Recently, the Ford Motor Company announced that owners of 560,000 Focus and Fiesta vehicles will receive an extended warranty. Not only that, but the automaker plans to reimburse those who paid out of pocket for repairs not covered by the earlier warranty.
Wait, there’s more. Ford’s extended warranty will also cover 10 years and 150,000 miles for the transmission control module for Fiesta cars made from 2011 through 2015 and Focus vehicles from 2012 through 2016. This problem caused the vehicles to default to the neutral gear position.
These particular automobiles have a DPS6, which is a dual-clutch transmission. Its purpose is to give cars with an automatic transmission the same fuel efficiency and acceleration as the manual model. However, an investigation revealed that Ford knew of a defect prior to putting these vehicles on the market. The automaker even continued producing them for years despite complaints coming from consumers.
The Free Press Out of Gear investigation, published last month, also revealed that Ford had tentatively decided to abandon the transmission in 2011. However, realizing how much it would cost to make changes, the automaker didn’t follow through.
Two weeks ago, Ford released a statement saying that its actions to offer the extended warranty had nothing to do with the published investigative report or any social media litigation. Currently, there’s a class-action lawsuit against the automaker with a $35 million settlement on the table. At this time, that’s under review.
Citing the Focus produced in 2014 as an example, Dave Filipe, VP of powertrain engineering with Ford, said, “We noticed an uptick of clutch repair and out-of-pocket customer spending” involving the affected automobiles.
In another statement, Ford stated that it believed the transmissions were sound at the time of the launching of the Focus and Fiesta. It continued by saying that the cars in question have always been safe to drive. At the same time, Ford acknowledged it had at some point considered changing transmission technology, and that the reported issues weren’t brought to light until after the vehicles were already in drivers’ hands. Ford then realized the transmission problem was more complex than expected and that repairs took longer than anticipated.
For the Focus manufactured from 2017 through 2018, as well as the Fiesta made from 2016 through 2019, the company won’t offer an extended warranty. The reason is that these vehicles have the latest hardware and software.
As for the Focus and Fiesta cars receiving the extended warranty, there’s roughly 1.5 million still on roads in the United States. Drivers find that, along with uneven shifting, it’s common for these vehicles to shudder. Other reported complaints include the transmission slipping into neutral, delayed acceleration, and a forward lurching motion.
Consequences of the Investigative Publication
Following the Free Press publication, three members of Congress applied a lot of pressure to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), requesting it conduct a formal investigation after failing to do so in 2014. At that time, an analysis done by the Free Press showed a minimum of 4,300 complaints about these vehicles, along with reports of 50 injuries.
According to Filipe, Ford has reached out to the NHTSA but has not received any questions from the organization. However, NHTSA did release a statement that said after its review, it didn’t find “an unreasonable risk to safety.” Even so, it’ll continue to monitor any complaints along with additional data, keep the communication line open with Ford, and if necessary, take the appropriate action.
What Does It All Mean?
Yes, there’s a transmission problem with some Ford Focus and Fiesta cars. For those involved, the automaker is offering an extended warranty at no charge. Ford’s goal is to make it easier for customers to get repairs done. Owners of these vehicles can either contact a Ford dealership or the automaker itself by calling 833-805-3673.
Maintaining Appropriate Insurance
For owners of the affected vehicles, an offer of an extended warranty is great news. When on the road, this makes drivers feel more comfortable. Another way to feel confident while driving is to maintain proper auto insurance. Talk to a reputable insurance company today to make sure you have the protection you need.
Having an extended warranty is great, but it will not offer you the protection you need in case you get into an accident. Freeway Insurance has been providing reliable and affordable car insurance to drivers for over 30 years. If you feel that you may be paying too much for your car insurance, call us today at (800) 777-5620 to speak with a live agent who can give you a free car insurance quote. You can also begin coverage today. Call now.