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 21 of 25)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #89

May 012013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 6,000 miles


I purchased a 2013 Ford Focus titanium in October of 2012. Shortly after, the transmission began to hesitate and shudder when accelerating or driving at low speeds, including pulling into and out of the driveway of my home. It then began rolling backwards on inclines. I have never had an automatic transmission freely roll backwards on an incline, much less on that is not very steep. I brought it into the dealership where I bought the car for repairs. They did a reprogram on the vehicle and sent me on my way. Shortly after it began doing it all again. I am currently waiting on a reply from Ford as to what my next step needs to be to get this resolved.

- Beaumont, TX, USA

problem #88

Jul 012013


  • 10,600 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the accelerated pedal would become stuck to the floorboard abnormally. In addition, the rpms exhibited abnormal readings. The dealer performed a diagnostic and advised the contact that the transmission needed to be recalibrated every three months. The transmission was recalibrated. The VIN was not available. The failure and current mileage was 10,600.

- Hamilton , OH, USA

problem #87

Oct 152013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 3,250 miles
While driving my Ford Focus it "stuttered", I.e. while I was pushing on the gas the vehicle stopped responding and jerked as though I had shifted to a lower gear. I have had this happened before, but didn't really pay attention to it until the 15 Oct. Incident. I mentioned it to my wife who also just bought a Ford Focus 2013 model and she confirmed her vehicle had the same issue. Several google searches later I found out that NHTSA is investigating these electronic propulsion transmission failures. Please add our two vehicles to this report. Thank you.

- North Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #86

Nov 012013


  • 19,000 miles


This incident has now occurred twice in one week. The first time I was driving out of my apartment complex and the car just died. The fuel light never went on and still said I had about 30 more miles until E. was towed to the dealership, and they told me they put gas in it and it started right up. It said I had 144 miles until E and they calibrated it and the mileage decreased to 133. I drove the car 80 miles and happened again yesterday, but this time I was on a busy state road going about 55 mph with my son in the car. The car jerked and I could tell it was losing power. Luckily I was able to coast into a subdivision. The fuel light never went on and also stated I still had about 33 miles left until E. the car has been towed again to same dealership and no word on what is wrong. Was told they were on the phone with Ford to solve the problem. I am currently in a rental and scared to drive my car as I am afraid this will happen again. Also, had many transmission and clutch issues this summer and those parts have since been replaced. The car is a year old and been in the shop more times than my old car that I traded in for my new Ford.

- Clermont, FL, USA

problem #85

Sep 152012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 7,000 miles
The contact owns 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle would stall and exhibit an abnormal grinding noise when driving 20-30 mph. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 7,000. The consumer stated the vehicle exhibited a rough jerk, when shifting into lower gears, as well as a shudder and grinding metal sound when accelerating. The vehicle was sluggish, and did not perform as a new care should. The dealer was unable to find a problem and the technician informed the consumer, the vehicle was performing as designed. Updated 05/05/14

- Golfport, FL, USA

problem #84

Sep 272013


  • 21,755 miles
I have owned this Ford Focus for approx. 1 year. 10 months into owning it, I noticed the car would shudder when I was driving at lower speeds, or pulling into the driveway which has a slight incline. The car felt like it was going to stall unless I gave it a lot of gas to keep it moving. There is a loud grinding noise coming from the front end. After about a week of this I took it to a local Ford dealer, a tech. Rode with me and agreed it was shuddering and making grinding noises. They said this was common in this vehicle, but they had a fix for it. They reset the transmission strategy and said it should take care of it. Within a week the same thing started all over, the jerking, the grinding noise was louder than ever and more chronic. I took it back to the same dealership that had reset the transmission. Again a tech drove it, confirmed my concerns. I was informed Ford would not authorize any additional repairs on my vehicle, and that the grinding is "normal clutch ratchet noise". I took it to the dealership where I purchased the car this time, explained my concerns. I waited for approximately 2 hours while they inspected my car. I was informed that my car was operating normally, and no further repairs would be authorized by Ford. The service consultant told me there were five other customers ahead of me for clutch replacements for the same kind of issue I am having. He stated the clutches were on back order due to the high number of problems with these vehicles. Talked to the regional customer service manager today, she told me Ford was only responsible for mechanical failures. Her words to me were that I would have to "live with the grinding noise, the shuddering and jerking."what happens when I get rear ended at a stop light because my car shudders at low speeds and takes off slowly?" 3 times in for service within 30 days. No help from Ford!

- Hilliard, OH, USA

problem #83

Dec 032012


  • 200 miles


Transmission failure, slowing to exit off the interstate, vehicle shook violently. Took it to the Ford dealer that I purchased it from, they refused to look at or service my vehicle and sent me on my way. I had already taken it to them on 3 different occasions for a noise after the vehicle was shut off, they assured me the noise was normal, saying it was lubricating the transmission so it didn't have to "cold start." I found a tsb about this noise and took it back to them to have them correct the problem they had told me was normal. After they made the noise go away is when the transmission started to slip. I took it to a different Ford dealer who replaced the defective parts after a 36 day wait. I had the vehicle back for 3 days and the transmission started slipping again. I filed a complaint with the BBB requesting Ford do a buy back of the vehicle, arbitrator ruled they didn't have to. I am now in the process of appealing this decision. These cars with this particular transmission are unsafe and Ford is refusing to do anything about it.

- Altoona, WI, USA

problem #82

Oct 192013


  • 1,200 miles
My vehicle had difficulty starting, and once I did get it started, I could not put the car in reverse. The reverse gear would not engage on the automatic transmission. The car could operate in the forward direction, however, issues were noted when the car changed gears (from 1st to 2nd, and 2nd to 3rd) even though it's an automatic. Rattling sounds we're heard as the car lurched into the next gear. After 80 miles or so, the display said to turn the car off and wait 9 minutes for transmission to cool. After waiting, car had issues starting, and same problems persisted. Car was towed to dealership.

- Parma, OH, USA

problem #81

Oct 262013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 124 miles
I just bought this brand new 2013 Ford Focus titanium on Friday 10/25/2013 and it had 107 miles. I drove around yesterday. While getting on ramp to 85 South freeway from fremont blvd, I heard this loud rattling noise coming from under the vehicle, as I accelerated the noise grew louder. I had no choice but continuing and existed at the next exit. Drove to a small street, driving slowly to see what the noise was. There I were, every time I accelerate, you can hear the rattle. This is brand new car. I went online all night last night and surprisingly, there are some many similar car owners with the exact same problem with new 2012-2013 Ford Focus. I'm taking the car back to the dealer but I can see so much headache ahead to get this fixed. Please look into this matter as soon as possible to avoid more future car owners of Ford Focus.

- Sunnyvale, CA, USA

problem #80

Jun 012013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 20,000 miles
Vehicle going on lower gear (1st to 3rd gear) will slip. The transmission will jerk and choke. When it chokes the vehicle looses power and slows down causing the car behind almost hit me. Also there is a dry rattle from the transmission. Brought it back to Ford dealer and they said all test is normal but can't do any other repair to test because I am under warranty and Ford don't authorize them to do further repairs.

- Tracy, CA, USA

problem #79

Aug 012013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 10,000 miles


The engine and Ford selectshift dual clutch transmissions are dangerous. They are very unpredictable.the transmission shudders, grinds and bucks in traffic. It has caused me to nearly hit the vehicle in front of me before. The engine's electronic throttle is also very unpredictable. Sometimes when I try to merge into traffic and press the accelerator, nothing at all happens for a couple of seconds. This has nearly caused me to be struck by another vehicle before.

- Riva, MD, USA

problem #78

Aug 072013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 9,100 miles
With 9100 miles on it...while driving on the freeway the rpms revved to over 7000 and then down to zero. All gears were lost and had to coast to a stop on the shoulder. Towed to dealer where they downloaded software to it and said it was fine. Approximately 1000 miles later the same thing happened while crossing traffic on a highway. Towed to a dealer where a clutch motor was replaced. With 14320 miles on it the same thing happened while turning off a freeway ramp. Towed to dealer where the car was taken back in trade for a new car. Vehicle was powerless to move and could have resulted in injury or death of occupants due to shutdown occurring while moving in traffic at high speeds.

- Oakdale, MN, USA

problem #77

Oct 162013


  • 6,401 miles
After coasting around a corner at 30mph I pressed accelerator and the transmission started slipping and then caught and the car launched forward. It did this three times and now its making a grinding noise.

- Wanatah, IN, USA

problem #76

Jun 042013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 9,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while accelerating from a complete stop, the transmission began to slip gears in a jerking motion. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer three times where the computer system was reprogrammed on each occasion. The failure continued to recur after the most recent repair was performed. The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 9,000....updated 11-18-13

- Roland, AR, USA

problem #75

Oct 152013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 20,000 miles
Car jerks alot! always jerking at low speeds and usually through gears 1-4. very unreliable in city driving and feels very unsafe. I totally regret purchasing this vehicle. Taken it several times to the Ford camelback in phx AZ and they just say its the way the manufacture built the car and how the car is able to save gas. Ford needs to recognize this problem and give Ford owners a break.

- Fremont, CA, USA

problem #74

Oct 102013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 9,000 miles
Was driving up my driveway which is fairly steep, the engine slipped out of gear (it's an automatic transmission) and started to roll backwards down the hill, the engine was revving/redlining as if it were in neutral. I quickly applied the brakes, and stepped on the gas. The car was still not in gear and continued to roll back, I applied the brakes again, and then the gas at which point the car shot forward, lucky that I was far enough away from the garage or any objects and remained in gear when I pulled into the garage. This same thing happened to me on flat ground in a parking lot one day. The lurch was less, but the car still shot forward faster than it should have, another instance where I was lucky that there were no pedestrians/cars/objects to run into. This car is dangerous and a liability.

- Clayton , NC, USA

problem #73

Aug 132013


  • 6,000 miles
When driving on residential roads, I often feel my 2013 Ford Focus stall or jerk. Often times there are glitches in the electrical wiring of locks and also in the radio. The door will stay locked after hitting the unlock button on the inside multiple times. The radio will not turn on, unless I turn off and re-turn on the car. As for the stalling, it often stalls when going anywhere from 30-65 mph.

- Stow, OH, USA

problem #72

Oct 032013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 8,012 miles
Traveling at 40 mph when suddenly transmission disengaged and car slowed and only revved. Stop at stop signed, tried to accelerate engine only revved then transmission engaged and car jerked. This continued the 3 miles left to my house.

- Amelia, OH, USA

problem #71

Jul 012013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 2,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the transmission manual internal shifting system failed, causing the vehicle to shudder at low speeds and when reversing. The dealer reprogrammed the transmission computer and cleaned the clutch however, the failure was not corrected. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 2,000 and the current mileage was 29,293. Updated 11/12/13 the consumer stated as of October 29, 2013, he is still dealing with the shifter shudder, when first starting out. Updated 11/18/13

- West Palm Beach , FL, USA

problem #70

Jun 132013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 1,000 miles
This car needs to be recalled. Took to dealer with problem about 1,000 miles. They acknowledged it has a problem and said they needed to keep it overnight. Then I find out all they did is reset the computer. That did not work and now at 7,000 miles the problem is getting worse. Engine hesitates and slips when starting accelerate and is worse around 30 mph when the engine shutters, rattles and jumps like I am riding on a horse. How can Ford sell a car that has a major flaw like this" I see hundreds of complaints similar problems. When is the government going to do something? I just wasted my money. I expect to get a good car with no problems but I get a new piece of trash. How can I get the car fixed or my money back"

- Daytona Beach, FL, USA

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