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 4 of 25)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #429

Feb 252016


  • miles


Have had car in for multiple transmission issue's. dropped off to dealer was told clutch was bad and part is on back order.this will be the fourth clutch installed have talked to Ford and the BBB no help.the car has less than 60,000 mile been through four clutches and two tcm's. every four month car at dealership getting transmission work done.with all the issue's of the car value have decreased value. And will go upside down if trying to get rid of my lemon. I will never buy from Ford again and am very disappointed in there handling of the problems.

- Newport News, VA, USA

problem #428

Mar 012016


  • 24,000 miles
Transmission shudders when shifting from 1st to 2nd. It also shudders at higher speeds, sometimes violently. It has been in for service twice in less than a month. The first time they updated the computer and it still shuddered on the way home. The second time Ford reported that the vehicle "has the latest calibration and rpms are within Ford spec at this time."

- Bellbrook, OH, USA

problem #427

Dec 072015


  • 38,000 miles
I purchased my used 2013 Ford Focus in 2015 with no notice of the potential clutch/powershift recall by the dealer. In December I received the notice of recall and brought it to a dealer. They ran the software fix. It did not fix the clutch shudder, however they removed the open recall off of the site despite my reservations. The dealer was unconcerned, but told me it would take at least 6-8 weeks to get a new clutch and that that should fix the problem. The shudder has gotten so bad that the car is nearly un-driveable and unsafe when I do drive it to work. It shudders and won't upshift and won't accelerate which is very problematic when one is trying to drive in traffic and avoid hurting oneself, other drivers, or pedestrians. I took my complaint to Ford Motor Company as I wanted a loaner car or something until they could fix my car, however they have only given me a case number and told me that there is now no estimated date to get a new clutch for my car. I am now forced to drive an unsafe car as they are unwilling and unable to fix my car or find another solution for me.

- Earlville, NY, USA

problem #426

Feb 122016


  • 61,500 miles


Ford Focus purchased in 2013. Transmission in for repairs total of five times. Two of those five times, vehicle had to be towed back to dealer. First tow: Vehicle started shuddering violently while going 70 mph on expressway, " transmission fault" light came on, (two children in the car under the age of 9 as well), turned hazards on and coasted off onto a nearby exit and waited for tow truck. Second tow: Vehicle stopped, shuddered while exiting expressway, warning system came on "transmission fault: Service now". both times vehicle lost power, could not engage into gear. High traffic area on expressways, luckily was not injured. Non-tow repairs: Transmission shudders violently, has difficulty switching out of first or second gears, able to drive vehicle to shop, where it is serviced, but begins to have issues within several months of repairs each times, repeat of the same issues. This is an extremely unreliable and dangerous vehicle that loses power and has issues with the transmission locking up/failing at any given moment, despite multiple repairs and clutch replacements by a certified Ford dealer. This vehicle needs to be seriously reevaluated for safety.

- Lombard, IL, USA

problem #425

Feb 012016


  • miles
On December 26, 2015 I bought my daughter a used 2013 Focus four door sedan with 46882 miles from a local dealership in annapolis, Maryland. The car drove very nice with no obvious problems. In early February this year my daughter noticed that the transmission made a loud rattling, shuttering noise from a stop. It now happens from pulling forward from every stop, like from a stop sign or traffic light. The cars feels like there is no power to the wheels and when the transmission catches it lunges froward. The transmission feels like it is shifting between first and second gear and vibrates badly. The symptoms are getting worse and now the symptoms are worse and it happens almost every time you start from a stop. It is also worse if you are on an incline or slight hill although the symptoms can occur on a flat road. The symptoms also occur in reverse. The problem is now happening almost all the time. The car does not appear safe to drive. The car currently has only 49000 miles. I bought this car for my daughter and now I can not let her drive it since she commutes 75 miles a day. My daughter now has to use her mom's car and since I am handicapped I can not drive the Focus so my wife has to and I feel she is at risk of injury or worse. I am over 50 years old and have never had a car do this. I have talked to other Focus owners and they all have the same problem. Someone has to do something to Ford to have them fix the transmissions before a death occurs. Not only do the dealerships not know how to fix the problems they are saying nothing is wrong. Please help us consumers who have been the victims of Ford new transmission. Ford has not fixed this problem which was reported in is now 2016!!!

- Annapolis, MD, USA

problem #424

Nov 092015


  • 48,000 miles
The car shudders - and is worsening and will soon be inoperable - very dangerous. Took to dealer and they said it needs a new clutch but it would be 3 months or longer as they are out of stock. Ford issued an fsa and that is 14M01. Do they expect me not to drive the car for 3 months.

- Sussex, WI, USA

problem #423

Dec 062015


  • 39,400 miles


Car makes noise. Car sluggish when I give gasoline. Went to dealer about 5 times before dealer decided I had transmission problem. Dealer told me would only repair transmission. Waited for part. Went back to dealer to say car almost stalled. Was applying brakes at the time on highway. Out of concern for condition car was in, had car on cruise control to limit sudden application of gas or brake. Was on road for about 20 minutes on highway. I worried car would stall and cause accident. Dealer later said machine review of my car says it was drivable. Advised dealer if it almost stalls, it may stall. Dealer said: I will have to wait for part. It has been over 2 months, part not at dealer. Latest is that Ford corporation advised me part was sent 8 days ago. Dealer does not have part. Last 3 days dealer does not call back after I left messages to tell me status of part. Car is unsafe to drive, need to drive long distance, but I do not want to risk it. Waited for part since 12/6/2015. Dangerous highway incident was 1/1/2016

- Ridge, NY, USA

problem #422

Jan 162016


  • 57,500 miles
I have a 2013 Ford Focus and had to have a transmission module replacement due to the car intermittently, and with increasing regularity, refusing to start. I was fortunate enough to be in a safe parking lot when this started happening. In the dead of winter this can be a real problem, and depending on traffic conditions it could have been a lot worse. I am mainly filing this because the mechanic who fixed my car said that he had to go pretty far afield to find a new module because the area was (gaston county, nc) was out of them due to the frequency of problems with similar Ford models.

- Dallas, NC, USA

problem #421

Feb 022016


  • 17 miles
I have Ford Focus for 2 years from the first week on driving there is vibrating feeling and grinding sounds coming from the engine. When am at the stop light or in traffic when moving he vibration felt as if the engine is going fall out the car. I take it to the dealer to have a service done on it and I was told that there is a recall on the transmission module programming. A day later there is a pop up on my dashboard - transmission fault and its driving terribly. High compression sound coming from the engine and it slow down completely in traffic. I think this is at risk for an accident where drivers behind me and my safety. Ford should really consider the recall on these cars

- New Carrollton, MD, USA

problem #420

Jan 222016


  • 47,000 miles
While driving on the freeway at 65 mph the automatic transmission completely disengaged with a loss of control causing immediate slowdown. Unable to re-engage the transmission. Barely avoiding multiple car accident. There has been several recalls by the manufacturer regarding transmission problems.

- Santa Rosa, CA, USA

problem #419

May 012014


  • 30,000 miles


The transmission jumps and slips and on longer trips it gets to a point where the car is not safe to drive when you try to start moving it will bogg down and then it will take off and jump shutter we took it back to the dealer and they did rebuild the trans it run ok for about a month and the problem returned we took it back to the dealer and now they say this is normal for this car I can't see how this can be safe or normal to drive a car that jumps shutters and when you start out moving you can't tell if it's going to nose over and sit or take off my wife is scared to even drive this car any more and all Ford says is this is normal I have talked to some other Focus owners and most of them say the same thing that this transmission is not safe to drive and they all have the same issue

- Galena, MD, USA

problem #418

Nov 272015


  • 95,000 miles

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #417

Jul 132015


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the engine stalled without warning. The contact also mentioned that the gear failed to reverse the vehicle intermittently. The contact also stated that while attempting to accelerate, the vehicle hesitated. The failures was persistent. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified about the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 60,000.

- Los Angelos, CA, USA

problem #416

Dec 212015


  • 20 miles
2013 Ford Focus, bought new, in shop first week of purchase. Transmission shuttering and jerking as I pull out in traffic. Also dies when in reverse. Brought to dealership and they say its normal. Its not normal to be out in on coming traffic and not able to move and kids are screaming "go mom go. We are going to get hit." Not normal. Also software problem. Radio won't turn on, phone cell phone wont do anything until I pull over and shut off engine. Then it resets. This car has been in shop many times for same issues and they always say its fixed now. But same issues over and over again. Been in shop too many time to count. Now car is out of warranty and begin repaired under extended warranty. When extended warranty is out I will have to pay out of pocket. This has been by far the worst vehicle in history.

- Watson, LA, USA

problem #415

May 282014


  • 30,000 miles
I've had the transmission redone twice one at 58K the problem started at 31K and again at 86K two weeks later the same surging, jolting, loss of power is still happening. Ford Motor Co. And dealers are horrible to deal with. Ford Motor Co. Won't respond they take messages if you can actually talk to someone. There are thousands of these cars with this transmission which is crap. They need to discontinue use because the fix is not a fix. Someone needs to stop Ford from producing unsafe cars. Any time I drive this care the jolts start after second gear then it doesn' change gears correctly it's sluggish this happens on streets and highways or when slowing down and attempting to speed up it has very little power and I end up wasting a lot of gas so the mpg's aren't correct in rating. Vehicle health report in syn is a joke, it will tell you your breaks are ok and they aren't. it goes through a quart of oil every 6 K miles. Now it's hard to start I jiggle the key and it sometimes starts there's a loud clicking noise and all the lights and electronics flicker then it finally starts. Don't buy any Focus! I've submitted a previous complain not sure if this is even being read...I have all my service records. Don't have a scanner if you want to see them. Dealers initially told me several times I'm not "giving it enough gas" even though there was already a recall on the transmission and I had 30K on the care.

- Yuba City, CA, USA

problem #414

Dec 222015


  • 51,520 miles
Since purchase I have noticed a shuttering or hesitation with my transmission. I have searched online and noticed many people have had the same issue. When I purchased my car I also bought additional warranty, in which my dealership says will cover the faulty part in my transmission. If I do not use the warranty I receive my money back. I do not believe I should have to pay for a part that many people deem faulty. The selling point at the dealership was the powershift and part of the reason I paid the amount I did. I am not happy people all over the country have this issue and are expected to pay to fix it.

- Huntertown, IN, USA

problem #413

Dec 132014


  • 48,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While attempting to accelerate, the vehicle hesitated to accelerate without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that an unknown part related to the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 14V495000 (electrical system). The failure mileage was 48,000.

- Green Castle, IN, USA

problem #412

Dec 152015


  • miles
Have been having transmission problems with 2013 Ford Focus. About 6 months after purchase a rattling noise emerged, this developed into a severe grinding which shakes/jerks the entire car. First visit to dealer for service I was told I need to learn to drive the car and everything was within Ford specifications. That said they reprogrammed things and also said there was a minor leak and a part needed to be replaced. This part was back ordered and was told they'd contact me when it was in. After not hearing back took car in for similar problems, again told everything within Ford specifications, reprogrammed again and said no parts needed to be replaced. Grinding progressed to a point where car would lug back and then jerk forward when switching lower gears (feels like it doesn't catch). Took car in for transmission 11/2015, reprogrammed and told clutch needs to be replaced but parts back ordered. Contacted dealer today (4 weeks later) to find parts backordered another 6-8 weeks.

- Mount Vernon, WA, USA

problem #411

Dec 122015


  • 59,450 miles
I was driving down hwy 144 on flat ground and a notification can not drive up hill came across the screen and then car just stopped no longer moved even though foot was on the gas.. so I put it in park and killed the engine and tried to restart it and it did nothing.. mind you I'm still in the middle of hwy 144 in granbury tx being honked at and flipped off by the people who had to slam on their breaks to keep from hitting me. 3 men and a woman finally stopped and helped push me and and my 9 yr old daughter out of the middle of the hwy.. after 3 hours of tryn to get my car to start I had it towed to the Ford house in granbury they were closed so the car sat there for 2 days and when they got in it, it started right up and they drove it so they are telling me nothing is wrong with it.

- Walnut Springs, TX, USA

problem #410

Sep 292013


  • 35,000 miles
Car will slip changing gears when accelerating causing a pause/jerk that could potentially lead to an accident. This has happened on many occasions when merging into traffic or making a turn. We have taken the car in for service 5 times this past year. Twice they have replaced the clutch and 3 times did an update. Each time telling us to give it 500-1000 miles to settle in. It only takes one time for something to happen. Looking at paperwork and found out the clutch was replaced a couple of months before purchase due to the same problem. We are the second owners and since buying it "used" (10,000+) we cannot file lemon law.

- Statham, GA, USA

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