and it’s still not working well.

Battery Issues on Top of Everything Else?!

Another issue I had with the car was the power consumption. Just recently I charged the car and then drove for about 10 miles, maybe less. The battery went from 30% to 0% within that short of a period. I was convinced that this was a computer error, because how else do you explain that? On a normal day, a 30% battery charge would last 40 miles or more, so it was shocking to see the battery run down within 10 miles.

When I called the Ford dealership to report this to them, they asked me to make an appointment and bring the car in again. But when they returned it, it was like they did nothing with the car, I swear they returned it to me the exact same way I gave them. At the time, the car had only about 9,000 miles on it.

After this, I called the manufacturer and they gave me the name of a particular dealership for me to take my car with the promise that it would get a fix there. However, this was even worse than in the previous dealer. They’ve had the car for almost another month and didn’t even attempt to provide us with any information about what’s wrong with the car.

I hope you see why I said this ‘gift’ came back to bite us. If there’s a way to get it off our hands, I’d rather not even have to pick it up from the dealership. Thank you for any advice you can provide.

Frustrated in Fremont



Your 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Smells Like A Lemon

Dear Frustrated,

I completely understand why you feel this way and I’m sorry that you have had to face these issues with your Ford vehicle. Fortunately this is what the lemon law is for, to protect you from defective cars and compensate you for all the troubles you’ve battled. This is possible considering these issues are not your fault, it’s the manufacturer’s fault for building the defective car in the first place.


Do you want to find out if your Ford qualifies for a Lemon Law claim?
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Lemon Law Qualifications

Before receiving compensation, you need to first qualify for the lemon law. To qualify, you must have taken your car to the dealership twice for the same issue or three times for different issues. Since you have already taken the car twice for electrical issues and the problem is still there, it sounds like you qualify. Also, your car has stayed at the dealership for a full month, not once but twice, which only strengthens your case.

All of the issues and repair attempts must occur within the warranty period. As your car is still brand new, this shouldn’t be a problem, but familiarizing yourself with your specific warranty won’t hurt.

Once it’s determined that you qualify, your attorney can push for a few different forms of compensation.

Settlement Options

The first option is called the buyback or repurchase offer. This option involves you returning the car to the manufacturer and they’ll give you your money back. You get back everything you have ever spent on the car including your down payment, monthly payments, taxes, and interest.

For additional expenses like Uber costs and tow fees, you will get a refund. If you took out a loan on the car, Ford has to pay that back on your behalf as well. All of this is to ensure that you’re not at a loss when returning your car.

The only clause to this repurchase offer is the mileage offset. The mileage offset has to do with the manufacturer’s right to charge you for the miles you drove the car with no issues. It is usually based on the mileage you were at when you first took the car in for repairs. With your car having so few miles, there is only so much they can deduct, and even if they try, your attorney can argue to get a waiver on the mileage offset since the main aim is to get back as much money as possible.

Read more about the Ford Lemon Law buyback settlement option, how it works, eligibility criteria, affected models, common defects, and case examples.

The second option is called the cash and keep. This is the option to go for if you are still interested in keeping the vehicle. With this option, you are able to keep the car and the manufacturer offers you some money as compensation for your troubles. Also, if you want to sell your car later on, you can do so without having to deem it a lemon to the next owner.

Lemon Law Tips

Now, regarding the payment of the attorney fees, you don’t have anything to worry about. This is because you purchased your car in California which gives you certain privileges under the lemon law. You don’t have to pay any legal fees as the manufacturer will take care of that. This means the original settlement amount won goes over to you.

I know you said you would rather not pick up the car from the dealer, but I would recommend against that. You may need to eventually take it in again before your case is resolved, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Every repair order you can present strengthens your case and you’ll stand to receive even more compensation.

I hope some of this helps you decide what steps to take next. Good luck in your pursuit of justice under the lemon law.


Mechanic Fixing Car


Free Legal Advice About Your 2021 Ford Mustang Lemon Law Claim

Dear reader, are your vehicle problems ruining your life? Confused about what legal route to take? We’re here to help! Find information about California’s lemon law protections here, fill out the form on this page, or give us a call at (323) 553-7525 to discuss your situation with someone who understands how frustrating it can be to have a lemon car, and what to do about it.

DEAR SUZANNE is a weekly column written by Suzanne Henderson and published in LemonLawyers.ORG. If you have a defective lemon vehicle and have questions about California Lemon Lawyer or how to file a claim in California, please write to help@lemonlawyers.org. While not guaranteed, we will try to feature your letter in this column to provide you the answers you need, as well as enlighten other consumers who may have lemon problems similar to yours.

Disclaimer: The points discussed here are intended for general information and reference purposes only and not to be construed as legal advice. Please consult a California Lemon Law Attorney to get proper legal advice about your lemon law claim.


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