Tips, Tricks & Trends

Lawsuit: Ford Mustang Owners Are Suing Over Failing Transmissions

Great news has come to the ears of Ford Mustang lovers as the major automaker released news surrounding the 2021 Mach-E, touted as the coolest hybrid on the horizon. However, Mustang lovers have to swallow the bad news along with the good as dissatisfied owners have filed a class-action lawsuit against Ford. The suit brings into question significant issues relating to Mustang’s transmission failures. How much will this news dampen the enthusiasm of diehard Mustang lovers or would-be lovers? Let’s take a closer look at what’s going on.

What transmission problems are referred to in the suit?

The suit filed in California on June 4, 2020 cites issues like slipping, jerking, rough engagement, premature wear, grinding gears, and ultimate failure. These issues have led to significant financial losses for Mustang owners in repair expenses.

A change from Tremec and Borg Warner transmissions to a less reliable Chinese made Getrag MT82 and MT82-D4 transmissions to save on production costs are the source of the problems cited in the case against Ford Motor Company.

2011 – 2019 Ford Mustangs are among those affected

RELATED: What You Will and Won’t Like About the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

According to the documents filed for the suit, the year models of Ford Mustangs affected include those from 2011 to 2019, which have the Getrag MT82 and MT82-D4 manual transmissions installed in them. These transmissions were allegedly designed for smaller automobiles with significantly lower horsepower than produced by the Mustang’s engine.

The problem stems from a failure by the synchronizers to spin up the shaft quickly enough to engage the gears. Due to these issues, buyers interested in purchasing a used Ford Mustang need to have this as a major consideration.

Other issues are listed in the lawsuit as well

Costs related to replacing or repairing shift forks, shift shafts, synchronizers and clutch assemblies without replacing the defective transmission represent a significant part of the complaints included in the lawsuit.

The suit claims that these defects and outright failure have the potential to threaten driver and passenger safety, though MotorTrend reports that NHTSA investigations do not support this allegation.

A loss of resale value is among the major concerns cited by Mustang owners, which is a real possibility due to the negative view already produced by complaints and the suit.

What is Ford’s response to owner allegations?

Several technical service bulletins issued by Ford since 2010 demonstrate the automaker’s attempts to correct the issues. Included among their remedies were draining and refilling transmission fluids and replacing the 3rd/4th shift forks as well as the countershaft 3rd gears and the 3rd/4th gear synchronizer hubs and sleeves.

Later bulletins have directed technicians to replace the gearshift levers, replace the clutch pedal position switches, and replace the brackets. Though the automaker has remained silent regarding the allegations, they seem to have led the automaker to make improvements in 2020 and 2021 Ford Mustang models.

What is the bottom line in relation to Ford Mustang transmission failures?

The cost of operation for transmission repairs, when related to a decreased resale value, represents significant financial losses for the Mustang owners included in this class-action suit. It appears that Ford was aware of ongoing issues but failed to provide a satisfactory solution.

Regardless of whose favor the court rules, a stigma is likely to follow 2011 through 2019 model Ford Mustangs as well as spilling over to later models in spite of Ford’s efforts to rebuild the image of Mustang. A great deal of damage has occurred due to the automaker’s decision to cut production costs by installing an unreliable transmission in one of their most popular models.

If this oversight on the Mustang represents an overall cost-cutting trend, car buyers might question whether dropping the slogan “quality is job one” in 2016 represents a warning.