Ford Authority

Ford Denies Knowingly Selling Defective DPS6 Transmission


Ford’s woes when it comes to the DPS6 transmission used on some Ford Focus and Ford Fiesta models have worsened over the last few weeks. A report was published by the Detroit Free Press that listed among its findings that Ford knowingly sold cars with defective transmissions. That report sparked calls by some senators for a federal investigation into Ford. Ford has now issued a statement directly addressing the Detroit Free Press articles on the DPS6 transmission.

Ford starts by saying that the safety and trust of its customers are its highest priority. The automaker says that the reporting from the Detroit Free Press came to conclusions that are not based in fact and that the findings risk misleading customers about the safety and dependability of their vehicles. Ford says that vehicles with the current version of the DPS6 transmission rank highly in performance and reliability, based on warranty statistics.

Ford has outlined what it says consumers need to know. The first thing is that the DPS6 was made by Getrag and introduced in 2011 and 2012 on Fiesta and Focus models and was intended to improve fuel efficiency. Ford says that the transmission was extensively tested and had to reach key development milestones before it could be launched.

Ford also notes that it acknowledged years ago and has addressed two distinct quality issues related to the transmission. The first is vibration or shudder at low speed; the automaker says this is similar to what is experienced with a manual transmission and that the vibration was a trade-off for better fuel economy. No compromise in durability or safety was made.

Ford says the potential for the transmission to default to neutral was seen on a much smaller scale and when the issue occurred, full power steering and braking were maintained. In 2014, the source of that issue was traced to a faulty control module. Ford says that the claims made by Free Press are based on conversations from inside Ford in 2008, and had nothing to do with an issue that didn’t exist until years later.

As for the claims that the DPS6 transmission had instances of sudden acceleration, Ford stated, “We have not seen that occur with the DPS6 and are not aware of evidence that would validate cause-and-effect in these cases.” Ford also stated that it tried to talk to the Free Press about the “numerous factual errors” in its report but the publication declined an invitation to meet with Ford engineering experts before publishing the story.

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Shane is a car guy with a fondness for Mustangs and off-roading.

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  1. Jr028

    I had a 2013 Focus Titanium with the DP6. Worst transmission I ever experienced. The “slow speed vibrations” are not in fact commonly experienced on vehicles with a normal manual transmission. While I didn’t experience sudden acceleration, I did experience serious lag between the time I pressed the accelerator to the time the car actually downshifted to accelerate.

    On top of that, Ford’s software updates didn’t resolve the issue and eventually the TCM failed and had to be replaced after it stranded me 40 miles from home. Oh, and the fuel economy on my 2013 was WORSE than the fuel economy on my 2011 with the 4-speed automatic.

    There are issues with the early versions of the DP6. Ford knew it but didn’t want to recall it. If it turns out they pushed that transmission out despite their engineers saying not to, then yes they should pay a massive amount to folks that owned these POS.

  2. Adithya Ramachandran

    Why didn’t they use a 6 speed from the Fusion ? Those transmissions are pretty good. If fuel economy was a concern, they could have modified the 6 speed FWD to incorporate an MHEV system like GM & VW. It is butter smooth and gives close to 40 mpg. The tech is also quite inexpensive and easy to maintain.


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