Ford Focus, Ford Fiesta Reliability Issues
Ford Focus and Ford Fiesta owners are running out of time to opt out of the class action lawsuit surrounding the vehicle’s PowerShift transmission problems.
A recently settled class action lawsuit involving the 2012-2016 Ford Focus and 2011-2016 Ford Fiesta can curtail potential litigants’ recovery if they don’t opt out of the lawsuit by September 5, 2017.
The class-action lawsuit, Vargas v. Ford Motor Company, concerns the dual-clutch “PowerShift” transmissions used by 1.5 million vehicles including the 2012-2016 Ford Focus and 2011-2016 Ford Fiesta. The PowerShift transmission uses a dual clutch system. One clutch operates the even numbered gears, while the other clutch operates the odd numbered gears. Both clutches share the same inner transmission shaft. The PowerShift gearbox apparently makes the vehicle lunge, jerk, shudder, and hesitate during acceleration.
Ford issued two customer service programs throughout the years regarding the Powershift transmission, which extended warranty coverage for its input shafts, clutch, software calibration and transmission control module.
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Ford Focus and Ford Fiesta consumers affected by the Powershift transmission problems can participate in the lawsuit and potentially receive compensation for defect-related losses. However, based on the settlement’s terms, many consumers could recover more by opting out and pursuing an individual legal claim rather than accept the class action settlement.
Allen Stewart P.C. attorney Andrew Ross said the Vargas settlement’s stringent requirements mean many consumers could see a much better outcome if they opt out of the class action suit.
“It takes a whole lot of effort and verification,” Ross said. “Many people aren’t going to get much money.”
Case documents state consumers who purchased a 2012-2016 Ford Focus or 2011-2016 Ford Fiesta may potentially be eligible for cash payments totaling no more than $2,325 or discount certificates up to $4,650 toward a new Ford purchase, or replacement or repurchase following arbitration but only if the consumer prevails in the arbitration.
Ross says the benefits a consumer could reap were they to pursue an individual claim far outstrip those won through the class action settlement and with much less strenuously-kept records.