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Ford Focus/Fiesta DPS6 Transmission Trial

Consumer Victorious in Lemon Law and Fraud Claims Against Ford Motor Company

Lemon Law Case Summary – Myers v. Ford

This Case in the News: https://www.freep.com/story/money/cars/ford/2019/05/09/ford-focus-fiesta-transmission-lawsuit/1119773001/

Between 2011 and 2017, Ford Motor Company designed, manufactured, and installed the DPS6 transmission in millions of consumer vehicles around the world, including the United States. While Ford marketed the transmission as revolutionary and reliable, it was anything but. Ford itself issued more than 50 Technical Service Bulletins on just the defects in this transmission alone, which Ford attorneys argued was evidence of “continuous improvement” by Ford.

Altman client Ariel Myers unfortunately purchased a Ford with this defective transmission. Rather than joining in on the class action, Mr. Myers smartly elected to litigate on his own. Ford refused to reasonably settle the case, so it went to trial.

On March 20, 2018, Mr. Altman was the lead in a jury trial involving the DPS6 Powershift transmission, Myers v. Ford Motor Company, Los Angeles, County Superior Court, Case No. BC638302. The trial lasted for three weeks and involved California lemon law claims and fraud claims against Ford.

Song-Beverly Success 100%
Civil Penalty Success 100%
Successful Outcome at Trial 100%

Mr. Myers filed a lawsuit against Ford for violations of the Song-Beverly Act (lemon law) and for various causes of fraud for intentionally concealing the knowledge of the defects in the transmission.

Case Background

Bryan Altman
Bryan Altman and his son in a Santa Monica restaurant in fall 2018

For Ford Motor Company, the issue of massive potential liability for the acts of its dealerships for failing to repair the defects in the DPS6 transmission is extremely important. Ford repeatedly attempted to side-step liability by finger pointing the blame on others or downplaying the problems as trivial. However, Ford’s own internal emails and presentations indicated that Ford knew the DPS6 transmission was defective and it was costing them tens of millions of dollars per quarter in repair costs. Ford scrambled for more than 5 years to try to arrive at a fix, but every single solution Ford came up with created other problems or simply failed again.

Further, just about 2 years after launch, Ford was internally actively searching to replace the DPS6 transmission because of the inherent defects, but continued to market and sell them to the public as providing a sporty, reliable transmission. Clients like Mr. Myers had no real choice about the transmission as the DPS6 was the only automatic transmission available in Fords Focus and Fiesta vehicles. Ford internal documents demonstrated the true size of the problem – Ford’s own engineers and accountants estimated the DPS6 transmission problems would cost Ford $650,000,000 through calendar year 2019, yet Ford said nothing to the public about this.


At the Myers trial, Ford actually admitted to a willful violation of the Song-Beverly Act and stipulated to a damages amount. The jury returned a verdict of compensatory damages in the amount of $54,364 and an additional $500,000.00 in punitive damages. The total judgment, inclusive of the $132,141.03 in Song-Beverly Act damages, was $632,141.03 plus prejudgment interest of $12,980.40.

I achieved a total judgment that was approximately 11 ½ times the value of the vehicle for Mr. Myers.


Despite Ford hiring the very best attorneys to fight Mr. Myers in court, they were entirely unsuccessful at convincing a jury that Ford knew nothing about the extensive problems with the transmission. This trial victory was the first individual DPS6  case to go to trial in California and set the benchmark for other cases going forward.

  • Attorney Bryan Altman and his team successfully litigated against Ford Motor Company for the faulty DPS6 transmission.
  • The jury returned a verdict in favor of the Plaintiff.
  • Despite the heavy spending by Ford Motor Company on the best attorneys Ford’s money could buy, Ford’s aggressive litigation tactics backfired and the jury substantially punished Ford with a verdict that was approximately 11.5 times the value of the underlying vehicle.