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 17 of 25)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #169

Jul 012013


  • 1,000 miles


Automatic transmission shutters, jerks, lunges, sometimes dangerously forward like someone "popped the clutch". questioned dealer at purchase and was told "break in". question dealer prior to 10K service was told "normal". at 10K service requested computer reprogramming and updates to transmission. Was given an "official Ford description" document of transmission basically told "normal". took car to different dealer for 20K service. Told them re: Shutter, jerking, and lunging forward. They found clutch oil leak. Replaced seals and clutch and reprogrammed computer. 2 weeks later car is worse then before. Same issues but worse and now a slight clanking/grinding sound at lower speeds during acceleration and hesitation. Will return for service again.

- Renton, WA, USA

problem #168

May 012014


  • 36,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the vehicle stalled several times and the engine light remained illuminated. Also, the contact mentioned that the vehicle shifted out of parked independently. The dealer advised it was normal for the vehicle to roll out of park on its own. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure and current mileage was 36,000.

- Lamar, SC, USA

problem #167

Jan 012014


  • 13,000 miles
Transmission is grinding car is shimming acts as if it wants to stall. I have had it to bert wolf 2 times this year and its still not fixed. Im afraid car will stall when turning in front of oncoming traffic.

- South Charleston, WV, USA

problem #166

Jul 112014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 25,500 miles


Took delivery of a 2yr old certified 2013 Ford Focus SE a week ago. When accelerating from a stop the car transition slips similar to a driver learning how to drive a manual transmission. When accelerating and turning a corner the car with studded and jump. I called the dealership who told me this was part of the dual clutch design of the car. Appreciate the other posts to validate the situation.

- Berkley, MI, USA

problem #165

Jun 262013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 300 miles
Shortly after purchasing my brand new 2013 Ford Focus I noticed at acceleration from a stop that my transmission was "slipping" (shuddering, lurching into gear etc.). I contacted my salesman about the issue and he told me that my car was "just breaking in" and it would go away. This problem did not stop and eventually got worse to the point that I called my dealership's service department on my own to complain. I was told to bring my car in; they were going to use a "special" cleaning solution on the clutches in the transmission to fix the problem. If that did not work then they would replace the clutches altogether. Needless to say the clutches were replaced. This occurred at the end of June of this year (2014); here it is not even a month later and my car is having the same issue. Also during this time period my car will occasionally roll backwards on an incline.

- North Canton, OH, USA

problem #164

Mar 012013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 2,000 miles
Approximately 1/4/-1/3 of the time, upon accelerating from a stop, the car will either shudder into gear with little acceleration, or will lurch into gear so badly that the car almost comes to a stop during acceleration. I have taken the car to my local dealer four times for this issue. The first time, they did a computer code reset, which worked for a couple of months then the issue came back. The second time they changed some seals, and that worked for a week or so before the problem recurred. The third and fourth times, I was essentially told that "this was normal" and there was nothing the dealer could/would do about it. After research, I see I am not the only driver with this problem, and it has caused me to question the safety of my vehicle, especially when needing to make a left-hand turn against traffic.

- Rock Hill, SC, USA

problem #163

Jul 012013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 12,000 miles


Transmission was slipping in and out of first and second gear. Car was jerking back and forth at low speeds. Took to the dealer and noticed seals were leaking. We also own a 2014 Focus and have the same problems with that transmission.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #162

Jul 032014


  • 17,800 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving 35 mph, the transmission shifted into the neutral position independently. The transmission was shifted back into the drive position and the vehicle resumed normal function. The manufacturer was not contacted. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 17,800 and the current mileage was 18,200.

- Hazelwood, MO, USA

problem #161

Nov 202013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 11,000 miles
The car does not shift properly and it continuously bogs down even though it is an automatic transmission. At times when in a stopped position and I go it will lurch forward. When driving normally it will pull back and not want to shift into the next gear. I have taken it to Ford about 5 times in the last year and they do nothing. They tell me that is normal for the this transmission. If it is normal why didn't it do it the first 6 months we owned it. I get no where with them. The service guy even told that they are having issues but their hands are tied because Ford wont fix it.

- Del Mar , CA, USA

problem #160

May 192014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 7,100 miles
Engine started idling rough while down shifting, once the vehicle came to a stop the vehicle shuttered (rpms) and then stalled. This has happened quite a few times, but is intermittent. Engine started idling rough while traveling through a corner and down shifting from 3rd to 2nd, at that time the clutch was pushed in and the car stalled. I lost power steering and slightly traveled into the on coming lane of traffic at 25 mph. The stalling while down shifting has happened quite a few times, but is intermittent. Engine idles rough while at stops or down shifting, but does not stall. This happens almost all the time, does not always stall, but is also intermittent. Hill assist seems to be intermittent as to when it wants to work or not work. After performing a tsb on my car the clutch stuck to the floor. After I pumped the clutch a few times it started acting normal.

- Grand Junction, CO, USA

problem #159

Apr 302013


  • 34,037 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the vehicle failed to shift into gear and when the gears engaged the started to shake. The failure continued to occur continuously over a period one year. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician diagnosed that the clutch and the catalytic converter needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 34,037.

- Robertsville, MO, USA

problem #158

Jul 052014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 35,720 miles
Erratic shifting during a cold start resulting in ridiculous jolting of the car. My head hit the steering wheel from the forces applied due to the erratic shift programming. The seat belt keeps my body from impacting the steering wheel from the resulting movement each and every time I accelerate from a stopped position.

- Nazareth, PA, USA

problem #157

Dec 232013


  • 8,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to increase in speed when the accelerator pedal was engaged. The failure occurred continuously for six months. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 8,000.

- Westfield , IN, USA

problem #156

May 102013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 0 miles
We purchased this car brand new from the dealer. From the very beginning it shifted very rough and rattled skipping from 1st to 2nd very hard and we heard a sound like dragging cardboard. The first time it was taken to the dealer they said "it was normal" and that the car had to get adjusted to our style of driving. They did computer check and nothing wrong. We thought this was ridiculous, but continued to drive this car with same sounds, sometimes more than others. We have taken this car to 2 dealers with both saying basically the same thing, that Ford messed up with this transmission and it is just the way it is, nothing is wrong with the car and it is safe. Our daughter does not feel safe in this car when it lurches forward or doesn't shift gears when she is trying to accelerate into speeding traffic. We want something done to fix this problem.

- Clarksville, IN, USA

problem #155

May 152014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 38,530 miles
When I put the car in drive and begin to accelerate the car stalls and jerks rapidly when throwing itself into 2nd gear. Once it finishes the jerking and stalling motion it makes a loud rattling sound under the hood. When in gear and accelerated going to 35-55 it will stall then the rpms will go higher and it will jerk back into gear accelerating faster than I was going. Sometimes it will barely go from a stopped position to trying to accelerate then all of the sudden jerk into gear.

- Dunn, NC, USA

problem #154

May 152014


  • 15,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that after shifting from reverse into drive, the engine vibrated and caused the entire vehicle to shake violently. The contact mentioned that no warning lights illuminated on the instrument panel and the vehicle resumed its normal operation after the vehicle shifted from first to second gear. The failure occurred on two separate occasions. The manufacturer was contacted and did not offer a remedy. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician diagnosed that the clutch assembly and transmission needed to be replaced.the vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred. The failure mileage was 15,000 and the current mileage was 15,300.

- Elizabeth, PA, USA

problem #153

May 302014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 9,500 miles
I purchased the car in may it drove fine for 2 weeks. Then the transmission started hesitating, shutter noises, and vibrating. I took it to Ford 2 days later it started all over again. The car has already been repaired before I purchased it. I was not disclosed that information when I purchased it. Now I have a unreliable car, thanks Ford!

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #152

Jan 082013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 3,930 miles
I understand and appreciate that the automatic transmission in this car revs and tends to behave like a manual transmission. I owned a Celica with a manual transmission years ago. However, on several occasions this Focus has decelerated, paused and then lurched forward and I was powerless to accelerate it or alter its "lurch". it tends to make a wind up noise on these occurrences. It occasionally hesitates when I apply the accelerator from stopped. Sometimes the hesitation is longer and more pronounced than at other times. I have taken this Focus to the dealer on five occasions since I bought it new in September of 2013 and it is diagnosed with a code 7000 and the dealer has to keep the car overnight because the transmission needs to be reprogrammed from Ford headquarters as I understand it. The dealer also may perform a drum adaptive learn strategy and adaptive learn drive cycle. When I leave the car seems to have "settled down" and runs more smoothly and quietly. It also gets substantially better mpg. On April 2, 2014, at 17,995 miles, I took it in because it was hesitating on acceleration and jerking and noisy. The Focus had a cracked motor mount. And again the transmission was given its usual computer update from Ford. Currently, the Focus mileage is at 21,300 and it's winding itself up, jerking me around, hesitating and lurching. Two days ago, I was making a left hand turn into heavy traffic and, as I stepped on the accelerator to pull out, the Focus did not respond for a few seconds. At that point I had to brake because it was too late to enter oncoming traffic. This is very worrisome for me especially since my son drives the car as well and he is a novice driver with one year experience. In March, I was traveling and rented a 2013 Ford Focus and drove it about 500 freeway miles. It seemed on it's best behavior.

- Rpv, CA, USA

problem #151

Mar 312014


  • miles
Car hesitates at take off and take off when making turns.

- Lancaster, CA, USA

problem #150

Dec 172013


  • 10,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated while driving various speeds the vehicle hesitated and made a rattling noise. The vehicle failed to accelerate from a complete stop and erroneously rolled backwards. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who reprogrammed the transmission and informed the contact the vehicle had to learn his different driving habits. The failure recurred. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The VIN was unavailable. The approximate failure mileage was 10,000.

- Austin, AR, USA

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