Perhaps it was a bit too soon to be new-car shopping. After all, the pain had not fully subsided. But that didn’t deter Warrine Terpening of Hermiston, Oregon, from texting her favorite Ford salesperson as soon as she came home from the hospital — after surviving an accident that totaled her blue 2012 Ford Escape.
“Head-on collision,” Warrine’s text read. “My car’s wrecked. I need another one.”
“I said to myself, ‘Are you kidding me?’” says Cyndie Driscoll, who works in sales, customer relations and event planning for Tom Denchel Ford in Hermiston. Cyndie was having breakfast with co-workers when the text arrived. Warrine had been up all night. And what a night it had been.
“Cyndie called my house and said, ‘We are not talking about cars right now! How are you?’” Warrine recalls with a laugh. “She kept calling throughout the weekend. I got a rental car and Cyndie said, ‘Take the rental back. We have a car for you.’”
Warrine’s appreciation for Cyndie started soon after they met on the Tom Denchel lot. She says she can’t help but think that Cyndie’s set-up and thorough demonstration of the Ford SYNC® voice-activated technology made a huge difference in how quickly she received help following the late-night accident, which occurred on her way home after her granddaughter was born. “The Ford 911 Assist came over the car speakers and said ‘A collision has been detected and emergency services are being notified,’” recalls Warrine. Whenever an airbag is deployed, the system — using a properly paired and connected phone — calls a 911 operator and provides the accident’s location to responders. “Cyndie had made sure I knew that this was a free service, and she hooked up my cell phone right away.”
Cyndie says that’s an important part of every test drive: making sure the driver knows how SYNC and 911 Assist work. “I sync the phone to the vehicle when we do the test drive, and then when we get back to the dealership parking lot, I have someone from the dealership call the person’s cell phone number so they can see what happens when a call comes in. Practicing while the car is parked and getting comfortable with all the features helps new-car customers feel at ease with the hands-free SYNC when they drive off the lot,” she adds.
Speaking of practice, Warrine and her family got more than enough experience saying “cheese” when photographer Robbie McClaran shot pictures all three generations (including baby Kalissa, whose birth night will be remembered for many reasons) for My Ford. “It was not a glamour thing!” Warrine says. “It was toasty warm in front of those lights as we turned to the left, moved a shoulder up, moved closer to the car, moved a chin up…”
Of course they posed, with the Columbia River in the background, in front of Warrine’s new Ford Escape, another 2012 model.
Warrine says she was so sold on SYNC and her first Escape that she decided she wanted another one. Even though the 2013 models were available by then, Warrine insisted on another 2012. “So we searched for it, all over the Pacific Northwest,” says Cyndie. There was one 2012 Escape still available in Prosser, Washington, about an hour’s drive from Hermiston. The only difference from the original? It was red. Sold.
“I still remember what Warrine said when I asked her if she wanted the newer model,” says Cyndie, who knew very well what that blue Escape had meant to Warrine after all she’d been through. “She said ‘I don’t want a ’13. The ’13 didn’t save my life.’”