I'm shopping for used cars at the moment, and have been considering some models from Toyota and Honda, as well as an older Mercedes Benz. Many of the cars I've seen so far have been at dealers, i.e. trade-ins. None of them have any service records with the cars. The Honda and Toyota dealers all said that unless the work was done at their dealership, they couldn't help. The Mercedes dealer said they could only help if the work was done at their dealership AND in the last two years, after which it's "archived" (I guess that's the MB way of saying "thrown out" as the woman told me there's no way to retrieve archived records).
My last two vehicles were Fords, both relatively new. I know Ford doesn't make it overly public, but the OASIS computer system (Ford's warranty service network) can pull up warranty service records for any Ford vehicle serviced at any Ford dealer in the country, and usually contains every time a mechanic or technician touched the vehicle. When I bought my two used Fords, I just asked my service guy, and he gave me a printout of every dealer service and oil change for the life of the vehicle.
Is Ford really so much more organized (at a national level) than the other brands, or do they all have something like OASIS but they just won't tell me about it?