Charlie Allia ASKED THE GUIDE

Unfixable Focus auto transmission problem

My daughter is having problems with the dual-clutch auto in her 2013 Ford Focus Trend Auto. Ford has admitted that they are unable to fix the problem with this gearbox. Ford is not recalling this model; instead they are trying to do a buy-back through their dealers, but offering only trade-in pricing. Can you help?

If Ford has told you that your car cannot be fixed and you have it in writing I would be going to them and asking for a full refund of your money on the basis that they sold you a car that was 'unfit for purpose'. If you don't get a satisfactory resolution with Ford got to your consumer affairs people and take action they way. In the meantime we will contact Ford about the issue.

UPDATE 3/7/15: We approached Ford for a response to Charlie's complaints and the comment we got from a company spokesman was: "Officially, we're currently working closely with this customer to ensure a good outcome for them. Our Customer Relationship Team is in contact with the customer. In such circumstances our policy is to always provide customer support and work through any vehicle issues on a case-by-case basis."

Like Charlie, we think the offer of a trade-in price for his daughter's car is grossly inadequate. By any measure Ford has sold her a car that is unfit for the purpose for which it was sold to her, and we think she should receive a full refund of the original purchase price. Anything less would see her out of pocket for something she was not in any way responsible for.

UPDATE 7/7/15: Ford last week informed us that they have now reached a satisfactory resolution with Charlie Allia’s daughter over the automatic transmission in her 2013 Focus.

Although details are sketchy because of confidentiality agreements between the parties it is believed the problem relates to the way the dual-clutch transmission operates rather than a mechanical malfunction of the gearbox.

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