NHTSA drops investigation of Mustang’s MT-82 transmission

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has said that a recall of the Mustang’s MT-82 transmission is not required. There apparently were over 350 complaints. There would seem to be more than that from the forum chatter. I hope Ford is still listening and wants to resolve these problems.

Ford had this to say:

“As a result of Ford’s monitoring of these customer concerns, observations by dealer service personnel and Fords Field service personnel, and vehicle inspections we have concluded that the reports generally relate to customer unfamiliarity with the performance style shifter with its narrow gates, the skip-shift feature, vehicle modifications, and vehicle abuse.”

This is true in some situations but not all. And I think its a joke to call the factory hardware performance style. Yeah in style only not in real function. I blame ford for going cheap here. And i wish people would quit saying it because its Built in China. The Chinese company builds it to the specs it was designed to. Ford has made several minor changes in the MT-82 transmission, listed below,  but I still thing they have a more serious design flaw in the clutch disengagement. Personally I am looking forward to the Tremec replacement.

04/26/2010: Revised Clutch Pedal Return Spring
For clutch stay-out at high RPMs

01/07/2011: Revised Clutch Spring Finger Height
For clutch stay-out at high RPMs

10/19/2010: Revised fastener/thread locker
Addresses clutch fastener back out

09/07/2010: Changed 5th/6th gear surface finish
Addresses grinding during 5th gear shifts

07/25/2011: Added phosphate coating to gears
Reduces gear noise

07/25/2011: Lower viscosity lubricant
To reduce shift effort in all temps

08/31/2011: Changed clearance between 2nd gear friction ring & cone
Resolve ring to gear face contact and gear clash

02/25/2011: Fourth gear weld incomplete during production
Process verification to ensure complete gear welding

07/01/2011: Vehicle message center
Extended skip-shift illumination time so drivers aware of engagement

The NHTSA had this to say about the Ford Mustang MT-82 Transmission Issues.

The Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) analyzed complaint data provided by Ford as well as complaints submitted to ODI from consumers. In total, there were 364 unique reports indicating various shift quality issues while driving. Ford identified several factors that may contribute to shift quality concerns in the subject vehicles, including cold transmission, clutch stay-out at high engine speeds, gear clash or grinding, and gradual loosening of clutch plate bolts in some early production vehicles. The largest percentage of complaints indicated higher than expected shift efforts in cold ambient temperatures. These complaints were related to transmission fluid viscosity and the higher shift efforts resolved themselves with the drivetrain warming. Ford published technical service bulletin TSB 11-3-18 to inform technicians that a lower viscosity fluid was available for use to address the cold shift issues. The clutch stay-out condition typically occurs at engine speeds greater than 4000 rpm. It does not prevent the selection of any gear, but may delay clutch re-engagement depending on how long the driver maintains the higher engine speed. Ford identified rotating inertia of the clutch components as the root cause and replacement clutch pedal parts were made available under Ford TSB 10-19-4. A number of reports alleged increasing difficulty selecting gears along with gear clash or grinding. Grinding or notchy gear shifts may be caused by gradual loosening of clutch plate fasteners, which is promoted by certain aggressive shifting. This condition is progressive in nature and initially results in symptoms related to shift quality/feel. Clutch plate bolt loosening will not result in inability to select any gear unless the progressive symptoms are ignored until complete clutch failure occurs. ODI’s analysis identified only five complaints alleging an inability to shift into gear due to loose clutch plate bolts. None of these resulted in a stall and gear shifting could occur before engine start. A revised fastener was designed and implemented in production and is available for service through a special service message. 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.