— A Ford 10R80 transmission class action lawsuit alleges at least five models are equipped with 10-speed transmissions that cause the vehicles to jerk, shift harshly, lunge, clunk and hesitate between gears.
The lawsuit also alleges the 10R80 transmissions can cause a sudden loss of power in these models.
- 2017 to present Ford Expedition
- 2017 to present Ford Mustang
- 2017 to present Ford Ranger
- 2017 to present Ford F-150
- 2017 to present Lincoln Navigator
The Ford 10R80 transmission class action lawsuit includes:
"All persons in the United States and its territories who formerly or currently own or leased one or more vehicles with a 10R80 10-speed automatic transmission."
In September 2019, Massachusetts plaintiff Daniel McCabe leased a 2019 Ford Ranger with a 10R80 10-speed transmission. McCabe says about seven months after he leased the Ranger, the 10R80 10-speed transmission "held gears much longer than it should."
"He felt as though the car was “lethargic” and that the car was not responsive to the pedal. He often felt like the vehicle was hunting for the proper gear and skipping gears while driving. Sometimes he would hear a loud “clunk” once the gear was finally put in place." — Ford 10R80 transmission class action lawsuit
However, the plaintiff doesn't allege he took his truck to a dealer or mechanic or if the Ranger was diagnosed with transmission problems.
The class action lawsuit alleges Ford knew or should have known the transmissions contain defects.
According to the transmission lawsuit, a "common design and/or manufacturing defect in Ford’s 10R80 transmissions is a potentially life-threatening safety issue, and Ford has refused to recall or replace the defective Transmissions."
Ford allegedly tells customers the transmissions are normal when in fact, according to the class action, the transmission problems make the vehicles "unreasonably dangerous."
The lawsuit alleges Ford failed to warn owners and lessees about the allegedly defective 10R80 transmissions, and now those vehicles are worth less than they should be.
"Because of the Defect, the Class Vehicles are likely to suffer serious damages and potentially catch fire if accidents occur, and there is an unreasonable and extreme risk of serious bodily harm or death to the vehicle’s occupants and others in the vicinity."
Ford Transmission Recalls
Although the lawsuit alleges Ford has not issued recalls for the transmissions, the class action references transmission-based recalls to allegedly prove the automaker knows the transmissions are defective.
In February 2019, Ford issued a recall for 2019 Ford Ranger trucks equipped with 10-speed automatic transmissions. Ford said the Ranger trucks could roll away due to problems with the gear shifter interlock functions.
In May 2019, Ford announced a 2019 Ranger truck recall because the gear shift indicators could say the trucks were in PARK when they weren't.
And in April 2020, Ford recalled 2020 Ford Ranger and F-150 trucks with 10-speed automatic transmissions.
Ford 10R80 Transmission TSBs
The class action lawsuit also references technical service bulletins issued by Ford to dealerships regarding transmissions.
TSB 18-2079 was issued in March 2018 concerning 2017 F-150 trucks that “may exhibit harsh or delayed shifts.” Ford technicians were told to reprogram the powertrain control modules, and truck owners were told these transmissions were equipped with adaptive shift strategies.
This allows the computer to "learn the transmission’s unique parameters and improve shift quality. When the adaptive strategy is reset, the computer will begin a re-learning process. This re-learning process may result in firmer than normal upshifts and downshifts for several days.”
That TSB was followed by these bulletins:
The plaintiff asserts many of these bulletins simply repeat the same instructions to dealerships where technicians are told to reprogram control modules and inform owners about how the transmissions use adaptive shift strategies.
According to the transmission class action lawsuit, Ford actively concealed defects in the 10R80 10-speed transmissions and instead told customers the transmissions were performing normally.
The Ford 10R80 transmission class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts (Eastern Division): Daniel McCabe v. Ford Motor Company.
The plaintiff is represented by Milberg Coleman Bryson Phillips Grossman, PLLC, The Carlson Law Firm, P.C., Brent Coon & Associates, and Wallace Miller LLP.