Piston Slap: De-fusing The Fusion's TSB Dilemma

Sajeev Mehta
by Sajeev Mehta
piston slap de fusing the fusion s tsb dilemma

Jim writes:

I had a transmission problem with my Fusion. Dealer tells me lots and lots of people are having the problem, and parts are backordered. It appears 2010 Fusions being sold today have defective transmissions. Ford has a TSB on the issue to dealers. People claim transmission leaves them stranded on freeway. Search Fusion Transmission Problems on Google and you will see. I think someone in the media needs to do a story on this.

Sajeev Answers:

Kinda like farting in church, commentary on vehicle recalls (or TSBs) is tough scenario for automotive journalists. Not because of the parasitic relationship between journalists and manufacturers, since there’s never been a Shelby GT500 press car in my driveway. Ever. So what’s my problem?

Reporting on a TSB requires a journalist to stick their neck out, making less-than-educated guesses on the problem and its subsequent outcomes. Which means I could be wrong. Or misleading. I don’t have access to the facts: automatic transmissions have so many variables that it’s almost impossible to find the truth. And the truth often changes between vehicles because of road conditions, driving habits, and ongoing production changes during assembly. Which sucks, but nobody’s perfect: just ask owners of 2000-ish model Honda Accords (V6) and Toyota Camrys (V6, 6-speed auto) who faced the same challenges as their brothers/sisters in Fusions and Milans.

I’ll stop covering my ass now, and try to answer this concern: parts will always be backordered because today’s lean production strategies take forever to crank out a replacement part. Inventory is a dirty word, people. And the manufacturer can sometimes (always?) underestimate the scope of the problem, making the wait time even worse. Odds are a decent fix is in the works. And most owners will remain happy, because they will not keep their car longer than 100,000 miles. After that, who knows just how bad the current transmission problem shortens the unit’s lifespan. And when the odometer travels that far, these TSBs will be but a distant memory everywhere: including the Internet.

Send your queries to mehta@ttac.com

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2 of 42 comments
  • Mountainman Mountainman on Jun 09, 2010

    I had an 06 Fusion 4cyl 5-spd that I got with 6,000 miles. Clutch burned out at 30,000. I figured it was beaten on, so I replaced it. Then, the clutch went out again at 48,000. My wife and I both drove manuals all our life, so we knew it wasn't us. Fought with Ford over this, to no avail. Got the clutch fixed again, drove it off the lot right to a Subaru dealer. Our Impreza is riding nicely now. Last American car I will ever own.

  • Ajla Ajla on Jun 09, 2010
    Just underpowered, and since the Charger is a much less powerful car than the Camaro SS, it didn’t develop the same problems. I don't think it is a power issue. The Challenger SRT8 makes similar power to the Camaro SS. Plus, IIRC, the CTS-V and GT500 use the TR6060 and both those cars make more power than the SS. ___ My pulled out of the air guess is that the Camaro line just got a bad order of transmissions.

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