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:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
19,121 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2013 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 2 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #93

Mar 042016


  • 40,750 miles


While on a highway (August 2015), vehicle transmission began to slip followed by the car shutting off while driving at freeway speeds, vehicle would not turn back on and left me stranded in the middle of the highway. November 2015, while driving along freeway, car transmission began to slip, causing the car to again shut off completely while driving at 65mph. December 2015, driving on a city street, once agin transmission started slipping and vehicle shut off in mid motion while going 30 mph. In February 2016, vehicle started normally, once we pulled out onto a road, car began violently bucking transmission seemed to engage then disengage placing the vehicle in danger of being hit by cars from behind, and jostling passengers substantially. In March 2016, vehicle was driving 70 mph down freeway when transmission slipped, the transmission then seemed to engage normally again, but as vehicle exited freeway on feeder road, transmission disengaged, bucking car, driver had gas pedal floored and the vehicle would only move a few feet. After transmission re engaged, the car lurched forward without drivers foot on gas, putting vehicle at risk for hitting car in front of it. Each time vehicle has had an incident, we have taken it to a local Ford dealership, transmission computer module was replaced, clutches replaced, transmission re programmed 3 time, PCM replaced. Each time vehicle has been given back within a month their is an issue. Ford has told us that they really do to have a fix for the problems, and each time we are given an unsafe vehicle back that has imposed danger on our lives and others on multiple occasions. Ford even returned vehicle after it had stalled on them, because they could not find anything else wrong. We have been very lucky that each incident has not resulted in a crash.

- Friendswood, TX, USA

problem #92

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 #91

Jan 032016


  • 52,000 miles
This vehicle exhibits the same problem as described in NHTSA campaign # 15V813000, recall# 14S17- S1. I contacted Ford who stated that this vehicle is not covered under the recall, even though it was manufacturer during the dates covered by the recall. This vehicle has hesitated and almost stalled while entering high speed traffic on several occasions and with increasing frequency, nearly causing an accident. I would like this vehicle added to the list of vehicles being recalled for repairs before bodily injury or death occurs because of this defect

- Cheshire, CT, USA

problem #90

Jan 152016


  • 136,000 miles


Driving in rush hour traffic on interstate 96 near milford mile marker 175, passing in the left lane about 75 mph the engine died and the engine fault light came on, so I pulled over to the left side shoulder, could not restart, had tow truck take to nearest Ford dealership to troubleshoot, 3 days later was informed that the engine wiring harness had rubbed thru on something and shorted out. The crank position sensor was bad, total repairs $700 for wiring repairs and parts. This car has been dealer maintained since new have all receipts, not covered under warranty.

- Stockbridge, MI, USA

problem #89

Jan 082016


  • miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 70 mph, the electrical system failed. In addition, the contact stated that the headlights became inoperable and flickered on and off. The contact also mentioned that after the vehicle was turned off, the radio and running lights remained on for another fifteen minutes. The vehicle eventually turned completely off. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Dryden, MI, USA

problem #88

Dec 242015


  • 65,000 miles
Lost power after stopping at a stop sign. Could not start the car again after shutting it off. After several attempts and some waiting, it restarted, got around the corner and died again. After having it towed to Ford and being told nothing was wrong with it, drove 2 hours away and on the return trip the next day, lost power on an on ramp. Again, could not start the car after shutting it off. Eventually got started and barely made my way to the next (mostly unused) exit.

- Chino Valley, AZ, USA

problem #87

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 #86

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 #85

Nov 062014


  • 30,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While driving 10 mph, the vehicle would not shift into a higher gear and made an abnormal sound. The vehicle was able to shift, but required numerous attempts. The check engine warning indicator illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was confirmed that the transmission malfunctioned and the vehicle needed a new clutch. The vehicle was repaired; however, the failure recurred.the manufacturer was not made aware of the issue. The failure mileage was approximately 30,000. The VIN was not provided.

- Upper Marlboro, MD, USA

problem #84

Oct 202013


  • 3,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle vibrated excessively intermittently and hesitated to accelerate. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The VIN was excluded from NHTSA campaign number: 14V495000 (electrical system). The dealer stated that the wiring harness would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure previously occurred in 2014 and the vehicle was taken to be repaired. The failure mileage was 3,000.

- El Paso, TX, USA

problem #83

Sep 012013


  • 9,600 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While driving approximately 60 mph, the vehicle would not shift into the next gear without warning. The vehicle was driven to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the shaft sealer fractured and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired; however, the failure recurred on three other occasions where the shaft sealer was replaced each time. The contact also stated that while driving approximately 25 mph, the vehicle would not shift into the next gear after the transmission warning indicator illuminated. The vehicle was driven to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission control module needed to be reprogrammed. The vehicle was repaired; however, the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer and was diagnosed that the transmission control module was faulty and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 9,600.

- Grovetown, GA, USA

problem #82

Sep 242014


  • 78,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While driving 20 mph, the vehicle began to shake violently. In addition, the vehicle lost power and would not accelerate without restarting the vehicle. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The failure mileage was 78,000.

- Radcliff, KY, USA

problem #81

Jan 222014


  • 16,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While driving approximately 45 mph, the vehicle's speed reduced independently and the check engine warning light illuminated. The failure recurred multiple times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnostic testing. The mechanic replaced the clutch, the transmission was removed and sealed because of a leak, and the computer was reprogrammed; however, the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 16,000.

- Oconomowoc, WI, USA

problem #80

Aug 052014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While driving at low speeds uphill or on an incline, the transmission hesitated as if the vehicle would stall. The vehicle was included in a manufacturer's recall related to the failure; however, the recall part was not available. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was not available.

- Matewan , WV, USA

problem #79

Sep 032015


  • 60,000 miles
Driving on I80 West bound and my rpms shot up to 5,000/6,000. I proceeded to take my foot off the gas to let the transmission catch, however, when I put my foot back on the gas my rpms shot up again. My transmission had completely died. I had no ability to move forward. I managed to make it to the right hand shoulder from the left lane. I shut my car off once I reached the shoulder to see if that would help the problem. When I tried to start my car it would not turn on. I had dashboard lights but the car would not start. My car was still saying it was in drive when it was in park. My car ended up being towed to Ford and they told me I needed a new transmission control module and that they have had several focuses come in with this problem in the last two to three weeks, so they are now keeping this part stocked. This could have been a very dangerous situation given that I80 is a very busy expressway and my car died while I was driving it.

- Elwood, IL, USA

problem #78

Sep 022015


  • 17,003 miles
Stopped in stop-and-go traffic on a major highway, when I attempted to accelerate again the vehicle flashed a warning which said "hill start assist not available" and the engine died completely. I lost all power to the wheels and lost power steering, was able to coast to the shoulder, where the car would not start. All warning lights appeared to come on, including seatbelt, check engine, traction control, etc. The car indicated it was in "drive", in spite of the fact that I had the gearshift in park. It would not shift gears or allow me to start the engine. After sitting for 30-40 minutes waiting for a tow truck, the car suddenly appeared to function normally. I drove home, and 10 minutes later, while parallel parking, the incident occurred again: Backing into a parking space and attempting to pull back out, going uphill, the exact same sequence of events occurred ("hill start assist not available", loss of power and steering). This time the vehicle coasted backwards into another car. No injuries or damage. The 2013 Ford Focus cannot be trusted to be driven on the highway. I have read many reports online of other drivers having identical or very similar issues with hill start assist/transmission/traction control errors, loss of power, loss of power steering, and inability to shift gears or restart the car, with this error sometimes happening *while driving at highway speeds* resulting in loss of control of the vehicle. I do not feel safe driving this car. I feel less safe knowing that Ford with this problem waiting to happen are being driving every day by unknowing drivers. This is a safety issue of the highest magnitude. It is absolutely outrageous that Ford has issued no recalls.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #77

Jul 242015


  • 80,000 miles
I was driving through town, a few seconds after taking off from the traffic light the light went out around my D gear and the car slipped into neutral, I put the shifter into drive where it locked up, I turned the ignition swith off and a minute later turned the car back on, the gear light reappeared and I drove it another minute till it happened again, I was able to get to a parking lot doing this over and over again.the car has been in the shop for one month now and cant seemed to be fixed, ,I could have been killed if I had been on a major highway..the engine does not seem to be affected by this problem...

- Micanopy, FL, USA

problem #76

Apr 202015


  • 42,000 miles
The dash unit will cease to work and all speakers in the car will unexpectedly emit an earsplitting, high frequency squeal. This sound is intermittent with a loud crackling and popping which cannot be stopped. This occurs while driving the vehicle, when the vehicle door is opened and the engine is not running, while the vehicle sits without any operation or ignition, or at any other time. The piercing sound has only stopped by removal of fuses in the passenger side fuse box. The entire dash unit will not function and thus does not alleviate the noise. This sound has been produced by the vehicle when not in motion, engine is not running, and car has been immobile for a long period of time. The abrupt, deafening sound is a safety issue which can cause an accident due to the driver's reaction.

- Centerburg, OH, USA

problem #75

Jun 042013


  • 40,000 miles
I bought my vehicle in 2013, new from the local dealership. After owning the vehicle for a few days we noticed the shuddering on acceleration. Immediately called the dealership and was told this was break in time. A few months into owning the vehicle, the transmission failed, we brought it into the local Ford dealership again, and had the transmission flushed and work done to it. Since then the vehicle has been to the shop four times for the same issue of the transmission and the electrical system flashing and shutting down. The vehicle will shudder upon acceleration. Now no lights, brake lights, dash lights, will come on. The vehicle will run, but you have no idea how fast you are going, you have no turn signals, the 2013 Ford Focus is a time bomb. Ford will offer us no solution except to bring it in and look at it. After bringing it in four times I do not feel comfortable bringing it back and having it not completely repaired and having to put more money into this vehicle when it is not going to be properly fixed. I am not sure how failing transmissions, and electrical issues are not considered safety issues and put on immediate recall but I must assume it is because I am not a mechanic, but stuck with a lemon that Ford refuses to acknowledge there are issues with.

- Lynn Center, IL, USA

problem #74

Jul 082015


  • 44,885 miles
As I was driving home with my daughter I had turned a corner going a low speed like 10mph and the steer assist fault warning light came on and my steering wheel locked up as I was turning and I had to force my car straight. I moved off to the side and I was so daughter who is autistic also said mommy I'm scared. I had no idea if it was safe to try and get home or if I should sit there.I am so frustrated that I bought this car to replace a car that had gone out and have only had it for 5 months. I'm even more upset that I trusted that the 2013 Ford Focus was a stable car and here I am about to have to shell out money that I don't have to get it fixed. I'm outraged that this type of thing is happening to many Ford owners, and I'm regretting that I even chose this car. They boast about being american made yet it's bad quality american made. I also have an issue with the car jerking and shaking while driving or stuttering. Although this is equally dangerous it is tolerable. I hope this company makes it right with their customers and think of our safety before they keep making these very disappointed beyond words. Major work on a car with only 44,890 mikes on it.shame on you Ford

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

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