I originally bought a 9-month-old 2017 hatchback with the PowerShift transmission from my local dealer. I didn't know about the problems with the transmission when I bought it. It soon started shuddering, but only in reverse. When a new 2019 with a manual transmission popped up for only $10,500, I traded in the 2017. While I did lose a little bit of money, the dealer gave me $9,000 on the 2017 (I paid $12,000 for it). I only ate about $3,000 when I traded in the 2017, which was worth it to me so that I could have the more reliable and fun to drive manual transmission.
This issue has been around for a while. The only people that it has mattered to are the ones that have had problems with the DPS6. I know several people who have the Focus and Fiesta with the DPS6. Who either had zero issues or had them corrected by a software update (on the 16+ cars). I have driven a couple of pre 2014 fiesta that exhibited shuddering in reverse and a shuddering on light acceleration at speeds over 50mph. There is definitely a big problem. But I have also seen cars that had little to no issues. I think the root cause of the problem is a mix of material specs, software programming and driver behavior that conspire to sometimes cause the problem.
I've read the article a couple of times now, and it just leaves me wanting more information that they're not giving. How much would the "expensive fix' have been, and what, specifically, would that have been? Retrofit the Euro wet clutch trans from some of the vehicles on the continent? Go back to a conventional trans and take the financial hit from missing recalculated EPA goals?
I'd also really like to read the internal "DPS6 Lessons Learned" report. The whole thing seems like a fiasco from the start that nobody had authority or courage to pull the plug on. Nobody wanted to tell the king he wasn't wearing any clothes. It's really a shame, and shameful. Sadly, people will get promoted, or move on to other positions and the stench won't follow them through their careers for the poor decisions made.
Like MrEss said, though, there are those who haven't had issues, or haven't found the behavior particularly troublesome. Is it just a different driving style, or some other combination of factors? I know two others with auto Fiestas, and three with auto Foci. Four of the five have been in for at least one fix. Two were in three times or more. One just motored on with no complaints, and the first fix helped one of them become much more driveable. One had one repair, drove acceptably for a couple of years, and needed another round of repairs, and is now, again, driving acceptably. For now.
If you're a fan of manual trans Fiestas or Foci, now's the time to buy used. The cars are generally pretty well done for an economy car outside of the transmission. If you have three pedals, a significant number of the cars' complaints won't apply. Personally, I've been quite happy with my manual SES overall.
Hello Don. I think the situation devolved as it was discovered that the material specs for some seals and clutch disc materials were wrong or poorly chosen in addition to the learning process of the controllers not effective in some conditions. Creating the transmission was a Capital investment. Engineering the fix is considered a Capital expense. The bean counters were banking on the hope that the problems could be ironed out post launch. Getrag did a huge amount of reworking and rethinks on this transaxle. My take on the whole thing is that the later versions are passable and at least no worse than a CVT would have been. I agree with you that Ford should have launched with a conventional converter transaxle and still could have done the dual clutch box as the SFE later on. It certainly made it look like the customer was made into a test mule for durability.
I think, at least to me, it was more egregious that Ford kept telling their dealers to tell customers that there was nothing wrong, or they were driving it wrong. I guess you could say they were telling the truth when customers were told, "that's normal." Yeah, normal for a poorly developed mistake that shouldn't have made it to market in the state it was in.
I'd also like to more about Getrag's part in this. I've heard or read anywhere from, "it's all Getrag's fault," "Getrag gave them a good basic gearbox, but Ford screwed up the calibrations and controls," to, "they did exactly what Ford told them to do per their contract." The actual story may be somewhere in between.
I think it was a "somewhere in between" situation. I think the combination of a tight development schedule and pretty aggressive cost controls conspired to create a difficult situation to do a rethink on. Getrag has a good reputation overall and has supplied Ford several times over the years. All the gearsets in early manual transmission v6 Rangers and Bronco duces were Getrag built. I think the cases were Japanese.