General Motors has announced that due to a few defects detected in the gearbox of the manual-equipped 2013 Cadillac ATS 2.0T cars, production has been temporarily stopped. Most of the Cadillac ATS that will be sold are automatic-transmission models just like its other sport sedan rivals. However, many auto fans applauded Cadillac when it revealed earlier this year that the ATS would be available with a six-speed manual transmission when it is powered by the new 2.0-liter, turbocharged I-4 engine. The 272-hp, six-speed package is expected to go up against BMW’s 328i, which boasts a 240-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 and a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic.
The ATS 2.0T got mostly positive feedback during its early reviews. However, the manual transmission in the ATS is considered to be a major factor with the car losing to the 328i in Motor Trend’s Head 2 Head video comparison. According to Automobile senior editor Joe Lorio, a “hurried third-to-second downshift sometimes had the lever missing the second-gear gate and heading off in the direction of reverse.”
He also said that it can’t be certain what the outcome of the car would be. Motor Trend said that its engineers are developing softer linkage bushings and they’re also aiming to make the repairs before the manual car gets to customers. For now, just automatic ATS models are available for selling. The press cars were just pre-production testers. This problem doesn’t affect the production of automatic-transmission ATS models.
UPDATE - this is what we received from Cadillac's David Caldwell: "The headline on your Cadillac ATS item posted today is exaggerated a bit inaccurate. Production of the ATS has not stopped. It is moving along with no interruptions. The manual transmission was scheduled to be added to production now - it has not appeared in the initial weeks of production by design. It's only a single-digit percentage of the total production, in any case. What's happening is we rescheduled the manual transmission's addition to the build. So there's no impact at all on the actual production - the cars are being produced in the same manner as they have since the launch began several weeks ago. Your headline flatly states that production has stopped, which is false. Could you please correct that, asap The only thing happening is that the manual transmission (optional equipment) is not yet being added - it will be added shortly, just not yet. "