It seems like common sense that only those who already know well how to drive a car with a manual transmission would ever opt to purchase one, but perhaps that’s an unsafe assumption.
Earlier this week, Jalopnik circulated an image submitted by a reader named “Coty” – an employee at a Ford dealership – showing a new tag with printed instructions that Ford is apparently leaving on new, manual-equipped examples of the Ford Fiesta. The informational tag essentially breaks down the basics of operating the Ford Fiesta’s stick-shift, including such priceless pointers as “the vehicle must be stationary prior to shift into reverse,” and “before applying any gear the clutch pedal must be fully pressed.”
You know, advanced stuff that might not occur to even the experienced driver.
Jalopnik‘s Jason Torchinsky writes that it’s possible the automaker is simply dealing with a number of complaints about the Ford Fiesta’s 5-speed manual getting noisy while shifting into reverse; the bulk of the text is devoted to that seemingly simple act. In order to shift into reverse, says the tag, one should “bring the vehicle to a complete stop. Then, with the clutch pedal fully pressed to the floor, wait for two seconds before shifting into reverse (this will allow the gears to stop spinning).
“The length of wait time will improve the shift feel and avoid unwanted noise during the shift.”
This tag only seems to be making its way into the Ford Fiesta, implying that it’s primarily customers of that model who have trouble with the general concept of manual driving. If one ever wanted to make a compelling argument for the proliferation of automatic transmissions, this apparent case of frequent user error might do.