Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety. Notes: Ford changed a lot of things for its 3rd generation, just none of them were a good idea.

The transmission tends to hesitate and jerk when accelerating. The new electronically-driven power steering can fail suddenly and without warning. Even Ford's SYNC can be a headache. Actually, scratch that last one --- it's always been a headache.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
6 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
18,373 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2013 Ford Focus drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2013 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 14 of 25)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #229

Apr 302014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 10,750 miles


Vehicle bucked or shuddered when starting from a complete stop or if coasting and then gas applied. Issue was said to be fixed at this time 4/30/14, which it did run better until it happened again on 9/6/14 when I pointed out the same issue. It was determined that there was a leak coming from the bell housing and it was dripping on the clutch causing the shuddering. On 9/16/14 it was taken to the garage for repair. I am still experiencing some shuddering, especially in reverse when going slow but also at times going forward. Not satisfied that it is completely fixed, but Ford has extended the warranty to 7 years/ 100,000 miles. I will be contacting the garage in the near future for them to look at it again.

- Roaring Brook Township, PA, USA

problem #228

Aug 202013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 2,500 miles
The transmission in the car started to behave erratically once we had ~2500 miles. It was making horrible grinding noises while shifting gears. It was shifting between gears (up/down/up/down) while ascending hills like it couldn't decide what gear to be in. It seemed to have lost power such that pressing the accelerator was not resulting in an expected increase in speed. It started to roll backwards occasionally when stopped on a hill, immediately after removing my foot from the break. On several occasions it would lurch forward while coming to a stop. Occasionally it is unable to find the appropriate gear, or stays in a gear well after it should have shifted to a higher gear. It often shudders, often to a point that it feels like it is going to stall, when accelerating from a stop. In general, we don't feel safe driving this car between the random lurches/jumps and the random lack of power/response to the throttle.

- Madison, WI, USA

problem #227

Oct 182014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 22,891 miles
Vehicle shudders, jerks, shakes upon launch. Also when going uphill vehicle jerks (similar to how a standard engine would jerk when taking off in the wrong gear). Also when parking, vehicle "jumps" into park after car after engine is off or foot is taken off brake. Transmission problem"?"

- Hambleton, WV, USA

problem #226

Mar 222014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 33,602 miles


Purchased Focus in March of 2013 soon after purchase vehicle began to lurch and hesitate while accelerating almost to the point vehicle would stall gets very scary when pulling into traffic with no power to accelerate. I immediately took vehicle back to dealership and they confirmed I needed a clutch that there was a seal leaking which caused the failure! they performed repair and not even a month later the problem occurred so I returned the vehicle again just to find out the other clutch they didn't replace had failed also. They again replaced clutch and I returned home. Within 2 days of repair the vehicle started shuttering and when accelerating the vehicle wouldn't shift into any gear so I was stuck on the interstate going 40 mph in a 70 speed zone so I immediately pull over and call Ford which tells me to bring it in on Monday because there not open on Saturday. I return vehicle to there disbelief that there is an issue because it has all the latest reflashes and clutches in vehicle but low and behold they inform me my transmission control module has failed and needs to be replaced. They replace tcm and send me home. Yesterday probably 2 months after virtually every component has been replaced vehicle starts to shudder horrible probably the worst I've experienced to date so I take it to my dealership and they inform me I need another clutch!!! the vehicle has 48K miles on it I am sick of worrying about whether or not I can accelerate and merge into traffic without the vehicle getting rear ended because the clutches are slipping. Something needs to be done. Thank you

- East Bernstadt, KY, USA

problem #225

Oct 102014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 49,121 miles
Been having the transmission shudder for the past few mouths and last week I went to put my seatbelt on and it wouldn't lock.driver side seatbelt broke on the female end.

- Ohatchee, AL, USA

problem #224

Oct 112014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 27,800 miles
When at a complete stop and needing to accelerate into traffic, the vehicle hesitates and then thrusts/jerks into gear.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #223

May 262013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 23 miles


From day 1, the transmission has excessively slipped through 1st gear as though the clutch is not being properly engaged (dual clutch transaxle). At one point, the car bucked upon acceleration forcefully as though it stalled. The problem is most severe when ambient temperatures are over 90 degrees (common here in Arizona). The PCM has been reprogrammed twice by the dealership and after the first 1000 miles, the slippage subsided (for the most part). Recently, the car was in for an oil change and when I got the car back, the 1st gear slippage was back very noticeably. I'm not sure if the dealership reprogrammed the PCM during its visit as there is nothing on the paperwork stating such. At times, making left hand turns in traffic is very scary because of the cars hesitation to accelerate. It's obviously a programming issue with how the clutch is being engaged by the computer... as though the clutch is only being half engaged during 1st gear acceleration.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #222

Oct 112014


  • 29,300 miles
Was driving with my wife and noticed a loud rattling sound coming from the transmission. I had just had my Focus serviced less than three weeks ago. Seems the longer I drive the worse the transmission gets. Hesitation and slipping followed by loud noises from transmission.

- Huntington Beach, CA, USA

problem #221

May 242013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 2,000 miles
Vehicle shudders between shift points, hesitates as though stalled and suffers from power train rattling. Even though the vehicle power train has been reprogrammed multiple times as well as clutch assembly repair and replacement the issues return.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #220

Apr 262013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 200 miles
Total loss of throttle, stalling in traffic, shuddering and erratic shifting with the Ford powershift transmission. Since purchasing car new in 2013, I had problems with the powershift transmission, initial problems was a noise that sounded like the muffler was dragging the road, problems got worse as mileage increased. Returned the car to several dealers for diagnosis, was told that the transmission is operating as designed and no repairs were attempted. Problem got worse and I had experienced total loss of throttle in traffic on several occasions, car stalled and jerked in traffic causing neck to snap back. After repeated attempts to get the problem fixed with two different Ford dealers, a customer satisfaction letter came from Ford detailing issues with powershift transmission. I had to take my car into the dealer again, for diagnosis and was told they got it the transmission to fail the thresholds after 6 attempts, which warranted replacement of the clutch pack and internal seals, supposedly a faulty design that allowed oil from the gearbox to leak into the clutch pack causing slippage, noise and issues. Ford returned the car 5 days later, issues went away for 3 weeks or so, and have started to reappear in the same fashion as when the car was purchased new and is getting worse each day, with over 1000 miles on the car since service. As of today I have experienced shuddering and total loss of throttle in traffic, a few times were dangerous in pulling out in front of oncoming traffic the car could have caused me to get into an accident, also lunges in slow moving traffic. I am afraid to let my wife drive the car due to the behavior of the transmission and see again I will soon have to return to another dealer (#3) for correction.

- Wellington, FL, USA

problem #219

Oct 032014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 28,600 miles


I have a 2013 Focus with 28600 miles. On a daily basis I when I accelerate it rattles and hesitates. The dealership said it was a smart transmission and is just what it does. On Oct 3rd 2014 I was at a busy intersection and waiting for the light to turn green. The light turned green and the car acted as though it was in neutral and would not drive. After about 15 seconds with everyone honking at me it started to move forward but sounded like it was going back and forth from neutral to drive and I couldn't go over 30. I barely made it to a parking lot. I pulled over and called the dealership but it was to late and the associate said I had to call back at 7 in the morning. My car shuddered all the way home especially when I had to stop and accelerate at a light or stop sign. I called in the morning and they said to bring the car in. The next day it drove fine. They thought it might be bad gas due to the fact the engine light had come on during the malfunction. That just made me mad. The dealership put it on the computer and it came up a bad transmission module? I am out a car for a week. I do not want the car back. What if it happens after 36000 miles. Ford knows about this problem. I bought this car with an expectation of it being safe. It is not. It is a dangerous car. You should be ashamed Ford corporation you are putting peoples lives in danger.

- Buhler, KS, USA

problem #218

Jul 162014


  • 12,000 miles
Engine shut off while driving, after displaying transmission not in park. Has happened twice now. Car just had tsb 14-013..PCM/tcm reprogrammed. They also replaced clutch and seals under same tsb.

- Andover, MA, USA

problem #217

Sep 162014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 16,309 miles
Just like 100S of others, car stutters and hesitates. Took to Ford dealer in macon, ga. And problem continues and we all wonder why there is no recall. Does no one care about safety and doing what is right"??????????????????"

- Perry, GA, USA

problem #216

Sep 052013


  • 6,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While stopped at a traffic light or stop sign, the vehicle shook and shifted into the wrong gears when the accelerator pedal was depressed. The contact also noticed that the vehicle hesitated while shifting. The vehicle was taken to multiple dealers for diagnostic testing and was informed that the seals to the clutch housing were leaking. Oil seeped onto the clutch, which caused the vehicle not to shift properly. The computer for the transmission was reprogrammed and one of the two clutches was replaced, but the failure recurred. The manufacturer stated that the vehicle was sold with a power shift rather that automatic; therefore, the failures would recur. The approximate failure mileage was 6,000.

- Ytsilanti, MI, USA

problem #215

Sep 272014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 33,000 miles
My wife pulled out to make a right turn and the car bogged down, stuttered, hesitated. Long enough that she was scarred by the approaching traffic. This has happened several times. The stuttering, bogging down occurs all the time! we have had the car into kendall Ford twice already and have another appointment scheduled for October 28th. The next available service time. Service manager stated he has 40 of these cars in need of this repair right now, and that is the reason for the delay. This car is unsafe in its current condition. We are reluctant to drive it, please press Ford's to do the right thing and fix these cars. It should not take tragedies to make corrections! thank you [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Chugiak, AK, USA

problem #214

Aug 012013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 500 miles
Shifts rough (hard),slips when going up hill, put it in park you have to use E brake, clicks loud if sitting on a hill rolls back some and makes loud noise as if park is not hold the car still engine makes starting noise for hours after turning engine off.

- Oak Hill, OH, USA

problem #213

Dec 162013


  • miles
My Ford Focus SE hatchback has delays in shifting gears at low speeds and from stops. When accelerating, the engine revs higher but does not shift until a few seconds later which causes the car to jerk like a manual transmission. This is dangerous when trying to merge onto the freeway or at a 4-way stop when you have to react quickly and with timing accuracy, or trying to teach my daughter to drive! the service center of my dealer said the software had to be updated the first and second time I brought the car in for this problem. Does this mean I have to bring the car in every time there is a new software update which seems to be quite frequently? and the software update doesn't even solve the problem. I even got a thank you email from the service director at my dealership (sent by a person with a email), which is most likely just a stock email. It thanked me for my service business and said that if I had further concerns that I could "reach out" to him at my earliest opportunity. Well I replied to that email voicing my concerns about this problem and after 4 months have not received a reply email or call addressing my concern.

- Honolulu, HI, USA

problem #212

Apr 222014


  • 10,000 miles
Vehicle has been in for service 4 times for issues with transmission. Hesitates or jumps when shifting. Sometimes almost stalls out. Dealer has done everything they can and state that Ford is not allowing them to service the vehicles. Dealer stated they have 25 Ford Focus currently in for same issue. I am scared to drive the vehicle with my daughter in it, as this clearly is a safety issue. The issue seems worse at lower speeds and with A/C on. Contacted Ford and they are stating this is "normal operation" if it was normal operation, I don't understand why it would start around 10K miles and 1 year of driving.

- Hazel Park, MI, USA

problem #211

Jan 072013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 11 miles
My Ford Focus had a jerky ride from the day I bought it. I mentioned after the test drive that it seemed a bit jerky on shifting and they said it was normal. A week later I told them again and again they said it was normal because of the new design. It got worse to the point that twice when turning out into traffic when I thought I had enough room to enter traffic it seemed to want to stall and I had to steer it back into the turn lane so as not to get hit. The car very often smelled of burnt rubber though at the time I explained it away as being from other cars nearby. In August 2014 I took the car in for a oil change and found out that a seal between the engine and transmission had failed and I had a major oil leak. This was unbelievable for a car with just 35,000 miles and lucky me I was eligible for an extended warranty on those parts from Ford for 100, 000 miles. Ford notified me the next week about the warranty only after the repair. The car drove better for a couple of weeks but then the shudders returned and began to worsen. I was going to take it in and have Ford look at it again but then on 9-14-2014 I was exiting my car and there was an overwhelming odor of burnt rubber coming from the engine. I decided right then I was not going to put up with the defective and possibly dangerous car anymore and I traded it in at loss. I recommend a serious look at this issue. Ford keeps saying these issues are normal for the new design and people are not used to it. I highly disagree. I got rid of it at a loss. That should say it all.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #210

Jan 012014


  • 9,500 miles
Shuttering, hesitation, grinding, power loss, roll back, stalls in traffic.

- Prospect, OH, USA

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