Ford Motor Co. has told its U.S. dealers to give free repairs to any Focus and Fiesta owners who complain about problems with the cars' PowerShift dual-clutch transmission, according to a memo obtained by Automotive News.
The offer, made after a Detroit newspaper published a lengthy report that said Ford knowingly launched the cars with faulty transmissions, lasts until Friday but could be extended.
In the July 12 memo, Ford says dealerships should "arrange to diagnose the vehicle and repair as necessary." The fixes can be applied to 2011-17 models, many of which are out of warranty. Previous class-action lawsuits have covered 2011-16 models with transmissions that customers complained would shudder, jerk and hesitate.
Dealers were told to expect another update by Friday.
The memo, first reported by the Detroit Free Press, followed a July 11 report by the newspaper that said Ford knew about the transmission defects yet sold them anyway. The automaker responded Wednesday, saying the report made "conclusions that are not based in fact."
“At Ford, we’re committed to taking care of our customers quickly and thoroughly,” Ford spokesman Said Deep said in a statement. “We have been and we will continue to work with our 3,100 dealers to ensure we are doing exactly that.”
Automotive News reported this month that former Ford CEO Mark Fields has been called to testify in ongoing litigation surrounding the troublesome gearboxes, which have haunted the automaker for years.
Ford reached a settlement in 2017 in a class-action lawsuit covering 1.9 million owners, but the deal is being challenged in California federal court on the grounds that not enough owners would be compensated. A separate mass-tort case involving thousands of customers is pending in Michigan.