Upwards of 7,000 disgruntled owners are seeking individual settlements in the suit
Transmissions are complicated devices. Not that the rest of a modern automobile isn’t complex, but transmissions – especially a dual-clutch automatic like Ford’s PowerShift six-speed – are engineering wonders. Aside from all the moving parts that mesh with unbelievably tight tolerances, the transmission also receives the full brunt of the engine’s power. If something isn’t quite right, things get messy – and expensive – in a hurry.
That’s the basis behind a major suit filed against Ford. Automotive News reports that Stern Law PLLC filed the lawsuit back in April on behalf of nearly 7,000 Fiesta and Focus owners. Their beef with the manufacturer stems from poor performance and reliability with the PowerShift six-speed auto, citing everything from jerky shifting, delays in changing gears, bucking, acceleration issues, and premature wear. The suit is said to include Focus models from 2012 to 2016, and Fiesta models from 2011 to 2016.
According to the report, Ford has issued numerous technical service bulletins relating to transmission problems, and Automotive News says a similar lawsuit filed back in 2012 also involved the transmissions. While not the same as full-on equipment recalls, TSBs are generally issued when a recurring problem is identified. Ford has also extended the powertrain warranty for many affected models to seven years or 100,000 miles, and though it appears the manufacturer has attempted to fix the faulty gearboxes, the suit claims a proper solution has yet to be found.
The suit isn’t filed as a typical class-action affair. Per Stern Law PLLC, this is a mass-action claim where individuals are represented in a single case, but seek individual settlements. Aside from the mechanical maladies, the suit alleges significant safety concerns resulting from the malfunctioning gearboxes.
Source: Automotive News