At least one owner had some serious issues. Now he's suing.
Largely controlled by computers, automatic transmissions are more advanced than ever. Slushboxes have been around for decades, but only in more recent years has technology enabled them to contribute to better fuel economy figures over their manual counterparts. A computer can shift faster than a human and does so at precisely the right time to allow for the best fuel economy possible. At least that's how it works on paper. Real-life situations can differ, such as this one involving the 10-speed automatic transmission found in the latest generation Ford F-150.
The owner of a 2018 F-150 SuperCab has filed a lawsuit in US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania alleging the truck's occupants can suffer possible whiplash due to hard and erratic transmission shifts.
The owner's suit states he bought the truck back in September 2018 with just 10 miles on the odometer. By 6,000 miles it was "making a loud clanking noise from the 10-speed transmission, causing rough shifting and shift times much too long." The suit further alleges the 10-speed automatic caused the truck to decelerate while driving, thus creating safety issues. Bringing the truck to a Ford dealership also proved less than helpful, despite being under warranty.
Technicians, after being explained the problem, told the owner there was no fix "because all F-150 trucks with 10-speed transmissions made the same noise." Also troubling is that the owner was told the alleged slipping and jerking was normal for this particular transmission, which is codenamed 10R80.
The owner claims Ford was aware or should have been aware of this problem and taken appropriate action by way of a recall. And speaking of recalls, the lawsuit also refers to a 2019 Ford recall of 1.5 million 2011-2013 Ford F-150s equipped with a 6-speed automatic. The problem? Those trucks were also suddenly downshifting into first gear, leading to similar instances of potential whiplash.
In addition, the suit points out Ford issued at least two service bulletins regarding the newer transmission, specifically harsh shifting. Ford instructed dealerships to reprogram the powertrain control modules. The unnamed owner's suit demands Ford pay damages to all affected customers and order a recall.