Beginning in 2011, Ford produced the Focus model with a transmission known as the PowerShift. They installed the PowerShift transmission on the Focus from 2011 to 2016 with an initial modification made in 2012 and overhauled the transmission for the 2017 model year. The successive transmission still has issues, but nowhere near as bad as the problems with the previous transmission.
Many owners of Ford Focus cars found, to their dismay, that the transm\ission in their vehicle was faulty. Owners brought their cars to Ford dealerships for repairs and never gained satisfaction in the form of a fully functional transmission that didn’t have problems. As a result, transmission retailers who have had the 2016 Ford Focus transmission for sale like reman-transmission have seen a major uptick in sales of the transmission.
A class-action lawsuit emerged with Ford ultimately losing the case. Part of the reason for the loss was the discovery of documents showing that Ford knowingly installed a poorly designed transmission on the Focus. The Ford Focus transmission issue plagued millions of vehicles, and anyone who owned or leased a 2012-2016 Ford Focus was eligible to make a claim for compensation. However, there was a time limit placed on filing a claim, but owners of a Ford Focus from this era may still be able to find a resolution to the problems associated with the transmission.
Common Problems Associated With the PowerShift Transmission
The Ford Focus transmission, also referred to as the DPS6, was designed by a company by the name of Getrag. It’s a dual-clutch transmission that’s designed to engage in alternate gears. One clutch has gears 1-3-5 and the other has 2-4-6 in order to increase fuel economy and shift faster. The major problem with the Ford Focus transmission is the fact it’s made with dry clutch technology and made it so the transmission was unable to cool itself. This inability to self-cool led to issues such as:
- Shuddering, sometimes violent
- Erratic shifting
- Uneven acceleration
- Lurching unpredictably
- Programmed to go into neutral when problems were detected
- Loss of power
Ford ultimately wound up issuing over 20 technical service bulletins regarding problems with the DPS6 PowerShift transmission.
These issues occurred frequently and would make it difficult or impossible to safely drive the car. Owners and lessees of Ford Focus cars from this era of production started to bring their cars back to dealerships for repair or replacement under warranty, and never really found satisfaction with the work. It returned to its unreliable standard of operation because the entire transmission was faulty.
Why Ford Recalled the 2016 Ford Focus Transmission
The issues with the Ford Focus transmission began long before the car rolled off the production line. Executives at Ford knew that the transmission was faulty, yet pushed through with its production for reasons that are still not clear to this day.
Designing and planning for the 2011-2016 generation of Ford Focus began in the late 2000s. As part of these processes, Ford held multiple meetings with engineers, designers, and executives to guide the creation of the next-generation Ford Focus. The Ford Fiesta, another model affected by the DPS6 transmission, was also in design produced during this time.
Ford’s engineers knew that the transmission was faulty long before it was ever used in production. Many reported arguing with senior executives against its use in the Ford Focus and Fiesta, but they were ignored. The Ford Focus went into production with a bad transmission, and the lawsuits began not long afterward.
How to Make a Claim With the Ford Focus Transmission Recall Settlement
If you owned or leased a Ford Focus produced between 2012 and 2016, you were automatically included as a class member in the lawsuit. The terms of the lawsuit state that a claim had to be made within six years of delivery of your Focus or by November 4, 2020, but that doesn’t mean you’re unable to file a claim if you bought your Ford Focus as new in 2016. There may be extenuating circumstances that allow you to file a claim with Ford and come to a satisfactory resolution with the automaker.
The class action settlement provides six different benefits to class members, and each one has extensive coverage in terms of what it offers for a settlement. They include:
- Buyback or repurchase
- Transmission hardware replacement
- Software flashes
- One-time $20 payment
- Breach of warranty arbitration
- Replacement clutch for certain vehicles
There are still around 1.5 million Ford Focus vehicles on the road that are equipped with the DPS6 transmission. Original owners and lessees should consult with a lawyer to find out about the feasibility of filing for a claim, especially if they’ve had repairs made on their Ford Focus transmission.