— Ford PowerShift transmission problems are the focus of a proposed class-action lawsuit filed in Illinois.
The lawsuit was filed by Danielle Anderson on behalf of all U.S. consumers who purchased a vehicle equipped with a PowerShift dual clutch transmission. Anderson purchased a 2014 Ford Fiesta that started having transmission problems about 14 months after the purchase date.
Anderson says the PowerShift transmission is a $1,095 upgrade based on the idea the transmission provides the fuel economy a manual transmission in a convenient automatic.
What's So Bad About the PowerShift? Just About Everything.
The lawsuit alleges the PowerShift transmission is defective because it "slips, bucks, kicks, jerks, gets hot, stutters, harshly engages, has premature internal wear, sudden acceleration, delay in downshifts, delayed acceleration and has difficulty stopping the vehicle, which eventually leads to transmission failure."
The plaintiff claims Ford has never publicly admitted the PowerShift transmission is defective, but instead conceals the problems by saying the transmission is working correctly.
The plaintiff says Ford should have told consumers about the alleged problems so buyers could make an informed buying decision.
The lawsuit says Ford began issuing "technical service bulletins" to dealerships in 2010 while the automaker kept misleading the public about the transmissions.
Court documents say some vehicle owners received replacement PowerShift transmissions, but the problems kept occurring because all the PowerShift transmissions are defective. For most owners, Ford dealers told them not to worry about the problems because the transmissions are safe and operating normally.
According to the plaintiff, Ford dealers will provide "software flashes" if an owner is experiencing PowerShift transmission problems, but owners say the vehicles still aren't fixed even after numerous attempted repairs.
The lawsuit alleges Ford issued dealers a document entitled “PowerShift 6-Speed Transmission Operating Characteristics” that described the problems as normal for this type of transmission. Ford told dealers to give the documents to consumers if an owner complained about the transmission.
Ford Has Issued Multiple "Customer Satisfaction Programs"
In August 2014, the automaker issued "customer satisfaction program 14M01" that said a vehicle may “exhibit excessive transmission shudder during light acceleration. This condition may be caused by fluid contamination of the clutch due to leaking transmission seals.” The program was issued to current owners but not to prospective owners.
Ford then issued "customer satisfaction program 14M02" in February 2015 informing PowerShift owners about problems with a lack of power, trouble with engagement of the transmission and issues with starting the vehicles. The automaker blamed the problem on failures of the transmission control module.
Saying Ford knew about the alleged defects of the PowerShift transmission, the plaintiff claims the automaker failed to tell potential customers about the defect. In addition, the lawsuit alleges Ford made repairs that didn't work, which kept customers complaining and coming back for more repairs that didn't work.
The Ford PowerShift transmission lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois - Danielle Anderson v, Ford Motor Company.
The plaintiff is represented by the Zimmerman Law Offices.