Ford proposes to pay $30M to settlement transmission lawsuit

It would reportedly pave the way for a buyback program of defective cars

Ford has proposed paying at least $30 million to settle a class-action lawsuit filed by owners of Fiesta and Focus cars equipped with defective dual-clutch transmissions, according to media reports. A federal judge is scheduled to consider final approval at a hearing Feb. 28.

The lawsuit represents nearly 2 million current or former owners of a 2011-2016 Ford Fiesta or 2012-16 Ford Focus equipped with a dual-clutch PowerShift six-speed transmission. The plaintiffs allege that the transmission, known internally at Ford at DPS6, is prone to slipping, jerking or shuddering while changing gears, sometimes causing the vehicle to decelerate or unexpectedly go into neutral and causing many customers to pay for multiple costly repairs.

In addition to the cash payment, the settlement would reportedly outline an easier path for customers to get compensated in a buyback program for defective cars. The settlement would replace an earlier proposed settlement that was rejected by a federal appeals court as being unfair to customers and overly generous to lawyers.

Ford in court filings acknowledged it has already spent almost $48 million between October 2017 and the end of 2019 to buy back 2,666 vehicles, the Detroit Free Press reported. The Freep previously reported that Ford employees said they were discouraged from speaking up about the problems, which they said were well-known before the cars went on sale.

Ford in August extended the clutch warranty on 2014-16 Focus and Fiesta models to a total of seven years or 100,000 miles.

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