Each week CarAdvice receives at least four or five emails to the website or phone calls to our various radio programs regarding Ford Powershift transmission issues.
The advice is always the same, but it's often misunderstood or not known by drivers experiencing issues.
This article aims to explain how to diagnose your vehicle's issues and what you should do to seek remedy and have the issues resolved or the vehicle replaced.
The vehicles affected are 2010-2016 Ford Focus, Fiesta and EcoSport models fitted with a Powershift automatic transmission.
Firstly, the information below is in addition to your consumer rights. Under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), vehicle owners that have purchased a vehicle after January 1, 2011, have the right to have a vehicle repaired or replaced outside of a manufacturer warranty.
To find out whether you are eligible and what steps you should take, please read our story on the Australian Consumer Law and your rights. The information below is a recommended course of action to take, through Ford Australia, to have the issues resolved.
Joining a class action or demanding for a vehicle to immediately be replaced isn't the best way to solve the issue.
We discussed the process and procedure with Ford Australia communications and public relations director, Martin Gunsberg, who said the company wants to ensure vehicles are fixed and consumers end up happy with the product.
What are the symptoms and signs of a Ford Powershift transmission issue?
"We recognise that some customers are experiencing issues with certain 2010-16 petrol Focus, Fiesta and EcoSport models fitted with a Powershift automatic transmission and we are proactively working with them to address their concerns," Gunsberg said.
"If any customer is experiencing issues with their vehicle, they should contact their Ford dealer or Ford Australia directly on 13FORD (13 36 73)."
"It may be possible for certain 2010-16 petrol Focus, Fiesta and EcoSport models fitted with a Powershift automatic transmission to exhibit excessive transmission clutch shudder during light acceleration. This condition may be caused by fluid contamination of the clutch due to leaking transmission input shaft seals, which over time may degrade shift quality of the dry clutches.
"Vehicles could also exhibit similar shudder due to excessive heat build-up in the clutch friction material."
"To ensure our customers’ peace of mind, potentially affected vehicles have had the warranty extended on the clutch and transmission input shaft seals as well as the transmission software calibration. Vehicles equipped with manual transmissions or diesel engines are not affected."
If a customer has identified an issue with their vehicle, what steps do they need to take?
"Customers can bring their vehicle to a dealership for assessment and depending on the results the vehicle may receive repairs. Based on the assessments these repairs can include the fitment of the latest specification clutch, replacement of input shaft seals, a TCM replacement or recalibration."
"If any customer is experiencing issues with their vehicle, they should contact their Ford dealer or Ford Australia directly on 13FORD."
"In order to improve customer satisfaction with the operation of Powershift automatic transmissions on certain 2010-16 petrol Focus, Fiesta and EcoSport models, Ford has released a new formulation for the friction material on the clutches that is designed to deliver shift-quality improvements," said Gunsberg.
How many vehicles are affected?
"The total PowerShift transmission population potentially affected in Australia is approximately 68,000 vehicles.
"We have addressed the majority of our customers’ concerns and continue to reach out to customers and encourage customers to contact Ford if they are experiencing issues with their 2010-16 petrol Focus, Fiesta or EcoSport fitted with a PowerShift transmission. Vehicles equipped with manual transmissions or diesel engines are not affected," Gunsberg said.
If a customer continues to have issues with their vehicles, what steps do they need to take to have their vehicle replaced?
"If a customer requests a refund or replacement vehicle under Australian Consumer Law, Ford has an established process to assess and respond to all such requests by customers."
"If any customer is experiencing issues with their vehicle, they should contact their Ford dealer or Ford Australia directly on 13FORD," said Gunsberg.
The CarAdvice experience:
A close CarAdvice friend is currently having issues with their 2011 Ford Focus and is going through the process of having their transmission issues resolved. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates to CarAdvice readers with any common issues we encounter.