Today, Ford wishes its first experience with non-hybrid continuously variable transmissions was far behind it. The Blue Oval was awash in complaints and a couple of class-action lawsuits over the CVTs used in its 2005-2007 Ford Freestyle, Five Hundred and Mercury Montego models, which were a manufactured in Batavia, Ohio as part of a joint venture with ZF. The company gave up on the CVT after just two years, but with fuel economy standards pressing automakers to conjure new tricks, Ford's global
The continuously variable transmission is one of those technologies that seems to make a lot of sense on paper, but in reality, almost always numbs the driving experience. That's one reason why Audi, according to reports, is planning to phase them out.
Among automotive enthusiasts, no one seems to hold a neutral opinion when it comes to continuously variable transmissions. CVTs are either praised for their ability to boost fuel economy or chided for their occasionally poor driving dynamics. Nissan is among the masters of these un-shifting gearboxes in the US, and it uses them in many vehicles in its lineup. However, for the 2015 model year, several models are getting a software update to make their CVTs a bit more like a conventional automatic
Mitsubishi sales continue to show progress in 2014. In fact, sales were up 54.17 percent in the US in May compared to last year. In hopes of keeping those numbers in the black, the Japanese automaker is introducing some mechanical upgrades to the Outlander Sport, its best-selling model, for the 2015 model year.
Honda has announced a good-sized recall of two popular Japanese-market hybrids: the Fit Hybrid and the Vezel Hybrid are both headed back into the garage. The problem this time around lies in the software program that controls the 7-speed dual clutch transmission (DCT) that could "cause a delay in the ability to begin driving or the inability to move at all." In total, 81,353 units are affected (70,929 Fit Hybrids and 10,424 Vezel Hybrids) and all were made in Japan between July 2013 and February
Nissan's decision to fit continuously variable transmissions across even more of its new models may be coming back to bite the Japanese automaker, as it's been hampered by customer satisfaction issues relating to its XTronic CVTs, which are provided by a supplier called JATCO.
Audi drivers, listen up. If you bought or leased a 2002-06 model-year A4 or A6 with a factory-installed Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) that failed, you may be entitled to reimbursement under a recently settled class-action lawsuit with corporate parent Volkswagen.
BMW has agreed to settle a number of class-action lawsuits out of court. The suits stem from drivetrain issues on the 2001 to 2006 R50 Mini Cooper – in particular, its continuously variable transmission. The transmission was known to fail, often without warning on otherwise healthy and well-maintained vehicles. This wasn't the only major issue to afflict the original BMW-era Mini models.
No one appears to have a handle on the numbers, but more than a few owners are registering the same complaint about the CVT-equipped 2013 Nissan Pathfinder: that it "shudders" and loses power when accelerating from a standstill or at low speeds. According to posters at places like Pathfinder Talk, Edmunds, Auto Recalls for Consumers and About Automobile, it happens between about 20 to 40 miles per hour, the sensation is described as being like "driving over a rumble strip" and the power loss occ
Honda has announced that it has made an initial investment of $470 million to build a brand new transmission plant in Celaya, Mexico. For those keeping track, this is the same city that will also house Honda's new automobile manufacturing facility, which will begin production of the Fit compact beginning in the spring of 2014.
According to Green Car Reports, a few minor changes are on deck for the littlest Chevrolet. Christi Landy, Chevy's small car marketing director, confirmed to GCR that the 2014 model year Spark will lose its four-speed automatic transmission in favor of a continuously variable unit.
The 2014 Jeep Compass and Patriot are here, and as expected, the big news is the availability of a six-speed automatic transmission on certain models. The transmission, sourced from PowerTech (a subsidiary of Hyundai) will attempt to address the noise, vibration and harshness issues suffered by older CVT-equipped models by using noise-resistant gears. It has a long sixth gear to improve fuel economy, but Jeep hasn't revealed the mileage numbers for the auto-equipped models yet.
Hyundai officials are not afraid to make their views known on prevailing technologies, standing by their choices and criticizing the alternatives. Previously, the Korean automaker's fuel cell boss told reporters that EV makers "jumped the gun." Now comes word that Hyundai is sticking by dual-clutch transmissions, citing the shortcomings of continuously variable transmissions.
Aside from its hybrid technology, Toyota has fallen behind the competition in terms of vehicle powertrains which could leave popular cars like the Toyota Camry and Toyota RAV4 lagging behind the competition. While most of its rivals have started using gasoline direct injection, turbochargers and some have moved to Continuously Variable Transmissions (CVT) to balance performance and fuel economy, many Toyota models are still using underpowered engines and outdated transmission technology. Accordi
Belts and pulleys will continue to replace traditional gears in the coming years as more carmakers turn to Continuously Variable Transmissions to suck the fun out of future machines increase fuel economy.
A group of Florida plaintiffs have come together to file a class action lawsuit against Mini. Their issue is with the reliability of the Continuously Variable Transmissions in first-generation Cooper hatchbacks from 2002-2006 and in Cooper Convertible models from 2006-2008. A cursory web search on the matter returns plenty of results from Mini owners complaining of the same issue, sudden failure of the CVT, and having mixed fortunes at Mini dealers when trying to get the situation resolved.