A Pennsylvania driver has filed a proposed class action alleging the 10-speed 10R80 automatic transmission found in model year 2017-2020 Ford F-150s is defective in that it can “shift harshly and erratically,” causing the vehicle to “jerk, lunge, and hesitate between gears.”
No Recall or Warranty Relief, Case Says
Echoing an August 2019 case centered on 2017-2019 models, the lawsuit claims 10R80-model transmissions suffer from a “common design and/or manufacturing defect” that may pose a life-threatening safety issue to drivers and passengers. Ford, the complaint says, has “refused” to recall or replace the apparently faulty transmissions despite issuing three recalls in February 2019 alone over problems with the six-speed transmissions in nearly 1.5 million 2011-2013 F-150 models.
The plaintiff claims that rather than cover repairs under warranty, the automaker has told consumers in at least two technical service bulletins that the “abrupt and harsh” shifting is normal. Ford is alleged in the suit to have refused to conduct repairs on problematic 10-speed 10R80 transmissions even though the company’s warranty provides that “dealers will, without charge, repair, replace, or adjust all parts on your vehicle that malfunction or fail during normal use during the applicable coverage period due to a manufacturing defect in factory-supplied materials or factory workmanship.”
Consumers who have experienced the defect have reported hearing a loud “clunking” noise upon starting an affected vehicle’s engine, the suit says. One complaint submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), according to the case, noted that the driver’s vehicle lost all power while accelerating through an intersection, with the transmission failing to shift up or down. Another driver, the complaint says, reported that their F-150 would consistently stay stuck in the same gear, making the truck inoperable. Further still, the lawsuit alleges that drivers have reported instances of whiplash due to harsh shifting incidents.
As the case tells it, the issues with Ford’s 10R80 transmission are not new. The lawsuit claims drivers have vocalized problems they’ve encountered with the transmissions ever since they were introduced to the market by Ford. From the suit:
Since the 10R80 transmission was introduced and equipped in Class Vehicles, drivers have repeatedly complained about difficulty shifting and vehicle lunging and/or jerking to Ford. During the class period there was an unusually large number of complaints of harsh and belabored transmission shifting such that Ford was put on notice of a specific problem.”
With this in mind, Ford, the lawsuit argues, “knew or should have known” that its 2017-2020 F-150 trucks suffered from a transmission defect and are thus not fit for regular use by consumers. Moreover, Ford, despite possessing superior knowledge of the issue, is alleged to have failed to disclose the transmission problem to consumers at the time of purchase or lease or any time thereafter. The plaintiff argues that had drivers known of the apparent transmission shifting issue, they would not have bought or leased—or would have paid substantially less for—their Ford F-150 vehicles.
Am I Covered by This Lawsuit?
The lawsuit looks to cover drivers in Pennsylvania who have owned or leased a 2017-2020 Ford F-150 equipped with a 10R80 10-speed transmission.