Though fewer Americans are buying cars with manual transmissions each year, stalwarts continue to opt for stick shifts in sports cars and budget cars alike. However, if you opted for a row-it-yourself gearbox in your 2011 or 2012 Ford Mustang, you might be headed back to your dealership sooner than you thought.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened an investigation into about 26,000 model-year 2011 and 2012 Ford Mustangs with manual transmissions. Consumers say that in some instances, they aren’t able to put these Mustangs back into gear when shifting at high speeds. 

NHTSA alleges that the problem lies with the muscle car’s Getrag brand transmission, which is assembled in China. As many as 32 owners have filed official complaints with the agency, noting that in some instances, the shifter’s failure to engage nearly caused collisions.

It can take NHTSA up to a year’s worth of investigations to decide whether or not to issue a formal recall. In the meantime, you can keep an eye on the investigation and its findings by visiting NHTSA’s defects investigations page. If you’ve experienced the same problem with your 2011 or 2012 Mustang, you should report it to NHTSA. In most cases, if a recall is issued, you’ll receive word from the automaker, but if you have any other questions, call NHTSA’s vehicle safety hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (tty 1-800-424-9153), or go to .

Shopping for a Ford Mustang or another muscle car? Check out the U.S. News rankings of this year's best cars. Then, look for a great deal on a new car by checking out this month’s best car deals. Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter.