A proposed class action alleges the MT82 and MT82-D4 manual transmissions found in certain 2011-2019 Ford Mustang models suffer from a common, latent defect that can eventually cause catastrophic failure.
According to the plaintiffs’ second amended complaint, a defective MT82 or MT82-D4 transmission can slip, jerk, clash gears or harshly engage, leading to premature internal wear that may require increased effort in order to shift gears. The 88-page suit alleges issues with an affected Mustang’s transmission and clutch components can cause the car’s hydraulic systems to function improperly, which may lead to the decomposition or failure of critical parts throughout the transmission.
Per the lawsuit, Ford’s inability to resolve the MT82/MT82-D4 defect indicates affected drivers will need to replace their transmission’s shift fork, shift shaft, synchronizers, clutch assembly, or even the entire transmission.
Though Ford used Tremec and Borg Warner transmissions in previous Mustang models, the automaker opted to use “cheaper Chinese made Getrag” transmissions in the 2011-2019 version of the iconic muscle car, the suit says. The lawsuit draws a direct link between the Getrag MT82/MT82-D4 transmissions and the issues experienced by drivers, and claims Ford decided to continue using the transmissions despite possessing knowledge of the alleged problems.
A manual transmission uses a fork to move a collar ringed with dog teeth to the desired gear, the suit explains. Per the case, modern manual transmissions utilize a synchronizer in order to sync up the speeds of the collar and gear while they are already in contact but before the dog teeth engage. Essentially, a modern transmission’s synchronizer aides the clutch assembly with gear changes by syncing the rotational speeds of internal transmission components, the suit says.
Given the MT82 and MT82-D4 transmissions were adapted from their prior use in smaller vehicles, i.e. four-cylinder cars with far less power, the transmissions’ synchronizers are “insufficiently robust” for use in a high-horsepower Ford Mustang, the lawsuit contends. Consequently, an affected transmission’s synchronizer fails to spin up the shaft quickly enough to engage the gears, causing premature failure, the case says.
In all, the transmission defect the plaintiff says affects 2011-2019 Ford Mustangs poses a significant safety risk to drivers and passengers and substantially decreases the value of affected vehicles, according to the complaint. Even when an owner or lessee pays out-of-pocket to repair or replace their transmission, the defect still exists given the driver receives “inherently defective parts or receives another defective part in its place,” the case argues.
“As such, the Transmission Defect endangers the drivers and passengers of the vehicles,” the suit reads. “It creates uncertainty for the drivers of the Class Vehicles, who cannot rely on their vehicles to operate consistently, reliably, or safely.”
Had Ford disclosed the alleged transmission defect, the plaintiff and other proposed class members would not have bought or leased their vehicles, or would have paid less than the “artificially inflated price” stemming from Ford’s “deliberate non-disclosure” of the issues, the case says.
According to the lawsuit, Ford has issued since 2011 seven special service messages and technical service bulletins pertaining to transmission shifting issues. Nevertheless, Ford has not notified drivers of the MT82/MT82-D4 defect, the case claims, instead instructing employees to “continue to deny that the defect even exists” by way of standard answers in response to customer complaints.
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