Ford Motor Co. is extending its warranty on 560,000 dual-clutch transmissions after highly publicized complaints that the gearbox may hesitate or suddenly shift out of gear.
The program adds two years and 40,000 miles of repair coverage for certain 2014-2016 model Ford Focus and Fiesta small cars sold in the U.S. and Canada. Affected models are equipped with the company’s DPS6 PowerShift transmission.
The company issued a similar warranty extension in 2014 that covered 2011-2014 models because of the same problems.
Dual-clutch transmissions, which are popular in Europe, combine the efficiency of a manual gearbox with the convenience of an automatic. But a Detroit Free Press report last month asserted that Ford knew its DPS6 design had significant performance problems when it rushed the unit into production in 2010 anyway.
Since then the carmaker has issued 20 service bulletins about the transmission, updated its design and revised its control software. Ford says units built since mid-2015 perform normally. But several legal complaints about the DPS6 gearbox are pending worldwide, including multiple class-action lawsuits in the U.S.
It’s the fifth generation of a vehicle that has been increasing in sales year after year since its introduction in 1997.
A class-action lawsuit has been filed against General Motors Co. over claimed flaws in the company’s 8-speed automatic transmission used in 2015-2019 model rear-drive vehicles.
For conducting business in the U.S. market, Toyota has historically had several separate business entities: a sales and distribution company headquartered in California (Toyota Motor Sales, USA); manufacturing operations (Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America); a racing subsidiary (Toyota Racing Development, USA); the Toyota Technical Center for R&D in Ann Arbor; and a design facility in California (Calty Design Research, Inc.). On April 1, 2006, Toyota merged its R&D operations and its manufacturing operations into a single company.