Most consumers research fuel economy, safety features and technology options throughout the car-buying process. Unfortunately, no matter how thorough the research, sometimes information comes to light long after the purchase regarding faulty parts or misrepresented vehicle statistics.
The Detroit Free Press reports that engineers, designers and executives within Ford Motor Co knew that the Fiesta and Focus models had a faulty transmission before they hit the market, yet kept quiet. The DPS6 dual-clutch “PowerShift” is the subject of a federal criminal fraud probe and class action lawsuit. Cheap to make and assemble, the “dry” clutch technology that looked good on paper failed in the real-world.
Ford introduced the Fiesta in the Spring of 2010 and the Focus in the Spring of 2012. Ford seemingly delivered low-priced autos that offered fuel economy and a robust transmission. It accelerated like a manual transmission with the ease of an automatic. The Fiesta and Focus models with this drivetrain may shift erratically, lurch, shudder and accelerate irregularly.
Ford insiders report that the issue was not a secret, and the design problems existed years before it went into production. The transmission defaults to neutral under certain conditions. Intended as a fail-safe, it prevents locking up or overheating. However, it often results in drivers losing control of the vehicle. The company states this is not a safety hazard because the car maintains turn signals, braking and steering capabilities.
Warranty costs are in the billions, not including legal expenses associated with liability claims. More than 12,000 lawsuits are pending as a result of performance concerns. Despite injuries and thousands of complaints filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there has never been a recall for the transmission. Visit our webpage for more information on this topic.