By on April 19, 2013

This is a post that I’d rather not write. As a Detroiter, in an ideal world I’d rather that the domestic auto manufactures made tons of money selling great cars. I’m willing to take an unvarnished look at them, after all, those of us who live here are more likely to have some kind of personal interaction with the auto industry than most folks who live elsewhere, but I don’t feel the need to gratuitously slam GM, Ford and Chrysler the way some people do. I just want to be fair. In addition, it grates on me when people accuse TTAC of having a bias against those three Detroit based car companies. Sure, we’re not cheerleaders, but the writers and editors at TTAC don’t have conference calls or Skype sessions where we choose which of the domestic automakers we’ll slam that day. So it’s with some reluctance that I have to note what I considered to be a couple of quality control issues with the all new Lincoln MKZ, now finally arriving in dealerships after a botched launch.

It was FoMoCo itself that raised the issue of quality control concerning the new MKZ. In explaining why dealers didn’t have cars that were heavily promoted with Super Bowl level marketing, Ford said that their Hermosillo, Mexico plant, which  assembles the MKZ and the Ford Fusion, couldn’t keep up with a quality control procedure that was originally intended to prevent some of the quality stumbles that have plagued Ford launches of late. Every single MKZ was supposed to be rigorously inspected. The issue was compounded by supplier issues and missing parts. When Hermosillo couldn’t keep up, uninspected cars were shipped to the Flat Rock, Michigan facility for those inspections, end-of-line repairs and installation of those parts. A while back Ford announced that all of those issues were resolved, that the Hermosillo plant was now up to speed and that the pipeline was full and that dealers had normal inventory levels.

The inventory announcement seemed to be accurate, at least as far as it looked at Dearborn’s Jack Demmer Lincoln, the closest Lincoln store to FoMoCo’s headquarters. I have to drive my mom to regular appointments at her ophthalmologist and I drive by the Demmer shop going and coming. Since I hate sitting in doctor’s waiting rooms, I usually hang out at the nearby Automotive Hall of Fame or the Henry Ford Museum, but I’d been to both of those recently so I decided to check out the Lincoln dealership.

I counted at least 40 MKZs in the main lot. A salesman told me they had about 100 in stock and were expecting another 100 in the next week or so. There appeared to be a nice mix of powertrains and prices ranging from 2.0 L Ecoboost FWD models in the mid to upper 30s and fully loaded 3.7 L V6 AWD models in the low 50s. I think it’s a great looking car, though I think the interior of the competing Cadillac ATS is better executed. For some reason the MKZ’s interior designers gave it downward sloping arm rests, which made reaching the window and mirror controls a stretch. Concerning the exterior at first I thought the stylish rear end would mean less than ideal accessibility to the trunk, but when the deck lid is up the opening is surprisingly large.

It was when I was checking out the trunk that I noticed the first disquieting thing regarding QC. I lifted up the carpeted panel to check out the spare tire and I was struck by the sloppy application of seam sealer. Not only was it sloppy, it appeared to be overabundant. It was particularly noticeable because its brown color contrasted sharply with the car’s silver paint. In recent years we’ve gotten used to small QC details being attended to, little things like avoiding overspray or preventing adhesives from oozing out of joints. The seam sealer on the MKZ reminded me of how things were 40 years ago in the U.S. car industry. Actually, the only other recent cars that I’ve noticed with such sloppy body sealer were the one’s from China that BYD had on display a while back at the NAIAS.

Overgenerous application of body sealer underneath a cover in the trunk is one thing, the other quality issue was literally right in front of my eyes as the cars sat on the showroom floor. There were a handful of MKZs in the showroom, but none had  the model’s distinguishing optional retractable glass roof. I’m not very tall, just 5’6″, so the roofline is not that far from eye level for me. When I was checking out the cars to see if they had glass roofs, looking at the steel roofs from the back of the car I noticed that at the tail end of the roof panel where the sheet metal is bent 90 degrees to create the well into which the back glass sits, at the corner where the roof panel meets the side rail the finish on the metalwork is not very neatly done. I don’t know if it’s too much body filler or poorly ground welds, but it was noticeable on every single MKZ without a glass roof. Some were worse than others, and the problem seemed to be more on the passenger side than on the driver’s side but it was hard not to miss. When I realized it was on every steel roof MKZ, I took a few pics with my cell phone. Even without high resolution photos, you can see what I’m talking about.

It’s not like the glass roofed cars are perfect. The gaps between the glass panels are much wider than we’ve become used to with bodywork, at least a half inch or more and those gaps are filled with rubber that’s dark grey but still contrasts a bit with the deeply tinted glass. Maybe I’m being picky but neither that rubber trim on the glass roofed cars, nor the metal finishing on the others look like they belong on $50,000+ cars.

Since the sloppy metalwork appeared to be on all the MKZs that I saw that had metal roofs, if it really is a problem, and not me just being picky, then it’s a problem with process or design.

A reader once took issue with how I characterized a piece of loose wood trim on the car as a “glaring” issue in my review of the Chrysler 300 . I used that word because in an otherwise nearly flawless car, when wood starts falling off the dashboard, right in front of your face, the issue is indeed glaring. Other than the two issues that I’ve mentioned here, the fit and finish of the MKZs were fine, and for the reasons mentioned at the head of this post, I want to like the MKZ, but it’s hard to ignore a problem when it’s looking at you right in the eye.

Disclaimer: I haven’t checked the metalwork on all of the competing cars in the MKZ’s class. Maybe they have flaws too. I didn’t notice anything glaring on the ATS in the Cadillac showroom next door.

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can dig deeper at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks – RJS

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62 Comments on “Lincoln MKZ Supply Issue Resolved, But What About Hermosillo’s Quality?...”


  • avatar
    GS650G

    Mexican assembly, hows that playing at a Detroit dealer right next to Ford HQ?
    This isn’t an economy car where gaps are ignored, it’s a high end car meant to compete with Acura, Infinity, Lexus and the rest. It’s one thing to replace missing parts or re-glue carpet, an entirely different matter to fix alignment of glass roofs and metalwork.
    Ford needs to get their act together and quick.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Agreed. I’d also like to see if these sort of issues are evident in the 2013 Fusion as well.

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        Consumer Reports said the Fusions they bought had unusually poor assembly – even for a new model. They said to wait a year or two to buy and to expect big discounts since they felt they were overpriced for the what they were and the market.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Thanks for the info. Sounds like something went wrong with these, the previous generation was acclaimed.

          • 0 avatar
            86SN2001

            The new Fusion is a disaster. Look at the fit and finish of the hood on this example.

            http://www.autoblog.com/photos/2013-ford-fusion-first-drive/#photo-5306473

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            I would think someone had closed the hood with the prop-rod in place, something I once did to a rented Tempo, except that all the other photos of these cars point to excessive body fit issues.

            If I saw any of the MKZ fit issues photographed above on a good car, I’d look for other evidence of sloppy collision repair.

    • 0 avatar
      stottpie

      i never realized infiniti, acura, or lincoln were considered high-end cars.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        They’re being marketed as high end cars.

        So, they deserve high end scrutiny.

        If he were applying this standard to an appliance grade automobile, I’d think he’s picking nits. But the Lincoln folks are telling us that it’s a luxury-fashion machine.

        I’m about the same height as Mr. Schreiber, have an eye for detail, and am in the demographic Lincoln says they’re targeting. Seeing an imperfections would make me wonder why I paid an extra $10k for a Fusion every time I walked past it.

        (It’s more comfortable for me to just drive beaters, because these things are easier to ignore when you can remond yourself that you paid 1/3rd the cost of an new Toyota.)

  • avatar
    rpol35

    Ronnie:

    I don’t think TTAC is anti-domestic per se, it’s probably more a trait of the B&B, many who have developed it over the years because of real -world experience with GM et al. and it becomes very apparent in the back & forth dialogue.

    That said, there does seem to be a surrepitious glee from certain editors, aimed at GM primarily, everytime their market-share appears to slip or they get outsold or some other issue with the Volt occurs.

    As for the MKZ, I can appreciate your desire to see it succeed but I don’t think a sort of funky weld joint in an obscure location is going to have much sway, there are so many other things that would be noticed and experienced that would derail the MKZ first, how it drives, transmission shifting issues, wear and tear of cosmetics that are seen and touched everyday. That glass roof, for example, really makes me nervous, I can just see that sucker getting off of its track and getting stuck open in a thunderstorm or just taking flight entirely and I bet that will be expensive to fix or replace.

    Thx.

    • 0 avatar
      Dubbed

      +.5 on the editor part.

      I would just love it if TTAC would cover more muckracker style news about the other automakers. Its just because the abudent amount of news on GM sorta distorts perceptions. If there was just more news about the others you would get a larger picture of the auto industry.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        It’s also frustrating when every single company has a certain practice that they engage in, but certain editors only criticize GM for it. Any time you’re singling out any brand, GM, Toyota, or anyone else, it should actually be something legitimate and unique to that company, not standard practice in the industry.

    • 0 avatar
      Flybrian

      “…but I don’t think a sort of funky weld joint in an obscure location is going to have much sway”

      Agreed x100. I’ve noticed that owners of certain cars love to point out how superior their Jetta or what have you is because of the finish quality on some seam or carpeting located under and behind the fusebox cover in the trunk as a way of mentally ameliorating the fact that the they still can’t get headliners, glovebox latches, and instrument lighting down right.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      I agree, it is not anti domestic per se but pro Toyota. Especially from the Japanese correspondent.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        I’m pro Toyota, but my opinions don’t seem to be shared widely. It’s usually something about Toyotas being beige and driving like a numb soma-laced wet noodle.

        I think that we put all cars through the wringer here.

  • avatar
    Dubbed

    Information like this makes doubt this would be a good car to own in 15 to 20 years. It would buck the trend of cars be less problematic and troublesome moving forward (excluding Mercedes Benz). The amount of damage and cost that could occur if those seal wear out in 2024.

  • avatar
    motormouth

    I agree that this gapping is far too wide, particularly on a high-end model, but I think the article should offer some possible reasons other than ‘made in Mexico’. I reckon that this could well be a necessary design to allow the hatch to open and close, otherwise the tooling that pressed the rear quarters were out of whack or the glass closure has been produced to be a few mm too narrow. A final option is that the seal is missing, but surely not – oh right, this car was made in Mexico.

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    Correct if I’m wrong but I have yet to hear about award winning assembly facilities in Mexico.

    • 0 avatar
      Flybrian

      From my own anecdotal experience in dealing with late-model oft-abused pre-owned cars in wide-ranging condition, GM cars from Mexico seem rather tight; Volkswagen cars assembled there are bottom of the barrel.

      • 0 avatar
        iNeon

        I’ll check-in here as well, Brian.

        Chrysler of Toluca builds a pretty decent car. Mine(PT wagon) has had one repair– a faulty lock motor– and was built 9/07.

        The radio stopped working last week, but pulling and replacing the fuse seems to have remedied that. Also, a tail light bulb just burned out. I’m beginning to wonder if I should be worried about all these repairs this car is asking for!

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      “Correct if I’m wrong but I have yet to hear about award winning assembly facilities in Mexico.”

      On the contrary, the heart of the positive publicity Ford got a couple years ago for a quality renaissance was the excellent record of the previous-gen Fusion, which was built in Hermosillo. They were crowing that they were more defect-free than Camrys, and even Consumer Reports hopped on the bus about it.

    • 0 avatar
      salhany

      Weren’t the previous gen Fusions/Milans/MKZs built in the same Mexican plant? Those had outstanding reliability per CR.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        They were good because they had been engineered in part by Mazda. Now they are fully separate the chickens come home to roost. Wonder what nullo has to say as a Ford sales rep.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    That is truly pathetic. I wouldn’t accept delivery of a new car that looked like that, no matter who made it or regardless of the price.

    It’s not “body work’” but defective fabrication of the actual body of the car, and what’s worse is that (since clearly the rear windows are likely to be nearly/perfectly uniform), not only is the metal frame deformed in such an incredibly rough way on every vehicle, but that the size of the gaps between the upper right edge of the rear glass and body vary with such alarming degree, and to top it off, it literally looks like someone at the factory did remedial bodywork 101 after final assembly to correct a serious structural issue (from the photos, it looks like a monkey sanded the metal surround).

    If I were inspecting a USED CAR that exhibited this it would be sufficient enough of a concern to cause me to walk away right then and there.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      p.s.- Since it’s too late to edit, I’ll add that the chrome trim around the rear windows is among the worst quality and worst attached/misaligned of any new car I think I’ve seen since the mid 80s. That is woeful. Look at where it meets at the intersection of the front and rear window.

      Also, the body structure and edge finish at the top of the right rear window is so incredibly bad that it literally defies belief, hence the utility of the camera lens. It would be amazing to get some micrometer measurements in terms of the variances in the gaps between glass and metal of these MKZs. And these are cars that were delayed for purposes of additional QC inspection and re-work at least several times and at multiple facilities.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        You know, at one time all cars had metal or rubber trim around the glass. This has been “value engineered” out of all modern cars to save pennies. Even well executed installs of glass without the trem looks cheap to me….

  • avatar
    bryanska

    In the book “The Machine That Changed The World”, there is a huge contrast drawn between German manufacturers, which had enormous post-assembly inspection areas, and Japanese manufacturers, which stopped the line every time a quality issue was discovered.

    This comparison was drawn in the early to mid 1980s. It’s shocking that MKZ production is literally 30 years behind in this area. Especially when Ford adopted Japanese production techniques during the “Quality is Job 1″ era.

    So, really, it’s inexcusable… but here’s when I apply my MBA and say that Lincoln is leaning into the risk. If this car is meant to save Lincoln, there are bigger fish to fry.

  • avatar
    Easton

    MKZ is a competitor to the Cadillac ATS?! Sorry, no. The ATS is a tight-handling compact sport sedan while the MKZ is a warmed-over, 1990′s style rebadge of a maintstream car.

  • avatar
    Halftruth

    I think this is an honest assessment and at the prices they are asking for one of these, this is pretty sloppy finish work. They are hinging the future of Lincoln on this car, they have to get it right. NOW.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      Agree 100 percent. It’s time for Ford to stop the excuses and get to work. “Good enough” isn’t good enough for this class, especially for a brand trying to return from a comatose state. And I write this as someone who does like the new MKZ.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    whether the assessment is fair or not, you all have eyes

    i’m actually not concerned about body filler and i dont care if that is the standard of bodywork in places you cant see… hell i dont even care if thats the standard of bodywork on strut towers or bootlid undersides

    the fact its there right in your eye line every time you look at the back

    this article is now on the front page of google

    ford needs to remedy this… even if its with a plastic trim panel

    would this be acceptable on a Lexus LS400 or a BMW 3 series? then how is it acceptable for Ford?

  • avatar
    taxman100

    No real Lincolns have been built since they closed Wixom – all of them are merely Fords since they roll down the same assembly line, using 90% of the very same parts that came from a low bid supplier in some third world country. These parts are then assembled by either a tier 2 employee making $14 a hour, or some guy in a 3rd world country.

    Lincoln used to have their own plant, and got the pick of the best employees to assemble them – in the past owning a Lincoln was not just owning a Ford with a nicer interior.

    Hate to sound harsh, but I know people who buy Lexus because they are made in a Lexus specific plant in Japan. Now that they are moving production to the U.S. and following Ford’s example, I expect their quality to suffer as well.

  • avatar
    55_wrench

    ​Ronnie,
    Thanks for sharing.

    What the salesman said about cars 40 years ago makes no sense now. I have a 30 year-old Mercedes 300SD that has WAY better body workmanship, even down to the sealant than this car demonstrates. It could be done correctly then and it can be done correctly now, if the designers and manufacturers wanted to.

    How in the world does a car that competes in a class of cars with a buy-in price north of 50K possibly get past final design review without a rubber molding around the back glass?

    Why did the bean counters have such an influence here on what’s supposed to be a flagship car?

    Any mid-level sedan has this molding, and for good reason. Huge potential here for dust, moss and whatever else to accumulate there over time. Every trip to the car wash will result in a dirty stream of rinse water coming down the car’s flanks right at the corners of the window.

    This also allows whatever gorp applied at the factory to show through under the paint, and as you can see, the raw edges of the glass to show as well.

    Even the raw edges of the back glass in my gen2 Scion XB’s rear hatch are smoother and better-finished than the back window of these Lincolns.

    Lincoln really lost it on this one..irrespective of how well the powertrain and interior may look and feel, I’d be reminded of garbage attention to detail every time I stood near that back window while refueling it.

    FAIL.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      ….How in the world does a car that competes in a class of cars with a buy-in price north of 50K possibly get past final design review without a rubber molding around the back glass?….

      Very few cars have trim around the rear glass anymore..and crappy gooseneck hinges are back, as are non-folding side mirrors, gas door releases are slowly fading. All this is being done to save money…

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    Who was that QC guy that left Ford a few years ago?

  • avatar
    Ion

    I’ve seen this on other cars. The rubber on the roof just stops and it looks like the back window is missing molding. I thought it was just this one car I worked on but then I started seeing it more often and realized it must be some new trend. They remind me of how Saturns had to have these huge panel gaps because of how the plastic body panels react to temperature shifts.

  • avatar
    cpthaddock

    “For some reason the MKZ’s interior designers gave it downward sloping arm rests, which made reaching the window and mirror controls a stretch.”

    I vividly remember observing this design defect in the BMW 3 series a handful of years back. I pray that Lincoln has not chosen to go with “knee injury” dash mounted cup holders as well!

  • avatar
    SV

    It took me a while to see what you’re talking about (I thought you meant the gap between the window and the metal at first, which looks normal to me). I suppose it is worrying that a $50k car would have these finish issues, but I find the breathless moral outrage of some here a bit of an overreaction. To be honest, if I were taking delivery of one I doubt I would have noticed, at least at first.

    That being said, Ford as a whole is definitely having some serious quality control issues; I thought the PowerShift/MyFordTouch woes of the Focus, Fiesta, Explorer, etc. were going to be the worst of it, but panel fit issues on the Fusion (and according to Consumer Reports, the C-Max as well) indicate that it’s getting worse, if anything; dual-clutch transmissions are at least somewhat novel, so problems are almost expected, but a crooked door panel is the type of thing Ford should have ironed out with the Model T.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Ford is having major problems with their genuinely new vehicles, from the Escape to the Focus to the Edge and Fusion (as well as the F Series FI motors. These problems are deep and broad, affecting things ranging from assembly/fit&finish to dual clutch transmissions to their ecoboost motors.

      The thing about this MKZ issue that really bothers me, however, is that based on the photos RS posted, it appears that the actual thickness of the steel that frames the rear window (which is part of the actual body shell, obviously) seemingly varies in thickness, and in an arbitrary (i.e non-uniform and irregular) and significant degree, along the horizontal top edge, in a weirdly tapered fashion.

      These photos left such an impression on me that I checked our own vehicles plus some random ones I just happened to pass in parking garage today, and every vehicle had a uniform thickness of metal framing the rear window, and even the relatively older vehicles I inspected didn’t have what appears to be body filler applied between the glass and metal in what seems to be a very sloppy manner, nor was there such an obvious gap between glass and steel.

      My own vehicle, which is a 7 year old Mazda, literally appears precise and flawless in comparison in terms of the uniformity of the thickness of the steel and the finish of the surface surrounding all 4 sides of the rear window.

      This makes me curious as to whether any new gen Fusions have this issue, or if some styling changes to the Lincoln makes this an MKZ specific problem.

    • 0 avatar
      kjb911

      The only real issue I have had with my Focus is rattling of the headliner near the sunroof, which I ended up remedying with some foam insulation. Tee only other problem I can contribute to crap OEM speakers since at the time the manual was only available in the SE hatch. Anytime you blast a song with bass the speaker reverbs against the door card I am planing to replace the speakers in a few weeks but this seems to go away when ditching the cheap OEMs… besides that I have had 40,000 miles of decent motoring I was kinda hoping to get a Fusion as my next car but by that time hopefully they will have worked out the quality problems

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Many think I unfairly single out Ford for quality glitches, but I don’t believe that I do.

        As mentioned in another article, a lot of core components in modern vehicles, regardless of the badge, come from a fairly narrow group of suppliers, so the same problems will occur in any given transmission if it’s in a Ford or a VW (not they share the same supplier).

        My biggest problem with Ford is that they’ve really slid down the slope in terms of assembly quality and overall QC at the factory level (pricing has been a sore spot IMO, as well, to be fair).

        This issue with the MKZ roof is a great example of what I’m speaking of. I’ve not encountered anything like this in any other modern vehicle, that I can recall.

        It’s a very odd issue when the literal body structure has widely varying thickness of metal along planes that should be of uniform thickness.

        On top of that, it’s odd to see visible body filler in large quantities on a new vehicle like this, along with such roughly finished surfaces.

        • 0 avatar
          kjb911

          for what I purchased my Focus at I don’t find it to be particularly expensive compared to the other cars I was looking at but I can see your point. The only other two cars I’ve seen with a similar issue is my 2006 Hyundai Tiburon SE which I think might have had an unreported accident because I just can’t imagine a car with that much body filler and oddly fitting panels for the hatch that seem to angle. The other would be my grandfather’s Regal which has quite literally started falling apart,with the same type of hasty put together seam sealer and excess body filler in the trunk. besides that the head unit had to be replaced twice, the headliner rattled and fell (maybe Ford shares the vendor HA!) door trim parts have come off in my hand and under low speed cornering an extremely awful howl can be hear from the front wheels… I tend to not notice the pitfalls of QC since let’s face my first car the Pontiac Fiero was not known to be the example of utmost quality 20 years later when I started driving it the sunroof would leak during a rainstorm only to find out the drain holes were never drilled!

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    I believe that the 1st gen Fusions were some of the best in their class, what ever happened there? did they change the water at the cooler?

  • avatar
    AlphaWolf

    I have been burned in the past by buying cars their first year out. Maybe because I tend to buy vehicles from Chrysler and Ford. This is a glaring reminder that in a few years when buying used not to consider this year’s MKZ. They should get everything sorted out in the 2014s.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      My father (admittedly a used car buyer) tried to to avoid the “first year of production” of any model he purchased. Although he violated it in purchasing a 1982 Chevy Celebrity in 1985 with 45,000 miles on it. It was the most troublesome car he ever had. (Oddly enough didn’t sour him on GM.)

  • avatar
    86SN2001

    “In addition, it grates on me when people accuse TTAC of having a bias against those three Detroit based car companies.”

    Does it grate you when your co-writers post ignorant articles slamming GM for having the audacity of requiring a tow package to reach 11,500 pounds and comparing that to Ford…….who just happens to also require a ‘max tow package’ to reach their max of 11,300 pounds.

    You cannot defend that.

    ————————

    As for the Lincoln Fusion, what did you expect? It’s a half-assed effort from a 3rd tier imitation luxury brand. Of course they are going to cut corners. Ford wants to put as little as possible into Lincoln because they know they don’t have the talent to turn the brand into anything other than a trim level on a lowly Ford.

  • avatar
    ranwhenparked

    Really, that is a shame to see on an otherwise fine car. Honestly, if the MKZ was just all-around unreliable or poorly finished, very minor details like this would just fade into the background, but getting the car 99.9% right just naturally highlights 0.1% that was done sloppily.

    If they can’t get the tolerances right on that corner for some reason, you’d figure they could design some sort of tasteful chrome trim piece that would just cover up the whole area and kill the issue.

  • avatar
    CelticPete

    Interesting story. But if you want it to hit home you need to do a comparison shot of a Lexus and an Audi/BMW/Merc to get a nice comparison. Those pictures do look bad – but how are the competitors and how do they do the rear window and side trim.

  • avatar
    chicagoland

    “Lincoln used to have their own plant”

    Should have kept Wixom open and renovated it. Cadillac at least has its own plant in Lansing for CTS/ATS.

  • avatar
    Athos Nobile

    “I don’t know if it’s too much body filler or poorly ground welds”

    Excess body filler, maybe. Not finished correctly, quite probable. It shows because they deleted (as is the common practice nowadays) the glass surrounding rubber.

    Reworking that area is a real PITA. Rear glass would need removal (with risk to interior parts) and the whole roof may have to be repainted. Too much time, risk and $$$ to make it worth.

    But definitely needs to be addressed in the body and paint shops.

    “I haven’t checked the metalwork on all of the competing cars in the MKZ’s class. Maybe they have flaws too.”

    They do ;). They aren’t perfect either. This whole scandalous is ridiculous.

    I’ve seen Q7s with misaligned doors, 5-series BMWs with loose door window seals, Land Rover products with inconsistent panel gaps…

  • avatar

    The Mexican plant likely deserved little if any of the blame. If the car is designed and engineered well, then it will be easy to assemble well. The sense I get from Ford’s many recent quality and design issues is that the current leadership talks quality, but really cares more about deadlines. And then fails to deliver the cars on time anyway because of quality problems.

  • avatar

    Anecdotes are certainly not data, but I’ve heard complaints about assembly-type quality issues from several of my readers who have new Fusions and MKZs. I have not heard these kinds of complaints about other recent Ford products (and my wife’s 2012 Focus has had no issues at all). You may be on to something, Ronnie.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    lincoln offerd me a new pair of maui jims to test drive the mkx.
    so…um, i did so the next day.
    thoughts to go along with remarks here…
    the 3.7 was rediculously loud, and not in a power way…just straining sort of way.
    the 2.0 moved the car a ton more quickly and smoothly. it even sounded better.

    upon returning to the dealership with the 2.0, i told the salesman i smelled something funky.
    he told me it was the break-in smell.
    no…i said, really, really funky.
    we opened the hood and oil had gently sprayed all over the top of the ecoboost plastic engine cover.
    I left…but still wonder why on a new car this had happened.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I don’t think you can conclude these cars have a quality control issue because of this item, but honestly, on a car that costs this much, they should have sprung for $5 or whatever for a rubber molding to go around this. Issue solved.

    The MKZ is a mixed bag. It shows Lincoln is progressing in some areas, and not in others. This would probably pass muster on a (much) cheaper car, but not on this one.

  • avatar
    bloggin

    “I haven’t checked the metalwork on all of the competing cars in the MKZ’s class. Maybe they have flaws too.”

    Maybe the writer should check other cars ‘first’, before writing an article to make it seem like Lincoln MKZ is the only luxury car with what ‘he’ calls a flaw.

    This obsessive critical focus on Lincoln and the Lincoln MKZ is a bit overdone.

  • avatar
    memremkr

    I was passing one of the first MKZ’s I had seen on the freeway the other day and noticed what appeared to be really poor fit and finish at the lower portion of the front and rear doors (at the “ground effects area”). It was so noticeable I thought maybe it had been a repaired MKZ or had “aftermarket” ground effects.

    Being a car fanatic I was so curious that a few days later I visited an Lincoln dealer just to drive through the lot and look at the fit and finish on the new MKZ’s in inventory. Boy, what a shock! This dealer probably has 40+ MKZ’s sitting there and I slowly drove around the isles, without ever leaving the car just looking carefully at the fit and finish from probably 10 feet away. If this was a new Chinese car just hitting the shore’s I’d give it a break…. but these are Lincolns. The gap between the ground effects and the lower doors is horrible. Additionally the vertical gap between the front and rear doors (at the bottom of the doors) is very noticeable on many of the vehicles sitting on this particular lot. I have to say that as a close follower of the industry and having owned over 12 new cars in my time I’m beyond shocked. This is like back to the future where come hell or high water some executive said “ship the suckers” no matter what the quality issues. What shame. I have to agree that this is the most botched looking new car I’ve seen on the road or on a dealer lot in ages. Ford/ Lincoln are in for a big surprise if they think they’ll have a prayer of getting anyone under 65 to take this vehicle seriously as you’d need someone with poor eyesight to actually get suckered into buying one. This is 2013 and they still have not learned. Lest anyone think I’m biased, my last car was a 2005 Ford Freestyle with excellent fit and finish and 0 problems in 100,000 miles (save for two minor recalls that took no more than 2 hours of my time in total at a dealership). Buyer Beware.


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