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: For the third year in a row, the 3rd generation Focus is experiencing massive transmission problems.

Most notably owners keep complaining about how there's bad hesitation and jerking when starting from a stop. This isn't the result of an old, worn out part. In fact, the average mileage it's reported to us is just over 15k miles.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
6 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
13,592 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.

2014 Ford Focus drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2014 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 11 of 21)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #203

Feb 202014


  • miles


2014 Ford Focus with auto transmission. This problem started from day 1 when I bought it and continues to present. Car shudders under slow acceleration - like from a stop or slowly going over speed bumps or after making a turn or going slow in school zone or going slow in any speed restricted area. It is almost like someone that is learning how to start out from a stop with a manual transmission (feels like gas, brake, gas, brake, gas brake).

- Clementon, NJ, USA

problem #202

Sep 232015


  • 15,000 miles
This car's transmission is nothing but trouble. It gets stuck in gear at times where I try to get going from a stop. Dangerous at times as I have gotten stuck trying to pull out into an intersection which has been scary. I have also gotten stuck in reverse. This car shutters in stop and go traffic, and has overheated in traffic as well causing me to pull over. I'm fed up and would dig more into it but I don't have the time or money to do so which is frustrating as I am making payments on this vehicle.

- Grafton, MA, USA

problem #201

Feb 022015


  • 6,000 miles
Had the car since August 2014 and over past few months (currently at 19K miles) it experiences a very bad "stutter" in acceleration at low speeds, from a stop, and/or in stop and go traffic. Vehicle does not accelerate at first when pressing the gas, and you can feel it stutter several times before the engine power is applied to the transmission and the car starts to go. This is very dangerous.

- Warren, MI, USA

problem #200

Oct 032015


  • 14,000 miles


Transmission shudders when shifting at low speeds. Computer has been reset 3 times after Ford recall.

- Danville, IL, USA

problem #199

Oct 122015


  • 75,000 miles
Auto has been shuttering, sometimes lounging, and slow acceleration. Took car for regular maintenance and reported it. Dealer said they would be extending my warranty as this is a know problem. (I know 4 different people with similar issue). After taking car in for service, the diagnosis was bad clutch assembly. Next day received call saying Ford motor is saying this is not a covered car for this issue, even though it the same issue many others have reported. Currently driving a car that could be dangerous as it is not consist on acceleration.

- Hanover, MI, USA

problem #198

Jul 152015


  • 5,000 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. While driving approximately 10 mph up a hill, the vehicle shook violently and lost power without warning. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission chip needed to be updated. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 5,000.

- Scranton, PA, USA

problem #197

Oct 132015


  • 31,000 miles


Transmission shudders, lurches, stalls, fails to shift, will take off, and then suddenly stop in traffic. Currently 31,000 miles, issues began with 15,000 miles. In first second and third gear, the car will either shudder or lurch out suddenly no matter the speed. At times it will lunge forward and come to a stop while trying to upshift, suddenly, in the middle of intersections and at stop signs. This has caused me to nearly rear-end other drivers, and other drivers to nearly rear end me. It has also caused me to come to almost a complete stop in oncoming traffic after leaving a stop sign. You must completely let off the gas, and then slowly accelerate until the car catches a gear and can get moving again. Sometimes this does not always happen soon enough before oncoming traffic reaches me. My car has already been re-programmed, and I'm awaiting an 8-12 week recall for a clutch. Was told by the dealership that this is normal behavior for a manual transmission. I've driven manuals all my life, and they didnt nearly kill me. Before this car, I purchased a 2013 Ford fiesta, it has the same issues. After replacing the clutches failed to fix the safety issues. I traded it on the Focus thinking I had a lemon. Now I'm having the same safety issues as before. I let the dealership know this morning that the car was a definate safety concern, and I got no response. I want this on record in case of an accident that causes injuries. I'm not safe driving this car on the road.

- High Point, NC, USA

problem #196

Oct 232014


  • 22,000 miles
I have had my car to Ford for my transmission problem 3 times! hesitation/shudder when accelerating. Ford claims this is normal? should not be the case when driving. They will not "fix" the problem. A car should not operate that way with no resolution. My concern is this has a potential of being a safety issue. This car is an automatic. It is difficult operating the car on hills, car rolls backward when accelerating!! car is still new and in warranty.

- Tinton Falls, NJ, USA

problem #195

Jan 262015


  • miles
Vehicle has had a red fluid leak for quite some time. The car has been back to the dealership for this issue many times and currently filing lemon law arbitration. The car has been out of commission for 55 days altogether since it's purchase in January this year due to the fluid leak which seems to be more of coolant than anything else. It is burning oil and or losing it somewhere that isn't visible. It also has had electrical problems with starting as well as the radio clock and presets all resetting after sitting for more than 24 hours. I have had to have the sunroof resales after it had leaked for over two months and the dealership wasn't able to find the leak. The front end makes horrible noises when decelerating. It grinds and whines as if something is about to blow up. I've taken it into the dealer for all of these concerns and only one of them has been resolved fully. I'm very disappointed in my purchase.

- Waynesville, NC, USA

problem #194

Oct 122015


  • 15,000 miles
Transmission shutter continues after recall service for transmission recall module.

- Myrtle Beach, SC, USA

problem #193

Jul 152015


  • miles


When accelerating from a stop the car jerks and shudderes very hard. I live in a rural area and I need to be able to accelerate. The car did not do this for the first 20,000 miles. I took it to dealer and they supposedly reprogramed transmission. This vehicle now lurches forward and shudders. I drive through many highways I am afraid that car will not accelerate enough to get me through intersections. Please help with this matter.

- Elmore, OH, USA

problem #192

Oct 062015


  • miles
The clutch in my 2014 Ford Focus has now been replaced 3 times, with the most recent time being this week. I purchased this car in Feb. '14, and it has 30K miles on it. When the clutch needs to be replaced, the car shudders and jolts coming out of first gear, leaving me unsure of whether it will accelerate properly. The vehicle is sluggish when accelerating through the gears, especially when driving up a hill. Once the vehicle maintains a constant speed, the problem is resolved until I stop or slow down. The dealership does not seem to be able to fix the problem. In fact, it just keeps getting worse. The first time that I took the car in to have it inspected for the shuddering (~11K miles; Aug '14), it was displaying problems above 400 RPM. The second time that I took the car in for the same problem (~23K miles, may '15), I had nearly been in an accident in rush hour traffic in atlanta, ga, and the car failed the clutch test at 400 RPM. This last time that I took the car in to be repaired (30K miles, Sept '15), it was failing at 500 RPM. A Ford representative told me that the car is considered unsafe to drive at 550 RPM. Nonetheless, they still left me to drive the car for 3 weeks while I waited on the part to come in and the dealership to have the availability to see me. When I picked the car up from the dealership yesterday for the third clutch to be replaced, I drove ~5 miles and heard a strange noise coming from the front driver's side wheel at all speeds. I immediately informed the dealership, who requested that I bring the car back in to be further inspected. I am awaiting further information about this latest incident.

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #191

Sep 302015


  • 19,355 miles
Previously, due to the transmission shifting into reverse while the gear selector is in "D" drive, I backed into a female pedestrian hitting her and almost running her over. There are still scratches from her rings on my back bumper. Ford has performed numerous tsb's and recalls to "fix" the issue. Upon the most recent tsb and recall update, I was promised it would take care of any issues, including an issue where the vehicle would shudder and search for a gear before engaging and spinning out from a complete stop. After driving it for 30 miles, I noticed the engine running rough, shaking, and slowing down while in idle. I stopped for a refuel. I got back in the vehicle and calculated my mpg's as I always do - only 19mpg, which Ford says is "within spec" as long as it is not more than 8mpg off. (the on board mpg calculator shows 22.7mpg - always incorrect). It should be 26city, 36hwy. I placed the gear selector in "D" drive (as was also referenced in the on board screen). Once pressing the accelerator, the vehicle's in dash screen flashed that I was in "R" reverse and the vehicle lurched backwards. I braked, then the engine revved and went automatically back into "D." I drove 2 blocks, at a speed of 40 mph in "D, " it again switched to "R" revving the engine, then slowed to a stop. I pulled over, turned the engine off and waited before turning it back on. The drive home, it would jump between gears "searching." I let it sit overnight, and today it has not exhibited these actions. I'm uploading a photo showing the car doing 35 in the "R" position with the RPM jumped up to 3500. I was actually going forward. In "R, " car should not go over 20mph. This is evidence that it switched mid "D" drive. Also, the tires are starting to form pits and has a circumference of separation/splitting which dealership said is "fine." This is causing a vibration and whirring noise.

- Lubbock, TX, USA

problem #190

May 142015


  • miles
Transmission shudders in first and second gear. Bought my car brand new. At 45,000 miles I had to have the entire transmission and clutch replaced! how is this even possible on a 2 year old vehicle? well, again 6 months later, at 57,000 miles sure enough the transmission is messing up again. This needs to be recalled! more than a recall, this is unsafe. Ford needs to buy back every one of the Focus' effected because there's no way someone could sell this car!. the car grinds, shudders, and stalls.

- Irmo, SC, USA

problem #189

Jun 172014


  • miles
Severe shutter when accelerating form a stop. At times the transmission has a long hesitation while accelerating on the freeway to change lanes. Sometimes there is a clunk noise after stopping.

- Norco, CA, USA

problem #188

Sep 302015


  • 20,000 miles
When the car is at a stop, while the vehicle is warm, when you start to take off the vehicle jerks and does not properly engage the transmission. At an intersection or when merging into traffic the vehicle does not respond properly and cause a danger to passengers and all other vehicles on the road

- Columbia, TN, USA

problem #187

May 012015


  • 25,000 miles
Bought brand new. When accelerating, somewhere between 2nd and 3rd gears it hesitates and shutters and grinds and there is considerable delay in acceleration between 2nd and third gear. It then seems to grab onto a gear and plunge forward. It is an automatically powered manual transmission so I do not shift, it shifts automatically.

- Moscow Mills, MO, USA

problem #186

Sep 012013


  • miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. While driving at various speeds, the accelerator pedal was depressed but the vehicle failed to accelerate. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that a clutch within the transmission failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Payson, AZ, USA

problem #185

Jul 012015


  • 11,500 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving and at a stop sign or a stop light, the accelerator pedal was depressed and there was an abnormal loud noise coming from the transmission. In addition, the vehicle shook without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the transmission was reprogrammed but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 11,500.

- Bricktown, NJ, USA

problem #184

Sep 012015


  • 18,500 miles
I am aware this vehicle is equipped with a dual clutch automatic transmission, though the behavior of this vehicle is outside the bounds of safety and acceptability. The car acts, at random intervals, like a vehicle with a manual transmission in which the driver "popped" the clutch, to cause the drive wheels to spin in place. This Ford Focus does this, randomly, at traffic lights. I have nearly smashed into the car in front of me four times. Also, at the ripe old age of 18,500 miles, the clutch slips, and will need to be replaced (under warranty). This is covered under warranty, but clearly there is a serious design flaw, creating multiple safety concerns in the transmission of this car. In summary, these are: Randomly revving high and popping the clutch (think drag racers) and premature wear and slipping so bad I am unable to safely merge into traffic. Ford must be held accountable.

- Portland, ME, USA

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