Five clutch replacements since 2016 have been for nothing.
The saga of Ford's faulty dual-clutch six-speed transmission continues, specifically in the Ford Fiesta and Focus, two models that have since been dropped from the automaker's North American lineup due to slow sales. But those slow sales are not directly tied to the defective gearbox situation. We've reported on this issue several times in the past. Last summer, for example, there was a federal investigation, while several owners have also filed a class-action lawsuit against the automaker.
As a quick recap, owners have reported and experienced reliability issues, shuddering, jerks, and shift hesitations with this specific gearbox, which is suspected to have been put into production before these problems were sorted out. And now there's an even more bizarre situation. The Detroit Free Press recently spoke to Mark DaGraca, whose 2016 Ford Focus has had five clutch replacements.
He now has a bigger monthly payment on an existing car loan because had to pay out of pocket due to the transmission problems outlasting the warranty. And then this happened: "I had to drive home one day in reverse because it would not drive forward."
DaGraca realized the Focus was no longer drivable and ultimately gave up trying to get it fixed. He bought a new Ford Escape last month, but doing so also required him to take on a new car loan, a major financial burden. He's far from the only one to be stuck in a similar situation. The DFP's investigative piece goes on to describe the situations of several other Ford owners whose cars were equipped with this same transmission.
Most gave up driving their cars as well and, in some cases, managed to get Ford to buy the car back though only after hiring an attorney. The transmissions in most of those cars were replaced a few times but, again, owners were forced to pay out of pocket due to expired warranties. Meanwhile, a Ford spokesperson stated that "While these vehicles always were and remain safe to drive, we regret the inconvenience our customers have experienced."