Ford Extends Clutch Warranty for 2014-2016 Focus, Fiesta Vehicles

In recent months, issues with the Powershift DCT transmission in Ford’s Fiesta and Focus models have become a front-page news of automotive magazines and this scandal has gained a snowball effect on the American Auto Giant. To address the problem, Ford has announced the clutch warranty extension on the affected models by 2 years or 40 thousand miles, to a total of 7 years or 100 thousand miles. This measure brings the newer cars’ warranties in line with the prolonged warranties of some of the older cars.

This warranty change will not affect the 10-year/150,000-mile TCM unit warranty. In addition, all owners of Fiesta/Focus cars equipped with failure-prone gear shifting units, who had to cover expenses for the clutch repair services, now can expect full-cost compensations, as the extended warranty is activated. The issues with the Powershift transmission (also known as DPS6) - designed to enhance the car’s fuel efficiency - include noticeable vibrations when the transmission is shifted at low speed, and the possibility of unintended shifts to N gear.

In an official statement, Ford representative said that the company admits the existence of the problem and expresses deep regret at the fact that thousands of Ford owners have been exposed to troubles related to the Powershift transmission. He also added that customers' trust and loyalty plays a crucial role in Ford’s philosophy. Thus, Ford and its dealerships have put in great efforts to eliminate all issues and to enhance operational capacities of the transmission. The warranty applies to repair services related to clutch elements of the DCT unit. It is claimed that clutch materials and seals are soft spots of the Powershift transmission. The automaker refused to unveil the info on exact expenses of Ford related to providing the extended warranties and pointed out that the decision to prolong the warranty had nothing to do with scandals or lawsuits related to the Powershift transmission.

Ford also reminded that the company still provides TCM software update in affected Focus and Fiesta models. Ford has already performed this service on 84% of the cars, and the company still expects the remaining car owners to visit dealerships for the software update. Thanks to this update, drivers will be notified by the computer system when the TCM unit gets out of order. This service is performed absolutely free-of-charge, and the automaker wants to install new software in as many cars as possible.

According to Ford, the abovementioned prolonged warranty will be applied to about 560,000 cars, and dealer centers still urge owners of 165,000 cars to pay a visit for the software update. It should be noted that newer Focus and Fiesta cars equipped with the Powershift unit won’t get prolonged warranties. Ford claims that the latest Focus and Fiesta cars come with more robust transmissions and their performance characteristics do not raise any suspicions. It is estimated that at least 1.5 mln of Fiesta and Focus cars susceptible to potential issues with the transmission unit still run on US roads. Some car owners say that many of the cars have different gear shifting issues.

After publication of investigation materials, 3 members of Congress recommended to responsible authorities (NHTSA), which refused to officially investigate the Powershift case five years ago, to reconsider the situation. NHTSA, in turn, undertook a commitment to review numerous recent complaints and investigation materials from Free Press to determine whether the Powershift defects could lead to road accidents or not. As a result, the agency has not detected facts directly pointing to any unreasonable risk to safety. NHTSA plans to keep on monitoring the situation around this scandalous case and to take measures if required.

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