The Detroit (MI) Free Press reports seven current and former Ford employees who worked on the DPS6 dual clutch “PowerShift” transmission included in two million Fiesta and Focus cars said knowledge of problems with the transmissions was widespread throughout the engineering, product development, research, design, and manufacturing departments at Ford.
An engineer said the DPS6 was “cheap to make and cheap to assemble,” but the “dry” clutch technology ensured the transmission could not cool itself down, which would result in failures. The Free Press reports engineers told the outlet that they feared speaking out about the issue out of concern that they could lose their jobs during the economic downturn.
The transmissions were introduced in the 2011 model year Fiesta, which went to dealerships in the spring of 2010, and 2012 Focus, which went on the market a year later. They were used until the Focus was discontinued with the 2018 model year and through the 2019 Fiesta model year.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has received more than 4,300 complaints about the transmissions in affected vehicles, but “both Ford and NHTSA regulators say the vehicles do not pose an unreasonable safety risk,” and the vehicles have never been recalled.
“Good people tried to make it work. But you can’t violate the laws of physics,” engineer says of defective transmission.
Ford reported to federal safety officials at least two traffic deaths that families blamed at least in part on defective DPS6 transmissions, though the carmaker is adamant that neither actually was related.
Alex R. Hernandez Jr. represents clients injured due to recalled products, call today.