• The 2013 Lincoln MKZ is finally arriving in dealers.
  • Many customers were waiting for months.
  • Lincoln is buying dinner for those affected.

If you're on the waiting list for the latest Lincoln MKZ, enjoy a dinner on Lincoln. The Ford luxury brand says it's sending $100 dinner gift certificates to customers as an apology for the delay in getting the sedan to dealers.

Lincoln says it will send gift certificates to all 1,000 customers who have placed an order for the 2013 MKZ. That's in addition to the money Ford has already spent to reimburse dealers for rental cars or extended leases while customers wait for the MKZ's arrival. And some have been waiting for months.

First announced as a concept car at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show, the MKZ was hailed as the dawn of a new era for Lincoln. Just three months later, a production model revealed new styling and a new interior, and claimed best-in-class fuel economy for the hybrid model. Back then, Ford said dealers would have the 2013 Lincoln MKZ by year's end.

But unspecified quality issues have slowed down its production. Early cars were shipped from Ford's factory in Hermosillo, Mexico, to a Michigan plant where engineers could check every car for flaws. Only now, months after cars were supposed to be arriving in dealers, are they finally starting to ship.

"The most important thing is getting the quality just right," said Matt VanDyke, Lincoln's global director of marketing, sales and service, to Automotive News. "As we identified challenges, we put the brakes on and moderated the pace of shipments so we can get caught up and get things just right."

To customers, that's actually a good thing, since it means no car will leave Lincoln's hands until it's perfect. But for drivers who have eagerly awaited their new car for months, it may not be as comforting. Lincoln is hoping the $100 dinner gift certificates smooth things over until customers finally get behind the wheel.

What it means to you: By giving customers gift certificates, Lincoln is demonstrating the commitment to quality it hopes buyers will find in the 2013 MKZ.

author photo

Jeffrey Archer is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on AutoTrader.com.

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