I have a brand new Ford Transit, it has only 2000 miles, the other day on the motorway the car wouldn't go into gear properly in a traffic jam. I could only use 3rd and 4th gear. I managed to get the car off the motorway but then struggled to get it in gear at the traffic lights, the car then started to smell strongly of burning. I rang the AA and they took the car to Ford and they rang me a few days later saying the clutch had burnt out and it was down to my driving.

They stated they had pictures of the burnt clutch and I would have to pay for a new clutch, I have been driving since 1987 and never had a clutch go on me before, also the car is brand new with only 2000 miles. Could this be a manufactures fault as I don't seem to be able to do anything about this as they have the so called proof of the burnt clutch?

  • If you were slipping the clutch in 3rd just to get it off the motorway then you most probably hid the original problem which may have been a slipped adjustment for 1st / 2nd. Sadly, you would have been better just pulling over on the motorway and getting recovered from there...
    – Solar Mike
    Dec 28, 2017 at 10:55

1 Answer 1


That's considered as user error.

If you have to misuse the clutch in order to be able to drive, I'm sorry to say it's entirely your fault. You cannot expect a car manufacturer to cover the costs when you are in an accident, the coolant starts leaking, and then you continue driving without the coolant. Similarly, you cannot expect a car manufacturer to cover the costs of a burned clutch if driving requires slipping the clutch.

Now, if the gear mechanism has some problems, the car manufacturer should fix these at the car manufacturer's cost. But any sane driver with a broken gearbox would stop and have the car towed, especially if it has only 2000 miles. If you had done this, the car manufacturer could perhaps depending on the warranty even cover the costs of having the car towed to the dealers.

As far as I know, no insurance covers these kinds of user errors either. So you really have no option other than to pay the clutch replacement yourself.

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