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 20 of 26)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

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

problem #129

Jul 132013


  • 560 miles


TL-the contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated while driving approximately 30 mph, the vehicle began to shake and vibrate continuously. In addition, the transmission would slip gears. The failure recurred whenever vehicle driving from a complete stop or during deceleration. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer twice for diagnosis. The technician was able to duplicate the problem and recommended that the six clutches be replaced. The vehicle had not been repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 560.

- Edmonds , WA, USA

problem #128

Apr 252014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 49,400 miles
I first noticed a problem with my transmission the first week I bought my '13 Ford Focus. I would hear a shuddering and gears grinding when I would accelerate and my transmission would slip when shifting gears. I took it to the dealer and asked them to check it out but was told that it was normal and nothing to worry about and sent me on my way without even taking a look under the hood. I informed them I was worried about getting into an accident with it and they said that would be impossible and it was of no concern. On Friday, April 25th, 2014, after driving 40 minutes to work, I started my car up again and turned onto a main city road from a parking lot then onto a residential street. There, I noticed my transmission light had turned on and my car was having a difficult time shifting gears. The rpms skyrocketed and then plummeted. I was going about 20mph-25mph and my dash is reading 4rpms. I then turn onto another main road where my car started chugging along, it felt, while revving multiple times. I had no control over my own vehicle. About a mile or two away, I reached my destination. I parked and then started to drive again where my car then stopped and I had to declare it inoperable. The next day, I had to have the car towed. Come to find out, the transmission problems I complained about to the dealer were not normal and any day my car was going to quit on me. April 25th, 2014 happened to be that day. My car is just outside of the lemon law as I purchased it last January. Ford is hesitant on helping me and getting my car back and running. I was told there was no problem and nothing to worry about, therefore, I did not pursue the problem any further.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #127

Apr 252014


  • 22,800 miles
When accelerating from a stop or moving position in my car I get a crunching, grinding noise and sudden jerking. Seems to come from the transmission but every time I take my car in for service they refuse to even look at the car and say it's normal and hand me paperwork saying it's fine. Sometimes the car will hardly even accelerate from a stopped position or move as slow as molasses. I need help with this because it's very dangerous.

- Irving, TX, USA

problem #126

Apr 172014


  • 14,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that after parking the vehicle on a hill, it rolled away in reverse and crashed into another vehicle. A police report was not filed. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 14,000.

- Atlantic , GA, USA

problem #125

Jun 182013


  • 150 miles


The first incident occurred two days or so after purchasing the car. Heard grinding noise in the front of the car as if metal was dragging on asphalt. Took it to dealership and they stated it was normal. About two weeks later check engine light came on. Took it to dealership and they ran a test and said nothing was wrong and reset the computer. A week later, message comes on the screen in the car to immediately pull over due to high temperatures. Lifted the hood and steam was emanating from the coolant reservoir and the lid had come off due to the pressure. I had to call for a tow to the dealership. They ran another test and found that the radiator fan had failed and they had to replace it. More repeated trips to the dealership to address the grinding transmission but to no avail. In April 2014, I started to experience violent shuddering and jerking, along with the grinding, and again took it to the dealership. They told my husband nothing was wrong because they did not experience it when he came in. Took it back the next day, they ran a test and found that I was is fact right that something was wrong. The clutch was being leaked on by seals above it. They told me they had ordered the part and would call me when it came in. I was not told to leave it there. They said they would call me when the part came in. The car lurches forward when shifting and shudders horribly. I would not recommend this car to anyone and I do not feel safe driving it and nothing seems to be done about it.

- Clarksville, TN, USA

problem #124

Jul 222013


  • 8,700 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while trying to accelerate, the transmission slipped. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who could not duplicate the failure. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 8,700.

- Gainsville, FL, USA

problem #123

Apr 022014


  • 35,000 miles
The contact 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that he accelerated from a complete stop when he felt the transmission slip. The contact stated that failure only occurred whenever the vehicle was warm. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for inspection. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 35,000.

- Santa Rosa Beach, FL, USA

problem #122

Nov 132013


  • 6,500 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated while driving various speeds, the vehicle lunged forward without any warning and the transmission was leaking. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and the technician diagnosed that the transmission seals and clutch assembly needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 6,500. The current mileage was 10,950.

- Rockledge, FL, USA

problem #121

Mar 082014


  • 7,000 miles
On my 2013 Ford Focus St I have been experiencing a stalling issue while moving. Car will stall when clutch is pressed while slowing down. Ford has a tsb issued, but will not perform required work due to no code being present. The issue will come and go. Upon browsing internet this is a known issue and many people have been told Ford will not perform the fix. So there are numerous Ford Focus St on the road having this exact problem. It is affecting the current year as well. Here is a link to a discussion on this topic as you can see it is pretty much more than 50% of cars sold seem like they will eventually have this issue. It's a matter of luck if it will throw a code. People have resorted to fixing it themselves. This is absurd. This issue needs to be made public since Ford seems they are trying to save money by saying they need a code present. I brand new car should not be stalling while moving or any time you don't physically shut it off. It's creating a dangerous situation.

- Woodbury, NJ, USA

problem #120

Nov 082012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 1,500 miles
My 2013 Ford Focus wants to stall when going from 1st to 2nd and or the gears slip and the car stutters losing speed suddenly. It is equipped with the manual automatic transmission. Initially it was also doing it while trying to reverse. I called the dealership with in two months of purchase and was told that the vehicle needed to be "broken in" and continue to drive it for 1500-2K miles. I let it go and finally brought it in the following September and since than an additional 5 times. They have replaced the throttle body and reprogrammed the vehicle three times. It will act ok for a few weeks after the reprogramming then slowly goes back into the same pattern until it happens on a consistent basis. I find it occurs more after driving highway miles and then being stuck in heavy traffic (which is my daily commute). I've spoken with four different Ford technicians and each claim that Ford is aware of this problem however they do not know how to fix it. Initially I was accused of driving two footed or not knowing how a standard should shift. Upon explaining that I do not drive two footed, I am well aware of how standards should shift as I am not a new driver, I would be connected with a technician. This is a huge safety concern especially in bumper to bumper traffic on the highway.

- Merritt Island, FL, USA

problem #119

Feb 042013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 5,000 miles
2013 Ford Focus transmission problems include noise, grinding, shuddering, lurching. Dealer claims they are normal but represents safety and financial issue (I'll never be able to sell the car) and I don't want it anymore. This is a dangerous vehicle.

- Tacoma, WA, USA

problem #118

Apr 092014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 18,000 miles
Engine stalls and shuts off while coasting or coming to a stop with the clutch in.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #117

Aug 062013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 6,000 miles
In August of 2013 I brought my 2013 Ford Focus into the dealership with transmission issues. I owned the car for 6 months at that point with 6,000 miles on it. Car was shuddering at lower gears, transmission felt like it was slipping, at times RPM would rev up higher than normal, grinding noise could be heard from the engine at times, loss of power and a couple times complete loss of acceleration while trying to turn across traffic. I took the car into my local Ford dealership and a couple of software updates were applied to the car. This fixed it for maybe 3 months then I started noticing loss of power in the car again, and now recently all of the same issues I originally had, and listed above, have resurfaced. Current miles are 14,000. I can't even go up a hill faster than 25 miles an hour, the car fails to change gear and engine rpms rev and the transmission is slipping everyday. My car is back at Ford, this time for a week while they try to determine what is wrong with it. This is not normal operating for a car no matter what Ford says. Loss of power while trying to cross traffic is definitely a safety concern.

- Auburn, WA, USA

problem #116

Feb 052014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 5,000 miles
While driving, the transmission shifted itself to neutral. It did this a number of times. This is dangerous because I could have been hit in the rear end when the car slowed down. Apparently, it was a faulty computer code.

- Nipomo, CA, USA

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