By on August 14, 2019


Ford took some heat after reports emerged that it was well aware of the issues plaguing the PowerShift transmission found in third-gen Focuses and sixth-gen Fiestas. While the automaker has issued numerous recalls on the vehicles in question, the transmission was never officially included. Instead, Ford provided impacted owners with extended warranties on the problematic DSP6 tranny and issued a software update.

Hoping to quell public outrage, the manufacturer said on Wednesday that it will stretch the warranty on certain 2014-16 model year Focus and Fiesta vehicles by two years and 40,000 miles. It also announced that software updates are incoming for customers who found the six-speed dual clutch a nonstop headache. While not quite a recall, it puts Ford on the hook for transmission repairs some customers had to pay for out of pocket. 

Unfortunately, we know of several individuals who got burned by Ford’s last warranty extension. In 2014, the company pulled the same move for 2011-2013 model year vehicles — extending transmission warranties from five years/60,000 miles to seven years/100,000. Meanwhile, transmission control modules are covered up to 10 years/150,000 miles with the factory saying it’ll go six months beyond if one goes on the fritz. However, it was not unheard-of for customers to see their gearboxes simply implode immediately after the 100,000-mile cutoff.

The same may be true here. Still, Ford claims the software updates have improved issues associated with the troubled transmission dramatically, especially in vehicles produced after the start of 2015. “Based on internal and external data, Focus and Fiesta vehicles with automatic transmissions built since the second half of 2015 — and earlier models that have received component and software updates — perform well and have competitive levels of satisfaction,” said Dave Filipe, Vice President of Ford’s Powertrain Engineering, in a statement.

“Ford understands and regrets that many customers have been inconvenienced and frustrated by the performance of the DPS6 transmission. Earning and keeping the trust of customers is vital to everything we do. That is why Ford and its dealers have gone to great lengths to improve the performance of the transmission.”

After issuing nearly two-dozen technical service bulletins related to the DSP6 since 2010, a recall wouldn’t have been out of the question. Yet Ford’s been just proactive enough to get away with this. If it can keep customers happy and put some distance between itself and these aging models, it might avoid having to pay out more than it already has.

Ford is currently involved in litigation with Focus/Fiesta consumers hoping to be reimbursed. The proposed settlement is presently pending in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California. Meanwhile, the company is on the hook for 165,000 additional vehicles (16 percent of the U.S. total) that need their software updated and a couple more years worth of repairs. Estimates as to how much this will impact Ford’s bottom line should be reflected in its next quarterly report.

Filipe capped off his remarks by reiterating how Ford regrets any inconvenience caused to affected customers while also mentioning that DSP6-equipped vehicles “always were and remain safe to drive.”

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14 Comments on “Not Quite a Recall: Ford Extends Transmission Warranty for DSP6...”

  • avatar

    Ford needs to issue a recall on the 2006 and 2007 Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey minivans also. Previous years got the transmission recall but the last two did not. My 2006 Monterey has had transmission failure three times. The overdrive burns up and the van stays in third gear after about seventy miles of driving. The “$95” wrench light comes on and that means you have a power train fault somewhere. I had it repaired by Leon’s Transmission (“Motor Man” to those in the know) and it has performed flawlessly since then.

  • avatar

    Extending the warranty is the least Ford can do and I do mean the LEAST

  • avatar

    Some people will still buy Fords. There really wasn’t any excuse for buying one in 2011 any more than there is now, but at least buying a Ford doesn’t create a liability for people who don’t buy Fords.

  • avatar

    “Earning and keeping the trust of customers is vital to everything we do.”

    That’s why you completely dismissed customer complaints and essentially called the in-depth Free Press article a hit piece by lawyers and then called the customers concern “unwarranted” in your press release?

    How does that help the customer in any way?

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Just before my 05 Odyssey went to lemon law court, Honda gave me a 10/100 warranty to replace the OEM warranty – for free!

    But the vehicle was so terrible that I unloaded it in 2007 about a week after the lemon case settled in my favor. An extended warranty doesn’t make a car more reliable.

    But if a recall or update actually is issued for the DSP6, most of the people in yesterday’s thread would scoff at it anyway, figuring Ford is recalling millions of cars just for fun:

  • avatar

    “a recall wouldn’t have been out of the question.”

    What would a recall actually do? They can’t replace it with a conventional auto and the Powershift is shuddery and spastic *even when working correctly*. Ford served up a real turd sandwich with this one. Outside of a buyback (and they aren’t going to do that voluntarily) nothing is going to make owners happy.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      IIRC, someone in a related thread said that Ford doesn’t actually know how to fix the problems. I guess they just replace stuff, although the article says they can reprogram them. Maybe that’s something.

      How many current and future customers has Ford lost forever due to this mess?

      • 0 avatar

        I really don’t understand why they kept that dry clutch DSG in those cars for all those years. Surely there’s a conventional automatic they could have used instead.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          Didn’t the Mazda 2 run a conventional auto in a car that shared a platform?

          Honestly, and this is a Ford guy talking, Ford should buy these back if they are unable to fix them. Maybe they could offer manuals to some of the buyers if they are so inclined. Or just give them a massive trade allowance on something else.

          I really think if they could fix these they’d be fixed already. The current plan is to keep them on the road until EOL. Thats fine but Ford should realize those buyers will likely never return to a Ford showroom. As these tend to be younger buyers this is a dumb move.

          I had a couple as rentals and I didn’t think they were bad…they drove more like a manual. But as rentals I didn’t have to deal with serious failures.

          • 0 avatar

            I think a big fat boosted trade allowance on a different Ford product (one without a Powershift presumably) would be a good idea, although I’d imagine many of these current owners aren’t exactly chomping at the bit to get into another Blue Oval.

  • avatar

    “Earning and keeping the trust of customers is vital to everything we do. That is why Ford and its dealers have gone to great lengths to improve the performance of the transmission.”

    No, this action was taken when Ford ran out of ways to weasel out of taking responsibility for their screw up.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    Will the extended warranties still apply if you are not the original owner?
    Otherwise, the resell values will simply hit the bottom.

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