Australia Has Fined Ford An Enormous Amount For Its PowerShift Transmission

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the Federal Court has ordered Ford to pay a $10 million penalty after finding the way it responded to consumer complaints about PowerShift transmission (PST) cars was “unconscionable”. It’s the highest penalty handed down under Australian Consumer Law.

Ford’s PowerShift transmission has had a rough time since being introduced back in 2010. It’s been the subject of a few lawsuits and, now, a 10 million Australian dollar fine for the way Ford responded to consumer complaints.

If you don’t know, the PowerShift, which you can still get on the Focus and the Fiesta (well, until they’re discontinued) has been improved after several complaints, but those improvements didn’t come quick enough in Australia. The government says that Ford mistreated customers who complained between May 2015 and February 2016. Among the complaints were shuddering, jerking, and excessive noise on Focuses, Fiestas, and EcoSports. Ford admitted that, between May 1, 2015 and February 29, 2016, it mishandled responses to complaints from customers.

President and chief executive of Ford Australia Graeme Whickman has apologized to customers, admitting the company “took too long to identify the issues”. The 2000 affected customers can apply for an independent arbiter to assess their complaints.