Newspaper: Ford knew Focus, Fiesta models had flawed transmission, sold them anyway

The carmaker says that it's not a safety problem if your car slips into neutral on the highway.

By Phoebe Wall Howard / Detroit Free Press

Ford Motor Co. knowingly launched two low-priced, fuel-efficient cars with defective transmissions and continued selling the troubled Focus and Fiesta despite thousands of complaints and an avalanche of repairs, a Free Press investigation found.

The cars, many of which randomly lose power on freeways and have unexpectedly bolted into intersections, were put on sale in 2010-11 as the nation emerged from the Great Recession. At least 1.5 million remain on the road and continue to torment their owners — and Ford.