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 5 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #33

Sep 232013


  • 4,500 miles


Vehicle warning "stop safely now" appeared and the ev lost all its motive power and stalled. Repeated attempts to restart the vehicle failed.

- Los Altos, CA, USA

problem #32

Sep 212013


  • 1,350 miles
This applies to a Ford Focus electric, not a gasoline model. Was traveling approximately 30 mph when "stop safely now" indicator appeared. Vehicle slowed and came to stop within a few seconds while still in traffic lanes. I placed the car in park and switched the system off, then on again. It started normally and drove normally for approximately 50 miles while I went home. There is no apparent valid reason for the vehicle to stop itself. Under other circumstances this could have been extremely dangerous. Checking reports on the internet, it appears that this problem is very common, and many people have reported repeated occurances of this problem. Weather at the time was moderate (70 to 75 degrees F). This is a new car (two weeks old, approximately 1350 miles) while I don't suggest that the following are contributing factors, I list them because they were unusual for me and this may be helpful to reviewers looking for common circumstances: 1. the vehicle had been given a level 1 (120 volt) charge earlier in the day, bringing the state of charge from approximately 60% to 70%. this is unusual because I usually use level 2 (240 volt) charging. 2, the vehicle had been switched "on" with the air conditioner operating for about an hour but without driving anywhere. The problem occured shortly thereafter, after driving approximately two miles. 3, no other unusual circumstances were noted. Car drove normally before and after this incident.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #31

Sep 212013


  • 500 miles
Car:2013 Ford Focus ev. Noticed "stop safely now" light on at stop light just after exiting freeway off winchester rd in temecula, ca. Was able to accelerate to get onto wincheter road traveling West going down hill and nervously coasted down hill noticing the steering becoming difficult. Thankfully the left turn light was green so I was able to coast thru the intersection and get on jefferson road. I attempted to accelerate, however, the car was unresponsive. I immediately pulled into the first available parking lot off of jefferson road - pollo loco parking lot and turned vehicle off. Call husband to come get me. He turned vehicle on without incident and drove it home with out issue. Working with dealer for next steps. Call fritts Ford as I talked to daniel in service and he reported that another Focus ev owner just reported teh same issue and was on the way to the dealership on Saturday, 21.Sept. This problem is perhaps much bigger than we think?! fyi: Dealership = fritts Ford, riverside, ca car purchased on Sunday, 15.Sept.2013. Owed the car for 6 days.

- Wildomar, CA, USA

problem #30

Sep 202013


  • 1,245 miles


This is for the Ford Focus electric. I was driving on a busy road going approx 50 mph when all of a sudden I lost power and had no acceleration a message came on the display that said stop safely now in red with a exclamation point inside a triangle at that point I was a hazard to other drivers as the vehicle was slowing down as I was trying to merge to the right hand side. I finally was able to stop and I turned off the vehicle. I let it sit for a minute and tried to restart and it would not, I tried a second time and it finally came up ready to go. I contacted the dealer and they advised me to take to the service dept in the morning. This was a safety hazard that needs to be fixed.

- Riverside, CA, USA

problem #29

Sep 192013


  • miles
Traveling at approx. 35 M.P.H. on county road, pull over safely light came on, unable to pull over immediately due to traffic, traveled a short distance in attempt to find a shoulder to pull onto, car died in a curve. No power at all.

- Alpine, CA, USA

problem #28

Sep 132013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 6,744 miles
This is regarding Ford Focus electric vehicle 2013 model. This is the second time it has happened. While driving it suddenly beeps and displays message "stop safely now" and car just stalls and stops running. Quite dangerous while driving. It has been to Ford dealership after the first incident and they were not able to diagnose the issue and after a couple of weeks that I got back the vehicle, it happened again. It is again in the service center of Ford dealership, but they still do not know why this happens or what is the fix. This needs to be addressed by Ford asap as it is a huge safety issue.

- Fremont, CA, USA

problem #27

Aug 152013


  • 2,900 miles


Car stalled with some warning messages for no reason. After complete turn-off restarted normally. Happened in traffic and could result with accident.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #26

Jul 252013


  • 2,935 miles
I was coming back from school to my house. The engine light came on asking me to pull over safely. I did that, the car stalled. I freaked out, and called my dad. He said not to worry as it had happened to him in his Ford Focus electric too. He asked me to wait for two minutes and then restart the engine. I did that, the car was fine then. Please talk to my dad if you have any questions. His contact information is listed below. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Granite Bay, CA, USA

problem #25

Aug 132013


  • 4,530 miles
I lease two Ford focuses; one for me and one for my daughter (under my wife's ownership). The car has stalled on me twice and once on my daughter. The first time it happened at speed of 35 miles per hour in June 2013 and the second time at less than 2 miles hour in August 2013. The first time, it asked me to pull over to the side and stalled. I pulled over and parked the car, looked at the wheels thinking that it may have happened due to low air, however, nothing. I shut down the car and then restarted after two minutes, it started just fine. That is until the second time when it actually happened at the corner of 11th and J street in sacramento, ca. I got out of the city garage made a right turn on 11th to make a left on J street. At the light, it just shut down with the warning without ability to pull over. I had to waive the drivers behind me to go around. I could not do much. Same thing, after two minutes, the car restarted. At both times, the car was fully charged. Similarly, this happened to my daughter, who freaked out and she called me. I told her it may be glitch as it had happened to me the first time around. She pulled over, parked, waited for two minutes, restarted and so far her car is fine. Whom should I report this to? the first time, it gave me time to pull over, however, the second time, it just shut down. I thought Ford knew about it thus did not report. Please help me report this. I love the car as there is no more gas station trips, however, it needs to be addressed. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Granite Bay, CA, USA

problem #24

Jul 242013


  • 150 miles
This is a Focus electric. While stopped in an intersection waiting to turn left, the stop safely now light illuminated and the car shut down. I was able to shift into neutral and get the car out of the intersection. After a few cycles of the start/stop button the car started again and resumed normal operation.

- Palm Springs, CA, USA

problem #23

May 132002

Focus 4-cyl

  • 2,230 miles


The car has locked me out three times when I had the keys in my pocket the electrical went out the car stalled and I had to call for help and the blue tooth was out. I got out of the car and called the dealer 25 miles away. I got the car started and drove to dealer and they put a new sd card in the console, saying the wrong card was being used. Now, the transmission shudders and I took it to the dealer for a test drive and they said the tires are out of balance and never balanced at the factory. The car looses power on steep hills and some times rolls back on hills. The dealer says the transmission will memorize my driving habits. The transmission two months later still shudders until it warms up and hesitates to shift T times and I feel the need to use the throttle in between shifts. The transmission will clunk every now and the as the gears are out of sync now, this car has a mind of its own and seems to try and correct itself electronically. The transmission feels like it's going to loose one or both of its clutches at anytime. The car is an accident waiting to happen. An example the car down shifted on me and a car behind me almost hit me. The dealer knows there is a problem, but tells the same story. That's how a dct is. Ford needs to help the dealers and step up. The government ought get after Ford. The car is unsafe, unreliable and needs a recall. The car has 3600 miles on it and runs like 1936 Ford manual shift. What a waste of 25K, no more american cars for me.

- Scarborough, ME, USA

problem #22

Aug 282013


  • 1,378 miles
My daughter was driving our new 2013 Ford Focus electric home from school at approximately 35mph when the "stop safely now" message appeared on the instrument panel. She started to pull over to the side of the road but before she could get safely to the curb, the car shut down. She was unable to get the car started and we had to have it towed to a Ford dealer. After reading about this 'stop safely now" warning online it seems to be a common problem. I understand that cars break down but completely disabling the car in this way could lead to a serious crash.

- Torrance, CA, USA

problem #21

Aug 242013


  • 1,900 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while at a stop, the vehicle stalled and the stop safely warning light illuminated. The contact mentioned that the vehicle failed to restart. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where the failure was unable to be replicated. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure and current mileage was 1,900.

- Redmond , WA, USA

problem #20

Aug 222013


  • 4,093 miles
This is an electric vehicle. While approaching an intersection, the "stop safely now" light came on. I attempted to accelerate to make it through the intersection, but realized I had no power. I coasted to a stop at the curb. There was a hazard symbol displayed, but I could not bring up any other information to give a clue what might be behind the problem. I noted the green vehicle symbol light was off, indicating power is not available to the drive train. I tried doing different things to restart the car, but all attempts failed. The car was towed to a Ford service center. After the car was rolled backwards off the tow-truck flatbed, I tried once again to start the car. It started right up, as if nothing had been wrong.

- Encinitas, CA, USA

problem #19

Jul 292013


  • 889 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while stopped at a stop sign the vehicle stalled. The contact stated he was able to restart the vehicle after waiting approximately thirty minutes. The failure recurred. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis. The technician was unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was awaiting inspection from a Ford engineer. The approximate failure mileage was 889.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #18

Aug 202013


  • 3,637 miles
This is actually the 3rd time in a month this occurred. The "stop safely now" warning comes up. 1st time on 7/29, I was able to safely pull into a parking lot. The car would not restart, and the wrench symbol displayed. Turned off and tried again 5 minutes later, and the car worked fine. The next day, the car gave no notice as I moved to accelerate at a green light. A clunk, and no power, and the "stop safely" now warned occurred at the same time. I turned the hazard lights on, a pedestrian assisted me in pushing the car out of the traffic. It restarted 5 minutes later, I drove it straight to the Ford dealership. They replaced the computer did the software update. After waiting over 2 weeks for the car, the "stop safely now" occurred again 5 days after being released from the dealership. This time, I was able to safely pull over. I took it back to the dealership, and do not know how long it will to take to fix the issue. I no longer feel safe driving this car, knowing the power can be disabled anywhere at any time. I hope Ford takes these issues seriously.

- North Hills, CA, USA

problem #17

Aug 122013


  • 1,123 miles
This applies to the Ford Focus electric. I was backing out of my driveway when I heard a load clunk. I instantly felt the power steering fail and the motor cease function (lost all power rendering me immobolized in the middle of the street). The dash displayed the warining "stop safely now". this indicates an electrical fault. Note the battery had a full charge. The symptom I was able to drive a few blocks with the same behaviour. I was able to drive the car back to my house and called roadside assistance. I was lucky I was not on the freeway when this happended.

- Burlingame, CA, USA

problem #16

Oct 312012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 500 miles
When you turn on the headlights or if you turn on the front windshield wipers, the instrument cluster gauges, get "very dim". when the head lights are turned to off, all of the gage lights get brighter. This makes it very difficult to drive and see the speedometer during the daytime. I would like to drive with my running lights "on" during our travels in the daytime. But the gauges get to dim to read in the daylight, so we travel with our running lights in the "off" position. Our local Ford dealer says that is the way they are designed at the present time. The local dealer does not have a "fix".... this is a safety issue for me and my wife.

- Lake Wales, FL, USA

problem #15

Aug 082013


  • 2,328 miles
While driving an alert comes on stating "stop safely now", then the vehicle starts to lose power, giving the driver little time to pull over. If you are in the far left lane, it could be a really dangerous situation. I've taken it to the shop once before. This is the second time it happened and it is becoming an issue of concern. From the internet searches on Ford Focus electric stop safely now it appears to be a pretty large issue.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #14

May 012013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 536 miles
May 1st: Significant vibration, vehicle shutters when shifting 4th: No changes in performance. Shutter and vibration continues; no work performed. Advised all of this is a "normal characteristic? of a dual clutch transmission. 10th: Significant shaking at idle continues 17th: Vibration continues; transmission continues to buck and stall. Vehicle does not respond well to sudden stops" significant shuddering and RPM gauge has rapid fluctuations. Gears still making grinding noise. 18th: Transmission problems felt worse than usual today. 20th: Vehicle does not drive well. Transmission continues to click/pop/grind; gear changes are rough, similar to someone who cannot drive a manual transmission 24th: Rough idle persists; car slow to engage in first gear; feels like it is going to stall. June 4th: Rough idle continues 26th: Gear changes are not smooth and in fact are quite rough; car does not function normally. No improvement whatsoever since last update. 29th: Vehicle shakes badly upon start; very rough shifting; car does not feel safe July 5th: Gears are not engaging properly; delayed acceleration from 0mph in drive 11th: Vibration is as bad as ever; no improvement. 17th: Had two cases of delayed acceleration & bucking today 19th: Vehicle shuttered significantly today; RPM gauge plating continues to rattle; passenger door would not unlock with remote key; beginning of electrical problems 21st: Transmission stalled upon acceleration again; substantial hesitation 22nd: Loud grinding noise shifting to reverse; RPM gauge went to about 2500 26th: Stalling, shuddering/bucking continues; gear changes are not smooth 28th: Interior electrical problem; interior overhead lights do not illuminate nor do the A/C & radio lights; 29th: Experienced a very hard jolt upon acceleration so much so that it jarred the entire car.

- Downers Grove, IL, USA

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