If You Own A Crappy Ford Fiesta/Focus Your Payday Has Arrived

In 2012 a class action lawsuit was filed by Ford Fiesta and Focus owners against Ford. Owners were seeking damages over faulty dry-clutch DPS6 transmissions. The transmissions have a variety of issues that manifested themselves. Some of the issues included shuddering, bucking, slipping, jerking, funky gear changes, premature wear, and sudden delayed acceleration. Among other issues. With the aid of Detroit Free Press digging it was discovered that by 2012 Ford knew about the transmission problems but continued to take customer money. Under warranty, Ford repaired transmission issues. After the warranty ran out owners were SOL. That means you’re screwed. Now if you own or previously owned a Fiesta or Focus your payday has finally arrived.

Focus and Fiesta owners may soon have a payday over the transmission class-action lawsuit

Hokus Pokus Focus

Ford eventually extended warranties for over 600,000 Focus/Fiesta cars to help cover the obvious problems. Motor Biscuit’s own Bridget DeMeis kept the Motor Biscuit team apprised of the exploits and issues with her 2014 Focus. It wasn’t pretty. She says, “It’s really frustrating because I loved this car when I bought it and I actually stuck up for Ford for the first four years despite all the problems I was having. But when it came out that they sold these cars knowing they had issues that’s too much.”

If you feel you’re entitled to remuneration as a result of Focus/Fiesta transmission issues senior council Tarek Zohdy has the scoop:

“There’s a notice period where you tell Ford you intend to arbitrate and they have 10 days to resolve the situation. If they don’t resolve it you may go to arbitration, which Ford pays for. The bar is not high. All you need is to collect your repair orders and your purchase contract and submit a letter to Ford. We will help people do that.”

Owners are recovering as much as $20,000 from the settlement

A Ford Focus ST is seen during the Vienna Car Show press preview at Messe Wien, as part of Vienna Holiday Fair
The Ford Focus | Manfred Schmid/Getty Images

As much as $20,000 per car has been recovered by current and former Focus/Fiesta owners. This is done through the program Ford has voluntarily honored which was created because of the settlement. 

Bridget wasn’t the only one in her family that had these issues. “My parents actually had two affected Focuses as well that were part of their corporate fleet. That’s how I ended up purchasing my Focus. My dad thought they were ‘awesome little cars,’” she says. 

If an owner didn’t previously wind out of the lawsuit they will be compensated anywhere from $20 to a buyback. That’s quite a range. Owners will receive notification in the mail as to where you land within the settlement guidelines. 

Here’s what the Free Press says about the settlement’s effects on Ford 

A blue first-generation Ford Fiesta ST displayed at an autoshow.
Ford Fiesta ST | STAN HONDA/AFP via Getty Images

“The Free Press investigation revealed a 2016 Ford internal report that projected costs through 2020 and said, ‘“Total quality-related spending for DPS6 could reach $3 billion.”’ At least 1.5 million of the vehicles remain on the road today, according to U.S. vehicle registration data. The final settlement includes a minimum of $30 million in cash payments from Ford to customers that are separate from the buyback program.”

It is a shame that it has taken eight years for the lawsuit to come to a point that owners will be compensated. And that’s from when the lawsuit was initiated. Owners were having real issues with their Ford Focus/Fiesta way before the lawsuit finally was filed. Obviously, this has been a marathon annoyance in the least and a crisis otherwise for hundreds of thousands of owners. 

As for Bridget, she’ll soon be doing the happy dance as she has submitted her stack of “considerable repair history” as well as submitting for a buyback.