NHTSA Opens Investigation Into Ford Mustang Transmission Issues

By Carl Malek

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has begun looking into possible transmission issues in the 2011-2012 Ford Mustang. The NHTSA has received over 32 complaints ,which claim that the transmission is unable to shift gears when the vehicle is moving at speed.

Over 26,000 manual transmission-equipped V6 and V8 powered Mustangs from 2011-2012 are affected by the NHTSA’s investigation into the matter. Many of the reports and complaints received by the NHTSA regarding this issue appear to indicate that drivers are having difficulty engaging 1st, 2nd, and 3rd gears when up-shifting and down-shifting especially when the transmission is cold. However, there are other reports that describe a grinding nosie as well as other issues with the gears when upshifts or downshifts are performed.

It is important to note that the current generation Mustang utilizes the MT82 transmission, which is made by Getrag in China. Besides seeing duty in the Ford Mustang, the MT82 is also used in the Land Rover Defender with owners of those vehicle reporting similar problems. To date, no injuries or accidents have been reported to the NHTSA, but a few close calls have occured due to the problem.

The NHTSA usually investigates a particular vehicle problem for about one year before determining whether it is necessary to upgrade the probe into a formal engineering analysis of the component in question.  Typically, an NHTSA investigation ends before it reaches the engineering analysis stage. This happens when either the automaker in question issues a formal recall for the problem, or when the government is forced to end the probe due to a lack of evidence or other factors that might come up during the course of the investigation.

In a statement released to the Detroit News, Ford says that it is aware of the investigation and is willing to fully cooperate with the NHTSA in their investigation.  The company also stated that they will work with the agency to find a solution to the problem.

Author: Carl Malek

Carl Malek is Autosavant’s resident German car fanatic and follower of all things General Motors. Carl first entered the world of automotive journalism as a freelance photographer during his freshman year of college before making the switch to automotive writing several years later. Carl developed an interest in cars at an early age, which helped him overcome the challenges of a learning disability in mathematics. In addition to writing for Autosavant community, Carl also contributes to many car forums and enjoys attending automotive events in the Metro Detroit area with his family. Carl’s message for others with learning disorders is to believe in yourself, be persistent, and face all challenges head on.

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5 Comments

  1. I was desperately hoping Ford would find a solution to this, but after reading numerous Mustang blogs, complete with comments from Ford customer support, it’s apparent Ford has no idea how to fix this problem. It could be a manufacturing issue, either in the metals used, or the method. Either way, this coupled with the poorly designed and executed MyFordTouch definitely puts a bit of tarnish on the recently-shiny blue oval.

  2. If you think this is bad, and they have been making transmissions as long as their are cars imagine what headaches the ‘start-stop” technologie could bring to the table!

  3. The main problem with that is the QC in their supplier from China is not effective or totally nonexistent. It is actually both Ford’s and the supplier’s problem in that Ford should have conducted proper quality oversight while the supplier should have done internal QC on it.

  4. Too bad Ford cheaped out and sourced their transmissions from China. Penny wise and pound foolish.
    If you think these are bad, just wait ’til Chery and FYD start exporting entire cars to the U.S.

  5. And Ford’s getting a lot of complaints about the PowerShift transmission, too, but right now the company is putting it off as a perception issue … that customers just aren’t used to the way the unit works so the they perceive it’s a problem.

    We’ll see.

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