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 18 of 25)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #149

May 272013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 100 miles


Vehicle has been serviced 3 times, first time when the car was 2 days old (to me). Vehicle lags, grinds, over-revs, under-revs and stutters on hills and sometimes flat land too. Particularly bad when turning. 3 attempted fixes, no real improvements, only different issues got better while others got worse. First attempted fix claimed a section of the transmission was replaced, second they found a leak in the transmission although I found nothing in my garage and 3rd was my complaining of the issues not being resolved yet. After 3rd fix, car is as bad as ever.

- Vancouver, WA, USA

problem #148

Mar 072013


  • 18,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated while driving 65 mph, there was a hesitation and vibration when the accelerator pedal was engaged. The failure recurred whenever the vehicle was in operation. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for diagnosis. The technician stated that the transmission fluid was leaking. The vehicle was in the process of being repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 18,000.

- Daly City , CA, USA

problem #147

May 012014


  • 8,000 miles
Car is lagging and bogging consistently; turn acceleration in unpredictable, frequent transmission shuddering occurring, un-smooth shifting, I do not feel safe. Low gas mileage 20-24.

- East Haven, CT, USA

problem #146

Aug 082013


  • 12 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated while driving approximately 2 mph, the transmission surged without prior warning. The failure recurred intermittently while traveling at extremely low speeds. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer, who informed that there was no defect and that the unexpected surge was the characteristic of the transmission. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 12.

- Coupeville, WA, USA

problem #145

May 142014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 22,400 miles
Just purchased a used Ford Focus SE 2013. The car lurches forward upon accelerating and then the rpms decrease while accelerating, then increase for a moment, then decrease again. This happens any time I accelerate. The car jerks forward then stops. While the rpms are increasing, the car makes a revving sound almost as if I'm in the wrong gear (though it's an automatic), then it sounds as if it's stopping while the rpms drop. I hear an intermittent grinding sound that seems like the transmission is being overtaxed or damaged.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #144

May 012014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 5,000 miles
The vehicle shudders, shakes, grinds and hesitates when shifting through low gears and when starting from a stop. It has done this since we bought it new in July 2013. I have an appointment with the Ford dealership, but the person with whom I spoke said most of the issues they've seen like this are "within their tolerance limits." That is not okay!

- Dallas, OR, USA

problem #143

May 182014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 5,250 miles


When driving at highway speed 65 with cruise control engaged the vehicle feels as if the engine is cutting out or engine braking is being applied the RPM's drop from 2.5 to 2.25 feels like the engine is pulsing.

- Augusta, KS, USA

problem #142

May 092014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 5,192 miles
The vehicle stalls and shudders when shifting through lower gears. To avoid the issue you have to accelerate at a fairly high rate from a stop sign. Very dangerous when turning corners. Have taken into the dealer once scheduled for second trip this week. They say it is with in their tolerance boundaries.

- Augusta, KS, USA

problem #141

Sep 242012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 500 miles
The cars transmission stutters, shakes, and hesitate between 1 and 2 gear causing loss of power, grinding noise from transmission, the car also will roll back when on any type of hill.

- Middletown , NY, USA

problem #140

Oct 302013


  • miles
Vehicle's powershift transmission grinds when shifting at lower speeds. Transmission also surges +/- 200 to 300 rpms during perfectly steady accelerator position. Vehicle has attempted to stall numerous times in both drive and reverse. Vehicle also exhibits unpredictable power response (ie very little power when accelerator applied or way too much power when accelerator hardly pressed), resulting in numerous incidents of near collision. Vehicle also shudders when accelerating from a stop. Took vehicle to dealership and was turned away and told all characteristics were "normal". vehicle is, in my opinion, very unsafe and will not be driven other than out of necessity until it is either recalled, fixed, or bought back.

- Fort Walton Beach, FL, USA

problem #139

May 022014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 3,900 miles


The vehicle will stall upon pressing the clutch in while in gear or neutral regardless of speed at random intervals. I'll notice that coming to a stop with the clutch in the car has a hard time finding an idle then ultimately dies. This mostly happens while the car has been running for awhile and the ac is on however it has happened with the ac off. This has happened multiple times including while down shifting into a lower gear while turning. The dealership was unable to reproduce this despite showing video proof of the issue. This is an overall safety concern when the car could shut off at any given moment while driving.

- Auburn, WA, USA

problem #138

May 012012


  • 12,000 miles
The vehicle ever since about 8 months post purchase and to date has a very uncontrollable, jerky transmission, often times lunging forward and even vibrating during acceleration. It rolls back on hills as well. It shifts unpredictably a lot of the time and sometimes gears will slip and then catch very abruptly. How it's avoided recall for this long is beyond my understanding...

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #137

May 312013


  • 1,200 miles
We purchased a 2013 Ford Focus with the dct. By 1200 miles, the transmission was grinding and stuttering to the point of almost stalling during acceleration. Ford performed a repair after finding the clutches burned up and bearing failure. This fix lasted for awhile before the problem returned. During this period we had difficulty getting Ford dealerships to acknowledge the issue. On multiple occasions, with my baby daughter in the back seat, the car would surge, hesitate, nearly stall, and otherwise pose dangerous driving situations. Eventually Ford performed a second repair finding clutch failure again and then when that repair lasted less than 500 miles replaced the entire transmission. But now, even with the new transmission, the problems have returned. Ford customer service insists that nearly stalling and obnoxious stuttering is normal and possibly the result of multiple drivers confusing the computer. Were now at 14000 miles and problem remains.

- Newton, IA, USA

problem #136

May 082014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 23,840 miles
While accelerating from a stop there is a sudden loss of power with a dragging feeling. Vehicle losses speed for several seconds then catches with a jolt.

- Gardena, CA, USA

problem #135

Aug 102013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 1,800 miles
Would not shift into reverse. This was the only time it would not shift but raised a red flag. After turning off ignition and trying again it finally engaged, all other shifter selections were fine; N, D. soon thereafter I began noticing a strange grinding noise coming from the front end accompanied by a slight vibration upon acceleration from a stop or when negotiating a curve at slow speed. We left for tucson soon thereafter towing our Focus behind our motorhome. The car continued with the same issues as described above so I took the car to a local dealer. They test drove and said they didn't find anything wrong and if it happened again to bring it back. Soon after.this we drove from tucson to albuquerque and the car shuddered and hesitated while shifting so badly I felt it was unsafe. Returned to dealer in tucson two more times where they finally "fixed" it. Lasted two days now worse than ever. I feel that this car is very unsafe and should be taken off the road. I have been driving several vehicles since 1958 and this is my worse driving experience ever. I will be making an appointment with my local dealer today to see if they have a solution. I know I am one of many Ford owners with these same transmission issues. Ford should be made to issue a recall. From what I have read Ford considers good fuel mileage more important than safety. If my local dealer can't fix the problem so that I feel safe driving our Focus I will be going back to Toyota or Subaru asap. Another "big three" failure. I am from Michigan and am embarrassed to drive this car assembled in Michigan with a transmission that is total junk.

- Harbor Springs, MI, USA

problem #134

Nov 062012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 5 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving 40 mph, the vehicle failed to respond to acceleration attempts. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 5 and the current mileage was 22,600. Updated 06/30/14 MA the consumer stated the vehicle experienced inconsistent transmission performance and lurches during acceleration from a stop. The vehicle could not be trusted during expected quick response. Updated 07/2/2014

- Safety Harbor, FL, USA

problem #133

Apr 052013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 300 miles
I am leasing this car and got it in March 2013. I have had it in the shop 3 times already and the dealers, 2 different ones, keep telling me it is just normal. I have been driving a long time and even drove a 5 speed, but never have I had these issues. Grinding, shuddering, jerking in lower speeds and I sometimes think the transmission is going to fall out of the car. It has been over a year since I have had it in the shop, as I work and it seems to be worthless for me to take it in. I am not sure if I can file a lemon law complaint, but not sure what else I can do.

- Grapevine , TX, USA

problem #132

May 042014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 5,000 miles
While driving, instrument cluster lights and notification lights blinked off and on 5 times car continued to run normal. Also possible that the tach and speed needle dropped to zero and then went back up to normal. Also starting from a stop hesitation and jerking while starting out from stopped position and from shifting from 1st to 2nd gear. Automatic transmission.

- Wausau, WI, USA

problem #131

Mar 252014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 35,000 miles
This vehicle has a transmission problem that has it hesitating and lurching forward in the slower gears. It is very unpredictable when starting out and I have nearly hit several cars, several times. I brought it back to the dealership, and they updated the software. That did not fix the problem. Then they told me it was a normal "feature" of the manual/automatic transmission. The computer would "learn" my driving habits after a short while. It never has and the problem persists.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #130

Feb 122014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 7,385 miles
I purchased a Ford Focus in May 2013 brand new from a dealership. For the first 6-8 months the car drove fine. Starting in January 2014 I noticed my transmission was grinding through out each gear which is odd because I drive an automatic. I have taken it in four times for repairs covered in my 36000 mile warranty and the problem still persists. The car will vibrate and shudder and jerk when I'm accelerating as well as the persistent grinding. The grinding sounds as if someone put gravel rocks in my transmission. I have searched in online forums and youtube videos and found that there are thousands of other people complaining about the exact same problems and that their local dealerships have also been unable to repair them properly. I don't feel safe driving my car when the transmission feels as if it could go out at any second. A few others have already been able to lemon law their vehicle do to these problems. If it cant be resolved I wont be purchasing from Ford again in the future. My current mileage is at 14,000 and the problems are still occurring.

- East Moline, IL, USA

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