On Sunday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that they are opening an investigation into 26,000 2011-2012 Mustangs equipped with the MT82 transmission built jointly by Ford and Getrag in China. According to Jalopnik, the NHTSA probe is based upon 32 complaints made to the agency regarding issues of erratic shifting behavior that nearly caused a collision with adjacent vehicles, or occurred while merging or turning left across oncoming traffic, also nearly causing a collision. No injuries or collisions have been reported to NHTSA as a result of these transmission problems, just several close calls.
Jalopnik is further reporting the potential root of the problem. Their insider claims that Ford was attempting to save money by using an older version of the Getrag transmission, which had a design drawback–a gear rattle–which can be quieted by using thicker transmission fluid. However, the thicker fluid can cause gears to slip, creating extra wear and missed/notchy shifting. Additionally, some of the bolts holding the clutch can loosen because Ford didn’t specify bolt thread locker. Ford’s switched back to the less thick transmission fluid, which fixes the problems, but causes the rattles to come back. According to some owners of these cars, some Ford representatives have said that this is just how the transmission is supposed to work.
Meanwhile, while the NHTSA investigation won’t necessarily lead to a recall, it will bring to light Ford’s knowledge of the problem, and what they’re doing to combat it. We’ll keep tabs on it for you and let you know if this turns into a full fledged recall.
If you own a 2011-2012 Mustang with a manual, have you experienced any of these problems?