Ford NZ may be affected by Australian class action

The Ford Fiesta (supplied)
The Ford Fiesta (supplied)

New Zealand Ford cars could be caught up in an Australian class action over reported transmission problems in a range of models.

Lawyers claim more than 60,000 cars in Australia are "unsafe to drive", including the Fiesta Hatchback, Focus and the EcoSport SUV.

Ford NZ carries largely the same vehicles as its Australian counterpart, including vehicles with Ford's PowerShift transmission.

Tom Clancy, Ford NZ's communications & Government affairs manager, says the company is committed to providing its customers with "top quality vehicles".

"We are equally committed to addressing potential issues and responding quickly for our customers," says Mr Clancy.

"Ford's PowerShift transmission uses an advanced configuration that provides exceptional powertrain efficiency, along with the potential for unique shift feel compared with conventional automatics.

"We have addressed the majority of our customers' questions and are pleased with our ongoing improvement in customer satisfaction levels. We encourage customers to work with their local dealers on their individual circumstances."

The Australian lawsuit is being proposed by Bannister Law, which claims the newly updated transmission is "defective" because it "slips, bucks, jerks, and harshly engages when driven".

"Customers ... believe there is clearly a problem with this particular gearbox, some people have returned to dealerships to get their cars fixed up to 10 times for repair or replacement, while others are being asked to sign confidentiality agreements in order to get a refund," said Charles Bannister of Bannister Law.

"We believe these faults constitute major defects and trigger a full refund under Australian Consumer Law."


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