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Ford Motor Co. Proposes $30M Settlement to End Class-Action Lawsuit Over Transmissions

— January 29, 2020

Ford Motor Co. recently proposed to end a class-action lawsuit over Focus and Fiesta transmissions for $30 million.

In response to a class-action lawsuit over faulty transmissions in Fiesta and Focus vehicles that are no longer sold in the United States, Ford Motor Co. is proposing a $30 million settlement. The class-action suit was filed back in April 2017 on behalf of “car owners unhappy with the transmissions, known internally as the DPS6.”

The suit was filed because drivers were unhappy with how rough the DPS6 gearbox shifted. It turns out, “dual-clutch gearboxes like the DPS6 typically shift rougher than other automatic gearboxes to which North American drivers are accustomed,” according to the lawsuit. Additionally, the transmissions required frequent repairs for “quality issues the developed over time with the clutch and clutch seals, among other things.”

Ford Focus Titanium Front
Ford Focus Titanium Front; image courtesy of Autonomousemergencybraking via Wikimedia Commons,

When commenting on the recent settlement proposal, T.R. Reid, a spokesman for Ford, said the company “believes the settlement is fair and reasonable and expects it to be approved at the hearing on Feb. 28.” He added:

“It’s an amendment to a 2017 lawsuit that has been proposed to the court and we anticipate it’ll be approved at the hearing next month. There has been a variety of back and forth since then and we believe the amount is fair.”

The class-action suit represented almost 2 million people who either “currently own or formerly owned a 2011-2016 Ford Fiesta or 2012-2016 Ford Focus.” As part of the settlement, Ford Motor Co. will implement an “easier process for people to get compensated and a buyback program for defective vehicles.” The settlement was proposed despite the fact that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found “no evidence that the transmissions are a safety risk.” Even though the class-action suit argued the “transmissions were faulty before the vehicles went to market, no judge or jury has ruled that to be true.”

Ford Motor Co. pushed back against the allegations that it was aware the transmissions were faulty and has repeatedly said that the transmissions in question work just fine and the vehicles are safe to drive. It’s also important to note that the transmission has not been tied to any reported deaths or injuries.

This isn’t the first time Ford has agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit filed over the Ford Fiesta and Ford Focus vehicles. In fact, back in February 2018 the automaker “settled a $35 million class-action lawsuit that would have it pay current or former owners or lessees of a 2011-16 Ford Fiesta or 2012-16 Ford Focus vehicles up to $2,325 to cover repair costs or up to $4,650 for the purchase of a new vehicle.” However, an appeal was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit that argued the $35 million settlement was too lenient and thus “called for the settlement to be vacated.


Ford proposes $30M-plus settlement in transmission suit

Report: Ford to pay $30M-plus for lawsuit over transmissions

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