The Ford Focus and Fiesta are fading away in the U.S., but the headaches caused by the small cars' PowerShift dual-clutch transmissions live on.
Ford Motor Co. never conquered the long-term reliability problems on the gearboxes that thousands of customers complained would shudder, jerk and hesitate.
Although engineers helped solve some early glitches with software updates and redesigned parts, Ford issued more than 20 technical service bulletins related to the transmissions, which were code-named DPS6. In 2014, Ford extended the transmissions' warranty by two years and 40,000 miles.
Litigation over the transmissions remains unresolved. Ford reached a settlement in 2017 for a class-action lawsuit covering 1.9 million owners, but the settlement is being challenged in a federal court in California on the grounds that not enough owners would be compensated. A separate mass-tort case involving thousands of customers is pending in Michigan.
Former Ford CEO Mark Fields has been ordered to testify by July 31 in a series of cases involving customers who opted out of the class-action suit. A Florida judge last month denied Fields' motion to avoid testifying.
Ford also has been forced to pay up around the world; last year it lost a class-action lawsuit in Thailand and separately was fined $10 million by a court in Australia.
"They have a major PR and customer-satisfaction nightmare on their hands," Gabe Shenhar, associate director of the auto test program at Consumer Reports, told Automotive News. "It's still not well sorted out."