Ford Australia fined $10m after mishandling complaints

Car manufacturer Ford has been fined $10 million over mistreatment of its customers.

The Australian company has admitted it mishandled thousands of complaints from people who bought vehicles that shuddered, jerked or lost power because of faulty transmissions, 7 News reports.

Australia's consumer watchdog initially took action against Ford over dealings with customers between May 2015 and February 2016.

Appearing in the Australian Federal Court on Tuesday, the company was fined for engaging in unconscionable conduct, in breach of consumer law.

It dealt with complaints relating to troubled PowerShift transmissions on Ford's Focus, Fiesta and EcoSport models.

"We took too long to identify the issues and we acknowledge that PowerShift customers did not have complaints handled appropriately," Ford Australia's chief executive Graeme Whickman said in a statement.