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Lawsuits piling up over Ford's dual-clutch transmission in Fiesta, Focus


Lawsuits against Ford Motor Company over cars with alleged defective transmissions are piling up.

The so-called "dual clutch" transmissions are in 2011 to 2016 Fiestas and 2012 to 2016 Focuses.  

Jason Levine is with the Center for Auto Safety. He says Ford knew it had a problem right away, but tried to ignore it. He says the defective transmission resulted in thousands of complaints.

"They (the transmissions) were shuddering, they were slipping, it created a whole host of performance problems," says Levine.

Levine says Ford faces lawsuits and fines globally, as well as in the U.S. Australia fined Ford $10 million, and Thai courts have awarded damages to owners of Fiestas and Focuses for the defective transmissions.

One of the lawsuits in the U.S., a class action, is currently before a federal appeals court. Attorneys for Public Citizen are asking the court to reject a proposed $35 million settlement, calling it a raw deal which will result in only a tiny fraction of owners getting compensation.

Ford Motor Company says it believes the settlement in the class action lawsuit is fair.

The automaker says it does not comment on pending litigation, but it is committed to providing top-quality vehicles for its customers.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Radio. She began her career at Michigan Radio as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.