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 15 of 25)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #209

May 012014

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles


Continuance issues with my Ford Focus 2013 Ford Focus "banging, jumping, slipping, shaking and grinding: It's has now become an issue that's affects the drivability and safety of the vehicle and passengers. ?bogging down ?takes off in a lurch, accelerates rapidly at times, safety issue ?cars rolls backward when stopped on a hill. Safety issue ?car occasionally jolts forward when shifting at low gear, safety issue ?I?M told ?it has to learn how you drive.? I drive the car every day and it still hasn't so called, learned ?concerned about even pulling out in traffic for fear the car isn't going to go or will need time to find its gear. Safety issue ?in stop and go traffic it; slips often/hesitating/jerking/stuttering and grinding. ?RPM spikes and drops when shifting. ?noise when making a left hand turn. "sometimes will not go into reverse at all; on 9/9/14 stuck in a parking spot because the vehicle only moved two feet in reverse. Prior to this incident, the vehicle was towed into dealers because it would not go into reverse at all.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #208

Sep 042014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 7,000 miles
Loud grinding noise coming from a brand new Ford Focus. Being told that the sound is normal. I didn't sign up for a vehicle that sounds like it's dragging metal down the street only to be told this is normal for this vehicles dual transmission..

- Elmwood Park, IL, USA

problem #207

Aug 222014


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Cpsc: I1490081A. 2013 Ford Focus. Consumer stated the car stalls, stutters and also lurches between shifts.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #206

Oct 012013


  • 28,676 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving 45 mph, the vehicle started to jerk, and decelerated intermittently. The vehicle resumed normal operation after a minute. Also, the contact mentioned that the vehicle experienced a clicking noise in the front end of vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician reprogrammed the vehicle transmission soft wear, replaced the clutch and repaired a major electrical faults. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 28,676.

- La Mirada, CA, USA

problem #205

Jan 012013


  • 50 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While driving various speeds, the vehicle jerked and hesitated to accelerate when the accelerator pedal was depressed. The dealer was unable to determine the cause of the failure and stated that the transmission operated as designed. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was unavailable. The approximate failure mileage was 50.

- Monroe , GA, USA

problem #204

Dec 072012


  • 500 miles
The transmission shifts roughly between first and second gear. It causes the car to shutter and on an incline, has caused the vehicle to roll backwards. I have taken the car to a Ford dealership at least 4 times to fix the issue, but they have told me each time that there is no problem with the transmission. My driver door and driver-side passenger door have both opened while I was driving because of a faulty latch. They opened on separate occasions, so I have been to Ford twice because of the door not closing. Lastly, the ac has two separate issues where it doesn't work. The technicians at Ford have not been able to replicate the problem, so it has gone on unsolved.

- Desert Hot Springs, CA, USA

problem #203

Mar 102014


  • 8,000 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While attempting to park, the vehicle lunged forward. On a separate occasion, while idling at a traffic light, the vehicle hesitated when the accelerator pedal was depressed. The dealer stated that the transmission was faulty and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 8,000.

- Santa Clara, CA, USA

problem #202

Dec 092013


  • 10,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While driving at low speeds, the transmission hesitated while shifting gears. The failure occurred intermittently on several occasions. The dealer was unable to duplicate the failure. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 10,000.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #201

Apr 152013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 3,000 miles
Car transmission constantly slips/lurches and grinds. Dealer says this is "normal". car has been close to several accidents due to transmission slipping/lurching at intersections I do not feel safe to drive this car.

- Springfield, MO, USA

problem #200

Jul 012013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 200 miles
When you step on the gas the car hesitates then makes a grinding sound and lurches as the transmission engages. The problem has existed since we purchased the car its been in the shop multiple times, each time we get it back the problem still exists. This is completely unacceptable as we use it for a drivers education car!! the dealership was aware of this problem and they are just as culpable as for is for putting out an unsafe vehicle.

- Lynnwood, WA, USA

problem #199

Jul 112013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 400 miles


The transmission shakes, jerks, miss-shifts, and makes noises on starts from dead stop. It is horrible in stop and go traffic situations. I've had it serviced twice at the Ford dealership, and the car runs well leaving the shop, only to return to the above mentioned problems within a very short period of time. I as well as all of my family members have experienced the problems, and the response I have gotten from Ford's representatives is that it is just a minor irritation and not a serious problem. I beg to differ with Ford in that it is a serious defect, which is potentially hazardous.

- Albert Lea, MN, USA

problem #198

Jun 032013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 5,000 miles
The Ford Focus 2013 seems to have a lot of issue with transmission. I have taken my car about 8 times now to fix the grinding problem when it changes gear. A software fix was mostly done which solves the issue (may be) for a week and then it starts all over again. They changed the clutch or something related to that and worked fairly better during the winter of 2013 but come summer of 2014 same issue. In fact the grinding issue got so bad that I had no option but to take it back in. It started to grind in every gear possible. Going up the hill was a huge nightmare. It used to grind all the way on the third gear till it shifted to fourth. So imagine sitting inside the car during that time. Also, with the ac on it was a nightmare. I drive a little longer to work than most people and it is a scary drive every single day. The gear does not change smoothly, it does get stuck occasionally and I get huge jerks before it changes, and the dealers and Ford have no clue what the issue is. They wont order a recall to fix it nor will they give me a new car. It is potentially unsafe to drive these Focus cars. I am scared if the car will stop in the middle of the highway. I hope such a day does not come.

- Sykesville, MD, USA

problem #197

Jan 062014


  • 10,000 miles
When trying to drive in about 5 inches of snow, the traction/stability control kicked in and made my car go about an 1 inch a minute. Ever since that incident, whenever I start from a stopped position, the car will stutter and sometimes slow down after starting even though I have my foot on the gas. This is not a problem if there is no traffic, but in heavy traffic or fast moving traffic, a person can get run over. There have been several times that the flow of traffic has had to either stop or considerably slow down while my car is slowly getting up to speed. I have taken my car in and the dealership says there is nothing wrong with the vehicle. They state that it is running properly. I have tried to trade in the vehicle and 1 dealership told me that they have heard of this problem by other Focus owners. We have a friend that also has the same make and model, but it is an automatic, and they say they have the problem as well. So this is not just a problem with the manual transmission model.

- Madison, WI, USA

problem #196

Jun 022014


  • 20,153 miles
The car is experiencing transmission problems. It shudders and bogs down as I am accelerating, and often lurches forward unexpectedly. The car makes a loud grinding noise when shifting through gears. The problems began in low gears, but I am now experiencing problems at all speeds, including lurching forward. I have taken the car back to the dealership twice, only for them to tell me this is a normal occurrence. I am afraid the transmission issues will cause an accident. I am also concerned that the grinding of the gears will cause damage to other components of my vehicle.

- Edinburg, IL, USA

problem #195

Jul 132014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 11,066 miles
Alarms went off, loss of instrument panel, complete loss of transmission power and engine cut out. "transmission fault, service transmission now" was the message received. Had vehicle towed to Ford service center. On August 17, 2014 at 60 miles an hour it happened again. Have had car towed to service center again.

- Chelan, WA, USA

problem #194

May 012014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 2,000 miles
Shifting into neutral (while decelerating/braking) will intermittently cause engine rpms to rapidly drop, resulting in engine failure/stall. Attempts to restart the engine are typically successful, although occasionally requiring multiple attempts, due to engine re-stalling. Key factors seem to be engine oil temperature, and braking/decelerating.

- Hayward, CA, USA

problem #193

May 022013

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles
We purchased the 2013 Focus at apple Ford in red lion pa. We had that car approx 1 month and it would not go in reverse, we were told the jerking grinding hesitations were all "normal". after over a week in the garage it was determined by dealer they would swap out for another Focus same year, but had more miles than the original Focus. The first VIN # was [xxx]. we continue to have all the above symptoms with the 2nd Focus they traded us. I am taking back to garage this week for worsening issues with my transmission. I called Ford and they told me that they (Ford) could not send a copy of the letter that was mailed out explaining they have extended the warranty to 100,000 miles or 7 years because it is done by a "third party" "? this includes the input shaft seals, the clutch & or a software calibration. My car is paid off in full and it is ridiculous that I am having to waste time going back and forth with Ford about this. I have filed several complaints with no resolution. What happens when the warranty expires, by then will I even have a car that is drivable" I do not even feel safe driving M car, therefore I only use it around home and never on trips or anywhere else. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Dover, PA, USA

problem #192

Aug 142014


  • 26,000 miles
Experiencing shuddering with acceleration from a stop position. My car makes a very loud noise along with vibrations, took my car into the dealership today, they checked the transmission said it was fine, they test drove it and of course since it is intermittent it didn't do it. I was told this is normal due to the fact that the transmission is an automatic but functions like a manual transmission. Soon as I get in the car drive it about 5 miles and it starts doing it. I'm nervous driving it cause it also feels like it's going to die in the middle of acceleration. I feel that safety is compromised by this issue. It shudders the most at about 18-20mph from 0mph. I don't see how this can be normal, it feels so unsafe.

- Belton, MO, USA

problem #191

Jun 102014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 19,000 miles
When starting to accelerate there is a skipping and/or surging, with an accompanied shuttering coming from the transmission until the car reaches as fast as 25 mph. This defect has almost caused one accident. I have been in contact with two dealerships to try and get the problem repaired however the parts are on back order for as long as 4 more weeks. The dealerships have stated this is a common problem with various service notices on it. They have informed me that it is due to faulty seals that cause leaking lubricant.

- Cartersville, GA, USA

problem #190

Jul 122013


  • 500 miles
Bought a new Ford Focus hatchback. Transmission problems from the start. Hesitates and jerks with grinding sounds. Took to dealer twice and they did nothing.

- River Falls, WI, USA

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