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 4 of 26)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #455

Apr 022016


  • 48,000 miles


After having the car from new for 3 years and 5 months, the car has been to the dealer for transmission issues and repairs multiple times and with a computer failure for the shifting. The computer failure left us stranded 80 miles from home and with out of state family. It took 4 complaints initially before the dealer finally looked and noticed leaking from the transmission to get the parts to replace the clutches, seals and other parts at 30,000+/- miles. Then the computer failure was at 48,000 miles. I don't trust the car now due to reliability issues with the dct transmission. The transmission computer failure happened while driving down the highway and pulling off to check things out. Complete failure happened once I tried to get going again. Dealer said the computer was under a recall that I was never notified on.

- Waterford, CA, USA

problem #454

Oct 262015


  • 65,000 miles
Since I took the car off the lot it shuddered when shifting from first to second gear. It never felt completely right but since it is a new car I assumed that's how it's supposed to feel. Well the shuddering progressively got worse and turned into grinding. I got new transmission fluid and cleaned out the system checked the plugs nothing got better. I took it in a few times to the dealership they said that the transmission was fine and that's how it is supposed to drive. Well I was on my way to work and the car kept slipping out of fourth gear and then it completely lost power every time I pressed the accelerator the engine revved but there was no power. This car is less than three years old it shouldn't have this type of problem. The check engine light never came on and I couldn't even get above 30 mph on the car. I looked online and this seems to be a recurring problem.

- Antioch, CA, USA

problem #453

Jan 022015


  • 3,680 miles
After purchasing this vehicle in 2013 we found out the transmission does not have a torque converter. Therefore, the transmission shakes, makes noises, and seems to grab, feeling like the vehicle might stall although it never has. We have had it in to the local Ford dealer two times and both times we were told that the transmission is "within specs". the vehicle seems to be better when the vehicle is cool. Once it warms up the issues seem to occur regularly when driven on city streets. We were told at the car dealership that one half of these models for this year vehicle have transmissions like this. The other half of vehicles have regular transmission that have torque converters.

- Cocoa, FL, USA

problem #452

Dec 222014


  • miles


Trouble shifting between 1st and 2nd gears, when turning a corner won't stay in gear, feels rough and studders between 1st and 2nd gears. Have been told by a Ford technician to drive the car "like I was an 18 year old" or told transmission is working as should be.

- Magna, UT, USA

problem #451

Apr 292016


  • 136,000 miles
New dealer maintained 2013 Focus titanium Focus 6 months old about 18000 miles had bad wheel bearing on the drivers side, at 46000 transmission was overhauled due to poor shifting, AT120000 catalytic converter failed, AT136000 car died due to bad wiring harness and fried several sensors, at 143000 transmission control module failed, at 144000 the transmission module failed again on a 3 year old car.

- Stockbridge, MI, USA

problem #450

Oct 302013


  • miles
My daughter bought this lemon new. She has had it back to the dealership just for transmission 5 times. It has stalled out on her many times while driving, at a red light, stop signs, etc... we've have had taken it to two different dealerships to no avail. I've tried to call Ford Motor Co directly, that was a joke. The customer service specialist would not listen or let me talk. They stated last time that she needs a new clutch, which is backordered. Which brings up a red flag!!! my husband works in the automotive parts field and stated you can get a complete new transmission in a couple of days however we can't get a clutch"??" this is not the only problems with the vehicle we have had but these are the ones with the power train.

- Lebanon, TN, USA

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

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