Independent car evaluator?

I’d like to hire someome to evaluate my 2013 Ford Fiesta with 1050 miles.

It’s been in the shop twice since May 10, 2013 for a week each time with a loud, jerky transmission. The clutch drum was replaced in first visit. The service guys are sympathetic, but their hands are tied by field service rep, who claims the car drives as it was “designed.” The automatic transmission on this car has been shared with the Focus for the past two years and modified from the manual. My experience is not unusual–parts back ordered. The service leader (of 4 in this dealership) works on 3 cars with same problem every week.

How do I find an independent car evaluator? I’ve called my insurance carrier and they were stumped.

I would get everything in writing, keep all the paperwork, research ‘lemon law’ in your state (just in case), join Focus and Fiesta forums to find out what others are finding, and ask to test drive one or more of their demos to see if ‘they all do it’.

Agreed, and if this turns into a Lemon Law issue you MUST have complaints and resolutions (if any) documented.

There are several sites with a number of complaints similar to yours and there is even this.


These questions may sound odd . . .

Did you test drive your vehicle before buying it?

Not a similar one, but your exact car, the one that you now own.

Did your transmission seem to shift strangely during the test drive?

For comparison’s sake, have you driven any 2013 Fiesta that you felt shifted acceptably?

I just read that nytimes blog. That was talking about 2011 model year vehicles. I would expect the 2013 models to have significant upgrades, versus the 2011 model.

I would not expect the Ford dealer to seriously listen to what the independent evaluator had to say.
Ford’s reasoning would be that they know their product far better than an outsider. They designed it and know how it’s supposed to operate.

I’m not pro Ford.

I’m just being realistic

Thanks for the info, esp NY Times article. The experience related there has been my experience. Yes, I drove the exact car I purchased. I left the dealership with 44 miles and brought it back 82 hours later with 228 miles. That’s when FORD replaced the clutch drum. I got it back for 2nd time last night and it’s jerky in 1& 2 gears and gear cover rattles. This transmission has been used since 2011 for Focus & Fiesta. The service guys are hoping the rumor is true that it’s been changed on 2014 models. The selling point for this transmission is gas mileage.

How does the shift in your car compare to a car equipped w/a manual xmission and someone with some manual xmission driving experience working the clutch and shifting the gears? Is it a lot more jerky than that? Some jerking is to be expected with this transmission, and in return you get better 0-60 times and better mpg. It’s never goin gto be quite as smooth as a normal automatic in other words. So maybe describe a little more the nature of the problem if you could.


Thanks for the update.

But you didn’t answer one of my questions

Have you driven another 2013 automatic Fiesta which you felt shifted acceptably?