Watchdog: Ford gets in gear after auto clutch dispute

Dealer twice failed to spot auto box judder, but technician test drive proves owner right

Clutch problems are always a tricky subject between manufacturers and drivers, and often lead to warranty disputes. This is because clutch failure can be down to aggressive and improper driving as much as manufacturing faults.

What made for an unusual case between Ford and David Burgess, of Chesham, Bucks, was that his 2014 Ford Fiesta had an automatic transmission. David had bought the car for his daughter to use for commuting, but soon after they took delivery the clutch started to judder. David returned the Fiesta to supplying dealer Priests Ford, which found no faults with it, but still remapped the transmission twice.

However, the judder persisted, and David was adamant the problem wasn’t just down to gearbox mapping. He called Ford once more and asked for a replacement clutch, but was told that, as no fault had been found, there’d be no replacement.

“The judder has ruined the driving experience for me and my daughter, made worse by Ford being unable to replicate or find the fault,” a frustrated David told our sister magazine, Auto Express.

Auto Express took the issue up with Ford directly. The company reopened David’s customer case to investigate the problem again. “Ford agreed to send a technician to meet me and drive the car to see if the clutch juddered,” David explained.

The pair took the car for a 26-mile test drive. David said: “I drove the car, and the fault replicated itself several times during the journey. The technician had his laptop connected to the car, and he recorded the whole event.” Shortly after, the dealership asked David if it could inspect the clutch once more. “After a few days, I received a call from Ford to say the clutch pack had been replaced and I could collect the car,” David continued. “I then drove the Fiesta home without a single issue.”

He handed the car back to his daughter, who was delighted with the fix. A Ford spokeswoman told us: “After Auto Express got in contact, it was suggested that a drive appraisal with a Ford technician be carried out to determine if clutch judder existed. After a drive with Mr Burgess, the technician advised that the clutch pack be replaced.”

Recommended

Cheap fun cars: our picks from £1,000 to £10,000
Honda Civic Type R front
Toyota
21 Jun 2022

Cheap fun cars: our picks from £1,000 to £10,000

Top 10 best new cars under £20,000
Renault Clio front corner
Best cars
3 Jun 2022

Top 10 best new cars under £20,000

London ULEZ: what is the Ultra Low Emission Zone?
ULEZ Zone
Tips and advice
26 May 2022

London ULEZ: what is the Ultra Low Emission Zone?

Ford Fiesta three-door cancelled
Fiesta 3-door
News
22 Apr 2022

Ford Fiesta three-door cancelled

Most Popular

Engine management light: top 5 causes of amber engine warning light
Engine management light: top 5 causes of amber engine warning light
Car technology
22 Jun 2022

Engine management light: top 5 causes of amber engine warning light

Top 10 cheapest electric cars 2022
2021 Citroen Ami
Best cars
16 Jun 2022

Top 10 cheapest electric cars 2022

Top 10 best electric SUVs 2022
Skoda Enyaq charging
Best cars
24 Jun 2022

Top 10 best electric SUVs 2022

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
23 Mar 2022

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
5 Nov 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Car buying
17 May 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
20 Jun 2022

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2022
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022
Ioniq 5
Best cars
25 Apr 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022
Nissan Leaf front
Best cars
3 May 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022
Audi RS 3 driving - front view
Hot hatches
24 Jun 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022