Why Did Ford Pay Almost $50K For This Old 2014 Fiesta?

An old 2014 Ford Fiesta sedan was once leased by a California couple before they returned it early. They wanted nothing to do with it after repeated attempts to fix the transmission. They pleading with the company to take it back. When it said no they turned it back to the leasing company before the term had ended. 

Now, Ford is paying them $49.228.96 after settling with the couple over its DPS6 Powershift transmission debacle. Almost 1,200 cases were initially filed against Ford. Now it has to face another 204 before the remaining pending cases are off of the books. 

This centers around 2012-2016 Ford Focus and 2011-2016 Fiesta transmissions

Red Ford Fiesta sedan
Ford Fiesta sedan | Ford

This all centers around the 2012-2016 Focus and 2011-2016 Fiesta compact cars. Their DPS6 Powershift transmission was notorious for “shuddering, slipping, bucking, jerking, Hesitation during gear changes, internal wear, downshifting delays, and either sudden or delayed acceleration.” The Detroit Free Press was the first to discover the internal documents relating to the issues back in 2019. 

Among other findings, these documents were a record that Ford knew the Powershift transmission was a failure. It continued selling Fiesta and Focus sedans with the transmission forcing owners to face continuous problems and thousands of dollars in repairs. After the couple’s filing over damages, the automaker chose to litigate rather than settle. 

Ford established a buyback program to pay $17,000 to affected owners

orange Ford Fiesta hatchback
Ford Fiesta hatchback. Ford

RELATED: Class-Action Lawsuit: Says Ford Mustangs Have Bad Transmissions

“Plaintiffs were harmed by purchasing a vehicle that they would not have purchased had they known the true facts about the transmission and the transmission defects affecting it,” wrote the couples’ attorney, Steve Mikhov, in a 2018 filing. At the time the manufacturer established a buyback program that would have paid on average $17,000 to affected owners. 

But the manufacurer has spent millions of dollars over the years in settlements after it was found liable for issues around the transmission’s design. “Ford has been striving to resolve customer concerns for several years,” spokesman Said Deep told the Free Press. “While most concerns were resolved long ago, Ford remains committed to fairly consider any remaining concerns.” 

Some go through the court system to receive fair compensation

Gray Ford Fiesta sedan and green hatchback
Ford Fiesta sedan and hatchback | Ford

But while that sounds good some have gone through the court system to receive what they believe is fair compensation. When asked about this Deep said, “Ford’s resolution program has not changed materially in several years. Ford considers each customer concern and responds appropriately based on the facts.”

While it is legal for residents in California to sue a company even after settlements are offered, in Michigan that right is still being argued at the Michigan Supreme Court. The Michigan Consumer Protection Act needs clarification while thousands of consumers throughout the US who chose to sue the automaker individually can proceed. They chose not to take the class-action settlement. 

A Michigan Circuit Court found in favor of consumers, then an appeals court disagreed and found in favor of Ford. Now the Michigan Supreme Court will ultimately decide how these pending cases can move forward.