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:
3 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
21,273 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2013 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 4 of 8)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #84

Jul 092014


  • 60,000 miles


I was driving home from work, it was raining, as I pulled off the light, the car began sputtering and would not go over 10 mph. I merged to the shoulder and the dashboard lit up with critical engine fault, and a few others, the car stalled and I sat there for about 30 mins. I managed to get home that day and after sitting for 24 hours, it ran fine again.this morning (Dec.9th2014) raining again, I pulled into my parking lot and the car began sputtering and when I placed it in park, another critical engine fault appeared, I have read about 100 other cases describing the same situation.

- Saint Leonard, MD, USA

problem #83

Oct 012014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 35,900 miles
A few days after I purchased this vehicle, I went back to the dealer and told them it was stuttering on take off. I was told "this is normal, the car was getting use to a different driver, to save on gas, and that it should get better the longer I drove it". it did not got better, but worse. Brought it in and they said that it needed an update, so they hooked up to computer and updated it. Still did not fix the problem. Next time I took it in they told me it was the duel transmission, and it was normal for it to shutter. It is now in the shop having clutches replaced and seals replaced. The service manager told me that even after this was done it would still have a shutter, just not so bad. I tried to trade the vehicle in, but I'm going to lose around $5000, in one months time. Thus vehicle should never have been sold to me, I feel that I was lied to and deceived. The service manger at Ford told me that this is a well known problem this car, but the assistant sales manager is telling me that it is not a "quality" issue. Who would buy a practically new car to only be in the shop three times in 2 months and still not have a save or smooth ride? no one would!!!!

- Bath, ME, USA

problem #82

Sep 152014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 22,900 miles
Grinding/rattling noise and heavy shuddering/shaking/lurching occurs at low speeds. Not normal sounds. I drove manual vehicles for over 15 years and never experienced this occurrence, with the exception of first learning how to drive a manual. It is currently in the shop for a recall (that this site doesn't note, for some reason, but Ford does find). I have never once (2 months time) gotten over 31 mpg either. This was purchased as a commuter vehicle, and for it to rarely get 30 mpg is sad, considering my driving an 8 year old, 175K mile corolla meant getting upwards of 34 mpg consistently. Have made 2 payments on the car and wishing I had never bought it.

- Kyle, TX, USA

problem #81

Nov 112014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 21,557 miles


Vehicle transmission has been making a grinding noise ever since we bought the car. The grinding noise occurs at low speeds as one accelerates from zero mph. I have taken the car to the dealer only to be told it is normal. The noise doesn't sound normal and this issue has been documented by many other Ford Focus owners. The noise appears to only get worse with time. This noise cant be "normal." Please advise what is being done about this anomaly.

- Yuma, AZ, USA

problem #80

Oct 012013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 100 miles
Similar to many posts: Consistent shuddering when accelerating from a stop; especially if there is any kind of incline. This is a daily occurrence.

- Huntington Beach, CA, USA

problem #79

Nov 052014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 25,000 miles
I have received a recall (customer satisfaction program 14M01), yet when I call my dealership's (blue bonnet Ford in new braunfels, Texas) service department, they say, oh a customer sat--well, you have to talk to this line and they transfer me to an unattended number where I leave a message and never receive a callback. If this company doesn't honor their recalls, they should be fined big time! meanwhile I am stuck with a defective car that no one will fix.

- New Braunfels, TX, USA

problem #78

Aug 012014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 20,000 miles


There is an obvious transmission problem with the vehicle. When going from 1st to 2nd gear from a stop it shudders and nearly stalls. This is a constant every day issue. I bought the car new, I have brought it to the dealership twice and was told that because there is no official recall Ford is not allowing the dealerships to fix the problem even thought there are aware of the problem across the board with the 2013 model of the Focus and the fiesta. I was basically told that with an official recall the car would have to stall out on the road or be the cause of an accident in order for the issue to be fixed.

- Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #77

Oct 232014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 61,000 miles
When I first got the car in September 2013, the car would jerk and shake when pulling off from a stop and was also very loud. I took it to be serviced and they told me that was normal. I took it back a few months later because I didn't believe that was normal. They fixed it. But now it's starting to shake again. In June 2014 the engine light started coming O for a few days. I took it to Ford and they claim they fixed the problem. The light came back on in July, they claimed there was nothing wrong with it. The light was back on in September, they claimed yet again, nothing was wrong with it. I took it took a small transmission shop, they read my codes and immediately found a problem, claiming it was a transmission issue. A few days later, the light was back on. Each time the engine light comes on, it would stall and immediately slow down right in the middle of traffic. Each time Ford claimed nothing was wrong with the vehicle, the engine light would be on for two days. Each time I took my vehicle to Ford, they would keep it 2-5 days... I couldn't get a rental car half of the time because they wouldn't actually do their job until the last day and then tell me that nothing's wrong with my car. We all know, your warranty company needs to know the problem before authorizing a rental vehicle. This last time in October, they claim to have fixed it. They claim that a sensor had to be replaced. I will never buy another Ford vehicle. I cannot wait to get rid of this car! my car is still shaky. It makes a kind of loud noise now as well.

- Sumter , SC, USA

problem #76

Apr 302014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 10,750 miles
Vehicle bucked or shuddered when starting from a complete stop or if coasting and then gas applied. Issue was said to be fixed at this time 4/30/14, which it did run better until it happened again on 9/6/14 when I pointed out the same issue. It was determined that there was a leak coming from the bell housing and it was dripping on the clutch causing the shuddering. On 9/16/14 it was taken to the garage for repair. I am still experiencing some shuddering, especially in reverse when going slow but also at times going forward. Not satisfied that it is completely fixed, but Ford has extended the warranty to 7 years/ 100,000 miles. I will be contacting the garage in the near future for them to look at it again.

- Roaring Brook Township, PA, USA

problem #75

Aug 282014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 170,000 miles
The vehicle hesitates and vibrates; a noise in the transmission; and the transmission not shifting properly. It does not accelerate and almost has caused multiple accidents.

- South Fulton, TN, USA

problem #74

Oct 012014


  • 33,000 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While driving slow speeds, the vehicle sputtered and jerked. The contact experienced a sudden increase in the engine rpms while trying to pass another vehicle followed by the vehicle stalling. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 33,000.

- Roseville, MI, USA

problem #73

Nov 192012


  • miles
Like most of the complaints on this vehicle my Focus hesitates and stutters. There was also a fluttering noise in the front end while the car was off that happened right away after purchasing. I took back to the dealership a week later and was told that the noise was normal and that the stuttering was due to the smaller engine. Finally took the car back in because it was getting worse, and this time the throttle body was reprogrammed (which I was originally told was completely replaced, but wasn't the case) come to find out this a common issue in Ford vehicles but no recall issued, just part of the NHTSA customer satisfaction program. Many of the models in this program were issued a extended warranty, but not the Focus. I was informed by the dealership I will be financially responsible for a new throttle body if it starts again once my warranty is up. Not sure why this is okay to continue with new Ford models when it was first addressed in 2012, and why I'm responsible to pay to fix a problem that is the makers error of which they have been made aware of.

- Sterling Heights, MI, USA

problem #72

Sep 162014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 16,309 miles
Just like 100S of others, car stutters and hesitates. Took to Ford dealer in macon, ga. And problem continues and we all wonder why there is no recall. Does no one care about safety and doing what is right"??????????????????"

- Perry, GA, USA

problem #71

Sep 122014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 7,500 miles
I've reported this issue several times. It is going to cause an accident!! when stopped at a stop light, or stop sign, the car wants to keep moving, even though heavy brake pressure is being applied. When I am at a stop light and the light turns green to move forward, the car hesitates to move, causing the vehicles behind me to blow their horn! there is nothing I can do!! this car is going to cause myself or other owners an accident with no doubt in my mind! the hesitation to take off when I'm wanting to get out of the way of oncoming traffic, scares me to death!!! something needs to be done before an innocent life or lives are lost!!!

- Breezewood, PA, USA

problem #70

Aug 222014


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Cpsc: I1490081A. 2013 Ford Focus. Consumer stated the car stalls, stutters and also lurches between shifts.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #69

Jun 022014


  • 20,153 miles
The car is experiencing transmission problems. It shudders and bogs down as I am accelerating, and often lurches forward unexpectedly. The car makes a loud grinding noise when shifting through gears. The problems began in low gears, but I am now experiencing problems at all speeds, including lurching forward. I have taken the car back to the dealership twice, only for them to tell me this is a normal occurrence. I am afraid the transmission issues will cause an accident. I am also concerned that the grinding of the gears will cause damage to other components of my vehicle.

- Edinburg, IL, USA

problem #68

May 012014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 2,000 miles
Shifting into neutral (while decelerating/braking) will intermittently cause engine rpms to rapidly drop, resulting in engine failure/stall. Attempts to restart the engine are typically successful, although occasionally requiring multiple attempts, due to engine re-stalling. Key factors seem to be engine oil temperature, and braking/decelerating.

- Hayward, CA, USA

problem #67

Apr 292014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 19,500 miles
I bought my 2013 Focus SE pre owned with 19500 miles in March of 2014. Within a month the car was shaking horribly at stop and at speeds between 0-30mph, while grinding-like noise came from the transmission. I am in fear of my wife and my safety, I almost got rear ended by a big 1 ton diesel truck because my car would not accelerate from stop. I took it the dealer and the car was "repaired" by the Ford dealership where I bought it from. After taking it home 2 weeks later I brought the car back because the same problems were occurring. Ford service assured me there was absolutely nothing wrong with my car. Me being a chemical plant worker working overnights made it difficult to bring the car in for a third time during their business hours. First chance I got I brought the car back to the dealership a month later to get it fixed again. I talked to the dealer manager and he guaranteed me he would help me with this issue, he took me to the Ford service manager just for him to tell me "its normal" for that car to do that. They said all they could do is some computer reset to the car and gave it back to me. The service manager told me the car will start shaking again eventually and there's nothing they can do to fix that problem because that's the way the transmission was designed. I am in the process of filing a lemon law complaint against Ford. Will never buy another Ford vehicle again.

- La Porte, TX, USA

problem #66

Sep 092013


  • 200 miles
I purchased my 2013 Focus titanium, auto transmission, in September 2013. After a few days, I noticed hesitation/shuddering, jerking, and grinding when accelerating from a stand-still/"off the line" as well as when the car was downshifting from higher gears. I called my dealer, nazareth Ford in nazareth, pa, to report the issue. I was told by the dealer that this was "normal" for the transmission, which is a "manual automatic" transmission. I was skeptical, but I was advised to drive 500 miles and see if the problem corrected itself. I was discouraged to make an appointment, since this was supposed to be "normal" and I had not reached 500 miles yet to see if it would improve. It never did and has only gotten worse. Last week after almost a year and 17,500 miles with no improvement, I was fed up. I called the dealer to make an an appointment. The dealer kept the car two days and reported that they reprogrammed the transmission. I picked the car up last Saturday and after 15 minutes or less, the issues returned. I contacted the dealer again and the person did not return my phone call. I visited in person and was advised again that I should drive another 500 miles so the reprogram could take effect. The dealer commented that a number of customers have come back for premature transmission replacements, which did not leave me with a great feeling. This issue has proved to be potentially life-threatening on a number of occasions, such as coming to a stop at the end of an intersection, red light, or highway ramp before accelerating back up to speed and climbing any sort of hill. Jerking and grinding prevents the car from accelerating smoothly. While I am otherwise happy with the features of the car, this is a deal-breaker. With the number of miles that I drive, I am scared that this improper functioning will cause a collision if left unresolved.

- Easton, PA, USA

problem #65

May 222013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 3,000 miles
When turning a corner and attempting to accelerate the care shuddered and made loud noises. It progressed to shuddering every time I accelerated...climbing small grade, changing speed zones etc. This is an automatic car. I had it into shop where they cleaned clutches and the problem persisted and now there was shuddering when I attempted to back down a small drive way incline. The car continues to shudder and make noise. The service department tells me the car needs to learn my driving This is embarrassing and frustrating not to mention that I feel very unsafe driving a car with transmission problems. I was told to drive it more, but I refuse to drive a brand new car with these issues.

- Cape Vincent, NY, USA

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