Although a specific number of owners involved with the class action is still to be confirmed, a spokesperson for the firm told CarAdvice today that around 70,000 examples of the 1.5-litre EcoSport (built 2012-14), 'WT'/'WZ' Fiesta (2010-14), and with 1.6- and 2.0-litre 'LW' Focus (2010-14) models may be affected.
The suit alleges that the PowerShift system "slips, bucks, jerks, and harshly engages when driven".
Owners are also claimed to have experienced both sudden and delayed acceleration while driving, along with delayed gear shifts and difficulty in bringing the vehicle to a stop.
These alleged issued are claimed to represent "a failure to comply with the statutory guarantee as set out by Australian Consumer Law".
Similar claims have been made in North America, leading to class action and individual lawsuits there late last year.
The class action launched here in Australia is asking for a full refund of the purchase price to be ordered, along with compensation for out of pocket expenses, stress, inconvenience and costs associated with carrying out the lawsuit.
In 2014, Ford Australia extended the warranties of 47,000 Fiesta, Focus and EcoSport models, acknowledging a defect that may cause the PowerShift auto gearbox to exhibit “excessive transmission clutch shudder during light acceleration”.
Describing the move as a customer satisfaction program, Ford wrote to customers to advise that the extended warranty was intended to cover “repairs on the clutch and input shaft seals on the transmission, as well as the transmission software calibration". The longest of the extended warranties expired in January, 2015.