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 3 of 25)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #449

Apr 092014


  • 9,000 miles


Shifts into neutral when upshifting (automatic). Shudders & grinds when shifts. Have almost been rear ended numerous times due to late shifting or going into neutral. This happens on city streets and expressways. On third clutch and still happening.

- Hamilton, OH, USA

problem #448

Apr 082016


  • 39,000 miles
2013 Ford Focus with 39000 miles on it. I have noticed the shudder on acceleration. Returned it to dealer, they reset computer. The shudder has returned.

- Ridgely, MD, USA

problem #447

Oct 022014


  • 37,584 miles
The transmission in my car has failed 7 times since 7/15/2014. The transmission fails and causes the car to jerk, shudder, lag and jump in traffic. I have nearly rear-ended many vehicles and was nearly hit 3 times because the transmission slipped while making a left hand turn. This car is not safe to drive.

- Boone, NC, USA

problem #446

Jul 152013


  • 8,000 miles


We bought our 2013 Focus brand new at carl gregory Ford in auburn, al for my daughter as her first car in 2013. Soon after that we began having problems with the transmission shuttering badly and the car acting like it was going to stall or loose power which is very dangerous especially for her. We took it to the Ford dealership here in tallassee, al and they said they just needed to flash the computer and this would fix it. Well it did we went back again and again the same procedure again. So we went back a couple of more times and they tried other fixes. Then we took it back again to the same dealership and the said they would tear it down and clean it and check it out. It was there for a few days, we picked it up and a few days later it started. Even the mechanic said it was not going to work and that we would be back. He was right so we took it to another dealership, carl gregory Ford in auburn, al and they looked at it and said the same thing. So at this point we need some help. This is extremely unsafe to drive this vehicle. I'm going back to tallassee motors tomorrow (4-25-2016) to start all over. Please help us!!!!

- Tallassee, AL, USA

problem #445

Apr 182016


  • 34,000 miles
Transmission causes the vehicle to shutter when accelerating from low speeds. The transmission also makes a grinding noise with varying performance in gear shifts and acceleration speed. The issue is intermittent, making the performance of the vehicle difficult to predict. This creates a dangerous situation when accelerating from a stop, e.g. when pulling through an intersection from a stop.

- Enola, PA, USA

problem #444

Apr 202016


  • 60,000 miles
My 2013 Ford Focus has 60K miles or less and the rack and pinion went out while I was driving and other than that I got the car at 36K miles and has had it in the shop twice because of shuttering in between gears which is scary sometimes. Needless to say the software was updated twice and clutch was replaced and it still shutters.

- Sikeston, MO, USA

problem #443

Dec 282015


  • 44,000 miles


I purchased a used 2013 Ford Focus SE from crossroad Ford fuquay varina on November 2015. The car was displayed on clearance. (27000 miles). I thought it would be good on gas for travels back and forth to work. Yes, it is good on gas. However, the transmission started shuddering and rattling at 10 mph late December 2015. I changed the spark plugs and it seemed to run better. By late January 2016, it begin to shudder/ rattle again. I requested asistance twice by chat on the Ford website but no one contacted me. I finally called the dealer who confirmed problems with the tcm, a need for computer reprogramming and clutch issues. Ford diagnostic confirmed that it needed a new clutch. It is on back order for 6 to 8 weeks. I was told to continue driving it but the engine reved up on 04/15/16 at a speed of 55mph and the check engine ligh came on. So I scheduled a service ( 04/18/16) I was told that the engine light was related to the clutch issue. Additionally, I was told that cyclinder one was misfiring and I need a new coil pack. I have a 2007 Ford Fusion sel (234,00 miles), it has been the most reliable car. No problems with the transmisson on the Fusion. What happened with the Focus? I find it appalling that a 44,000 mile vehicle could have so many problems. I feel that the Ford location in fuquay varina, nc knowingly sold this car to me with knowledge of the defects. There are so many complaints by numerous customers about the Focus. The dual clutch transmission (dct) is not reliable. Fsa title: Transmission clutch shudder / transmission input shaft seal warranty extension field service action number: 14M01 fsa title: Transmission control module extended warranty coverage field service action number: 14M02

- Fuquay Varina, NC, USA

problem #442

Mar 152016


  • 45,000 miles
This car has had problems since it was purchased in may of 2015. Transmission makes loud grinding noises, loss of power, stalling, loss of acceleration. I have had it to the dealer multiple times to only be told we've updated the transmission and it should be ok.....just drive the car, let it get used to my driving and it will be ok. Not true! none of this has helped. The last time it went to the dealer, it had to be towed because it wouldn't start. This is a huge safety hazard and Ford should be held responsible. They should not be allowed to keep sending customers on their way with vehicles that they know are faulty.

- Bastian, VA, USA

problem #441

Nov 112015


  • 50,000 miles
The car shifts roughly from 1st to 2nd gear while in motion. It shudders and jerks while trying to pull out into traffic. It also hesitates when accelerating from a stopped position. The vehicle has been brought into the Ford dealer multiple times and have been told that this is a typical problem for this car and can not do anything about it. I bought this car for my daughter who is a new driver, based on its safety rating and after owning it for only a couple of months am now faced with this issue. I feel that this is now a safety issue since it affects entering into traffic with a shifting problem.

- St. Cloud, FL, USA

problem #440

Apr 042013


  • 8,000 miles
Transmission shudder, rough shift, hesitation, grinding noise on acceleration. Unsafe to drive on slippery road conditions

- Hortonville, WI, USA

problem #439

Apr 022016


  • 63,000 miles


Transmission jerks and hesitates when pulling out since the day I bought it 2 yrs ago. Talked to the dealer and was told it was normal. Had a computer update done and still the the same. As of recently the problem got worse. I was at a red light in the middle of a busy intersection when the light changed I pulled out and then the transmission would not shift and I was stuck sideways in the middle of the intersection with oncoming traffic. I shut the car off and restarted it and was able to get off the road then it did the same thing again. I again shut it off and let it sit for about 15 min tried it and was able to make it back home. Since then it has happened a few more times with the same result. I have researched and seen alot of other people are having similar problems and Ford is aware and yet nothing. My factory warranty has expired and I cannot afford repair costs that according to reports does not completely fix the problem anyway nor can I afford to replace the car because I owe more than it is worth. Any information or help would be greatly appreciated.

- Shamokin, PA, USA

problem #438

Mar 262013


  • 5,690 miles
We had problems with the transmission since we bought the car on 11/16/12. We experience sudden lurches forward when pressing on the gas pedal, delayed acceleration when taking of, sudden loss of forward propulsion, transmission slipping, delayed gear engagement, hard or erratic shifts and transmission engagement failure while driving. Due to all these problems we once lost control of the car while driving on a city street at 55 miles per hour and had to stop on the side of the road. We have taken the car at least 8 times to get serviced and the the problem does not get resolved.

- Sebastian, FL, USA

problem #437

Sep 082015


  • 17,858 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While driving at any speed, the vehicle jerked, stalled, and lost power. The failure began immediately after the vehicle was repaired by a local dealer for the tcm/PCM control module. The failure recurred and the vehicle was taken back to the dealer who replaced the clutch assembly in September 2015. The failure recurred and the vehicle was taken back to the dealer eleven times. The dealer continued to reprogram the tcm and the PCM, stating that the transmission assembly needed to be replaced. The part was on back order. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and stated that it was a characteristic of the transmission. The contact was advised to place 50 percent pressure on the acclerator pedal. The failure mileage was 17,858.

- Kissimie, FL, USA

problem #436

Mar 192016


  • 10,000 miles
Transmission does not shift into gears as it should, no power going up hill.sounds like motor going to fall out when you park.these happens several times and at different places

- Cambridge, OH, USA

problem #435

Mar 062016


  • 29,200 miles
I purchased the car in question used from carmax in boynton beach, Florida on the first week of March 2016. The Ford Focus had approx. 29,200 miles on the odometer. During the first 200 miles, I noticed the car shifting roughly from first to second, and second to third gears. The erratic operation was most noticeable when the engine was warm. When accelerating from a full stop, the vehicle would shudder and jerk sometimes. I took the car back to carmax after three days of shifting problems. Representatives of carmax took the car to autonation Ford in delray beach, Florida for inspection and diagnosis. The dealer confirmed there were powertrain problems. Now, I have been advised that there are field service bulletins pertaining to the transmission control module, shaft seal, and clutches. Ford has advised me that the clutches need to be replaced and are on backorder for at least 8 to 10 weeks. It is likely I will be without my car for three months or longer.

- Greenacres, FL, USA

problem #434

Mar 282016


  • 30,000 miles
The so called automatic transmission, slips and chatters when starting from a stop. The issue is worst when trying to start from a stop on any inclined road or trying to make a turn, the car has been reflashed in Feb 2016 as per the tsb, I was told by the dealership that I had to drive it for a min of 600 miles before they would retest it, the issue is it is worse after the reflash programing of the transmission control module. I have times when trying to accelerate, that the dash warning lamps come on and buzzers go off, the car won't move then bang it moves, a totally unsafe car, the eyes of a now retired master auto tech who fixed cars for 45 years.

- Highland Lakes, NJ, USA

problem #433

Jul 042013


  • 4,000 miles
During a road trip while on a highway onramp going mostly straight at gradual acceleration, experienced complete failure of the computer system, beginning with erratic changing of gears rocking me back and forth in my seat, to infotainment display shutdown, to engine stopping. Had to exit highway and 'reboot' the system to continue travelling. After initial repairs, still experienced harsh gear shifts up to and including present day. Gear shifts could easily affect the control of the vehicle. To my understanding, the fault is how the computer uses the dual-clutch system to shift gears. I have been told that at times, the car did not know what gear it was in. There have been multiple recalls regarding these issues with this and other Ford models with this clutch system. There are other work reports, but I was unable to fit them within your upload limitations.

- San Marcos, CA, USA

problem #432

Mar 162016


  • 86,000 miles
I can't start the car or it randomly will not start. I leave heading to work everything is ok, car starts no problem. When I get back into the car and try to drive home or store. Car will not start, dashboard says car is in park or neutral. When I turn key to the on position, I move the gear shift to other gears, still dashboard says it's in park. My T-mobile more than likely went out but, they can't replace it until my check engine light comes on for the codes for my tcm. If the problem for the car is known for having bad seals and tcm, why not just replace it. This will be the 3 time I have taking my car back to the dealer, and there only solution is reprogramming the car computer. I have taken it twice this week alone.

- Turlock, CA, USA

problem #431

Mar 102016


  • miles
Purchased a used 2013 Focus in January of 2014. Drove fine for the first 6 month but since then have had it in the dealership 3 separate times for transmissions issues (in under 9 months) each time Ford claiming it fixed the issue. New hardware Ford is claiming to have put in the car is failing again. Latest failure occurred at an intersection where I lost the ability to accelerate completely and had to get out and push the car with other motorists to saftey. The car then had to be towed to the dealer. This nature of this failure is going to eventually cause some serious injuries and crashes if it hasn't already. Given the number of complaints I urge the NHTSA to open an investigation into this.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #430

Jul 152013


  • miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While driving at various speeds, the vehicle made a loud noise and jerked forward without warning. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission control module and transmission failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired under a manufacturer's recall, but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage and NHTSA campaign number were unknown.

- Sumiton, AL, USA

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