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Discussion Starter #21
@FF4

I'm sure the brand new clutches were not fried the first time you drove home and up the hill, the computer just monitored how the vehicle was being operated on a hill (how long the clutches were slipping and not fully engaged) and gave that warning to alert the driver.
I'm not saying I believe the new clutch assembly in the car is already burnt, and I understand that the warnings that popped up are exactly that: a warning. But it wasn't until those messages popped up the first time for me and I filmed them to show the service team that they felt the need to check the transmission beyond applying the available TSB multiple times. And when they did check the transmission, they found that the clutch was shot after 2000 miles. I didn't receive the warnings anytime before then, and by the time I received them it was too late for the clutch.

Lesson learned, I now pay more attention when i'm on a steep hill and drive it like I would a real manual transmission. I now manually downshift to first gear before the steep part, I let the clutch fully engage and don't "ride the clutch", I use the parking brake if needed, I don't creep along at 1-2 mph for long.
As someone who has obviously done their research, much more than even most people on this "Fanatic" forum, it makes sense that you would be able to find a workaround for the situation that is causing problems. I have two issues with this:
- most consumers aren't as well versed in this topic as you or me, most people still believing that this transmission is just a version of an automatic, which technically it is, as it does automatically switch gears for you. Most consumers, me included at first, will drive it as they would a traditional slush box and will note the "quirks" about the DCT as real "issues." And as even several media outlets and professional reviews have noted, this does not feel normal, to the point of recommending against equipping the car with the DCT.
- I don't feel like any consumer should have to work around a flaw/oversight in design/engineering like this. Under normal driving conditions, I shouldn't need to resort to (what should be an option) switching into manual mode to avoid the clutch from slipping to drive up a hill. I'm not asking the Focus to tow a boat or traverse a snowy mountainside, it's a hill to my house in the middle of LA. What if I were to lend my car to my girlfriend/friend/brother/etc? Should I have to warn them that if they are going to park on a hill or drive in SF that they'll need to switch it into manual mode and drive it like a manual?

"You're driving it wrong" is not an acceptable response from a company that isn't giving the consumer any other guidance at purchase/prior to purchase. "This model is a manual, are you comfortable with that?" I remember getting that heads up before test driving my first VW, but I highly doubt you'd ever get that type of warning about a DCT from a dealer prior to a test drive, as it is a feature that is being marketed as an advancement and beneficial. And I doubt Ford would admit to any of the shortcomings of their specific DCT because the average consumer might view them as faults, issues, or most importantly, as a reason not to buy.

As much of an Apple fan as I am, I still think the iPhone 4's antennagate fiasco falls into a similar aspect of irresponsibility from a company. For Steve Jobs to say "you're holding it wrong" to consumers is unfair. And Apple might have softened the blow by tweaking their software to adjust reception bars, but in the end it was bad design/engineering from a company that 99.9% of the time is above and beyond compare in those categories. This issue didn't keep them from selling 50 million+ iPhone 4s, but it did affect enough people to cause the stir it did, and I'm sure for some the issue rendered their phones unusable.

I don't believe the DCT Ford is using to be an issue for all the tens of thousands of consumers driving Fords equipped with it, but for a select sample of users it is a definite issue. Ford feels it is a big enough issue to acknowledge to the point of (unrequired) software updates, and that may resolve the issue for some, but for me it hasn't made a difference. And no one has given me an official word from Ford that tells me I need to drive the Focus in a specific manner in order to have it function properly. So if Ford would rather deal with each situation on a case-by-case basis (be it through BBB, Ford CS, or litigation) I hope that they listen well enough that they learn something to improve their products from the time they take from the consumer and themselves.
 

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Have you asked a service tech to accompany you in your car and go to the hill by your home and park on the hill? Or whatever examples you can show him/her with regards to your concerns on how your transmission is operating?
This IMO is the only way to seriously make your point with the service department you deal with.

It is very obvious from your comments that your transmission is faulty, if having a new clutch assembly installed and has not fixed the issues you have reported.
 

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Have you asked a service tech to accompany you in your car and go to the hill by your home and park on the hill? Or whatever examples you can show him/her with regards to your concerns on how your transmission is operating?
This IMO is the only way to seriously make your point with the service department you deal with.

It is very obvious from your comments that your transmission is faulty, if having a new clutch assembly installed and has not fixed the issues you have reported.

I would have to agree. Let me add by calling Ford 1-800 and report your concerns. Go over the lil people. Jus Sayin...[boxface]
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Have you asked a service tech to accompany you in your car and go to the hill by your home and park on the hill? Or whatever examples you can show him/her with regards to your concerns on how your transmission is operating?
I would have to agree. Let me add by calling Ford 1-800 and report your concerns. Go over the lil people. Jus Sayin...[boxface]
The Service Manager did take a ride with me and experienced some of the issues I was having, not to the extremes that I've had it happen to me, though I have had several witnesses with me when serious problems have come up. The Service Manager completely agrees that there is a bigger issue with my car than the typical concerns coming up about the Focus/DCT. He was contacted by Ford after I called the 1-800 number and was asked for any information he had about my case. He gave them my service records and recommended that they buy back the car because I had already reached lemon law requirements for days in service and repair attempts, and he saw no fix in sight as Ford hadn't been able to give him a solution he found appropriate for me. Ford closed my case before I even got my car back from the dealership, before they received the final report from the Service Manager, and sent me a stock response letter via overnight fedex basically telling me I was SOL.

All of this is in my grossly detailed original post (which disappeared for some reason a few days ago but is back).

I honestly have tried to be as reasonable and understandable as possible with this whole situation, and still am, and I'm not posting here to bash and denounce Ford, but to vent a little and let others here know what steps I've taken in dealing with my ordeal. And I'm just as open to getting comments that tell me my car is working the way it should as I am getting ones that may be dealing with similar situations and choose to commiserate. It's all been a great learning process, but now I just want some resolution so I can get into a car that works the way I need it to for my daily rituals.
 

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well written and documented account of a lemon. apparently under engineered for your driving conditions. we should expect the same reliability from a AT as we get from a MT and the details are "not our problem!" Nor do we want to hear that this transmission is different from that ... BS. It is just supposed to work ... no more no less.

Currently I am noticing after 5000 miles that my April 1 build transmission is starting to act up ... scheduled in for service later this week with TBS update "if not clutch change"
 

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The Service Manager did take a ride with me and experienced some of the issues I was having, not to the extremes that I've had it happen to me, though I have had several witnesses with me when serious problems have come up. The Service Manager completely agrees that there is a bigger issue with my car than the typical concerns coming up about the Focus/DCT. He was contacted by Ford after I called the 1-800 number and was asked for any information he had about my case. He gave them my service records and recommended that they buy back the car because I had already reached lemon law requirements for days in service and repair attempts, and he saw no fix in sight as Ford hadn't been able to give him a solution he found appropriate for me. Ford closed my case before I even got my car back from the dealership, before they received the final report from the Service Manager, and sent me a stock response letter via overnight fedex basically telling me I was SOL.

All of this is in my grossly detailed original post (which disappeared for some reason a few days ago but is back).

I honestly have tried to be as reasonable and understandable as possible with this whole situation, and still am, and I'm not posting here to bash and denounce Ford, but to vent a little and let others here know what steps I've taken in dealing with my ordeal. And I'm just as open to getting comments that tell me my car is working the way it should as I am getting ones that may be dealing with similar situations and choose to commiserate. It's all been a great learning process, but now I just want some resolution so I can get into a car that works the way I need it to for my daily rituals.
Thanks for the reply, as I did not see your 1st post story in full when I viewed this post a couple days ago I was wondering what was the history of it all.
It is odd how Ford N.A. seems to have put the blinders on in your case and are taking the approach they are taking.

I hope it all works out in the end for you, as it appears to me you have been very reasonable and patient.

Seems to me you just need a new transmission and all would be good.

Just so puzzled with how Ford decided to handle this, especially for such an important market for Ford N.A. California is not very Ford friendly, but early reports have indicated that the new Focus has been accepted and selling surprising well. One would think Ford would be going overboard for its new California customers to gain a stronger confidence from this market that overwhelmingly supports the foreign car makers.
 

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that is absolutely terrible, I am so sorry to hear that, especially considering that other brand new ones on the lot drove completely differently from yours. I hope you win the case; unfortunately Ford N.A is acting as most auto company customer service branches do, ignore and deny

sorry to rub it in but this makes me so happy I got the 5-speed and skipped MFT
 

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Sorry to hear of your disappointing tome, durtyolpirate. I live in very hilly/curvy topo. and had a clutch fail, and am now experiencing violent downshifts to 6K rpm in "S" mode when brake is applied on two declines. My entry speed is moderate to those downhills. I now drive in "S" SelectShift toggle to keep my clutch(s) and tranny from fraggin' themselves.

Clearly, very clearly, the transmission software wasn't written to accomodate the undulating, loch ness monster roads we have in my home town, and outlying areas.

This stresses the DCT and clutches horrifically, if left in "D", as it constantly revs and shifts trying to find the correct gears to select, and if driven in "D" for long, I have no reservations saying it will destroy the clutches in short order, if I didn't intervene the "S" mode and manually use SelectShift to override the overwhelmed computer.

This is round two with my DCT, and once again, I'm having a very strained relationship with it. I can't drive a manual because of physical limitations, otherwise I'd be on a 5-speed like white on rice.

I've decided to act as this transmission's brain with selectshift so it doesn't frag, until I may trade it off for something more reliable.

I just wanted to let you know you are not alone, and I hope you may get resolution, whatever that may be. Good luck! Keep us posted.
 

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Durtyolpirate:
If you're reading this, can you give us an update?
Or are you prevented from posting due to pending litigation?
 

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My condolences; these issues are never fun.

I'm glad I didn't opt for MFT - the allure is there, but Microsoft dropped the ball on that, big-time. Thankfully I wanted a sunroof and metallic blue paint...

Since the transmission reprogramming (12B37), the tranny has been perfect. Oh, that 'grind' noise is still there, but until there's more than just a noise I'm not going to worry. If there is a problem, and Ford has even replaced whole transmissions, they seem to be concerned about customers and that is a good sign IMO.

If problems continue, keep sure all is documented. Lemons CAN happen, for any brand. Stuff happens. There are lemon laws, and you shouldn't be left in the cold. And I don't believe you would be.
 

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@FF4As someone who has obviously done their research, much more than even most people on this "Fanatic" forum, it makes sense that you would be able to find a workaround for the situation that is causing problems. I have two issues with this:
- most consumers aren't as well versed in this topic as you or me, most people still believing that this transmission is just a version of an automatic, which technically it is, as it does automatically switch gears for you. Most consumers, me included at first, will drive it as they would a traditional slush box and will note the "quirks" about the DCT as real "issues." And as even several media outlets and professional reviews have noted, this does not feel normal, to the point of recommending against equipping the car with the DCT.
- I don't feel like any consumer should have to work around a flaw/oversight in design/engineering like this. Under normal driving conditions, I shouldn't need to resort to (what should be an option) switching into manual mode to avoid the clutch from slipping to drive up a hill. I'm not asking the Focus to tow a boat or traverse a snowy mountainside, it's a hill to my house in the middle of LA. What if I were to lend my car to my girlfriend/friend/brother/etc? Should I have to warn them that if they are going to park on a hill or drive in SF that they'll need to switch it into manual mode and drive it like a manual?

"You're driving it wrong" is not an acceptable response from a company that isn't giving the consumer any other guidance at purchase/prior to purchase. "This model is a manual, are you comfortable with that?" I remember getting that heads up before test driving my first VW, but I highly doubt you'd ever get that type of warning about a DCT from a dealer prior to a test drive, as it is a feature that is being marketed as an advancement and beneficial. And I doubt Ford would admit to any of the shortcomings of their specific DCT because the average consumer might view them as faults, issues, or most importantly, as a reason not to buy.

As much of an Apple fan as I am, I still think the iPhone 4's antennagate fiasco falls into a similar aspect of irresponsibility from a company. For Steve Jobs to say "you're holding it wrong" to consumers is unfair. And Apple might have softened the blow by tweaking their software to adjust reception bars, but in the end it was bad design/engineering from a company that 99.9% of the time is above and beyond compare in those categories. This issue didn't keep them from selling 50 million+ iPhone 4s, but it did affect enough people to cause the stir it did, and I'm sure for some the issue rendered their phones unusable.

I don't believe the DCT Ford is using to be an issue for all the tens of thousands of consumers driving Fords equipped with it, but for a select sample of users it is a definite issue. Ford feels it is a big enough issue to acknowledge to the point of (unrequired) software updates, and that may resolve the issue for some, but for me it hasn't made a difference. And no one has given me an official word from Ford that tells me I need to drive the Focus in a specific manner in order to have it function properly. So if Ford would rather deal with each situation on a case-by-case basis (be it through BBB, Ford CS, or litigation) I hope that they listen well enough that they learn something to improve their products from the time they take from the consumer and themselves.
I agree - Ford has acknowledged these problems and is working on them.

Other manufacturers with DCT have had not dissimilar problems, and even companies still using the old automatic transmission may have issues too. DCT, growing pains or not, really is a nicer experience.

But I wish Microsoft would get its hind in gear for MFT... weren't they paid enough to put some effort into it? Apparently not... but we customers (or whose customers who bothered with MFT) got the raw deal. In a free market, it's a shame the customers are still stuck with Microsoft to get off their lazy end and fix the thing properly. I can say Ford is working on its issues but Microsoft's responses seem to be worse... but anyone in the tech field and observing their behaviors knows this is nothing new on their part...

As for the antenna problem (Steve Jobs was not a president, thank goodness), he knew in advance but opted to scream at customers and be a condescending jerk. It's also a myth that Apple is the BMW of computers or whatever. Same hardware - not just the same concept designs -- the same brand of CPU that goes into everything else. And from overheating CPUs due to poorly applied thermal grease, warped screws, screen burn-in due to high temperatures, screen burn-in due to flaws in the new Retina technology... the CEO being told the iPhone 4 had an antenna design flaw well in advance of its launch with the CEO having the nerve to tell customers they were holding it wrong... if you or I spoke to our customers like that, we'd be out of business very quickly and given the level of respect we'd deserve (absolutely none)... these issues, and tons of others, about that company and CEO, are everywhere. I'm still a fan of Apple, but mostly for OS X being the best platform for desktop/power computing. (a techie by trade, Windows - server or client OS - are truly horrid...)


http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2010/07/iphone-4-antenna/

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2365705,00.asp

I could be here all day, as that person's attitude toward customers, workers, and others has been long documented... and the word "uncivilized" instantly comes to mind... but by then I'd really be straying too far from the actual issues, and Apple uses subcontractors to slop together their hardware as well... Apple should swallow the cost and find another company to put things together WITHOUT taking it out on customers, especially as they have a 60%+ profit margin on most of their products...

But Apple has a different CEO now, and so far Apple's been an improvement as a result. The 'capture' process to determine if an iPad 3 recall due to defective wi-fi circuitry shows a proactive, ethical step on that company's part. I appreciate ethics. Most of us should.
 

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I am embarrassed for Ford. I got frustrated and overwhelmed just reading your story. If I had gone through all that, my story would have ended up on the Evening News, "Tragedy befalls Ford dealership".
And they wonder what's wrong with this world today. No one takes pride in their work anymore. No one is held accountable and everyone passes the buck. We have to figure out how to roll the crap back uphill!
 
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