Ford Motor Co. on Wednesday said it's extending the warranty on certain 2014-16 model year Focus and Fiesta sedans with dual-clutch transmissions by two years and 40,000 miles — about 60,000 kilometres — and offering a software update for customers who continue to have issues with the problematic gearboxes.
The automaker said it was extending the clutch warranty to seven years or 100,000 miles in the U.S. and seven years or 160,000 kilometres in Canada for those 2014-16 model year Focus sedans and 2014-2015 Fiestas, matching previous warranty extensions for some older cars. Warranty coverage for the transmission control module remains 10 years or 150,000 miles in the United States and 10 years or 240,000 kilometres in Canada.
About 50,000 vehicles in Canada are affected by the clutch warranty update will another 20,000 vehicles are affected by the software warranty.
"While these vehicles always were and remain safe to drive, we regret the inconvenience our customers have experienced," Dave Filipe, Ford's vice president of powertrain engineering, said in a statement.
Filipe said the warranty extension will cover about 560,000 customers. The automaker did not disclose any cost estimates, but said it will be reflected in third quarter earnings.
The automaker says tests show Focus and Fiesta sedans built since the second half of 2015, along with earlier models that have received software updates, perform well.
Ford has been haunted by the transmissions, codenamed DPS6, since they were introduced in 2010. Ford never conquered the long-term reliability problems on the gearboxes that thousands of customers complained would shudder, jerk and hesitate.
Litigation is ongoing.
The automaker in 2014 extended the transmissions' warranty by two years and 40,000 miles (60,000 kilometres) for 2011-2013 model year vehicles. Since its inception, Ford has issued more than 20 technical service bulletins related to the gearboxes.
The automaker last month told its U.S. dealers to give free repairs to any Focus and Fiesta owners who complain about problems with the cars' PowerShift dual-clutch transmission, according to a memo obtained by Automotive News.
The memo, first reported by the Detroit Free Press, followed a July 11 report by the newspaper that said Ford knew about the transmission defects yet sold them anyway. The automaker responded to the report last month, saying it made "conclusions that are not based in fact."