Ford Authority

2018 Ford Fiesta At Center Of New Powershift Lawsuit

The 2011-2019 Ford Fiesta and 2012-2018 Ford Focus vehicles that were sold in North America were largely equipped with the DP56 Powershift dual-clutch transmission. Unfortunately, the transmission has proven problematic to the point where multiple class action lawsuits have been filed over issues owners experienced with their cars. Ford opted to settle in some cases, which has proven costly for the automaker due to the number of owners who have had issues with their transmissions. Now, another lawsuit has been filed, this time involving a 2018 Ford Fiesta that became disabled, resulting in a tragic incident, per the Detroit Free Press.

The claims laid out in Ladd v. Ford allege that the 2018 Ford Fiesta lost power in traffic in the early morning of April 26th, 2019 on Interstate 85 in Georgia. The driver, Heena Kampani, testified that she thought the car was shaking and stalling, and that it started to pull to the left and shut down, coming to rest in the far left lane of the interstate. The vehicle was partially on the shoulder but protruded into the left lane as well. A 2016 Chevy Impala collided with the disabled Fiesta afterward, killing the driver’s sister, Jyotica Ladd.

The case is currently in the pretrial discovery phase, and will partly rely on the same documents that were used in a bombshell investigation from the Detroit Free Press about the DP56 Powershift transmission. According to the report, Ford knew the dual-clutch transmission was problematic before its incorporation into the Ford Fiesta and Ford Focus lineup, but opted to sell them anyway.

Lawyers for Ford have pushed back on the central claim of the lawsuit, pointing to the estimated 85 MPH speed of the Impala that collided with the 2018 Ford Fiesta. Additionally, Ford told the publication that it doesn’t think the claimed loss of power is related to a Fiesta defect. “Ford extended the warranty on vehicles at risk for a computer chip crack in the Transmission Control Module back in (calendar years) 2014-15, and Ford also updated the chip design for production vehicles by (calendar year) 2015,” Ford spokesman Ian Thibodeau told the Free Press. “The vehicle you have inquired about is a model year 2018 and had the updated chip design.”

Owners of Ford Fiesta and Ford Focus vehicles with the troublesome Powershift transmission have unfortunately been in a regrettable state as it relates to getting their vehicles fixed. As Ford Authority previously reported, supply chain shortages have resulted in a transmission control module shortage, which is a common weak point for the cars.

We’ll have more on this issue as it develops, so subscribe to Ford Authority for continuous Ford news coverage.

Ed owns a 1986 Ford Taurus LX, and he routinely daydreams about buying another one, a fantasy that may someday become a reality.

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  1. ManualAllTheThings

    Biggest Ford blunder in decades. They never should have released it, and it should’ve been replaced with the reliable 6AT when it became obvious it wasn’t fixable.

    Only thing to do with these cars now is… MANUAL SWAP!


    I have a 2018 Focus w/35k currently 3rd couch is on order why isn’t FORD doing anything to help the consumer who spent their money on a FORD

  3. DRW

    My niece had a Focus with this issue. She drives a RAV4 now. Nice move Ford.

  4. Elizabeth Ford

    Used car lots are also selling these ford vehicles knowingly with this issue as I was told by a Ford repair center. I voluntarily surrendered a 2015 Focus that I got from a car lot before I almost got run over by a semi on highway .after months of back n forth with sales n Ford they don’t care about the consumers they got us because we didn’t know about the junk they are selling ppl

  5. William Lewis

    I am disabled I am on oxygen and am a diabetic with bad leg problems I have a 2012 ford focus that has broke down with transmission, the clutch problems this car has left me stranded on a back country road in West Virginia returning home from my brothers house, requiring me to walk several miles on oxygen at night in an area that does not have cell service at all until someone finally passed by and gave me a ride back to my brothers I have been a faithful ford owner every since I could drive but not any longer Ford should be ashamed of how they have handled this and treated their customers I wouldn’t recommend any Ford not even to my worst enemy no body deserves this and fords solution is to sweep it under the rug lie about it and basically tell every one that has purchased one of these cars to go pound sand it’s not their problem.


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