Ford directed dealers to fix, for free, faulty transmissions the automaker knowingly sold customers if owners noticed a problem and got their vehicles into a dealership by July 19, the Detroit Free Press reports.
The dual-clutch PowerShift transmissions, found in the last generation of Fiestas and Focuses, reportedly suffer from sudden acceleration, sputtering, and slipping into neutral at highway speed. The extent of the problem was revealed in a July 11 report from the Detroit Free Press, but rumors of the bad transmission have been circulating for years.
Ford denied the allegations on Wednesday, saying the Freep’s reporting “... includes conclusions that are not based in fact, which risks misleading customers about the safety and dependability of their vehicles.”
Even if Ford takes issue with the reporting, the company still directed its dealers the day after the report to begin quietly fixing the DPS6 transmissions for free. While the date to get a Ford fixed has already passed, the memo mentioned that dealers can expect further direction regarding the transmissions. A dealer told the Freep that further direction, in his experience, usually means the repair window will be extended. This July 12 bulletin was sent to all Ford and Lincoln dealers:
If a customer calls or arrives at your dealership indicating they have transmission symptoms that need addressed, arrange to diagnose the vehicle and repair as necessary.
If a customer calls without a symptom asking questions about the DPS6 media coverage, direct customers to contact the Customer Relationship Center at 1-800-392-3673 to discuss their concerns.
This direction is applicable only for repair orders created July 12 through July 19. Additional updates will be provided by July 19.
It seems that many owners have struggled for years to get the automaker to acknowledge the defectiveness of these transmissions. Some Focus and Fiesta owners told the Freep that they brought the original Free Press report just to prove to Ford mechanics that the problems are not in their imaginations. An internal Ford memo from 2016 revealed that 350,000 vehicles “have already reached 3+ repairs in U.S.” for transmission problems. Indeed, Ford is in the appeals process after a class action lawsuit brought by 1.9 million owners of Fiestas and Focuses.