Ford's gear-box scandal reaches Vietnam

18:59 | 29/05/2018
Facing the newest gear-box scandal from a class-action lawsuit brought by 76 Vietnamese car owners, Ford Vietnam's representative has confirmed to VIR that it is trying the best to resolve its customers' complaints in the most effective manner.
fords gear box scandal reaches vietnam
Vo Quoc Binh's Ford Focus. Photo: zing.vn

In the afternoon of May 28, 76 Ford owners using Powershift gear-boxes filed a lawsuit against Ford Vietnam Ltd. at the Hai Duong People’s Court for the defective powershift gear-boxes and bad after-sales services at official dealers.

Vo Quoc Binh (District 1, Ho Chi Minh City) on behalf of the 76 owners of Focus, Fiesta, and EcoSport vehicles, sued the car manufacturer.

These 76 people have purchased Ford vehicles manufactured between 2011 and 2017 by Ford Vietnam.

These cars feature Powershift gear-boxes which developed common defects, including shaking, bucking, and delayed acceleration, and lurching.

This also led to alarm signals displayed on the dashboard, such as “Transmission hot, wait five minutes,” “Transmission overheating, Stop safety,” and “Transmission malfunction service now.”

According to the lawsuit, the Ford vehicle owners claim that Ford Vietnam falsely advertised the gear-boxes’ quality, potentially endangering drivers and passengers.

laodong.vn quoted the content of lawsuit: “Despite Ford Vietnam releasing statements to repair these vehicles and extending gear-box warranties, Ford dealers’ consultants found ways to blame customers for these errors and forced customers to pay for the warranty. In addition, repair services by Ford Vietnam have not fixed these errors completely.”

The 76 vehicle owners asked the Hai Duong People’s Court to order Ford Vietnam to recall these cars, repair and replace the Powershift gear-boxes of EcoSport, Fiesta, and Focus vehicles in Vietnam free of charge; make a commitment to assure quality in accordance with regulations; compensate customers who suffered damage from gear-box failures; publicly apologise to all customers who suffered damage; and return the warranty payments demanded by the dealerships.

fords gear box scandal reaches vietnam
"Transmission malfunction service now" (Photo: vnexpress.vn)

On the same day, these 76 car owners also sent complaints with similar contents to the prime minister, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Transport and the Vietnam Register.

Regarding Binh's complaints, Ford Vietnam's representative confirmed to VIR that: "We have many times worked with Binh to resolve the issue, but failed. In addition, Binh also asked for an unreasonable compensation of up to 10 times of his car's current value."

The representative also said that customers suffering from gear boxes' damage should bring their cars to Ford Vietnam's dealers as soon as possibile so that they can be properly consulted, and thus their car problems can be fixed.

Besides, bangkokpost.com also stated that the Thai Civil Court on May 22 received a class-action lawsuit of 308 Thailand owners of Ford EcoSport, Fiestar, and Focus vehicles against Ford Thailand’s branches—including Ford Motor, Ford Sales and Services, Ford Operations, and Ford Services—requiring the firm to compensate THB24 million ($752,000) for the defective Powershift gear-boxes.

Ford gets record fine in Australia for 'unconscionable' conduct

On April 29, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) proposed a fine of AUD10 million ($7.565 million) for unconscionable conduct in the repair and replacement of Powership gear-boxes of 10,500 Ford vehicles manufactured between 2011 and 2015, including EcoSport, Fiestar, and Focus vehicles.

The issue quickly spread to Vietnam and made local car owners worried. zing.vn quoted Ford Vietnam’s representative as saying that ACCC’s decision only related to Ford branches in Australia and the country’s regulations.

Regarding the gear-box failures in Vietnam, Ford Vietnam’s representative said: “We are continuing to work in accordance with the company’s policies to resolve any customer's complaints.”

By Van Anh

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