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Transmission issues in Ford Focuses and Fiestas from certain model years have caused serious problems for owners. Drivers have reported sudden acceleration, unexpected sputtering, and even slipping into neutral at highway speeds. In fact, it’s become an open joke on the market: don’t buy one of these models unless you’re hoping to gamble. It’s no surprise that the Focus has been named one of the deadliest cars on the road

An investigation by the Detroit Free Press revealed that Ford allegedly knew about the problems, including issues that led to at least 50 injuries, and chose to sell the vehicles anyway. Internal communications that were discovered in the investigation suggest that Ford deliberately chose not to issue a recall or hold back the Focus and Fiesta models. Instead, it pushed the models onto the market despite knowing that the vehicles were potentially dangerous to drivers. 

Focus and Fiesta owners speak up

Many Ford owners have expressed outrage at the decision to place these vehicles on the road in spite of their shortcomings. In a Facebook review, driver Shannon Sneyd-Neylon states, “This is how much Ford values the lives of their customers. They made these vehicles with the intention to be ‘budget friendly’ and after screwing over the people they sold the vehicles to knowing they wouldn’t have the means to fight them legally.”

Sneyd-Neylon isn’t the only one speaking out. Many Ford drivers have expressed disappointment and frustration with the company. In fact, numerous Focus and Fiesta owners have spoken out, saying they feel Ford made a decision to hide problems with the vehicles’ transmission at the expense of consumer safety. 

While a class action lawsuit may refund some of the money Focus and Fiesta drivers have spent on their vehicles, it won’t cover the full cost of a new vehicle. Since both the Focus and Fiesta are from Ford’s budget lines, intended to provide trustworthy vehicles for drivers who cannot afford to spend a fortune on a luxury car, this has the potential to be quite a hit for drivers impacted by the seemingly dangerous transmissions. 

What does this mean for Ford?

Ford has been struggling over the past several years as trends in the auto industry change. While Ford offers reasonably-priced vehicles that have allowed many drivers to safely transport their families, some feel the company seems to be offering more problems than solutions as of late — especially on its budget range vehicles. 

The impact may reach far further than Ford could have predicted. The controversy has damaged Ford’s public image. Many followers are speaking out.

One Ford driver expressed on Twitter that they were “feeling quite sick, frankly.” Another tweeted that they feel “Ford sold me a lemon and knew it.” As outrage continues to fuel public outcry, Ford’s image may continue to take a hit. Many drivers have already expressed that they intend to choose a brand other than Ford for their future needs. For a company that is already struggling, Ford can ill afford this level of public scrutiny.

How Ford is handling the furor

Amidst the outcry and scandal, Ford continues to push information about its newest models. The company seems to be attempting to redirect customers from ruminating on the potential impact of faulty transmissions in its vehicles. Unfortunately for Ford, Focus and Fiesta drivers aren’t having it. As drivers continue to raise the word about what Ford has done to them, these drivers hope to prevent future drivers from falling into the same trap.

Ford’s failure to step up and take responsibility has certainly cost the company — and it remains to be seen if it can weather the storm. The outcome of the pending class action lawsuit will certainly be telling about the future of Ford.