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 20 of 25)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #109

May 282013


  • miles


In 2/13, my husband and I purchased a '13 Ford Focus from brewster Ford in NY. Unfortunately, our car has never worked correctly. It randomly loses power. It feels like the gas pedal doesn't respond sometimes when we try to accelerate. Our car is currently in their service center for the 4th attempt to repair the problem without any intervention. 3 of the master mechanics, scotty, carlisle, and anthony, say they have driven the car multiple times without repairing anything because they claim that they cannot recreate the problem. 5/28/13 the hesitation and nonresponsive acceleration increased and we brought our car to the service center and paid for an oil change. We were given the car back and told there was no problem found. 6/14/13 we brought the car back to the dealer for the same problem. There was an update for the computer and we thought it might be fixed. 12/9/13 we came back to the service center for the same problem, but this time the car shut off while my husband was driving on the nys thruway and this time the check engine light was on when I dropped it off. Again the car was given back and we were told no problem found. They said that the check engine light was not on. It had been on for two days prior. 12/18/13 we brought our car back to the service center. After we called Ford corporate for help, the service manager, danielle got involved. The gas mileage dropped at this time from 32-27 miles/gallon combined. Our car was at brewster Ford's service center for over 30 days without being contacted once. When my husband called to check on the status, he was told they were waiting on a service engineer to come out. After speaking to angela, the regional manager from Ford, we were told that the service center is unable to recreate the problem and we should again take our unsafe car. 1/23/14 today the regional manager agreed to approve a second opinion.

- Yorktown Heights, NY, USA

problem #108

Jun 072013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 3,500 miles
Automated manual transmission clutches are slipping causing moderate to severe (intermittent) hesitation. Dealer says that the way its supposed to be when I took it in. Went to independent mechanic and fluid is leaking in rear main seal, dealer didn't even check. Replaced clutch assembly at 12000 miles, hesitation from start, 8000 more miles, dealer says nothing wrong, take to independent mechanic and again leaking from rear main seal. Currently waiting for loaner to get fixed again. Contacted attorney to lemon law the car in Georgia and they have sent notification to Ford.

- Powder Springs, GA, USA

problem #107

Feb 142014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 15,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact was driving 55 mph when the vehicle decelerated without the brake pedal being depressed. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for inspection but no issues were found. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the issue. The approximate failure was 15,000. Updated 04/04/14 updated 04/11/2014

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #106

Feb 082014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 13,286 miles


I was driving on the highway at midnight 2/8/2014 at about 75mph when my car started to become stiff in the steering and lost speed rapidly. I down shifted from 5th gear to 4th gear the car would not accelerate even with my foot pressed all the way down on the accelerator, I shifted down to 3rd because of the sudden loss of speed and still nothing the cars rpms would go higher but the speed would not change. This nearly caused me to have an accident so I exited the highway and shut the vehicle off. Once the vehicle was shut off and turned back on the problem went away, I contacted Ford brought it in to their service center and they could not replicate this problem and suggested I continue to drive the vehicle until it happens again.

- Chatsworth, CA, USA

problem #105

Apr 182013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 3,000 miles
Purchased this vehicle on March 30th, 2013 and have had constant transmission problems ever since. The transmission grinds, lurches, rolls backwards on hills, on some occasions refuses to shift gears, squeaks and rattles. I have taken my vehicle into davies Ford in charleroi, pa (which is documented) for service and they have tried to reprogram the shift points. This has lessened the symptoms of the vehicle but they are still persistent at different levels of severity. Some days there aren't any signs of trouble and other days the vehicle grinds and lurches. I have been told that these are characteristics of the dct transmission. The problems have consistently occurred between the purchase date of March 2013 to the current date of 02/07/14.

- Donora, PA, USA

problem #104

Oct 012013


  • 3,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while she drove at 70 mph, the place transmission in park warning light illuminated then the vehicle stalled. The failure was experienced several times. The contact stated that she was able to coast to the shoulder to restart the engine. The vehicle was taken to the dealer several times but the failure could not be replicated. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 3,000 and the current mileage was 10,000.

- Royal Oak , MI, USA

problem #103

Jul 012013

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles


My car like the rest of the complaints does not shift right. It jerks and shudders and makes a loud noise when it shifts. I took it to my Ford dealership and they will not fix it because it does not meet Ford guidelines to fix. They say it is in normal operating standards but I dont think a brand new car should be shuddering when shifts. Now it has an alert pop up saying hill start assist not available and it wont go off.

- Wathena, KS, USA

problem #102

Apr 032013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 1,700 miles
When going up hills the car's transmission refuses to shift instantly and makes loud grinding noise. It would eventually shifts but the split seconds of not shifting causes me anxiety and implies a safety issue. I brought this problem to the attention of Ford of kirkland's service department the first time in April and was told that the car was still "learning" my driving habits because it is still breaking in. The second time I brought my car in was in 12/2013, I was told that what I am experiencing is a known issue to the manufacturer and Ford is trying to come up with a software fix. No one knows when the fix will be available while drivers like me are suffering. In filing this complaint, I hope that with a help from a your Agency Ford will pay more attention to its customers who are enduring this problem when driving their cars every day.

- Sammamish, WA, USA

problem #101

Jan 132014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 19,899 miles
Transmission started slipping, then complete loss of forward motion while in traffic lanes. Dealer says that this is common and there is a two week waiting list for repair.

- Gardena, CA, USA

problem #100

May 132013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 282 miles
The transmission does not shift right. It hesitates, jerks and surging. At lower gears or speed under 40, the car is difficult to control. It shift to higher gear when the speed is not high enough for the gear. This causes poor acceleration and dangerous when merging into highway from ramp.

- Rancho Cordova, CA, USA

problem #99

Apr 022013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 12,000 miles


This car constantly grinds and shutters between the first few gears every day for the last 8 months of ownership. I bought this vehicle on Feb 2013 and it only drove good for 2 months and the remaining time I've had it, has been on the shop over 4 times for the same exact transmission problems. Symptoms; the transmission gears shifts incorrectly and makes louds grinding and shuttering noises. Sometimes the the transmission has power and sometimes it doesn't. not to mention I almost got myself into 2 car accidents because of this vehicle, during stop and go traffic the gears get stuck and I almost rear ended the vehicle in front of me. Please file a complaint to Ford and NHTSA to have these dct transmissions fixed or recalled.

- Lantana, FL, USA

problem #98

Sep 012013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 13,667 miles
As with over 100 other complaints, the transmission is very unstable. Hesitation and almost dying at a stop or in slow bumper to bumper traffic is a safety hazard. Attempting to merge on highways and attain higher speeds from a stop or slow (10-20 mph). Grinding noise from front end at low speeds.. the hesitation in acceleration and jerking at slow speeds, is a safety hazard and as previously stated almost caused numerous accidents. I had it reprogrammed at one dealer, with no results, and just two days ago, on 1-2-2014, another dealer replaced parts on the transmission and called me and said my car was ready. After leaving the dealer, the car started making a rattling noise every time I would accelerate at just about any speed. Took it back today, 1-3-2014, and had transmission tech ride with me. As soon as we pulled out from dealer onto highway, started making rattling noise and shuttering still happening.. now dealer has an actuator motor ordered. Who knows if this is a fix or another patch.

- Guin, AL, USA

problem #97

Dec 312013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 12,552 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while attempting to accelerate, the vehicle jerked violently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the failure could not be diagnosed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was 12,552. Updated 02/11/2014 the consumer believed there may be a problem with the transmission and the tie rod. Updated 02/20/14

- Hawthorne, FL, USA

problem #96

Dec 022013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 5,600 miles
I've driven over 5,000 miles on this new Focus. The first 5K were ok but lately the transmission has become extremely erratic in its behavior. It shudders violently and frequently after shifting in to 2nd gear and then hesitates to accelerate. The transmission also has started making a clanking sound like two pie tins being hit upon each other. I took it to the dealer.. they confirmed it, reprogrammed the transmission electronics and sent me on my way. That did nothing to help it. I took it back a couple of days later after almost getting rear-ended when I pulled into moving traffic and it shuddered and hesitated unexpectedly. The dealer kept it for 2 days and then gave it back saying they could not reproduce the problem. They only drove it 1 mile which is not exactly an exhaustive or good faith effort to reproduce the problem! so, I'm now headed for trip 3 to another Ford service center to see if they can do something about it. The regional customer service rep actually told me that these transmissions should be expected to shudder, grind and hesitate as part of their normal operation. That's insane.. who would buy or want a car that did that!!! had it operated that way when I test drove it.. it would have stayed on the lot to be sure.

- Conyers, GA, USA

problem #95

Dec 112013


  • 4,215 miles
This is similar to the car that I am driving (another Ford Focus electric). My daughter was driving the car to school at the intersection of roseville parkway and douglas boulevard, in roseville, ca to day at about 7:15 am for no apparent reason, the car stopped. She was waiting for the light to turn green. My daughter freaked out and called me. I asked her to shut the car off, open one of the doors, wait for one minute and try to start the car again. After the second attempt the car started. Lucky for her, the other cars switched in the other lanes and she was able to move the car. Again. This is happening too often and feel this is a safety hazard. Same thing has happened in same model and make car that I drive.

- Granite Bay, CA, USA

problem #94

Jun 302013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 300 miles
As with over 100 other complaints, the transmission is a complete failure. Hesitation and almost dying at a stop or in slow bumper to bumper traffic is a safety hazard. Attempting to merge on highways and attain higher speeds from a stop or slow (10-20 mph) has almost caused me to wreck several times to due hesitation in acceleration. Grinding noise from front end at low speeds. Rolls back on a hill (automation transmission) almost caused fender benders. The hesitation in acceleration and jerking at slow speeds, is a safety hazard and as previously stated almost caused numerous accidents. I have had the fse inspect the car twice, a software "upgrade" that did no good, and everyone from Ford says it is operating as "normal characteristics". nothing is normal and someone is going to be seriously injured or die if these problems are not fixed. Dozens of complaints and nothing done.

- Soddy Daisy, TN, USA

problem #93

Nov 012013


  • 17,000 miles
I have owned this Ford Focus titanium for 11 months now. I noticed that the car would shudder while driving at lower speeds and just taking off from a stop position. Sometimes, the car would feel like it was going to stall. There is also grinding from the front end when the car is shifting form 1st-2nd or 3rd-4th gear. I took it in to the Ford dealer, was told it was a sensor and they re-set it and was also told it was a common issue, really?.. not normal to me. Well, it wasn't fixed, it went back to the dealer 4 days later for the same issue. Now I am being told I have to wait on a new clutch and that there is a long wait for the part (back ordered). If this is a major problem with the Focus, these vehicles should be recalled. I have been contemplating on whether to buy another vehicle and just let this one go... I bought the vehicle to last as long as my other Ford has (14yrs), I don't see that happening.

- Moyock, NC, USA

problem #92

Oct 122012


  • 900 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that when accelerating from a complete stop, the vehicle would vibrate abnormally. In addition, there was a reduction in engine power when attempting to accelerate on an incline. The failures were recurring. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the technician advised that the clutches and seals needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 900.

- Bardford, PA, USA

problem #91

Nov 112013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 5,562 miles
Driving home from school with my grandson and the car started to jerk as we crept in the line of traffic. Almost sounded as if it was ready to stall! this car has just over 5000 miles on it and I enjoy driving it but this problem has persisted and is a safety issue as jerking makes it difficult to judge how close to get to the car in front of you ( because the "slipping " in and out of gear surges forward ) and could cause an accident. Even at speeds up to 35-45 mph the hesitation makes me feel as if it is going to stall. So today I researched the problem and am shocked to find this is a major issue and needs to be addressed asap by Ford. Also the door locks don't work properly when using as the manual states. I plan to be at my dealership first thing in the morning.

- Newport News, VA, USA

problem #90

Nov 242013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 301 miles
I have only had to car for a day. The car makes an awful rattling noise and hesitates when going in and out of traffic. To make matters worse, today I was in a parking lot and when I was in drive I pushed the gas to go forward and the car went in reverse! please recall this car. It's so unsafe and someone is going to get killed. Luckily no one was behind me when this happened. Awful transmission. A danger!

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

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