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The Ford Fiesta is a compact car first introduced in 1976 and has since spanned seven generations, mainly developed and produced by European divisions. Initially conceptualized as part of the Bobcat project led by Trevor Erskine, the Fiesta emerged as a response to increased demand for smaller cars during the oil crisis. The Fiesta, Ford's smallest car at the time, was presented at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June 1976, and officially went on sale in France and Germany later that year. In the US, the models ranged from Basic to Ghia, the highest trim level, and underwent slight modifications between 1978 and 1980. The car underwent minor changes in 1981, including widened bumpers for improved crashworthiness. The second generation offered a range of trim levels and a more affordable engine variant. Despite never producing a full-fledged Fiesta hot-rod, Ford released several redesigned versions. The third-generation Fiesta, introduced in 1988 and on sale in 1989, was based on a new chassis and saw the replacement of the beam-shaped rear axle with a semi-automatic torsion beam. As the fourth generation emerged, it was sold alongside its predecessor under the name Fiesta Classic. The fourth generation maintained the same dimensions as its predecessor but showcased a new interior and exterior design.
Since its introduction in the mid-70s as an affordable transportation option, the Ford Fiesta underwent significant changes. After a pause from the North American market post-1980, it reemerged in 2011 with improved standards and innovative features such as voice-activated infotainment. An integral component of this redesign was the six-speed PowerShift dual-clutch transmission, a blend of manual agility with automatic efficiency. However, between 2011-2015, particularly in the newly redesigned Focus and Fiesta models, a series of transmission issues surfaced. Owners reported shuddering, slipping, delayed acceleration, and in some severe cases, total transmission failure. To address these challenges, Ford expanded the transmission warranty to 10 years or 150,000 miles, but this approach attracted criticism due to continuous malfunctions and associated repair delays. Furthermore, investigative reports indicated Ford's negligence, suggesting the company overlooked their engineers' reservations, thus releasing vehicles with potentially risky transmissions. These issues, including jerking, shuttering, and unexpected power loss, were glaringly present in models spanning from 2011 to 2019. Specifically, certain Fiesta models from 2011-2014 encountered transmission clutch shuddering and fluid leaks, stemming from defective input shaft seals. Addressing these problems ranged from cleansing the clutch and swapping seals to outright clutch replacements. Mishandling these repairs could aggravate seal complications. Additionally, some 2014 Fiesta variants, equipped with the 1.6L Ti-VCT engine, exhibited diagnostic concerns that necessitated software enhancements to both the Powertrain and Transmission Control Modules.
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