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Powershift DCT issues under control: Ford

Power of one: The 2013-14 EcoBoost crossover is one of number of Ford models that were offered with the troublesome Powershift dual-clutch transmission.

Ford says company on top of dual clutch auto problems in LW Focus, Fiesta, EcoSport

Ford logo3 Sep 2015

By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS

FORD Australia president and CEO Graeme Whickman has promised to continue to work with dealers and customers to address any problems associated with the Powershift dual-clutch transmission fitted to its previous LW Focus and other models including the Fiesta light car and EcoSport crossover.

As GoAuto has reported, the Powershift has been plagued by problems such as noise, shuddering, oil leaks and failure to select first gear when coming to a stop.

In response, Ford Australia last year extended the regular three-year/100,000km warranty to five years/160,000km on all Powershift-equipped models, covering the transmission’s clutch and input shaft seals as well as its software calibration.

The company also called back 45,000 Focuses last year for a software update which reprogrammed the “adaptive learning strategy for the transmission”.

However, the Powershift issue has not gone away, with hundreds of owners forming a group through social media and calling for more support from Ford – and some saying that despite the software reprogramming, and even full transmission replacement, problems have returned.

“We’ve been working with customers one-on-one when any issues have come up,” Mr Whickman told GoAuto this week at the launch of the latest LZ Focus, which sees Powershift replaced by a more conventional torque-converter automatic.

“And you’ll know we’ve already had extended warranties primarily around the TCM (transmission control modules) and specifically around the (transmission and clutch) seals.

“So we’re working with customers, (have) extended the warranties, and they are covered for any issues that come in.

“We watch everything consistently through our customer resolution centre, and we work with our dealers, and we are on top of it.

“If the customer rings us with a concern around these items, we will always work with them, because they will already have an extended warranty.

“And that’s no different to what we’ve been doing with any other customer with any other vehicle, by the way.”

The Powershift problems appear to affect petrol-powered vehicles such as the WT 1.6 and WZ 1.5 Fiesta models built from 2010-14, the EcoSport 1.5 from 2013-14 and LW Focus 1.6 and 2.0 models from 2011-14.

All employ the Getrag-supplied six-speed Powershift unit with a dry clutch set-up, rather than the wet-clutch arrangement as found in their diesel-powered counterparts.

As GoAuto reported in July, Ford Australia has also mounted a campaign to call back more than 10,000 examples of the LW Focus to have substandard driveshafts replaced.

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