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 19 of 26)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

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

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

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