OK, the answer the questions....
I guess I shouldn't have said I "accept" the transmission behavior as normal, but should have been more like "understandable." Would I buy another Focus knowing how these things run normally... maybe, maybe not.
When I say "understandable" I mean that I can UNDERSTAND that these transmissions will feel differently than the other PowerShift trannnys that were used in the older Focus generations. At first, I may have had a slanted view of how an automatic should feel... In my mind, in a perfect world, the trans should shift without any feeling to the passengers whatsoever, but I know that the new 6-speed is essentially an automated 6-speed manual. I've driven several manual transmissions and I know how they can feel at times.
I guess I'm not ACCEPTING the current state of these transmissions as being normal, but more or less understanding that they are different than what we had before... I mean, my 2010 would ocassionally be jerky, mainly after a quick stop-and-go. I guess I'm being understanding in that it is a new trans setup for Ford with this improved engine. I'm not saying that we should just leave it at that (that's part of the reason I made such a fuss to begin with---and over time I sort of backed off).
I can understand the frustrations. Secondly, I work for a manufacturing company and we develop new ag equipment fairly frequently. There has NOT be one piece of equipment that has gone out that has been 100% perfect. There are flaws, there are a few things that go overlooked, because in that business you can't predict what each customer is going to do with your equipment. You get a pretty good idea, but not all 100% of farmers are going to do the exact same thing.
Point is, is that I can understand that the trans isn't perfect, but we have to also give Ford a chance. And I think by posting on this site and other fan sites around, we can get Ford's attention. I don't think we need to be hostile about it, but just more or less a complaint. I am giving my dealer a chance to fix this problem, and as I said above, if I'm not satisfied, then I will escalate the issue to the next level and contact the appropriate people/groups. I know I started out rather PO'd about this issue, but I've also realized that we need to give the dealers a chance. Who knows, there may just be something like a defective clutch in these things, that just needs replacing, and then everything is all good... Ford will have a hard time coming up with a solution if we don't let them look at our cars and work on them first. I mean, that's how we do it where I work... we work on people's equipment in order to find a solution, and then once one is found, we can then make the appropriate adjustments--we don't just go making changes without first investigating the problem first hand.
Yes the trans problems are NOT NORMAL, but we also have to give Ford a fair chance to correct the problem. Nearly all cars have some sort of defect off the line. Now whether that defect is annoying or problematic is another question. In some cases it isn't, but in this case, it is problematic, annoying, and can be expensive if not under warranty.
As I said, I will keep people informed as to the results when my car comes back from the dealer. Who knows, Ford may have made improvements already, and is just replacing the transmissions. And second, I'm not 100% sure it's a trans problem at all. The shuttering--yes--but the whining noise I get, it could be a bent half-shaft, bad wheel bearing, or a bearing in the trans. I won't know until I check back with the dealer in a few days.