This class action alleges that Ford has equipped its 2017-2020 F-150 trucks with a defective transmission system—the 10R80 ten-speed automatic transmission. The complaint is mostly the same as one filed four days earlier on the same topic, but this case is for truck owners or lessees in Pennsylvania, while the earlier one is for those in Massachusetts.
The class for this action is all persons in Pennsylvania who formerly or currently own or lease a 2017 to 2020 model year Ford F-150 truck with a 10R80 ten-speed automatic transmission.
The Ford F-Series pickup trucks have been the best-selling pickups in the US for the past forty-two years. However, the complaint alleges that the current transmission shifts “abruptly and harshly” which causes the vehicles to “unexpectedly surge, hesitate, and jerk” and can pose safety issues.
In its marketing materials, Ford touts the ten-speed transmission, saying, “Compared with the 6-speed, the 10-speed delivers improved overall performance, with enhanced acceleration at the low and mid ranges of the power band.” It also says that “the innovative 10-speed automatic transmission with SelectShift® capability helps deliver higher average power for acceleration—improving responsiveness and performance.”
However, the complaint claims that this ignores a major problem with the transmission, and that Ford has issued three previous recalls for the truck. One, it says, was for 2011 and 2013 F-150s with six-speed transmissions: “In that recall approximately 1.48 million F-150 trucks had a defect that can cause the truck to unexpectedly downshift into first gear causing accidents and injury to drivers.”
According to the complaint, the problems with the ten-speed transmission are similar. One aspect of the problem seems to be a loud clunking noise when the driver starts the vehicle. “Other drivers complain that their transmissions slip gears, jerk, and/or shift roughly.”
As reported in a posting at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “a vehicle lost all power while accelerating through an intersection and the transmission failed to shift up or down. In another complaint, an F-150 would repeatedly stay stuck in the same gear, making the truck inoperable for several hours at a time.”
The plaintiff in this case, Victor Orndorff, bought his truck new in the fall of 2018 and began having trouble with it when it had only around 6,000 miles on it. It shifted gears in a “rough” manner “with unusually long shift times causing the vehicle to decelerate in an unsafe manner while driving.” He has taken the truck to three different dealerships for repair, but all have told him there is no fix for the problem.
Ford is aware that the problem exists; the complaint says it has issued at least two Technical Service Bulletins on the problem. However, Ford says that the issues are normal.