UPDATED 1 October 2011: For readers who haven’t been following this mess with the new Mustang’s 6-speed manual transmission, and Ford’s total silence and lack of warranty support on the issue thru two model years, read more via the MT82 tag: DrivingEnthusiast.net MT82 posts.
Now the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has started an investigation into the problems 2011 & 2012 Mustang V-6, GT and Boss owners are experiencing with Getrag MT82 manual transmissions. Read more here: Detroit News Auto Insider. Fox News. Motor Trend. The New York Times.
A recent article in USA Today (2011.07.27) covered Ford’s recent profit drive. With a particularly relevant sidebar article titled “Mulally: It’s OK to acknowledge problems“. This is an old story he tells about an early sales meeting he attended where every one of 320 charts from dozens of senior managers all showed “green” status – meaning everything was perfectly ok. Mulally asked why then the company was just about to lose 17 Billion dollars. His managers were sticking their heads in the sand, afraid to reveal the truth to him and each other.
Mulally says in the interview, about the next meeting where everybody was finally truthful in their sales forecasting, “At that moment I knew, and everybody else knew, that we had a chance now. You can’t manage a secret. It was all out in the open. And everybody was committed to helping everybody else.”
Is there a double-standard here? It seems that this practice hasn’t left the executive meeting rooms. It’s time to see this put into practice out in the field, especially for the MT82 disaster. Even though it’s going to seriously hurt the sales battle against the Camaro, addressing it would ultimately help ensure customer loyalty, which has always been a critical factor in Ford sales growth.
The following collection of videos show the problem in action, and the first reports of the NHTSA investigation.
An early symptom is considerable whining, then it often won’t shift at all.
NHTSA has officially sent Ford a directive to provide information to support the MT82 investigation. This includes engineering information, information about supporting systems (software, clutch, fluid, etc), and warranty information. The information is required to be submitted by Ford no later than 14 October 2011. Read the request here.
Image: shavings and broken teeth inside transmission