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:
19,251 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 17 of 26)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

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

problem #189

Jul 232014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 26,700 miles


Note: The following issues are intermittent but progressive I.e., getting worse. Erratic transmission shifts: (1) lags (opposite of #2 next) during acceleration from full stop. (2) sudden high speed acceleration that is out of proportion from force applied to accelerator pedal from full stop I.e. the front wheels brake traction and spin. (3) transmission shutters during normal acceleration. (4) transmission appears to gear search during normal driving conditions at speeds from 40 to 50 mph. This is indicated by changes in tachometer readings (up and down) as well as feel to the driver. (5) vehicle will not maintain position I.e., rolls backward, on the slightest incline. Brake pressure must be maintained to prevent roll back.

- Granbury, TX, USA

problem #188

Aug 092014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 24,408 miles
While accelerating from standing position (at stop light pending green left turn) I hear grinding and a pop noise coming from engine when transmission apparently slipped (disengaged) so that the forward drive will not operate. Car's momentum kept car moving forward but without power from drivetrain. Putting car in reverse gear causes severe grinding noise and no change in motion. Car does not have forward or reverse movement when put into gear and is completely disabled. Car that was behind me suddenly swerved to prevent rear-end collision with my rapidly decelerating vehicle (with no brake lights activated to warn of rapid deceleration).

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #187

May 302013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 260 miles
My Focus has been in the shop 3 times to keep fixing the same transmission problem and now it is going back in to the shop for the fourth time for the same problem. The transmission keeps on shuddering, jerk S and slips out of gear. It has rolled back on take off. The engine goes but the transmission doesn't. I have took my car to into 3 dealers hoping that another can fix the problem. I feel unsafe for my wife driving it to work. She has to be very careful when she gets onto the highway and at stops. She has to drive with both feet so the car won't go backwards. She also has to worry about the cars behind her when she tries to take off at stop lights. Ford has offered me a free oil change which I thought was funny. My wife has to drive it to work we have no choice in the matter since it is our only car. If my wife gets hit or if she hits another car I will be getting a lawyer because Ford knows about our problems. I asked to trade it for another but they don't want to fix the problem or do a trade. They did offer me 1400 dollars off a new 30,000 car but we just bought this one and can not afford another at this time. Please help us get this unsafe matter fixed. Thank you very much from my family to yours on this very unsafe matter.[xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Saint Augustine, FL, USA

problem #186

Oct 302013


  • 17,328 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the vehicle shifted into a different gear independently. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the technician diagnosed that the computer needed to be reset. The vehicle was repaired but the failure persisted. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 17,328.

- Alvin, TX, USA

problem #185

Jul 012014


  • 55,000 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While driving 15 mph, the transmission shifted with little acceleration and all the warning indicators illuminated. The failure occurred numerous times. The dealer stated that the transmission control valve needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired and the manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 55,000.

- Houma, LA, USA

problem #184

Aug 052014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 24,916 miles
This is a follow on to an original complaint submitted. This first time the entire transmission was replace and fixt the issue for 10,000 miles. The new transmission again started to hesitate when the outside temperature is over 80 degrees. Severe shudder when shifting from 1st into 2nd. Then the vehicle would reach 5 mph accelerating from a stop and the engine rpms would jump to 5000 and the vehicle would only creep along at 5 mph. This happened in heavy traffic without warning. Limped the car into the dealer who had to replace the transmission tcm. The controllers seem to last between 10,000 and 16,000 miles. When the vehicle experiences a failed transmission controller in heavy traffic, this poses a very unsafe condition as other cars are trying to drive around at 45 mph.

- Barrington, IL, USA

problem #183

Oct 042013


  • 18,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to properly accelerate while driving at any speed. The accelerator pedal had to be depressed with great force to gain acceleration. The vehicle was taken to the dealer more than five times for repairs. The dealer rebuilt the clutch and updated the software, but the vehicle jerked violently and produced a grinding noise when the gears were changed. The vehicle was not repaired and the manufacturer was notified. The VIN was unavailable. The approximate failure mileage was 18,000.

- Hubbard, OH, USA

problem #182

Oct 012013


  • 15,109 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to properly accelerate while driving at any speed. The accelerator pedal had to be depressed with great force to gain acceleration. The vehicle was taken to the dealer more than five times for repairs. The dealer rebuilt the transmission and clutch and updated the software, but the vehicle jerked violently and produced a grinding noise when the gears were changed. The vehicle was not repaired and the manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 15,109.

- Hubbard, OH, USA

problem #181

May 142014


  • 7,000 miles
Going for transmission #2 see if this one can last more than 3 months. Last Ford I will buy should have kept my 2008 Taurus had one problem with it the whole time I owned it. What happens when my warranty runs out and every three months I have to have clutches changed.

- Newport News , VA, USA

problem #180

Jun 262014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 20,095 miles
Cvt automatic transmission shutters, knocks, delays then accelerates. Difficult to predict when. Sometimes ok other times it hesitates upon acceleration. While turning left was almost hit by oncoming traffic due to the unpredictable shutter and delay. Ford dealer says transmission is normal and to expect that. There is no way this is safe.

- Aurora, OH, USA

problem #179

Jun 012013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 7,000 miles
My car has had the steering fixed, the alternator replaced and the clutch fixed 5-6 times in 6 months. My transmission/clutch is still not repaired. Someone is going to die in this car and I can't afford to get rid of it so I am forced to put my life in danger every day. I have a lemon law attorney and Ford will still do nothing. I paid $1095 for an automatic transmission and I do not have an automatic transmission. Ford committed fraud with this sale.

- Desert Hot Springs, CA, USA

problem #178

Jul 142014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 14,000 miles
Upon acceleration, from stop or moving, the vehicle shakes, jerks, and rattles violently. The transmission will grind and will hesitate to engage. Trying to pull out into moving traffic, I was almost in an accident multiple times due to the engine properly "revving up" but the transmission failing to either engage, late to engage, or missing the proper gear. On even slight inclines the vehicle will roll backwards quickly when moving foot from brake to accelerator. Taken to dealership who confirmed failure of clutch and seals but Ford does not have availability on parts. Multiple dealerships told me this problem is in every 2013 Focus, and reading online confirms thousands upon thousands of people with the same issue. This is clearly a safety issue and I'm now driving a car with a confirmed failure item that cannot be replaced. Dealerships also have told me "this problem will be present forever" or is "not fixable".

- Crystal Lake, IL, USA

problem #177

Dec 112012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 220 miles
Vehicle shudders when accelerating from a stop, and on several occasions while accelerating the transmission slips out of gear (dry type automatic transmission) and there is no control under power. I have to coast to the side of the road and turn off the car and restart it and hope that the transmission reengages.. this has happened on both the street and highway. On the highway I have to contend with the possible chance of being rear ended by a vehicle traveling much faster than one on the street. This has happened on a regular basis, and the dealer has yet to fix the problem. This problem has existed as long as I have owned the car.

- Glendale, AZ, USA

problem #176

Dec 102013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 15,583 miles
At 15,583 miles the transmission was shifting very hard and at random times changing gears. The dealer said the double clutch transmission had failed and I had to wait three weeks for the dealer to replace the transmission. They said they had so many cars ahead of me to just drive the car as the transmission had already failed and if it stranded me, they would tow the car in. Three weeks later the transmission was replaced and the condition was corrected. Now at 26,400 miles, during a very hot day, the car lunged when accelerating and then loss power during an acceleration from a stop. Multiple times the car following behind had to ┐┐panic stop┐Ł or would have rear ended my car. After about 40 miles of driving, the ┐┐check engine┐Ł light came on. The dealer looked at the car and said they could not work on the car for at least a week but read the error codes and turn off the check engine light. I was instructed to drive the car until next week as it was safe to drive. After experiencing this condition, no one would think this car is safe to drive. Then I was told that after they check out the car, if the transmission has failed again, it would take at least three weeks for them to get a new one and they would not be able to fix it any sooner as they have so many cars ahead of mine that need new transmissions. For the past few days, the ambient temperature has been much lower and the lunging has stopped. However, the transmission either shifts perfect or shifts hard and is again randomly changing gears. The idle is also becoming very rough and after a stop, stays at 1200 rpms and takes about 10 seconds to come down to what is normal about 700 RPM.

- Barrington, IL, USA

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