By on December 6, 2019

2017 Ford Focus Titanium Hatchback, Image: Ford

In July, we covered a scathing report that criticized Ford Motor Co’s usage of the DSP6 dual-clutch transmission found in the third-gen Focus and sixth-gen Fiesta. The hardware was surrounded by controversy, with company insiders highly critical of its implementation. Claims arose that the unit wasn’t performing as intended throughout its development, with corporate lawyers expressing serious doubts as to whether DTC technologies (which were relatively new at the time) were the automaker’s best choice.

Hindsight seems to have proven them right. The PowerShift DSP6 turned out to be a turd the company polished to the best of its ability and then put on sale, leading to more headaches. Officially, the manufacturer has said the vehicles were safe when introduced and have remained so. Still, Ford is well aware of the tranny’s issues; since the problems came to light, the automaker has extended warranties and encouraged service centers to repair their problematic transmissions.

While a kind gesture, some remain concerned that Ford appears to be sweeping the whole issue under the rug. Customers are angry, claiming the automaker should have never put the unit into production — a move that resulted in civil litigation. But that doesn’t appear to have ever been a real possibility. Those who tried to stop the DSP6 claim they were doomed to failure from the start. 

The Detroit Free Press did a stellar exposé of the questionable transmission’s deployment over the summer and is now following up with more interviews from staffers close to the project.

While most of them decided to remain anonymous (in order to keep their jobs), their voices echo what we’ve heard before. Plenty of people knew the DSP6 was trouble but those speaking up were encouraged to find fixes, as Ford didn’t want to scrap the project in the midst of the recession.

From Detroit Free Press:

At the root of the problem was Ford’s decision to use dry clutch technology for the transmission. The guts of a dual-clutch transmission are more like a manual than a conventional automatic transmission, but the driver does not have to shift gears. These transmissions can improve fuel economy and weigh less than a conventional automatic — and also are less expensive to build.

There are two kinds of dual-clutch transmissions: wet-clutch and dry-clutch. The difference is whether oil lubricates the clutches. The DPS6 was a dry-clutch design.

“What in the world are you thinking going with a dry clutch?” one engineer asked. “The friction coefficient is inconsistent and it creates problems. But this was someone’s baby. If a manager came up with an idea, people would be afraid to say no. At first, it was just on paper. Someone should have said something. They should have. The idea should’ve been killed. No one knew how it was even considered — and then implemented — in the Focus and Fiesta.

“But they got to this point in the product development cycle where Ford realized they passed the point of no return. They spent a ton of money and here’s this giant problem,” the engineer said. “How do you solve it? They had implemented the flawed transmission and any fix was going to be super expensive.”

The problems with the DSP6 are well-known at this point. Shaking, stalling, uneven acceleration, accidentally falling into neutral (which is technically a design feature to avoid disaster). We’ve heard all of those criticisms from customers — and they were the same ones engineers were issuing to management prior to its implementation.

“We’d raise our hands and be told, ‘Don’t be naysayers.’ We got strange comments,” one engineer claimed. “It seemed the ship had sailed. After that, if you ask questions, you’re accused of mutiny, so you put your head down and make it work. Good people tried to make it work. But you can’t violate the laws of physics. It’s a mechanical catastrophe.”

The full article is rather long but, like the Free Press’ previous article on the matter, an exceptionally good read. Basically, it provides more anecdotal evidence that Ford placed profits first in a period where it desperately needed to make money. Both the manufacturer and NHTSA have deemed the transmission functional enough not to pose an unreasonable safety risk to the 1.5 million vehicles using them, so there has been no recall. And, despite claims to the contrary, the only thing Ford can truly be pegged with (for now) is making a very selfish financial decision — something businesses do all the time.

[Image: Ford Motor Co]

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75 Comments on “More Engineers Come Forward Over Ford’s Bunk DSP6 Transmission...”


  • avatar
    EX35

    To be fair, I only rented one once for a week. I really liked the DCT in the Focus. I found it much better and quicker than the traditional torque converter trannys at the time. I guess I am in the minority.

    • 0 avatar
      FerrariLaFerrariFace

      I felt the same way about my rental Focii with the DCT. When it was operating correctly it was alright. I might even go so far as to say pretty darn good for a self-shifting transmission. But apparently when they go bad, they go bad often and in spectacular fashion.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Was it a post-’14 model, by chance? I’ve had a ’15 and a ’12 as rentals, and the older one was AWFUL. Apparently they did quite a bit of work on the transmission as time went on.

      • 0 avatar
        FerrariLaFerrariFace

        Most likely, yes. The one that really made the impression on me was within the last two years, so surely it was a ’16 or later. Now that you mention it, I do recall driving one that was prior to the interior refresh and, while I didn’t take note of it being particularly bad, it didn’t resonate with me until I drove the later one. So you may be on to something there…

        • 0 avatar
          PM300

          2015 was mild refresh which included some updates to the DCT. My friend has a 2017 and his DCT probably the best of the 6 or 7 I’ve driven or been in over the years. My 2012 I owned from 2013-2016 (commented in further detail below) was usually smooth too aside from a few bad experiences.

          On the other hand, I’ve also driven some bad ones. We have 4 Foci sitting in the lot at my work right now all between 2012 and 2014, and none behave the same.

          • 0 avatar
            forward_look

            I drive a 2015 that was a Hertz rental. It’s moody. Most of the time it’s fine, but after a hot run it hasn’t a clue when to shift. Supposedly a problem in the transmission control unit. It always shifts worse than I do.

            I’d take a manual trans and call it settled, you listening Ford?

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            They offered both a 5 and a six speed in these with the ST models being Manual only affairs.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Another positive rental experience here. I also had a brown manual diesel wagon rental in France… I wouldn’t say that was significantly more fun to drive.

      I still think of the alternate timeline where Ford just used Mazda’s 6AT instead.

      • 0 avatar
        Kenn

        “Another positive rental experience here. I also had a brown manual diesel wagon rental…”

        Uh, this is a discussion about the DCT. I rented a new ’12 Focus for a week, and was continually aggravated that Ford could have released such a crappy transmission. Much of my driving was in the CO Front Range foothills, exposing the bad behavior fairly regularly (and forever souring my opinion of Ford).

        • 0 avatar
          forward_look

          i rented a 2017 for a week and drove those same foothills, and it was much smoother than my own 2015. I’m thinking they could fix these with software updates. It just can’t figure out how to shift, clutch, and modulate the throttle under some circumstances.

          • 0 avatar
            larrystew

            I wish that were true. I have a 2013 that is on its 5th(?) clutchpack, about to get its 6th. Mine last approximately one year. I drive 6 miles at least in a day, 3 to and from work. Sometimes I put more miles on in a day, but most of the time I’m in the city, driving less than 45 miles an hour. That’s the only thing that I can think of that is causing me issues, possibly overuse of the clutchplate due to frequent shifts. Over the course of a day with multiple trips, performance gets worse. Now that I’m almost to 90,000 miles, I worry that replacements will no longer be covered by the extended-to-100K mile warranty, plus how many times can a clutchpack be replaced? I have an aftermarket extended warranty, but I guarantee you it won’t replace more than one clutchpack. How many of these damn clutchpacks did Ford contract out to produce?

    • 0 avatar
      ravenuer

      Well, a week, right?

    • 0 avatar
      paxman356

      I have rented three. In all three, there was always a slight delay at takeoff, making it fun merging into traffic from a side street. Only a couple times did I catch it out, by letting off the gas because I thought I would need to slow down for someone, then slamming on the gas to get around them, and the transmission got caught out and stuttered a bit.

      I still had a “Focus or similar” booked for a vacation in 2015. They wound up lying and saying a Kia Rio was the same size, and would get 40MPG. The Rio wasn’t a bad car. It just needed cruise, more room inside and about 15MPG more to match their “promise”. I hear the guy who rented to me didn’t last long with the company, and I got $50 off my rental. Would have still preferred the Focus.

  • avatar
    tomLU86

    OF COURSE they want to sweep it under the rug and make it go away. It’s a horrible transmission? Would any of you want to buy one?

    Unlike an engine (think of the Vega), that isn’t too hard to identify, a transmission looks the same.

    buyer: “… I like the Escape, but I worry about the transmission…”

    Saleperson “oh no ma’am, this is a different transmission”

    “How do I know?” “Trust me”

    LOL!!!

    Trust a car sales person, and Ford. Yeah right.

    It is disgraceful and embarrassing–Ford got caught.

    You gearheads might be able to tell the difference, but…Fiesta/Focus/Escape…small FWD…

    Nah, I’ll go some where else. Even a CVT is a better bet.

    Do you really think Ford wants THAT perception out there?

    I’m sure they save $8 per car or something…that’s $12 million on 1.5 million cars. Now they can reap what they sowed….

  • avatar
    jkross22

    Ford is the most recent example of companies who ought not be trusted. GM ignition switches, VW clean diesel, big banks, healthcare, Apple laptop keyboards, hotel and airline fees….

    Seems like it’s a congo line of companies going above and beyond to protect their bottom line by screwing their customers.

    From a macro perspective, customers don’t seem aware or to care enough about this. It’s a big reason why it keeps happening.

    • 0 avatar
      tomLU86

      It is a very competitive world.

      Today, automakers feel compelled to take relatively larger risks for marginally smaller gains, in an effort to best the competition, or to give the customer “more car” with the same or less fuel consumption.

      In this case, the risk was costly–to Ford’s customers. Is that extra 1-2 mpg worth it to them? The Free Press should’ve asked some of the victims…”Ms. SMith, you know, you are getting 1mpg more…”

      She might have answered “yes, the car use less fuel–a lot less–because I’m afraid to drive the car, so I avoid using it–hence it uses less gas”

      The real OUTRAGE is that Ford KNOWINGLY peddled this POS and thought they could ‘manage’ it.

      They should be buying these cars back for what they sold new, and the people who signed off, should be publicly fired and lose their pensions. Oh wait…Mullaly is a hero..I wonder if the wise one bought off on this.

      Absent a buyback, I hope this costs Ford Motor and the Ford Family a a lot of money. Not only have they one-upped the Vega, but in so doing, they’ve sullied their name (and most Ford products are decent) and also GM’s and Chryler’s (guilt by association–greedy, overpaid American execs)

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      Correct – its the default, general corporate mindset. Decisions are made top down. Personal justification comes before product performance. Complaints from lower ranks are seen as people who are just not being team players.

      I’ve been told many times to shut up and do my job even when I know darn well it is not in the customer’s best interest. Thankfully nothing I work on puts anyone’s life at risk. Worse case they are disappointed and their expectations are not meet.

      Sadly financials are all about monthly goals and year-over-year profit. Thus long term thinking is gone. Sell now! We know its sub-par but we can string a customer along with excuses and band-aides just long enough to invent a (more expensive) replacement which will start the cycle all over again. I actually had a salesmen once tell me his best customers are the ones who never use the product at all, because then he gets zero complaints.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    We’re so dysfunctional we couldn’t highlight the fact a dry-clutch wouldn’t work to our bosses, but come buy our Mock-E.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    It seems that every time a car company tries to pull a fast one they get caught with their pants down. Why can’t they learn that building it right the first time saves a lot of time, money and ill will down the road

    I have learned that if there is even a hint of trouble regarding a car’s powertrain to steer clear and stay clear of that model. It never gets better

  • avatar
    FerrariLaFerrariFace

    This sounds suspiciously similar to the way the Pontiac Aztek made it through to production.

  • avatar
    Russycle

    ” And, despite claims to the contrary, the only thing Ford can truly be pegged with (for now) is making a very selfish financial decision — something businesses do all the time.”

    Um, no. Ford management can be pegged for stubbornly and stupidly refusing to listen to the people responsible for making this POS work, betraying their customers’ trust, and torching their goodwill. Goes far beyond selfishness. There’s clearly some dysfunction in their management, and shareholders should be collecting scalps over this.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    Typical Ford. Is this behavior really that surprising?

    Mulally was a moron. He tried to cut his way to profitability. It worked for a short time, but now we are realizing the errors of his ways.

    Hackett is an even bigger moron as he is simply doubling down on Mulally’s shortsightedness. Look at the Explorer and MKExplorer as examples of cutting quality to try and raise profits. Just today there was yet another recall for the Explorer and MKExplorer.

    Amazing that Mulally and Hackett make Nasser look like a genius.

    • 0 avatar
      tomLU86

      Excellent summary of FoMoCo leadership.

      Sad commentary on the Ford family, from found Ford, who despite his faults, pioneered the mass car and the auto industry, to Henry II, who revived Ford, to the wealthy heirs, who are either not interested or not capable in running things or getting some one good (Lutz comes to mind) to run things for them.

      The Detroit Lions are a metaphor. At least they have the stadium name.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    The cycle of concept, development, and implementation of the DSP6 transmissions seems to have some very real echoes of the concept, development, and implementation of the Ford flathead V8s in the early 1930s.

    Henry Ford, then fully committed to a low cost V8 engine design, unilaterally decided a one-piece (low cost) cylinder block must be used (analogous to dry clutches). When a low cost, one piece design necessitated that hot exhaust gases be routed around and between the cylinders to exit the outside of the block, the engineering staffs immediately knew that such a design would lead to chronic engine cooling issues, cracked blocks, head gasket problems, etc. Henry Ford, true to his character, remained steadfast, and made clear that the job of his engineering staff was to mitigate the heating issues, not change the basic design.

    The first V8s installed in 1932 Fords were wonderously smooth and powerful compared to its contemporary competitors, and sold well. Chevrolet and Plymouth inline 6s were left to appear obsolete while the Ford V8s got all the accolades. Meanwhile, Ford V8 engines were having all sorts of problems…the same problems predicted by the engineers.

    Ford stuck with the flawed engine design from the 1932 model year all the way to 1953–21 years. Flathead V8 Ford engines are correctly credited for beginning the Hot Rod hobby, and even today command a loyal cult of enthusiasts…even though the damn things still overheat with regularity.

    • 0 avatar
      Pig_Iron

      Thanks, I’ve always wondered about that. Buick’s OHV heads had been in production for ages already – even Chevrolet had OHVs.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        Buick’s first OHV effort (the “Nailhead”) was a joke. you couldn’t come up with worse exhaust port geometry if you tried.

        the Flathead V8 could at least be fixed with an Ardun hemi head setup, expensive as they were.

  • avatar
    NeilM

    VW uses both wet (6-spd) and dry (7-spd) dual clutch transmissions in the Golf R, and both drive just fine. Plenty of other manufacturers build dry clutch designs too.

    I don’t buy Ford’s lame excuse about the problem being the dry clutch. The problem is Ford’s crappy design.

    • 0 avatar
      conundrum

      The 7 speed in the GTI is wet clutch. Its called the DQ380. You’re probably thinking of the dry plate 7 speeder VW shovel into their cars with smaller less powerful engines, which in the main don’t come here.

      My incredible knowledge comes from Wikipedia:

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct-shift_gearbox

      I guess the point is that Borg Warner who designed the VW units made their dry-clutch design work after some hiccups. Getrag partnered with Ford on the Powershift and both they and BW used Schaeffler/Luk clutch faces, but the design was a dud. Seems from that DFP article that Ford were more involved than Getrag which doesn’t even get a mention, but it was a joint deal including factory. First problem was too much heat from the clutches, but obviously there were more problems after that because they could occur from a cold start too.

      I bet we’ll never know what the deficiency truly was after the litigation. The lawyers will have managed to completely confuse everything on purpose. They know if they can’t understand anything technical whatsoever, neither will the jury. Not on this subject but another engineering problem, I’ve appeared as an expert witness several times. More often than not, voodoo is summoned, it’s wackadoodle time and the criminal gets off. Science understanding level of lawyers and judges? Third Grade; person off the street? Kindergarten.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      I think the DPS6 is actually a Getrag design out of Europe.

  • avatar
    PM300

    I owned a fairly early build 2012 Focus (built in April 2011 IIRC) from 2013 to 2016, and the DCT was fun when it was working correctly and annoying at other times. I never had any shaking/shuddering issues but it had more software updates done than I can recall. It did rev hang and lock me in first gear once or twice merging on the highway which was scary with traffic barreling down at 60+ mph, and also smoked once on me pretty bad during a particularly hard drive during rush hour. Overall, I didn’t hate the DCT I guess but fears of long term reliability issues lead me to trade it in.

  • avatar
    TR4

    Remember when Quality was Job One? Oh, wait…

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Bah! Muckrakers, jackleg lawyers and turncoats – stop your whining! I have it on very good authority that today’s cars are more reliable than ever. Smithers, release the hounds!!

    [Note to engineers: Exercise caution – and spell check – when composing emails at 3AM.]

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    I don’t know. I don’t like this but I get it.

    Things like this aren’t 1 issue in a vacuum. I suspect you have a few things. Maybe a manager tied to this setup. Then a culture where people aren’t listened to if they speak up, so they don’t. Then you may honestly have had a group of engineers that honestly did believe that software tweaks could solve the problems. Then maybe you had a warranty division that did believe the newer transmissions were fixed and they would agree to replace them in customer cars to honestly try to make it right, only to find out there really isn’t any fixing the design.

    My aunt has a 12 Focus. It has been a very good car now for 120,000 miles or so…. except the transmission. To Fords credit they have attempted things, replaced when tests failed, gave her loaner cars and she has for the most part been treated well. Unfortunately when you can’t make it right and you’re sick of making 8 trips to the dealer for the same issue or whatever, she admits she likes the car but simply doesn’t trust Ford and will not be buying another because of this.

    You just hope Ford learns. Something I’m not sure I think is happening when you hear about the new Explorer or when Hackett opens his mouth. My fears the day he started blabbing about mobility in a way you could tell he didn’t have a vision, have started coming true. So much time money and effort in a questionable future while my fear is the vehicles that pay the bills TODAY would be neglected…and it seems to be coming true.

    If the new Escape has any major issues like the Explorer or this transmission, start Ford DeathWatch. F150, Explorer, Escape are the ballgame for Ford.

    • 0 avatar
      volvo

      @ Jerome10

      I don’t think it is that complicated. Probably just a bunch of MBAs who couldn’t define “coefficient of friction” if their jobs depended on it but who have more corporate power than the engineers.

      Aviation, Autos, Medicine, IT. Examples abound.

  • avatar
    EX35

    What was the rationale for not going with a wet clutch? Why didn’t ford just reverse engineer VW DCT? I know the VW isn’t a model of reliability but it sounds like it’s significantly better than the Ford unit. I drove a GTI once with a DCT and thought it was fantastic but I’m sure it has reliability/upkeep issues

  • avatar
    TMA1

    “‘Selecting and attempting to draw conclusions from a few documents out of millions turned over to trial lawyers distorts the facts,’ spokesman Said Deep said in a statement to the Free Press on Monday”

    Dear Ford: you need to fire this person, he’s whatever credibility you have left.

    But given this level of professional fingerpointing and doublespeak, he’ll probably be running the company in a few years.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    A rental 15 Focus remains the worst driving car I’ve ever experienced. The transmission banged and lurched so much that I opened the hood to see if it had a broken engine mount.

    The reason for no recall: There is no fix. At this point it is probably cheaper to let the problem run its course until these cars are off the road. Otherwise, Ford would have to replace everything with some other transmission, reflash the computer, and possibly pay CAFE fines for the reduction in fuel economy. Heck, a different transmission might not even have the same crash test results.

    • 0 avatar

      and the worst part….folks in this car class are tied to a note, more upside down than normal due to the problem, and are stuck with the cars, in a way the unhappy Cadillac or BMW buyer isn’t….Honda or Toyota or Hyundai will pick up that sale next time.

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    I have a good deal of seat time in 3 separate cars from this generation. A 2013 Focus SE 5MT
    A 2014 ST
    A 2017 6AT

    My impressions were that they were doing their best to shove people into the DCT. The manual revs really high on the freeway, or it feels like it, and makes quite ba racket doing it. I think at 70 MPH it’s at a hair under 3,000 rpm. This never bothered me because I was usually by myself and had a spot of loud music. They allegedly improved the auto between 2013 and 2017, but it still felt gross; and the interior got really cheap in the intervening years. I wouldn’t hesitate to take another manual if necessary, but I’ll avoid the DCT as much as possible.

    Since the 2017 was my mom’s car, uncomfortable in a manual, and since I knew about the issues, I mom watch Engineering Explained. I know they’re not perfect videos but I figured any tips to possibly help her keep it running for a while we’re better than nothing. That said I was leery the whole time she had it. After 6 months on her stewardship it started acting “funny”. Not sure exactly what it was doing, but we went and got a leftover 2018 Mazda3.

  • avatar
    ttacgreg

    Reading this reminds of an article I just read on the corporate culture that has evolved at Boeing that gave rise to the 737 MAX debacle.
    It is that good old “beneficent hand of the free market” at work again.

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      Oligopolies (such as automotive and aerospace) which actively work to restrict competition are probably not an ideal ‘test case’ for the “free market.”

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      Like we have free markets….

      Hilarious.

      • 0 avatar
        HotPotato

        Insufferable capitalist: “You can’t say free markets don’t work, because we’ve never had a true free market.”
        Insufferable communist: “You can’t say communism doesn’t work, because we’ve never had true communism.”
        NORMAL F*ING PERSON: There is such a thing as market failure, and such a thing as government failure. There is no one-size-fits-all solution.

    • 0 avatar
      Slocum

      The free market doesn’t prevent individual companies from screwing up — and nobody expects it to. What it does do is assure that there are alternatives and the screw-ups get punished in the market (until they either get things straightened out or go under). When you’re dealing with a government agency that screws up, on the other hand, it’s not like you can take your business elsewhere. More often than not, when a big screw-up in government occurs, nobody gets fired and the agency then uses their own mistakes as a justification for more funding.

  • avatar

    It was the beta release guys, why are you complaining all the time? All I hear from you is never ending whining and death threats to companies, esp if they are American like Apple, Ford or Boeing. And GM of course – it is a champion in the amount of death threats it received from B&B (as if).

    I am not auto engineer, but in SW/HW companies there is a QA department and the product has to pass QA to be released. No manager can push faulty product to production – QA is independent from development and will be blamed if something goes wrong in the market.

  • avatar
    Bclev-16

    You know it’s funny the article says there is still no recall I work at a ford dealership in the parts dept there is a recall for those clutches they do a new clutch a seal kit there is also a recall on the tcm (transmission control module) nine times out of ten the cause of the car shutting off or not restarting. Is the tcm malfunctioning not the clutch I owned a focus for 3 yrs it was a good car the only issue it ever had was a clutch and one clutch fixed it so these people need to do more research.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Back in the early 2000s I did a short stint selling cars. When Focii showed up for trade we jokingly called them Ford F****d Us instead of Focus. Basically the automatics were grenade with the pin pulled past 75K miles and they were near worthless to us. No one wanted them auction and owners would be horrified at the trade-in offer.

    I see not much has changed.

  • avatar
    nrd515

    A friend of mine bought his first decent car ever, a new Focus, with the DCT disaster. It’s been “fixed” a couple of times so far and does all the weird shit that the DCT transmissions are known to do. The shudder I felt when I drove it made me think of my mom’s old ’77 Impala when the trans failed at 48K. I backed it out of the garage and when I dropped it into drive, it shook a little and took off, just like his car does sometimes. He’s done with Ford, the old beaters he previously drove didn’t kill his Ford fanboism, but the Focus has.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    There is really no reason to take a chance on Ford, or FCA, or GM, if the Japanese are offering a similar vehicle. We recently looked at the Flex. It has discounts now. I have always loved the looks of this model, which I think are classic. It is also rectangular, which makes the most of interior space. However, when I looked at the reliability issues, I passed. Yeah, I know your Uncle Chester had one and got 600k trouble-free miles, but I’m not willing to risk it.

    Honda and Toyota have made some clunkers too, but the proven track record of these companies make them a better bet. The majority of buyers have come to the same conclusion, as you can readily see when you look at prices for used Civics, Accords, Camrys, etc…

    I would still consider an “American” pickup, due to the wide selection in models and options, and I lust for the Gladiator Rubicon, but that is because Japan does not compete as well in this space.

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      Over half (54% – see link below) of the people buying a Ford are trading in [coming from] a Ford. The Ford they just purchased/leased is probably at least as good as the one they turned in [drove last]. How would they know that better options are available? Why would they care? Who would they trust for an unbiased opinion? They only look at cars every 2-3-4-5-(etc) years. Is the dealer going to suggest other brands? [Maybe they come to TTAC to do some research and get insulted – won’t do THAT again – LOL.]

      http://www.jdpower.com/business/press-releases/2019-us-automotive-brand-loyalty-study

      • 0 avatar
        thelaine

        [Maybe they come to TTAC to do some research and get insulted – won’t do THAT again – LOL.]

        Ha – you should see the boating forums. Holy crap. TTAC is like an English debating society in comparison.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      I guess you are right on the similar vehicle bit. Meh, I got the Dry Clutch Transmission that has zero issues…the single clutch, actuated with your left foot. The Fiesta’s primary complaints were the DCT and Sync 2. Mine has neither and honestly, because the DCT was so bad Ford stacked cash on the hood of my ST. 200hp, 6 Speed, 2700 pounds and handles like it is on rails…for right at 16.5 OTD.

      Even if the thing isn’t perfect (has been thus far), why would I get a Fit that to compete sorta on handling I have to get some janky dealer installed suspension that still leaves the car slow to have any fun. We won’t discuss Toyota’s offerings in this segment in this regard.

      I am not defending the DCT. It is crap. 30 seconds of time on the internet told me it was crap and I wouldn’t buy one. Just pointing out why someone would “take a chance” in this segment. Even at full MSRP I would have “taken that chance”. Absolute longevity isn’t at the top of everyone’s buying priorities.

      Now all things equal, had Honda actually built a Fit SI that was competetive with the ST, I’d grab the Honda. Or Toyota. But they don’t and haven’t really since the Clinton Administration.

  • avatar
    davidUM1996

    Matt, I think you should have more respect for the work of your colleagues at the Free Press than is implied in your “business as usual” summary of their findings. The Free Press uncovered a culture of cowardice amongst Ford engineers, many of whom apparently failed to fulfill their professional ethical obligations for fear of losing their jobs. The clear implication of the Free Press investigations is that people have been killed because of the insane nature of Ford’s transmission “fixes.” The worst of these shifted the transmission into neutral without warning to the driver or regard for diving conditions. (Drivers reported losing drive power while merging onto the highway, when turning left in the face of on-coming traffic, etc.) Equally dangerous was the random way in which the transmission would shift itself back into gear without warning to drivers, some of whom had floored the accelerator in a vein attempt to regain power. The article mentions $3 billion in liabilities as well as a Justice Department Investigation. Is all of this really just what “business do all the time”?

    • 0 avatar
      HotPotato

      Matt’s tolerance for automaker malpractice is exceedingly high…unless the auto in question is electric. He’s just the gas-huffing mirror image of Fred Lambert from Electrek.

  • avatar
    Robbie

    These approval numbers simply reflect the presence of polluted, crowded cities where soon electric vehicles will be mandated or encouraged.

    My prediction: electric cars will soon improve the comfort of life in noisy and crowded cities worldwide, and soon we cannot envision how noisy and dirty they once were. At the same time, in areas of lower population density (US, rural Europe, rural China), the ICE will continue to reign supreme.

  • avatar
    dima

    In my case, I have diesel C Max and so my DCT is a wet clutch type. I own this car for less than a year, but so far it only acted”about 6 times. Nothing crazy, just getting confused when I pull toward ran about circle while a slowdown and then accelerate to enter it. Other than this it is good

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