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Ford's dual-clutch transmission continues to be a disaster



Photo: AP

Ford's dual-clutch gearbox, codenamed DPS6, used in its Fiesta and Focus has been troubled for years. It is the subject of a potential $ 4 billion lawsuit. Ford had secretly told the dealers to fix the problem. Worse, Ford reportedly knew it was bad for years and could not make any corrections. Ford said today it would extend the warranties for some Fiestas and Focuses, which has certainly been a most humiliating episode for the Blue Oval.

Here are the details per Ford:

Extend the clutch warranty for even more customers from five years / 60,000 miles to seven years / 1

00,000, 2013, through November 5, 2015) and Fiesta vehicles of the 2014-1015 model year (built from 4 July 2013 to 15 October 2014).

Ford is reimbursing customers in this new group who receive extended warranties that have paid for repairs on their own pocket.

The warranty for these vehicles is the same that applies to earlier Focus and Fiesta models since July 2014.

Ford took this initiative on the basis of the latest version of Ongoing Analysis of Customer Satisfaction and Quality Data.

Ford will also re-address a small percentage of the remaining affected customers (~ 165,000 owners, 16 percent of the original, in the US) and offer them another way to get an important free software update. 84 percent of the affected owners have already received the update.

The update provides an advanced warning when a transmission control module fails. If required, Ford will replace modules for that group of customers for up to six months free of charge, even if the 10-year / 150,000-mile warranty has expired.

And here's a part of the Ford Declaration on the subject:

First, we're extending the warranty on clutch and related hardware in certain 2014-2016 model vehicles, and reimbursing customers for the repairs that would now be covered. Secondly, we offer the small remaining number of owners who have not yet done so an additional opportunity to receive an important software update.

Although these vehicles have always been safe and sound, we regret the inconvenience experienced by our customers.

"Inconvenience" in this context is a euphemism as the gearbox claims to "jerking, slipping, jerking, hesitation in changing gears, premature internal wear, downshifting delays and in some cases can cause sudden or delayed acceleration", so the Detroit Free Press.

According to Automotive News, around 560,000 customers are affected by the warranty extension, and it will cost Ford money too, though we do not know how much it will cost until the company reports its third-quarter earnings. Ford has already carried out a similar warranty extension for 2014-2013 model vehicles.

Even though the transmission with the brand name PowerShift still causes headaches, you can still get it amazingly at a Fiesta 2019 today. This is more than eight years since some of the first complaints have been received. I expect the warranty for this car and others to be extended in a few years, long after Fiesta and Focus expire.


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