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Old 08-28-2018, 05:44 PM   #1
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New Toad Totaled

After spending 3K for the car hookup and brake assist with CW and purchasing a 2018 Ford Fiesta for 15K, Its totaled I think.
We hooked up the car put it in neuteral and disconnected the negative battery terminal according to Ford. Went a total of 6 miles and felt a toug on the RV at about 55mph, pulled over to check the car and seen all the fluid running out on the ground. It also had 2 4 inch holes through the center of the roof. We were able to tow it back home. Now to figure out what happened. Car some how shifted into drive at 55mph.
All is covered under Comprehensive ins. according to Geico. They took the car to the Ford dealer for an estimate on damages, looks like engine, trans and hood need to be replaced. Car only had 630 miles on it.
2018 Ford Fiesta is able to be towed 4 down according to Ford.
Negitive battery terminal was disconnected per Ford
Shifter was in neuteral.
How can a car shift itself into gear at 55mph being towed?
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Old 08-28-2018, 05:46 PM   #2
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Holes were in hood not roof.
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Old 08-28-2018, 05:52 PM   #3
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I hate to say this.......
Is it possible that you thought it was shifted into Neutral; but was really put in gear instead?

I'm sorry to hear that this happened to you...
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Old 08-28-2018, 06:05 PM   #4
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If the shifter wasn't firmly seated in the neutral detent it is possible a sharp bump caused it to jump into the next position, in this case drive.
I just had this happen with the ignition switch on our toad. Though it was in the off/unlocked position, somehow it popped into the off/locked position locking the steering. Fortunately for us it happened on a gravel drive so no damage beside my ego and some disturbed gravel.
I now double check all shifter and key positions. Let the shifter "pop" into neutral and rock it slightly to ensure it is fully in the detent.
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Old 08-28-2018, 06:15 PM   #5
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Not the first time I have heard this story about the Fiesta
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Old 08-28-2018, 06:18 PM   #6
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I know I put it in neuteral, wife has a check list before we leave home or camp sight and she checked to make sure it was in Neuteral.
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Old 08-28-2018, 06:26 PM   #7
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like us, you may have had an object hit the shifter assembly, between the engine and the transmission, engaging the engine - with no 12v power, and no lube pump or water pump operational, the engine overheated quickly and ‘exploded’, throwing engine, flywheel, and cylinder parts out, some like granade schrapnel thru the hood, and liquids from the radiator.
We remembered having a very large ‘double dump trailer’ Semi blow past us right before these ‘tugs’ happened. We later came to the assumption that the truck had thrown something from the road under and into our transmission/engine area. A later insurance inspection came to the same conclusion. We had towed our Fiesta over 60,000 successful miles over 3 Years - we knew what we were doing.

Later, when I went to find a replacement car to tow, I came across a shop who deals almost exclusively with ford fiesta and focuses, purchasing them from auctions, and repairing them to sale, They had several engine compartments torn open for me to see. What then amazed me is that the transmission shifter linkage between the engine and transmission is really open for anything to easily move it, should something hit it or make impact, while you are driving. It would then put the transmission into gear, but you’d have no way of knowing it while towing it.

Our insurance also paid me for a total loss, and it was enough to find a nice, less miles, Focus model, with a ‘rebuilt’ title, and enough to also purchase and have installed a new baseplate and wiring. We’ve towed it over 40,000 miles since : )
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Old 08-28-2018, 06:29 PM   #8
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If there's any good news to be found here: it sure seems that this is just an issue with the Ford Focus... not anything that you either did, or didn't do...

Small consolation...
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Old 08-28-2018, 06:47 PM   #9
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Same thing happened to me with a Fiesta. Toasted motor, transmission and radiator. Ford got into Fiesta computer and replaced all for zero dollars. I hated that car.
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Old 08-28-2018, 08:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Denman View Post
If there's any good news to be found here: it sure seems that this is just an issue with the Ford Focus... not anything that you either did, or didn't do...

Small consolation...
Fiesta, not Focus.
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