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    Thread: Ford Knew How Defective Its Fiesta and Focus Transmissions Were for Years: Report

    1. Senior Member Mazda 3s's Avatar
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      07-11-2019 10:29 AM #1

      I’d call it an open secret in the world of cars but for the fact that everyone knows about it: the dual-clutch transmission in the last-generation Ford Fiesta and Focus was an utter disaster. The gearboxes are plagued with problems like sudden acceleration, sputtering, and slipping into neutral at highway speed.

      Now, a thorough investigation by the Detroit Free Press based on internal documents, emails and court records reveals that Ford knew about these problems—potentially dangerous problems that have led to 50 previously unreported injuries, by the newspaper’s count—through engineer and lawyer warnings, but sold them anyway.

      The story centers on the DPS6 transmission, also called the Ford PowerShift transmission, a six-speed dual-clutch automatic found on the 2012-present Focus, 2010-present Fiesta and other cars sold in the past decade. (Both the Ford and Fiesta are being phased out in the U.S.) Yet the Freep estimates 1.5 million cars still on the road have this gearbox, and many of their owners continue to experience problems.

      In the years since the cars went on sale, Ford has faced class action lawsuits in the United States and other countries, fines in Australia, countless owner complaints and endless criticism. Yet while the Focus and Fiesta have been recalled for other defects, the DPS6 itself has never been recalled.
      https://jalopnik.com/ford-knew-how-d...ssi-1836273922

      Original source: https://www.freep.com/in-depth/money...ct/1671198001/
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    3. Member r_fostoria's Avatar
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      07-11-2019 10:40 AM #2
      Of course they did. Unless they designed and built an entire car without even once driving it, they knew. These are are "occasional" or "intermittent" problems, in my experience. The whole driving experience with these transmissions is slippy and terrible. I can't believe they're still making them, and I'm really surprised that they're still able to sell them.

    4. Member HarryC's Avatar
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      07-11-2019 10:58 AM #3
      Ford is the Mitsubishi of domestic auto makers. I've only had 3 that actively tried to kill me or members of my family (2x unintended acceleration, 1x brake failure)

      Wouldn't have one if you gave one to me.
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    5. Member Egz's Avatar
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      07-11-2019 11:34 AM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by HarryC View Post
      Ford is the Mitsubishi of domestic auto makers. I've only had 3 that actively tried to kill me or members of my family (2x unintended acceleration, 1x brake failure)

      Wouldn't have one if you gave one to me.
      I'll have to disagree - that's more like Dodge's title. All my Fords never gave me problems (unless it was something I modified, but that was my fault) But then again, I never bought any with PowerCrap transmissions.

    6. Member Disgruntled Ziemniak's Avatar
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      07-11-2019 01:22 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by Egz View Post
      I'll have to disagree - that's more like Dodge's title. All my Fords never gave me problems (unless it was something I modified, but that was my fault) But then again, I never bought any with PowerCrap transmissions.
      Chevy is a close second in my eyes. But FCA takes the crown without a doubt. Some of the design choices in their trucks blows my mind both in terms of quality and placement of xyz.
      Your favorite Ziemniak, hold the gravy.

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      07-11-2019 01:39 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by Disgruntled Ziemniak View Post
      Chevy is a close second in my eyes. But FCA takes the crown without a doubt. Some of the design choices in their trucks blows my mind both in terms of quality and placement of xyz.
      Are your problems with FCA products ergonomic issues (volume button not in the right place)?

      Ergonomic issues, while bad, are NOT the same as chronically faulty and potentially dangerous transmissions.

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      07-11-2019 01:41 PM #7
      We are currently in a climate of "less regulation" on businesses, but the domestic US automakers continue to show that they cannot be trusted to do the right thing.

    9. Senior Member VarianceVQ's Avatar
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      07-11-2019 02:20 PM #8
      Part of me wonders if the Powershift mess and subsequent poor reputation obtained was a contributing factor to Ford ceasing to sell the Focus and Fiesta in North America.
      Next car desires subject to change... Perpetually.

    10. Member Egz's Avatar
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      07-11-2019 02:22 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by VarianceVQ View Post
      Part of me wonders if the Powershift mess and subsequent poor reputation obtained was a contributing factor to Ford ceasing to sell the Focus and Fiesta in North America.
      I wouldn't be surprised. And if it did, they deserved it for how bad it was when they rushed it to market.

    11. Member VWAudiRally's Avatar
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      07-11-2019 02:35 PM #10
      Anyone who read an article about these cars knew, too; this was a known problem. And people still bought them. I bought a brand new '12 Focus with a manual transmission(because I read about the Powershift issues), and aside from a few minor trim issues, it was a fun, reliable commuter car. The Powershift problems really ruined the reputation of an otherwise decent car.
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      07-11-2019 03:29 PM #11
      What a shame. My 2015 Focus 1.0 EcoBoost with 6-speed manual is still mechanically flawless at 77,000 miles. Great car. Only “issue” is a little paint chipping by a rear wheel arch. (Might have been started by road debris)

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      07-11-2019 05:38 PM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by whitejeep1989 View Post
      Are your problems with FCA products ergonomic issues (volume button not in the right place)?

      Ergonomic issues, while bad, are NOT the same as chronically faulty and potentially dangerous transmissions.
      They're not ergonomic, atleast not anymore.
      In fact, I recently got the chance to drive the top of the line hybrid pacifica, and I have to say, that thing is incredibly comfortable. the seats hug you nicely and all the bells and whistles feel soild.

      My main gripes come from the cars mechanically speaking. There are so many bonkers and downright retarded design choices for the cars clearly meant to either A: save money or B: were an afterthought slapped on. Mind you though, im speaking for cars made around 2014 and older.

      One thing I will say though, the manual Jeep Liberty has one of the most surprisingly fun sticks i've ever driven. Even though its incredibly sloppy and has a long ass throw, it does this weird thing where between the throws going towards you, the shifter drops downward, almost as if its on a waterslide. Super weird, but enjoyable none the less.

      I'm hoping FCA make a turbaround though. If the interior of that Pacifica is anything to go buy, they could be headed in the right direction.
      Your favorite Ziemniak, hold the gravy.

    14. 07-11-2019 06:42 PM #13
      I bought a 44k mile 2011 Fiesta with the powershift two and a half years ago. I've since put 40k additional miles on the car without a hint of transmission trouble. I know one account is anecdotal at best, but with the number of these cars I see driving around makes me believe many of the accounts of transmission woes were people jumping on a band wagon.

    15. 07-11-2019 08:06 PM #14
      I thought supposedly they were fixed with a software update

    16. Member randyvr6's Avatar
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      07-11-2019 08:08 PM #15
      This report by the Detroit Free Press is brutal to Ford. I find it interesting that many believe that the Detroit media are nothing but "homers" for the domestic industry, but having lived here my entire life, nothing could be further from the truth.

      I don't know how anyone could defend this part of the report

      "In another part of the 2014 report to regulators, Ford said its engineers installed a transmission part from a customer’s car — a “mechatronic actuation module” — in a company fleet vehicle. This is what happened:

      Event 1: Trans went to neutral at 40 mph. Coasted to a side street. Re-engaged after sitting for one or two minutes and moving the shift lever.

      Event 2: Drove 3 more miles then turned into a parking lot. Trans went to neutral while driving in the parking lot. Stopped vehicle, shifted to Park, shifter then became locked in Park. After a few minutes, was able to shift out of Park and re-engage trans.

      Event 3: Driving in the same parking lot trans went to neutral. Re-engaged after a minute or so.

      Event 4: Drove on the road for 1 mile, trans went to neutral, coasted to a parking lot. Shut engine off and waited 20 minutes without trying to restart.

      Event 5: Started engine, engine light was still on. Drove on highway, trans was shifting in and out of neutral with no movement of the shift lever. This would occur even at the stop lights. Continued to drive to interstate.

      Event 6: Drove 5 miles, entered the interstate. After several miles at 60 mph trans went to neutral, coasted to the shoulder, stayed in neutral. Shifted to Park, turned engine off, immediately restarted and re-engaged.

      Event 7: Drove a couple more miles and exited the interstate. On the exit ramp trans went to neutral, stayed in neutral. Shifted to Park, turned engine off, restarted and re-engaged. Drove back to the Ford parking lot.

      Ford’s presentation highlighted that, despite the many problems, “mobility was consistently regained.”

      In response to “Customer complaints of ‘no starts,’ ‘loss of gears’ and ‘loss of motion,’” the bottom of a page in the report notes: “Engine continues to run, power steering, power brake assist, electrical and restraint systems remain operational.”

      Ford on Tuesday, in response to the Free Press asking whether a car losing acceleration is a safety problem, replied, "You should contact NHTSA. They quite regularly issue safety recalls. ... They have looked at this issue quite thoroughly and have not (issued a recall) in this case. Nor have governing bodies in other markets."
      Last edited by randyvr6; 07-11-2019 at 08:21 PM.

    17. Member randyvr6's Avatar
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      07-11-2019 08:10 PM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by ImpeccableNEW View Post
      I thought supposedly they were fixed with a software update
      It wasn't intended to fix anything, just provide a warning on the cluster that something bad was going to happen

      "Ford told NHTSA it was developing software to provide an “overt” warning. A separate document obtained by the Free Press showed in fact that two company vice presidents were seeking approval from then-CEO Mark Fields, who succeeded Mulally in 2014, to “develop and test a software strategy” that “provides early warning to customers.”

      The software was to be released nine months later, in August 2015. The software “will more easily satisfy NHTSA’s requirements,” the approval request noted.

      The change, which was to be in place five and a half years after the first car with a DPS6 went on sale, would not remedy the transmission problems; it was intended to warn drivers when their car was about to slip into neutral. A subsequent document showed that the warning was included in a service update."

    18. Senior Member bzcat's Avatar
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      07-11-2019 08:38 PM #17
      What is even more damning is that Ford made the decision to get rid of this transmission in the Focus in the rest of the world during mid cycle update. But for whatever reason, decided to double down with it in North America. We got stuck with the dry DCT while the rest of the world got the 6F35 from the Fusion. There must have been some real internal fights about keeping this transmission just for the US customers... it was probably the worst production decision that Ford made during the Fields era.

    19. 07-11-2019 09:40 PM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by bzcat View Post
      What is even more damning is that Ford made the decision to get rid of this transmission in the Focus in the rest of the world during mid cycle update. But for whatever reason, decided to double down with it in North America. We got stuck with the dry DCT while the rest of the world got the 6F35 from the Fusion. There must have been some real internal fights about keeping this transmission just for the US customers... it was probably the worst production decision that Ford made during the Fields era.
      Almost makes you wonder if this was intentional to hasten the demise of the Focus and Fiesta in the US marketplace. Lets remember that both of these cars designs (not sure about the DCT) were primary Ford of Europe and since as long as I can remember Dearborn didn't like the European designed Fords entering our market. I'd say an internal family feud so to speak.

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      07-11-2019 09:44 PM #19
      Good thing they're discontinued I guess.
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      07-11-2019 09:56 PM #20
      Ford try/need to one up GM's key ignition switch problem...
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    22. Member Tokyosmash's Avatar
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      07-11-2019 10:22 PM #21
      And so did everyone else, and Ford has been covering replacement on their **** transmissions for years.

    23. Senior Member Lwize's Avatar
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      07-11-2019 11:24 PM #22
      Ford should just stop selling the Fiesta and Focus in the US.
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    24. 07-11-2019 11:28 PM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by Lwize View Post
      Ford should just stop selling the Fiesta and Focus in the US.
      They are doing that, now we are so fortunate to keep getting that Curry flavored turd the Ecosport, brickhouse Edge, and
      Cop Car aka Exploder.

      The Focus and Fiesta were VERY good cars EXCEPT for the PowerShi*t dry dct. If you bought either with the old stand by sold
      MTX 75 manual shifter they were excellent and stood up to the best competition in the marketplace.

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      07-12-2019 12:06 AM #24
      Ford paired a standard automatic with the 1.0 EcoBoost starting in 2016. They should have just dumped the 2.0 / DCT altogether at that time.

    26. Member HarryC's Avatar
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      07-12-2019 01:26 PM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by E365 View Post
      Ford paired a standard automatic with the 1.0 EcoBoost starting in 2016. They should have just dumped the 2.0 / DCT altogether at that time.
      Agreed.

      Thing is, there's NO money in these cars for Ford. There never was. Arguably, the Fiesta never should've come here, and the Focus should've gotten all the attention. But that's looking at it with 2019 Cheap-Gas, SUV craze part deux perspective. IN 2008, these seemed like the future and good global alignment with Ford of Europe.
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