I was inches away from being involved in a serious car accident today (November 6th, 2015) on Highway 403 towards Brantford at approx. 5:25pm. My name is Josh and I own a 2015 Ford Focus FSE (purchased new in Ontario in September 2015). My vehicle was manufactured at Ford's Michigan plant, with equipped transmission parts found in virtually every Ford Focus sold worldwide manufactured in Mexico at Ford part supplier Getrag's plant.
It all started when I noticed a small grinding noise accompanied by rough shifts and clunks the day I took ownership, and after taking it to Ford a few days later a Ford mechanic went for a drive with me, said its "breaking in the new clutch", dismissed it as nothing and sent me on my way. According to Ford, the car operates as an automatic but internally has a computer controlled/shifted manual transmission. Ford calls this "the best of both worlds to save fuel economy", and is currently being sued in California court – however Ford admitted it would have to move the case to a United States Federal Court as the total cost to fix all vehicles and compensate owners EXCEEDS the California Justice System's maximum penalty of $5,000, 000 and must move the case to US Federal Court. Meaning that at $1,095 per transmission, the damages will exceed $110,000, 000 even if only 100,000 cars were sold. And that's JUST CALIFORNIA OWNERS!
These conditions present a safety hazard because they severely affect the driver's ability to control the car's speed, acceleration and deceleration, the case mentioned. Even more troubling, the transmission defect can cause the vehicle to fail to downshift and decelerate when the brakes are depressed. As a result, plaintiffs and class members have experienced their cars lurching forward into intersections at red lights due to the failure of their braking efforts to stop the car.
I was driving the Focus today on Highway 403 towards Brantford (after the Wilson Street interchange) travelling at a speed of 103km/h, accelerating to 110km/h in order to change lanes safely from right to left. I remember the top speed of 110km/h as this is the time the car's rpm gauge jolted to 8,000RPM and made a loud repeated banging noise – almost like the computer controlled clutch didn't know what to do and just kept trying to re-engage itself to no avail and at highway speeds. The steering wheel slipped out of my hand for almost 4 seconds due to the sudden and powerful jolt of RPM's (felt like an elephant smashed the accelerator pedal) and I nearly struck the car I was passing.
If you were the person who I was passing and by any chance happen to remember me. I'm very sorry, simply Google "Ford Focus Transmission" and have fun reading all the serious complaints and lawsuits currently filed against the company – you'll need a few days! When getting off Highway 403 in Brantford at the Garden Ave interchange I then begun to decelerate by removing my foot from the accelerator pedal and slowly pressing the brake pedal as usual – and BOOM BANG CLACK as the transmission downshifted I had to slam on the brakes to achieve a stopping effect that countered the high RPM's the engine was doing. I'm assuming pressing both pedals at once would produce a similar effect. Scary!
After doing some quick research when I finally arrived home (no thanks to Ford – who told me to DRIVE THE CAR HOME!) I quickly discovered that Ford is WELL AWARE about this transmission issue which plagued me since ownership and thousands of others for years and HAVE PUT MUCH EFFORT into ACTIVELY CONCEALING AND HIDING THIS SERIOUS DEFECT FROM CONSUMERS RATHER THAN FIXING THE PROBLEM AND SAVING LIVES.
I AM AFRAID TO DRIVE THIS CAR! Do not buy this car! Read more about this issue if you are or know an owner of 2010 – 2015 Ford Focus (or Fiesta), or just pass it along – you could save a life! Extremely unhappy and on the phone with Ford. I've had time to write this entire post waiting for them to call back. Apparently the parts are OUT OF STOCK and NATIONAL BACK ORDER, probably because they don't exist yet. Latest call I made to them today to check the status of my vehicle – service department unavailable, only sales. No thanks! My 30th birthday is tomorrow. Thanks for ruining it Ford. Never again!