A class-action product liability lawsuit filed against Ford Motor Company is gaining some momentum, targeting the performance of Ford’s PowerShift dual-clutch transmission. Plaintiffs in the case allege that software updates have done little to improve what they claim is a fundamentally dangerous and flawed unit.
Automotive News reports that one of those plaintiffs, Northern Kentucky University graduate student Kory Magee, has had three accidents with his 2013 Ford Focus, all allegedly relating to the dual-clutch transmission. Mr. Magee claims that these accidents were a direct result of the Ford PowerShift dual-clutch transmission’s tendency to “surge” unexpectedly.
“Every time it changed gears it stuttered,” said Magee. “At about 30 mph, it really acts up.”
Upon bringing the issue to the attention of a mechanic, Kory was told that the car required a software update. Despite this update, he incurred his first accident in early 2014. He’s had two more accidents, and has since had to replace a clutch, and undergo four more updates.
According to Automotive News, complaints relating to Ford’s PowerShift dual-clutch transmission are nothing new. In order to address the unit’s shortfalls, the automaker has tweaked all six gears, resulting in faster acceleration in first-gear, along with more uniform shifts in gears two through six. All that has paid-off in significantly fewer customer complaints.
Still, for those with PowerShift dual-clutch transmissions from years prior to 2014 – when Ford started tweaking the gears – the handful of software updates to have come along don’t seem up to the task of solving the issue. Kory Magee, for one, isn’t impressed. “I haven’t had any accidents with other vehicles,” he said. “I had a clean record. My car is not safe to drive.”