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Ford to fight ACCC car faults allegations

Car maker Ford Australia says it has worked with customers to repair transmission problems in some of its vehicles and will fight allegations of misleading and deceptive conduct made against it by the consumer watchdog.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is taking action in the Federal Court against Ford Australia over its handling of complaints by customers who had problems with Ford Focus, Fiesta and EcoSport vehicles with PowerShift transmissions bought between 2011 and 2016.

About half of 70,000 cars sold had at least one repair relating to the transmission, the ACCC says, with customers complaining about excessive shuddering and jerking when accelerating, loss of gear selection, sudden loss of power and excessive noise.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims alleges from 2011 to May 2015, Ford Australia refused to provide a refund or replacement vehicle to most buyers even after multiple repairs had failed to fix the problem.

It is also alleged that from May 2015 until at least November 2016, Ford Australia told customers they could only get a replacement car if they paid towards the new vehicle under an "owner loyalty program" introduced in response to complaints.

Chief executive Graeme Whickman said Ford Australia strongly rejected the ACCC allegations, which the car marker would vigorously challenge in court.

"We acknowledge that some customers may have had a poor experience when the PowerShift transmission issues first came to light; we are sorry for that but we have been working hard to fix that," he told reporters in Melbourne on Wednesday.

He said repairs were available on PowerShift transmission issues and all new cars on the market have the latest updates.

Austrlaian Associated PressBack to Breaking News

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