Ford To Pay Fiesta, Focus Owners Up To $22,000 Over Faulty Automatic Transmissions
After years of issues, a federal judge approved a Ford Motor Co. class-action settlement. It will result in Ford repurchasing defective vehicles for as much as $22,000 apiece. All 2011-2016 Fiestas and 2012-2016 Focuses are equipped with the faulty Powershift transmission except for those fitted with manual gearboxes.
Owners of the affected cars reported, “shuddering, slipping, bucking, jerking, hesitation while changing gears, premature internal wear, delays in downshifting and, in some cases, sudden or delayed acceleration.” It’s been reported that the problems listed above have continued after Ford’s powertrain warranty expires. Some owners have been said to replace as many as FOUR transmissions in their Fiesta or Focus.
The Detroit Free Press talked to Michael Kirkpatrick, a lawyer at the nonprofit Public Citizen consumer advocacy group, who successfully argued against both Ford and the class-action law firm for re-review of the case in 2019 to get a better deal for consumers. Kirkpatrick said, “You could see where this settlement could end up costing Ford hundreds of millions of dollars, potentially $500 million”.
It’s said that Ford knowingly sold these cars with defective transmissions which is what led to such a hefty settlement. In 2019 Ford initiated a voluntary buyback program and spent $47 million buying back 2,666 vehicles. The Free Press pursued and investigation into the issue and one month later, Ford extended warranty coverage to 600,000 vehicle owners.
Car owners will have at least seven months from the order to file a buyback claim, with some having up to 2023 to file.