Owners of Ford’s Focus and Fiesta models have been fighting not only with faulty transmissions, but the automaker’s refusal to repair them under a warranty or recall program. These owners have fought for years to get the repairs, reports the Detroit Free Press, and for a while, they thought the company would finally make things right. Instead, it turned out that Ford was only willing to do the fixes for a short period – one that was not advertised to the car owners. This made the value of the “silent recall” extremely limited.
After a Free Press Out of Gear investigation, members of Congress and others called on Ford to offer an extended warranty program. It did so but failed to put out a mass news release until a day before it expired. This essentially made it worthless to most Focus and Fiesta owners. The Free Press reports that the company put out its memo to dealers on July 12, 2019, but that this didn’t hit the paper until the 18th – one day before the extension expired.
This memo to dealers instructed them to go ahead and perform warranty work between the dates of July 12 and July 19, but many dealers claimed they knew nothing about it. Instead, when customers came in to try to get the repairs, they were told to either pay or call Ford’s main office. Anyone who had generated transmission work orders on earlier days was also out of luck.
What is Going Wrong with these Transmissions?
People driving cars affected by these transmission problems have experienced many dangerous automobile behaviors. The cars may lurch unexpectedly, slip into neutral without prompting, shudder abnormally, or have delayed acceleration. These problems can easily cause accidents, and so far, there have been 50 injury reports.
These transmissions began going into cars in the 2011 model year, when the Fiesta was outfitted with them. The Focus began to get them in its 2012 model year. Since then, they have been used continuously in the Fiesta and Focus until its discontinuance from the Fiesta in the 2019 model year, and the retiring of the Focus line in 2018.
As might be imagined, Ford Motor Company is being sued over these transmission issues. The company’s own records show that since the end of 2016, over 350,000 Focus and Fiesta cars have had transmission repairs. Those who owned manual transmissions had to get twice that many repairs done. The DPS6 dual-clutch transmission in particular has inspired thousands of lawsuits across the planet. In the United States, these suits include both individual filings and class-action litigation.
In the absence of an auto manufacturer free repair program, all affected owners can do is mitigate the costs. One way to do so is to go to a non-dealer repair shop. These are often more affordable than dealership services.
See Also: Manual Transmission Repairs