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 9 of 26)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #355

Aug 132015


  • 35,714 miles


Bought this vehicle used with 34,869 miles on July 8, 2015. After having for about a week, noticed shaking, grinding noises, seems to be "missing" in the transmission. Took to dealer on 7/21/2015 and the reprogrammed the tcm. Vehicle still made same issues so I took to a different Ford dealer 7/27/2015 and they did the same thing. On 8/13/15 the vehicle would not start. Roadside assistance came out and jumped the vehicle to start and "faulty transmission failure" appeared on the dash screen. I attempted to take the car to the dealer but the vehicle would not go into reverse or drive. Called tow truck to take to Ford dealer that same day. The next day they claimed it needed a new transmission control module. As of today, 8/19/2015 - the car is still not fixed and is still in their shop.

- Sharpsburg, GA, USA

problem #354

Jul 312013


  • 5,000 miles
My 2013 Ford Focus has been in the shop 4 times, one of which took over month to get the part. My transmission is clearly faulty and whenever I accelerate to 20mph or 45mph my transmission isn't properly shifting. On 8/18 my transmission felt like it was going to drop out while I was on the highway in Michigan. This is after just receiving my vehicle back from Ford service within the last 7 days. I don't feel safe driving this vehicle at high speeds with a faulty transmission.

- Trenton, MI, USA

problem #353

Aug 172015


  • 64,000 miles
I have been having continuous and progressively worsening issues with the shifting of this car. Last night as I was leaving home at low speed, the car felt like it came out of gear...several times and would not move forward. I had to turn around and luckily made it home. Of course, I could not accomplish the things needed to do. I have had the car back to the dealer only to get vague incomplete answers in the past.

- Arden Hills, MN, USA

problem #352

Mar 122013


  • 4,700 miles


This car started giving me problems shortly after I bought the car. At the time the dealership told me that it was normal function and that the car was expected to shudder slightly and to run it for a 1,000 miles to allow the car to adjust to my driving.when the shudder slowly became worse, I finally took the car in for service. Since that first time, I have had the transmission replace 3 times and I cant ever count how many "software" updates. Each update I get the same run around about driving it for 500-1000 miles to allow the system to reset. That is crap, and it never works. Additionally, the last two updates I had to contact them...really if there is an update needed shouldn't they be contacting their consumer" the worse part is the the two times it acted up I was out of town when the car started acting up. I had to invest in aaa, just because I can't trust my "new" car. My biggest concern is that this problem could very easily cause a serious accident. It causes the car not to accelerate as it should: For example you go to pull out onto a road with plenty of time, but the car spudders and doesn't pick up speed or merging onto the express way and it doesn't accelerate as it should" I work in the transportation industry, I happen to work in their safety department and can tell you that I would never allow one of our trucks on the road that performed like my car does. (or should I say doesnt') it is a safety to me and the motoring public. There are multiple complaints and Ford has done nothing but extend warranties to make up for the shotty product they have put out to market. In any other industry I could return a product that was crap, but with cars - you are just stuck! I have been fighting this battle for two years now. This is outrageous and someone needs to do something to hold Ford accountable before someone is seriously injured or worse

- Hartville, OH, USA

problem #351

Dec 042014


  • 22,000 miles
The car shudders & hesitates upon take off from a standing start. It fails to pick up speed after starting & hesitates instead of moving off. It jerks forward then hesitates. We have taken it to the dealer 3 times, but they only do what Ford has dictated that they do which does not fix the problem. I have contacted Ford Motor Co. & they say they are not willing to fix the problem but we need to live with it.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #350

Aug 082013


  • 0 miles
I have had problems with the Focus since I bought it in 2013. The transmission shudders, vibrates, goes back on hills and rattles. I finally gave up after several attempts to get it fixed and being told its all normal. My frustration with Ford and its dealers is that they knew about this problem long before I bought mine, why were they still selling them to unaware buyers. I had bought a 2010 Focus from a different dealer and had to return that one because the transmission broke a week after I got it and only after I notified the bureau of auto repair did they exchange the car. Now I feel stuck with another lemon but no one will do anything about this problem. It's been 2 years and I'm still trying to get someone to do something about this, not just for me but for all the consumers that were conned into buy this lemon. I will never buy a Ford again.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #349

Aug 082015


  • 33,000 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while at a stop light, the vehicle failed to accelerate. The air bags and seat belt lights illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 33,000.

- Tustin, CA, USA

problem #348

Aug 012014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 20,000 miles
My Ford Focus is having transmission and stalling issues as reported many times before my 2013 Focus has had a recall and was to be correct, a year later it seems I am still having the same issue. At anytime while driving stop and go or just driving my car feels like it wants to fight to shift, causing the car to putter like motion and jerking motion, the car has stalled out on me before while driving 70 mph, as I feel this is a growing concern I want others to know that is not just your car. I do see many post with the same issue and its all 100% true as I love Ford and will never drive anther car I feel for my safety each and every day that I drive my car. My car has been in the shop a hand full of times. As my car is brand new and should not drive the way it feels.

- Clearwater, FL, USA

problem #347

Aug 052015


  • 52,456 miles
As I was driving East on the long island expressway prior to exit 41S the cars notification lights kicked on several messages came up which included rear park assist, hill start assist as well as battery indicator, oil light, check engine light, etc. I attempted to push on the gas however nothing occurred I was coasting at 40 mph I signaled to get over into the right lane, I applied the brake however it also locked up and would not brake, I was almost rear ended/side swiped by several vehicles as I was unable to keep up with traffic and brake accordingly. I got to the right shoulder and hit the E-brake to stop. I turned off the vehicle and attempted to restart however the engine would not kick on and the gas pedal would not work.

- Seaford, NY, USA

problem #346

Aug 032015

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles
Ford Taurus. Consumer writes in regards to transmission warranty and issues. Consumer has another vehicle correspondence in artemis. The consumer stated he received a letter for his daughter's vehicle regarding a problem with transmission clutch shudder/transmission input shaft seal. The consumer stated the vehicle did not perform well on hills. After, waiting over 90 days for the parts to arrive, the vehicle was finally fixed. However, two months ago, the problem returned.

- Birmingham, AL, USA

problem #345

Aug 222013


  • 13,500 miles


In August 2013 after owning car short time took to dealer and service manager drove it with us and said many people think there is an issue with shuddering and delayed acceleration but it's just the high performance transmission.. not to worry. The car continually got worse over time and we got a recall notice and took in in Oct 2014. They replaced the clutch and seals. May 5 the car got really back on long drive home from la. Overheated and then warning light came on. Turned car off and back on warning light went off and drove car home shuddering very bad and with extreme delayed acceleration. Had cars behind us on hills honking and almost rear ended us... took car in May 15 they said it wasn't safe to drive and they had it for 2 months to fix clutch, seals and adaptive learning sensor, replaced tcm, electronics. 8/8/15 while on freeway steering assist fault notification - service required. Pulled off and when I tried to start car again I couldn't move the steering column. Called nearby Ford dealer and they said you can't drive it - safety issue. It is currently in the shop again. Having this happen on a freeway is terrifying - cars honking at you, trying to steer off, etc. This is a danger and Ford needs to take care of it instead of continuing to do temp fixes!!!!!

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #344

Feb 142014


  • 5,263 miles
Owned 2013 Ford Focus for 9 months when we noticed car was "shuddering" and "slipping " into gear when starting to accelerate. We were pulling onto a busy street and of course had to accelerate. It lugged and delayed shift into 2nd. This caused lower than expected acceleration and because we could not get up to speed in the time required almost got hit. Took it in for problem in 2/2014 and they said it was a transmission leak ( at only 5200 miles!). fixed leak and sent us home. The same problem became noticeable again. We took it 6 months later (8/2014). Mileage was 9247. They said a part of the clutch was broken now and replaced the clutch assembly. The 3rd repair was in 4/2015 where they reprogrammed the PCM-tcm and sent us home. It is currently back at Ford service so 7/2015 with 16000 miles with the same problem. They said Ford is constantly working on a new clutch to fix the problem. They will most likely replace it but "it is not guaranteed to work!" Ford did extend the warranties on the vehicle to 100K for power train. Which does is little good if we have to bring it in every 4-6 months! also we said we needed a rental for the time it was in the shop (we need a car!) and they said Ford just came up with the policy of 2 day rentals - only. It's been on the shop for 3 days already and we have to wait until the last 2 days of repair when we will "desperately " need the rental. Unbelievable. They said this is what Ford is "doing for us" in regards to this repair issue. Like we are supposed to take it and like it.

- Fountain Valley, CA, USA

problem #343

Jun 192015


  • 45,250 miles
My 2013 Ford Focus has the 2.0 6 speed automatic, don't know if that is the problem. But when driving this car in warm to hot weather, this car will get you killed!!!!!!!! after driving around 10 miles and coming to a stop everything is fine. But when you get ready to accelerate from that stop the car will barely move. You can give it almost full throttle and there is no power. Once you finally get almost to the floor with the gas pedal it takes off like a bat out of hell. It actually will scare you for a second until you realize the car has taken off. This has also happened after taken off around a curb and then all of a sudden no gas pedal. There is nothing!! you can try to feather the gas pedal and there is no response, nothing at all and then all of a sudden it takes off! my wife and I have to travel to raleigh nc monthly, and that is the reason I bought this car because of its fuel mileage and for the room. After making one trip, I will never drive this car to a extremlly busy town again until it is fixed!!!! I have also told my daughter if we get killed in a auto accident, make sure you have a lawyer look into the accelerator pedal, and Ford Motor Co. Because they are at fault!! after getting home, I research a couple of Ford Focus forums this seems to be a major problem with these cars, and from what I have read I haven't seen any type of fix unless you buy a controller that plugs in between the accelerator pedal and the accellertor harness

- Waynesville, NC, USA

problem #342

Jul 192015


  • 53,000 miles
Bought it brand new, had a slight jerking bunny-hop, leap, at acceleration dealer said it would adjust.. after 33000 miles dealer replaced transmission... now same is happening again with a added twist.. while driving on highway at 65 mph my Ford Focus has decided to downshift to a lower gear and causing the passengers to lurch forward and control becoming hazardous.. also include that while driving at highway speeds car tends to hesitate as if ignition is being turned off, if only for a second...

- Warrenton, VA, USA

problem #341

Jan 032014


  • 60,000 miles
The vehicle shudders/vibrates when shifting. The transmission is an automatic but shifts like a stick. There would be times where the vehicle would feel like it was powering down when it would go between gears. Due to dealer service issues, it took more than a month to fix the issue. Now, in 7/22/2015, the transmission is once again shifting funny, bogging down, shuddering and my check engine light is on. There is an action service on the Focus transmission, but no parts are available for several months, and only three days of rental are being offered. Even with the extended service plan, I would only get 13 days. Concerned with the safety of driving the vehicle to work, which is 70 miles one way. No help offered, except an incentive to buy a new vehicle, which is not financially feasible at this time. Not sure how Ford expects people to live without transportation for several months while they try and figure it out.

- Southgate, MI, USA

problem #340

Apr 022014


  • 34,000 miles
Since I purchased this vehicle I have had continuous problems with the transmission. The car has been disabled while driving twice. I have had the car in for service several times for software updates. The problem continues. The car shakes in the lower and higher gears. When I accelerate it hesitates creating a safety hazard. I have called customer service. She referred me to the dealer who in turn has told me there is nothing they can do. Customer service has stopped answering my calls since last fall (2014). The problem continues.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #339

Jul 162015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 3,000 miles
I have only 11,000 miles on my brand new car. I've been complaining about a weird grinding noise and a shuddering of my engine when going through first and second gear. I took it in twice to check (was charged) and was told there was nothing wrong with the vehicle. Finally, I took it in because the noise was so terrible- they said my clutch had failed their tests. I for months drove scared that the car would suddenly jolt forward and hit someone's car.....updated 11/05/15 the consumer stated while in traffic or going up hill slowly the transmission would overheat. The consumer would have to pull over and let the vehicle cool down for 8 minutes. Updated 1/8/2016

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #338

Jun 242015


  • 33,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While driving at 5 mph, the vehicle decelerated without warning. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 33,000.

- Louisville , KY, USA

problem #337

Jul 152013


  • 10,000 miles
First started experiences transmission shuddering/hesitation shortly after purchasing the vehicle. Dealer reprogrammed tcm twice. Then, in October 2013, while attempting to get on the highway, the car locked into 1st gear, red-lined the RPM and would not accelerate over 25 mph. Attempts to put the car in neutral or the automatic shift mode were unsuccessful. Entered the freeway going 25 mph and almost got in a very severe accident. Was able to exit the freeway at the next exit where the car was shut off. After starting the car again it was able to shift out of 1st gear. Took it back to the dealer and they told me I needed a new clutch. After the new clutch was replaced the shuddering decreased but the car still hesitated. At about 40K miles, in February 2015, the shuddering/jerking worsened. This time the jerking was so violent that passengers in my car said they did not feel safe driving in it. The car would accelerate extremely slowly, even when pressing the pedal to the floor of the vehicle. Dealer reprogrammed the tcm again. This made the jerking worse. Dealer recorded a shuddering of over 500rpm. I was put on a waiting list for a new clutch (second one). Called Ford customer service where I asked for a rental car while the new clutch was on order (8-12 weeks). They told me the car was "within drive-able specs" despite the severe jerking and lack of acceleration and would not provide me alternate transportation. They also told me the car was "supposed to shudder" and it is a "different kind of transmission" that I "just don't understand." There have been numerous complaints about this vehicle and Ford can't seem to fix it. Instead of replacing the transmission they tell people that the issues are "normal." The 2013 Ford Focus needs to be recalled before someone is killed (if they haven't been already).

- Grosse Pointe Woods, MI, USA

problem #336

May 162014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 13,143 miles
Traveling on I-80 in New Jersey after slowing/braking due to heavy traffic ahead and slowing to about 40 mph, the vehicle for about three minutes would not accelerate to highway speed of 65 mph. Vehicle was service at Ford dealer requiring the replacement of clutch and software reinstall. Similar incident occurred a year later June 24, 2015 while traveling on I-77. Was driving at about 70 mph and had to slow down due to police action on the right side of the road. After slowing to about 50 mph the vehicle would not accelerate or was very slow to accelerate to highway speed. Scheduled a service check with Ford for July 8, 2015. But the technician "could not verity concern." Note the vehicle was taken to Ford for other transmission issues November 4, 2014 and June 13, 2015: Grinding, rumbling noise from transmission area, jumping/stuttering forward when accelerating from stopped position and tendency for transmission to slow vehicle when traveling under 30 mph. Transmission/ software issues. The clutch was replaced for the November service date and only software was installed on the June 13, 2015 service date. Updated 09/09/15

- Brentwood, NY, USA

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