NEW YORK — In an effort to appeal to customers worried about the uncertain economy, Ford will allow anyone who loses their job within a year of buying a new Ford car, truck or SUV to return it at no cost, the automaker announced Monday.
Under the terms of a new financing program called the Ford Promise plan, if a buyer loses their job within a year of buying a new Ford vehicle, they can return it. Ford Credit will pay for the difference between what the car is worth at that time and what the customer still owes, up to $15,000.
That $15,000limit should be more than enough to cover the one-year loss in value for most Ford vehicles, according to ALG, a company that tracks used car values. The offer applies only to new or used Ford vehicles financed or leased through Ford Credit or used Lincoln vehicles financed or leased through Lincoln Automotive Financial Services. Lincoln is Ford’s luxury vehicle brand. The offer will not apply to vehicles financed or leased through any other company or paid for in cash.
There are numerous restrictions, of course. For instance, the job loss can’t be within 30 days of signing the purchase or lease contract and it must be involuntary. Self-employed Ford buyers can take advantage of the program if they’re forced to declare personal bankruptcy.
The offer only applies to those vehicles purchased or leased on June 26, 2020, or later. It does not apply to vehicles purchased or leased before that date.
Some automakers, such as Hyundai, are offering deferred payments for a few months for customers who lose their jobs due to coronavirus-related shutdowns. Tesla offers a seven-day return policy on its cars and SUVs for any reason.
Ford’s new program seems to be the only one that could allow a customer, in the event of job loss, to walk away from the sale owing nothing after such a long period.
Many automakers, including Ford, are also still offering long 0% interest loans to try to boost sales as the economy struggles through the pandemic. Ford’s 0%-interest offer applies only to 2019 and 2020 model year vehicles, a Ford Credit spokesperson said.