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 7 of 8)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #24

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 #23

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 #22

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 #21

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 #20

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 #19

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 #18

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 #17

Nov 062012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 650 miles
Tried to tell dealership about stuttering of car when it is shifting, response was not enough miles on it, nothing was checked out. Also called dealership again about the stuttering, had the feeling they thought I was crazy. Oil change at 5000 miles, was asked about how I liked the new standard automatic transmission, was not impressed, was taken out on the road, had a loud screech in the front of the car on the highway, was told sometimes a something gets loose and air gets under it and it screeches**.2nd oil change, had enough of the run around, made some noise and got the car checked out on a computer, low and behold, they found a bad clutch, they are replacing it at no cost to me, problem is I don't want this car anymore, I feel very unsafe driving this car, & I feel it is a " large red lemon "& I want it replaced with a good dependable new car, I don't have to be afraid to drive. Thank you, would like to think this would help my cause.

- Fond Du Lac,, WI, USA

problem #16

Aug 272013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 1,600 miles
I have a Ford Focus ev 2013. Twice the car has shut down while driving and the message appears asking you to pull over and stop. This is potentially very dangerous. Further, the sync software does not work properly. The gps shows wrong location, including that the car is at the Michigan assembly plant, clock shows wrong time, phone does not connect or will not disconnect and the rear camera picture shows while driving forward.

- Santa Ana, CA, USA

problem #15

Feb 112013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 3,296 miles
Vehicle grinds gears frequently. From 1st to 2nd gear vehicle will shake, loose power and almost stall before engine regains power and shifts to go forward. Taken to Ford 4 times. They say it is normal and just needs to be broken in. At one visit, they gave me a 2 page handout on how dual clutch engine works, as if that justifies the performance. They finally replaced clutch which helped for a couple of days before original problems returned. Now, on a good day, the car just grinds in 3rd gear. Meanwhile, Ford does nothing, says there is no problem.

- Plainfield, IN, USA

problem #14

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 #13

Aug 252013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 1,000 miles
I went and traded in my mustang for something with better gas mileage which ended up being a 2013 Ford Focus (manual automatic transmission). The first one I got was in the shop 4 times for grinding noises when it tried to shift into gear. The first time they barely had it a day and told me there was nothing wrong with it. The second through the rest of the times I had it out there they just rebooted the computer and said it is fine and will be fine. Not even two days later I was on the side of the road and could get the car to move. I barely made 3 payments on that car. I kept telling them this was a lemon and they wouldn't take it back. When I took it back to the dealership the lady I talked to said "well my sons Focus hasn't been giving him any trouble. That made me really pissy. I told the lady I didn't care about her sons car you should fix mine. I went to another dealership to see if they had another Focus that didn't have the "manual automatic transmission" and they did so I got that one instead of the piece of crap I had. Now I have not even made a single payment on this new car and it is doing the same thing again. They keep telling me this is normal. I will never purchase another Focus or Ford again. I don't care what kind of Ford it is.

- Little Rock, AR, USA

problem #12

Jul 172013


  • 922 miles
"stop safely now" indicator came on while driving vehicle. At a stop light approximately 5 minutes later, the vehicle lost all power in front of intersection. This is an all electric vehicle. I placed transmission in park and attempted to power cycle car with no success for approximately 2 minutes. Once I opened the driver side front door, the car was then able to power back on. The "stop safely now" warning did not reappear.

- Cardiff By The Sea, CA, USA

problem #11

Jun 262013


  • 1,088 miles
Traveling on a road. Stopped at a stop sign. When the pedal was pressed the car showed an error of "stop safely now" and refused to move. The car had to be pushed around the corner of the intersection while vehicles tried to pass.

- Massillon, OH, USA

problem #10

Jun 112013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 1,179 miles
While aggressively shifting from 1-2 and even sometimes 2-3 there is a hard thumping bang that occurs when shifting over 3K...multiple Ford owners are aware of the issue and state that the problem depends on the build date of the vehicle...supposedly stating its the engine motor mount. Upon reading into the problem Ford isn't sure if the are going to make it a recall or not.

- Sayreville, NJ, USA

problem #9

Nov 302012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 100 miles
My performance concern started within the first week of ownership. I had reported what I perceived as a performance issue to the dealer but opted to give a new car time to "break in". 4 weeks into my owner experience, the service department held and drove the car for 5 days and had determined that a transmission component was the cause of the issue I was experiencing. I now have over 10K miles on the vehicle and have had the same experience. The service department has since told me that the rough idle in park or in gear with brake applied is the result of the "direct injection" technology used in this vehicle. The hesitation experienced during 0 to >0 acceleration (gradual or hard) is also the result of the "direct injection" technology coupled with electronic clutch technology used in place of a torque converter. This combination has yielded numerous "almost stalled" conditions during normal driving maneuvers including acceleration during the completion of a left turn crossing oncoming lanes of traffic. I raise this concern as I understand there is an investigation of F150 vehicles with "direct injection" technology as a potential cause for the loss of power. My experience with the Ford Focus has not resulted in an accident. My goal is to raise awareness to a similar condition from the same manufacturer utilizing the same technology. I also have a second vehicle ([xxx]) that is leased and has the same performance issue described above. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Brick, NJ, USA

problem #8

May 152013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 1,802 miles
I purchased the 2013 Ford Focus brand new on 2-09-13. Car barely has 1800 miles on it. While slowing down in a school zone to 15mph, I noticed the car seemed to lose power, and feel shaky. Once past the school zone I accelerated to 20mph and car shifted roughly into gear with a bumping noise. I pulled over and stopped and turned off the engine. After restarting car initially seemed fine. Exactly one week later same thing happened again when in supermarket parking lot. This time however the orange engine service light that looks like an outline of the engine appeared on the dashboard panel. I stopped the car again. When restarting the light went out but reappeared on the 2 mile drive home from the store. Car also seemed to lose power and not accelerate when I needed it to. I called my dealership 1st thing and was told it's most likely a sensor issue and very minor but I made an appointment and took the car in. The dealership ran computer diagnostics and service mgr. Came in and told me 2 error codes showed up of transmission malfunction/ and possible failure! a brand new car!!! they started talking about replacing the transmission and the on board computer, etc.. but dealership can't repair my car at this time because a specialist they don't have on staff needs to be called in. So I have an un safe, unreliable new car sitting in my driveway. 15 calls to dealership and to Ford's customer relations number and I can't even get an appointment to get the car looked at further to determine how defective it is!!! what a lemon! no matter how this is resolved, will never do business with Ford again. They seem unconcerned with the safety issues this defect is causing and they have the worst customer service I have ever dealt with!!

- Whittier, CA, USA

problem #7

May 122013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 11,200 miles
Vehicle has been leaking oil since it was purchased. (2) Ford dealerships have attempted repairs multiple times to stop engine oil leak(s), all of which have been unsuccessful. Was under vehicle on 5/12/13 and noticed there is still engine oil leaking from area around engine/transmission. Defect allowing engine to run without optimal amount of oil, leaking oil creates fuel for potential fire, used engine oil is known carcinogen, which is being deposited within engine compartment and allowed access to passenger cabin.

- Toledo, OH, USA

problem #6

Apr 122013


  • 1,600 miles
I was driving about 40 mph. Suddenly an error message popped up "service advancetrac". then the car was disabled. The speed automatically reduced. The speed did not respond or increase at all when I stepped on the accelerator pedal. Luckily, I was able to pull over to safety. Then the car stopped completely. I turned off the car, then turned it on again. The error message "service advancetrac" popped up again. This time, the car automatically accelerated from 0 to 30 mph, then it ran constantly at 30 mph. This time, the speed did not respond at all when I stepped on the accelerator pedal. It was like the car was on cruise control, without you being able to turn off cruise control! extremely dangerous! I brought it to the dealership for service the 1st time. They replaced the accelerator assembly. About a week later, the same issue happened again. I brought it to the dealership for service the 2nd time. I even took a picture of the error message on the dashboard and shown it to the service adviser. They couldn't reproduce the issue, and told me there was nothing that they could do. Then it happened again right after I drove off the dealership. Then, I managed to drive back to the dealership with the error message still on and with the issue occurring. Service was able to collect some kind of code from that error message, but could not figure out what was wrong with my car, and told me they will contact Ford directly. It has been 3 days and I have not received a response at all. This morning, I turned on my car and drove for 2 minutes and the same issue occurred again! as for proof, I was able to record a 30 second video clip while the car was running on a constant speed of 30 mph without me stepping on the accelerator pedal. I do not feel safe driving this car anymore because this problem can occur randomly anytime in the middle of the road! not safe for driving!

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #5

Apr 102013


  • 500 miles
The car sputters and rattles when letting the foot off the brake when it is at a stand still. It feels as if it is trying to start in 2nd gear. The problem is getting increasingly worse. I have had an issue where the car wouldn't go past 15 mph. I turned it off and started it again and the speed problem seemed to be fixed. It still sputters. I have also noticed the transmission shifts rough.

- Gahanna, OH, USA

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