US fraud prosecutors demand Ford Focus, Fiesta documents

Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press on

Published in Business News

Whether the DPS6 PowerShift transmissions were defective, and whether the Ford Focus and/or Fiesta cars or vehicles incorporating those transmissions complied or did not comply with Ford's express and/or implied warranties or other obligations under the law.

Whether Ford knew or would have known that the DPS6 PowerShift transmissions were defective and could not be repaired or made to comply with Ford's warranty obligations and/or with the owner's reasonable expectations.

Whether Ford informed Getrag, the supplier of the DPS6 PowerShift transmissions, that the transmissions were defective and could not be repaired; and whether Ford made monetary demands of Getrag as compensation for increased warranty costs for the transmissions.

Whether Ford and Getrag entered into any agreement -- express or implied -- whereby Getrag paid Ford money in compensation for Ford's increased warranty costs for the DPS6 PowerShift transmission, including whether there was any agreement, desire or request to keep this monetary deal secret and/or nonpublic.

Whether Ford would or did affirmatively misrepresent to any third parties (e.g., consumers or governmental regulators, such as NHTSA, that there was nothing wrong with or defective about the transmissions.

Whether Ford concealed from owners and/or regulators that the transmission defect(s) and resulting "failure modes" (e.g., "unintended neutral"/"loss of motive power") resulted in a dangerous condition(s) that could and/or did cause accidents, injuries and /or fatalities.


Whether Ford misrepresented to owners, other consumers, and/or regulators that there was nothing wrong with or defective about the DPS6 PowerShift transmissions.

Confidential documents

Ken Stern, a Novi lawyer representing 12,300 owners of Focus and Fiesta vehicles who opted out of the class-action lawsuit, is named in the subpoena obtained by the Free Press, presumably to turn over materials he obtained during litigation. He has more lawsuits pending against Ford than any lawyer in the country.

Stern did not provide the subpoena to the Free Press. He expressed surprise that the document, kept confidential for several months, had been obtained. When asked for comment, he said Wednesday, "Due to confidentiality requirements, I'm not permitted to comment."


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