Ford Fined $10m For Mishandling Complaints
Car maker Ford has been fined $10 million and ordered to establish a compensation scheme over its mistreatment of customers who bought faulty vehicles.
The company admits it mishandled thousands of complaints from customers who bought vehicles that shuddered, jerked or lost power because of faulty transmissions.
Ford Australia was fined $10 million in the Federal Court on Thursday for engaging in unconscionable conduct, in breach of consumer law.
It comes after the consumer watchdog, the ACCC, took action against the car manufacturer over its dealings with customers between May 2015 and February 2016.
The complaints related to Ford's Focus, Fiesta and EcoSport models sold in Australia between 2011 and 2016, that were fitted with the problematic PowerShift transmission.
In some cases the transmission failed several times and customers were made to spend time and money on repairs and replacement vehicles.
"We took too long to identify the issues and we acknowledge that PowerShift customers did not have complaints handled appropriately," Ford Australia's chief executive Graeme Whickman said in a statement after the court hearing.