Ford Authority

FoMoCo Exec Fixes Customer’s Troublesome Ford Fiesta Transmission

Michelle Hughes from Flint, Michigan, was having problems with her 2012 Ford Fiesta transmission. After her story was published by Detroit Free Press, a top FoMoCo Exec visited Hughes at her home to check it out for himself.

Hughes was part of a report covering the defective DPS6 automatic transmission found in the 2011-2019 Ford Fiesta and 2012-2018 Ford Focus. The transmission is the subject of a class-action lawsuit, with potentially millions of units affected. Problems include unexpected slippage, drops into neutral, shuddering, and delayed acceleration.

After Hughes’ story went live, she received a call from Ford’s North American powertrain executive quality manager, Christopher Kwasniewicz, who asked if he could visit Hughes at her home to check out the troublesome Ford Fiesta transmission in person.

As systems manager for the DPS6 transmission between 2013 and 2016, Kwasniewicz is an expert on the unit, making him the perfect candidate to diagnose and fix the issue. Earlier this month, he arrived at Hughe’s home with Jerry Cannon, a transmission service engineer specialized in DPS6 diagnostics.

After speaking with Hughes, the pair inspected the Ford Fiesta transmission, opening the hood, running the engine, and plugging Cannon’s laptop into the diagnostic port.

Hughes explained to Kwasniewicz what was happening with the car, saying she hesitated to drive it for fear of the unpredictable transmission behavior.

After inspecting her car, Kwasniewicz told Hughes that her local dealership may have made a mistake in declining warranty coverage to fix her Ford Fiesta transmission.

Hughes then drove her car to the dealer for a repair, with Kwasniewicz and Cannon on board to observe Hughes’ driving habits. Kwasniewicz later told Hughes that it wasn’t user error that caused the transmission issues.

At the dealer, the transmission control module was replaced under warranty. Now, the car runs just fine.

Apparently, house calls like these are part of Kwasniewicz’s job. Nevertheless, Ford continues to struggle with the DPS6 transmission. Earlier this week, the automaker announced it would extend warranties on a select number of Focuses and Fiestas equipped with the faulty transmission.

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Source: Detroit Free Press

Jonathan is an automotive journalist based out of Southern California. He loves anything and everything on four wheels.

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  1. Patrick

    Oh dear, Batman, I recently purchased a brand new, 2019, Ford Fiesta SE Sedan. I bought it with the automatic transmission! Hopefully, this particular car, won’t disappoint!?! I traded-in, a 2014-new when purchased-Chevy Sonic LT Sedan, with an automatic, too! Yes, that tranny needed rebuilt,…thankfully, while under warranty! I am undecided, at the moment, if I should purchase Ford’s PROTECT, Extended Warranty!?!
    So far, the car’s running just fine!

  2. Gopal

    Why did the dealer initially dismiss Hughes’ request for warranty service as user error?

    I doubt many Ford customers get the benefit of an executive tagging along with them to set the dealer straight.

  3. GlenU

    Nice work “media”- the Detroit Free Press in this case & you thought all the “media” was “fake news”.

  4. Anthony

    ? The T.C.M. is just part of the problem. It failed for her, and coming from experience, it will fail again and again… are these guys going to show up when it fails again in a 20k to 60K miles later?! The other problem is the clutch itself. It shutters due to transmission fluid leaking onto the clutch causing it to slip because they can not get it to seal no matter how hard and how many times they try. Also, the clutch will wear out prematurely over the life of the car. My 2014 focus is on its 5th clutch @193K. I wish I never bought it. It has been a burden to me and will be a burden to anyone who buys these “automatics”. The rest of the car is fine. This DPS6 is a cancer to this car. Shame on you Ford forknowingly sellingsthese cars to people knowing the problems they will have and then telling customers “they drive ther cars incorrectly” when customers complain…its the executives who told dealers to tell customers that. Absolutely the most ridiculous excuse I have heard yet. Is this article actually trying to sound like some FoMoCo executive comes in to save the day?! They are the problem. Btw, I have had great luck with the rest of the car, If it wasn’t for the clutch, it would have been the best car I have ever owned no other problems except for normal wear and tear… but the constant clutch problems has made this the worst car I have ever owned… also, this is my first Ford and thanks to the higher ups pushing a known, defective vehicle it is my last because I can’t help but to feel like I was taken advantaged of by Ford…

  5. Jesus Carrillo

    What about the people who paid out of their pocket to have vehicle transmission fix because Ford said that their warranty had expired like it happened to me.

    1. Roger

      If your vehicle is apart of the new extension warranty, Ford is offering a 1 time reimbursement. Check with your local Ford dealership for details

    2. Jose

      So has ours they fixed it by resetting the clutch now in to actually fix it

  6. Stephanie Harris

    I finally got rid of my 2014 Ford Focus due to the same thing. Luckily the numerous repairs the transmission needed were covered under the extended warranty they offered but……..that warranty runs out at 100,000 miles & any other repairs fall on you. So I ultimately had to get rid of it. It was very frustrating.

  7. Gary Crowthers

    2011 ford festiva My son had left him car less for a week and cost him 3,000.00 to fix the transmission, he got a message saying trans fail , and the car went into low grear and would not come out, had the car towed to Meinke, in Turnersville N.J. And Sean confirmed Trans was bad. They fixed it and we traded the car after that, So will never trust ford again, and I had other car ford cars and got screwed , so this was the last time , Ford I would like my money back

  8. David C Hilgendorf

    What about all the owners who can’t sell these cars because of the transmission problems? My son has a 2014 focus and nobody wants it because of the problems with transmission. Ford you owe thousands of owners thousands of dollars in damages ! I hope the courts make you pay!!!!!!!!!

  9. Linda Barkhouse

    I hate my 2013 Ford Fiesta and am afraid to drive it. I had work done on warranty but now am having the same problems again. I can’t afford to have it fixed and no one will buy it. First and last Ford!!

  10. Missey Bowens

    How do I find out if I can get my 2013 ford fiesta transmission fixed? It’s out of warranty but it’s the faulty transmission that’s the issue. I’ve already called customer service and all they’re talking about is a warranty, it shouldn’t matter on a faulty transmission that I’ve had fixed several times when it was under warranty

  11. Paul

    How do I get them to fix my 2013 Ford Fiesta with the same problem or I should say problems koi pl

  12. Mitch J

    If have a 2014 Focus with transmission problems. They knew it was a problem from the beginning. They need to come up with a fix for all of us customers. Since I have a salvage title, they won’t do anything. The damage to my vehicle has nothing to do with transmission. Basically Ford could care less about his customers!

  13. Luis

    I had a 2014 Ford fiesta, stick shift, worked like a charm , never had a problem with it other than the usual maintenance, I chose it on purpose because Ive heard of the usual transmission problems, especially here in Mexico, drove it thousands of miles without a problem.

  14. Wilfried David

    I have a 2011 Fiesta 1.6 SE and it have in a short time March 19 and now the same problems. Bad shifting and overheating at the same time. At March TCM would be fixed under Warranty but they didn’t reset the check engine light. Bad overflow tank I’ve replaced by myself. Now 2000 miles later the same Problem and the Ford dealer told me, it’s not in Warranty it’s a bad Internal Shift Sensor. Replacement cost 450 plus Tax. That’s robbery for a Sensor Replacement what’s don’t need longer than 10 Minutes. I’m so frustrated and that’s my first and my last Ford. Never again.

  15. Raymond Howard

    I have the same problem with my Ford Edge.Is there any hope me ?

    1. Bobby Smith

      Dont count on it!

  16. Rudy P

    Got News for you all. I own a 2018 Focus Titanium Hatchback, same tranny which is a POS! Clunks, clangs and shutters. Told by dealer this is normal, that im driving it wrong. 40 years of driving and suddenly i dont drive an automatic correct. WTH. Never again will i buy a FORD, which is sad, since I’ve owned Ford my entire life.

  17. J chris

    We have complained all 5 times mine has been so called fixed no one ever visited me. We had to sue for breach of warranty

  18. Jonathan Maltos

    I have a 2011 Ford Fiesta and it has 156k miles and been noticing the transmission delays on shifting in times.. I called ford and they told me that it onlu covers up to 150k. Does anyone know if they will extend coverage and fix the issue?

  19. Dave

    Now if we can get Dodge to fix the Dodge Dart transmision the 6spd manual is a death trap . I’m glad Ford is taking care of it’s customers

  20. Bobby Smith

    Don’t believe it Dave, way more going on with other models that aren’t getting this attention or getting fixed! Ford is junk! I’m so tired of having issues with mine and zero resolve!!

  21. Dan Dunn

    I have a 2014 fiesta & the tranny shutters & it overheats slot – does Ford’s warranty cover this?

  22. gareth

    I think any car with over 150,000 miles on it you would very lucky to get a extended warrenty on it also if its only just started doing it it might be just wear and tear as most promblems have surfaced with a lot less miles on the cars.

    1. Missey Bowens

      No they won’t, I’m dealing with that now. A warranty shouldn’t matter on a faulty product. Ford should be ashamed of themselves

  23. Oleh Dub

    I drove one of these back in 2010 at the Romeo test track….it was junk back then…filled out test reports…made comments, but no one cared….could have saved a ton of bad will by NOT releasing this piece of junk. But internal accounting said the cost SAVINGS was worth the risk
    Hope the big boys who got BONUS’ for this cost save were fired. Soften we see this short sighted knee jerk thinking….bonus’s before product quality….sad thing is that it continues

  24. Charles

    I bought a new Focus in 2011 and I experienced all of the problems mentioned here. I was at the dealer many times, and I even had several telephone conversations with Ford transmission engineers on this issue. The point i’m making here is that Ford knew about this problem early on and chose to continue selling cars with this issue. Hope the class action lawsuits will be a wake up call to Ford. Why they continued to sell cars with defective trans is un-explainable.

  25. Michael hizme

    Recently got a letter ford is doing free tcm change 1 time till 2015.
    2023 fiesta same tcm problem but ford says they have 43,000 on back order and don’t have any idea when tcm will be available.
    My car has been sitting 1 year. Ford customer service can’t help. Dealer says they don’t do warranty work if it’s a 2012.


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