The 2011 Ford Mustang GT
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The NHTSA closes investigation of 2011 Ford Mustang manual transmission

Back in August, TorqueNews reported that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had opened an investigation into 2011 Ford Mustang models powered by the 5.0L V8 and the 6-speed manual transmissions after a variety of shifting issues were reported but after 4 months of research and testing – the government agency has closed the Mustang transmission investigation with no further actions planned.
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When the NHTSA opened their investigation in August (click here for more on the investigation), the federal agency was looking into a variety of complaints about the 2011 Ford Mustang GT, 2012 Ford Mustang GT and the 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302. These issues ranged from excessive noise and vibration from the transmission to the inability to shift under certain circumstances but after a 4 month investigation, the NHTSA has ruled that “there is no indication of loss of motive power or unreasonable safety risk associated with the alleged defect in the subject vehicles.” No safety risk means that there is no need for a recall, even though the issues described by the complaints to the NHTSA can certainly prove to be an annoyance for owners.

During the NHTSA investigation, the group’s Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) looked at complaint information provided by Ford Motor Company as well as complaints issued directly to the federal agency with a total of 364 complaints from 2011 and 2012 Ford Mustang owners. In November, Ford Motor Company addressed the most frequent complaints about the 2011 and 2012 Mustang GT and Boss 302 with a variety of technical service bulletins (TSB), which surely contributed to the decision by the NHTSA to close the investigation without any further actions or recalls.

The key concerns addressed by the NHTSA investigation of the 2011 and 2012 Mustang were shift quality in cold conditions, clutch stay-out at high speeds, grinding gears and gradual loosening of clutch plate bolts in early versions of the 2011 Mustang GT. The majority of the complaints related to difficulty in shifting while the car was not warmed up but Ford Motor Company was quick to point out that this was not a defect, but was caused by increased transmission fluid viscosity in colder conditions. Ford issued TSB 11-3-18 to address this issue, having dealership technicians install lower viscosity fluid for those owners experiencing these cold shifting issues.

Next, Ford addressed the clutch stay-out issue, point out that it generally only occurs at higher speeds and engine rpm above 4,000 but most importantly – it does not directly prevent the selection of a gear – it just slows down the shifting process. The clutch stay-out essentially fixes itself once the engine rpms drop below 4,000 so once the engine speed drops, the driver will be able to engage the desired gear. However, Ford found that some of the clutch components as being at fault for this and they addressed the problem in TSB 10-19-4. This allowed for new replacement clutch pedal parts that should prevent stay-out issues.

A handful of 2011 and 2013 Ford Mustang GT or Boss 302 owners also complained of excessive gear clash or grinding noises when shifting. Ford stated that this was caused by aggressive shifting which in turn caused the clutch plate fasteners to work their way loose. This problem is introduced to the driver by a change in shift quality and the feel of the shifting process but like the other issues above, clutch plate fasteners working loose will not prevent gear selection unless the driver literally ignores the noises and grinding until the clutch plate fasteners fall out. Ford implemented a new design to the clutch plate fastener bolts on newer models and for those having issues with older models, the Motor Company issued a special service statement that should fix the problem. However, since this problem is gradual and doesn’t cause any immediate drivability problems – Ford has shown that a recall isn’t needed.

The final line in the statement from the NHTSA reads: There is no indication of loss of motive power or unreasonable safety risk associated with the alleged defect in the subject vehicles. This preliminary evaluation is closed.

Unfortunately for angry owners of 2011 and 2012 Ford Mustang GT and Boss 302 models, the announcement by Ford and the NHTSA’s closing of the investigation haven’t solved their problems but with such a small minority of owners experiencing issues and none of them posing any safety risks – it is no surprise that the NHTSA closed the file without requiring a further action after Ford issued TSBs to address the majority of the complainants issues. For more information on Ford's announcement in November about the new 6-speed manual transmission shifting issues, click here for more information from the Mustang super-enthusiasts at MustangForums.com.

Other Ford News:
Ford Mustang under gov’t investigation for transmission problems
Ford recalls 2011 F150, 2012 Super Duty for rollaway risk
New 2013 Ford Fusion app combines marketing with fun
Ford Racing brings out the 2013 Mustang Cobra Jet racer to PRI
Ford unveils the 2013 Mustang Boss 302SX Concept at PRI
Gotta Have It Green debuts on the 2013 Ford Mustang GT at PRI


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Comments

Last Ford for me. I would like to have been at least kissed before getting fu**ed. These trannies are turds, and Ford knows it.
get yourself a sonic i hear they are turds without brake pads LOL WHAT A JOKE
Get a sonic? lol That crappy Chevy hatchback? This is only affecting a SMALL percentage of owners. A few hundred of the tens of thousands that are sold. Follow the TSBs and quit pounding the car while it is cold and not broken in yet and they won't fail. If that doesn't satisfy you then get a Camaro, because hatchbacks are stupid.
Get a sonic? lol That crappy Chevy hatchback? This is only affecting a SMALL percentage of owners. A few hundred of the tens of thousands that are sold. Follow the TSBs and quit pounding the car while it is cold and not broken in yet and they won't fail. If that doesn't satisfy you then get a Camaro, because hatchbacks are stupid.
I have Owens 2 - 2011 mustang gts and 1- 2012 mustang boss 302 ALL OF THEM Had transmission issue, currently my 2012 boss 302 is at the ford dealership for 4 days now with a broken transmission that caused my car to leak fluid out and it had to be taken out of the car and then pulled apart. Was tol this was an error from factory when assembled. My car only has 7226 miles on it and is driven normally, no doing anything close to have any reason for the tranny to brake, heard a loud pop and braking metal while on the highway in 6th gear doing 65 mph.... The ford dealership technicians tried to tell me the car was leaking oil from me performing my own oil change at a friends garage up on a lift. Yet, my car was leaking tranny and they avoided the issue until I demanded they start the car and look under it with a light to check. Needless to say, he came back 10 mins later and said " I have bad news for you,... Your transmission has to come out of the car and be taken apart, I see its leaking somewheres by the bell housing" I responded, " you think?" seriously, where does ford get these people? You watch the commercials and ford tells you to go to your local ford dealer for service from " trained technicians" etc. yet they offer that advice without even checking to see if the mechanics at the dealerships can even perform the work. My dealership tried to make me take the keys and car back instead of checking the tranny... Yet no signs pointed to an oil leak. And thought I was going to pay them 1 hour of labor fee and blame me for somehow being stupid! I paid $50+ k for the car only to be treated poorly by the service dept, the dealership in general including managers!! Ford better take a good look at what advice they give people who spend that kind of money for one of there so called "the best mustang ford ever produced " 2012 mustang boss 302... The welcome pack they send you a few months after I bought the car, shows everyone including ford racing beating the hell outta the cars and goes as far to say " this is what there made for & are bread to race," calling it "a racecar with a license plate" yet mine couldn't handle normal driving without issues. It's crazy to believe them after this happened to me. The dealerships just top off my crap sandwich with sprinkles of their own garbage. Ford customer care 800 number, DOESN'T EVEN CARE! They have an agreement that prevents them for taking responsibility for anything involving the dealer or anything the dealership employees have done wrong. From fraud to false advertising to the bait and switch tactic that tons of them use on innocent unsuspecting buyers. Again. Ford doesn't care about it and claim there is " nothing they can do because of a franchise agreement that they have with the dealerships" thus allowing the dealerships to get away with doing shady and wrong stuff to their customers because they were dumb enough to want to buy a ford. Well this is my last ford I will ever buy and I pray to god, they fix my 2012 mustang boss 302 car correctly! I don't beat on the car in any way, shape or manner. It is my pride and joy. I am unable to have children so I have mustangs because I love them but honestly the price of these cars for the quality you get in return is below average and there is issues from the engine ticks after the 1st oil change, issues with the transmissions from shifting to braking.
I have Owned 2 - 2011 mustang gts and 1- 2012 mustang boss 302 ALL OF THEM Had transmission issues, currently my 2012 boss 302 is at the ford dealership for 4 days now with a broken transmission that caused my car to leak fluid out and the tranny had to be taken out of the car and then pulled apart. Was told this was an error from factory when assembled. My car only has 7226 miles on it and is driven normally, never doing anything close to have any reason for the tranny to brake, heard a loud pop and braking metal while on the highway in 6th gear doing 65 mph.... The ford dealership technicians tried to tell me the car was leaking oil from me performing my own oil change at a friends garage up on a lift. Yet, my car was now low on oil nor was it leaking any. The leak only started after the noise of a part braking was heard by me, I stopped to look and could see the fluid all over the tranny and it was leaking tranny. Guys, even common sense told me a non trained person that it was the transmission. Yet they avoided the issue until I demanded they start the car and look under it with a light to check because they didnt even peek at what i had told them i had heard and saw. That kinda stuff leads me to believe they are dumb and don't care that your car is broken. Yes, i understand it is not theirs but wtf? Needless to say, he came back 10 mins or so later and said " I have bad news for you,... Your transmission has to come out of the car and be taken apart to find what is leaking, I see its leaking somewheres by the bell housing now and I can rule out its oil" I responded, " you think?" seriously, where does ford and the dealerships get these people? Im sure they will say once again, we have nothing to o with it. Yet you have to buy a ford from a ford dealership and ford also makes the incentives MSRP used in your sale, yet claim " we cant and don't get involved in the sale of a new ford" but they do. Think about it. You watch the commercials and ford tells you to go to your local ford dealer for service from " trained technicians" " best price on new tires" yet they offer that advice to ford pwners as a whole in the commercials without even checking to see if the mechanics at the dealerships can even perform the work they claim they are trained to do. My dealership tried to make me take the keys and car back instead of checking the tranny... Yet no signs pointed to an oil leak. And thought I was going to pay them 1 hour of labor fee and blame me for somehow being stupid! I paid $50+ k for the car only to be treated poorly by the service dept, the dealership in general including managers!! Ford better take a good look at what advice they give people who spend that kind of money for one of there so called "the best mustang ford ever produced " 2012 mustang boss 302... The welcome pack they send you a few months after I bought the car, shows everyone including ford racing beating the hell outta the cars and goes as far to say " this is what there made for & are bread to race," calling it "a racecar with a license plate" yet mine couldn't handle normal driving without issues. It's crazy to believe them after this happened to me. The dealerships just top off my crap sandwich with sprinkles of their own garbage. Ford customer care 800 number, DOESN'T EVEN CARE! They have an agreement that prevents them for taking responsibility for anything involving the dealer or anything the dealership employees have done wrong. From fraud to false advertising to the bait and switch tactic that tons of them use on innocent unsuspecting buyers. Again. Ford doesn't care about it and claim there is " nothing they can do because of a franchise agreement that they have with the dealerships" thus allowing the dealerships to get away with doing shady and wrong stuff to their customers because they were dumb enough to want to buy a ford. Well this is my last ford I will ever buy and I pray to god, they fix my 2012 mustang boss 302 car correctly! I just got a phone call earlier today from dealership where my cars at being fixed, to be told, we damaged your shifting when taking out the transmission And we don't know how soon we can get a new knob a d get it put on for you, so now your going to not bramble to pick the car up before it snows and were not even sure when or how long it will take to replace the knob. Again, what the heck is wrong with these rocket scientists? Now i have to fully inspect my car top to bottom when I go pick it up, whenever they decide to finish something they ruined while claiming to be fixing it. Yes, I know it's messed up. That's my point! Important: i don't beat on the car in any way, shape or manner. It is my pride and joy. I am unable to have children so I have mustangs because I love them but honestly the price of these cars for the quality you get in return is in your new ford mustang is below average standards to me and there is issues from the engine ticks after the 1st oil change, issues with the transmissions from shifting to squeaky brakes after only 4k miles on all 3 of the mustangs I have owned in the past 2 years!
I could go on and on but I won't because it's useless to tell ford anything! I came on here tonight to make people aware of what I experienced with all my new ford mustangs and how your treated by dealerships when there is a problem with the car as well as issues that they actually cause themselves by being stupid and or not properly trained. Yes, I have 1 witness to this treatment as well as ford motor co customer care line says they have it all documented. I wonder why we have issues with American products instead of a great product like it was said to be and or expected.
My boss 302 is still at the dealership, ford motor co called them today because they apparently wanted to mess with me. Thus the dealership now claims two days isn't enough for them to replace my boss 302 s shifting knob that they damaged while fixing my broken transmission. Weird thing is, I let ford motor co customer care know of my situation and that I felt Ford owes me something for my constant headaches dealing with their dealerships. I have spent over $150k on new ford vehicles in the past 2yrs, 4 months and have all kinds of bad. Including now, 3 mustangs that have been damaged by the dealerships so called "trained technicians" it's sickening to learn that the only thing they are trained to do is brake or damage your vehicles while in 4 service which was due to defective parts on my brand new cars or people's neglect to even care about the fact that my 2012 boss 302 is my baby which I truly care for this car unlike another. Absolutely love it. This I obviously get upset when people at the dealership don't have a brain in their heads... What the heck are they doing there then? Well besides to mess my vehicles up anyways. It's ridiculous at best. If my car doesn't get returned in the same shape I left it in when it went in for service and or if a bunch of miles beyond a reasonable amount for the drive were put on it or if my tires got burned off by some idiots, I'm gonna totally flip my **** and I will obviously call ford motor co and the police! I'm pretty sure that this has happened based on what I have experienced thus far from your new england ford dealers. Again, it's sickening that people take advantage of ford vehicle owners when their vehicle is already broken. They basically kick me when I'm down and don't see a single issue with why it's wrong. If I mention any of it, they treat me worse and somehow I'm made out to be the bad guy. Let's pray this didn't happen! Have you driven a ford lately?