NHTSA opens investigation into 6-speed manual transmission on 2011-2012 Ford Mustangs

Over the weekend, the NHTSA announced that it was opening an investigation after receiving 32 complaints from owners of 2011-2012 Ford Mustangs with the 6-speed manual transmission. The transmission used in the cars is made by a joint venture of Ford and Getrag with assembly in China and is called the MT-82. The reports filed with the NHTSA allege several different issues with the transmission.

The complaints center on the inability to shift into gears when driving the car normally and crunching or grinding on shifts. The investigation is looking at the transmission on both 6-cylinder Mustangs and the 5.0-liter Mustang GT as well as the 2012 Boss 302. Ford has previously issued a technical service bulletin or TSB that offered a proposed fix for the crunching and grinding by replacing the fluid inside the transmission with a different weight. Many users reported no change in shifting after having the TSB fix applied.

I happen to own a 2012 Boss 302 and my car is affected by the shifting issue often referred to as lockout. The first time the issue occurred on my car was at a road course event. Not expecting issues with the car, I was recording the laps with a windshield-mounted camera, so you can't see hands or the shifter in the video. You can though hear that at the start of the session in part one of the video below I was able to shift without any issues.

Towards the 7:30 mark in part one the car suddenly refuses to go from third to fourth gear smoothly and starting in part two the inability to shift into fourth gear happens with almost every shift at high RPM. The transmission goes from third to sixth rather than fourth gear typically in my case. If you just want to hear the shift issue, skip to video two. I put the first video up simply for reference to show the car was shifting normally to start with.

What you can see in the video is that the clutch pedal started feeling very spongy and was not returning to the fully disengaged position when I removed my foot from the pedal. The clutch pedal was only releasing about an inch before becoming stuck and it would only fully disengage after the RPMs dropped. The shifts on the front straight where you can see the paddock building in the background are at about 7500 RPM at roughly 80 mph-100 mph.

It's worth noting that the instructor in the car with me is baffled by the shift issue as well, at one point he thinks I am making a shift error hitting the gates and I tell him that the pedal feels weird. This shift issue also happens on the street as well. There may be some language on the video, the instructor drops the f-bomb at times so be warned.

[via Fox News]