NHTSA Ends Investigation Into Mustang Manual Transmission

2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0

2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0

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Last August, we told you that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was investigating manual-transmission equipped Ford Mustangs for shifting issues, ranging from binding gears through excessive noise and vibration.

At the time, the NHTSA had amassed some 32 customer complaints, including several that alleged transmission problems had nearly led to a collision. At the heart of the issue was the Chinese-manufactured Getrag MT-82 transmission, used in 2011 and 2012 model year Mustangs.

Now comes word from Mustangs Daily that the NHTSA has completed its investigation, finding that “there is no indication of loss of motive power or unreasonable safety risk associated with the alleged defect in the subject vehicles.” In other words, there’s nothing about the manual transmission used in the Ford Mustang that would prompt the NHTSA (or Ford) to issue a recall.

The agency did cite Ford’s findings that the bulk of the shift effort complaints occurred in cold ambient temperatures. Ford has released a service bulletin recommending a lower-viscosity transmission fluid for customers complaining of cold weather shift problems, which seem to improve as the car (and transmission fluid) come to a proper operating temperature.

A clutch stay-out issue, which may prevent clutch re-engagement at engine speeds above 4,000 rpm, was blamed on the rotating inertia of the clutch components. Ford has  issued a technical service bulletin to dealers on this issue and has revised certain parts within the clutch pedal assembly.

Finally, grinding or notchy shifts were traced back to the loosening of clutch plate fasteners, which the NHTSA links to aggressive shifting. Ford has since revised the fasteners used in production, and the updated fasteners are now available through Ford’s service department.

If you’re a 2011-12 Mustang owner experiencing problems with the six-speed manual transmission, the NHTSA’s findings probably don’t come as good news. We're also curious if any owners have tried the remedies proposed by Ford, with no real improvements. If you have a six-speed Mustang from 2011 or 2012, we'd love to hear from you.

Want to read the full report of the NHTSA's findings? Head on over to the next page.

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