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 13 of 21)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #163

Jun 012014


  • 1,500 miles


The car buckles at low speed when accelerating. There is hesitatation or loss of power as the car attempts to find the next gear. This can also cause the car to jolt forward unexpectedly. There is a grinding noise when accelerating or slowing down. The car also feels like it jumps while turning.

- Voorhees, NJ, USA

problem #162

Jul 152015


  • 11,200 miles
Transmission issue: Failure to shift gears smoothly/appropriately. Failure to engage in gear. Problem occurs after transmission has reached full operating temperature (approximately 30 min of drive time). Vehicle contains 6 speed powershift transmission (electronically shifted manual transmission). Initial issue was shift from 1st to 2nd gear. Transmission causes vehicle to shudder severely causing partial loss of acceleration as transmission attempts to complete shift. Same problem then began occurring in the shift between 2nd and 3rd gears. Shifts from 3rd to 4th and above are not affected (at this time). 1st to 2nd shift has become worse now resulting in intermittent power loss (complete lack of acceleration). This is a particularly dangerous situation when accelerating into traffic as the transmission can take up to 3 seconds before engaging 2nd gear. Vehicle has been to dealership. Tech rode along in the car for test drive. Because issue is intermittent and varies and only occurs when the transmission is at full operating temp, at the time of the test drive, the transmission was malfunctioning (minor shudder from 1st to 2nd gear) but the tech stated it was not severe enough that he would be able to attach a diagnostic recorder to vehicle and send the report onto Ford for authorization to implement a fix. Ford is aware of the issue in these vehicles from the 2012 to 2014 model years (according to the tech and a search of various online consumer complaint websites). Ford has a prescribed fix that includes replacing clutches in the transmission and reprogramming and resyncing of the powertrain computers. While this defect has not caused an accident for myself, I fear it is only a matter of time before it does, especially since the problem continues to increase in severity. Others have experienced accidents because of this defect.

- Bradley, IL, USA

problem #161

May 082014


  • 500 miles
O5-08-14 I purchased a brand new 2014 Ford Focus with 49 miles on it. Within 500 miles I complained of a shudder in the transmission (transmission: Slipping, jumping, hesitating, slow to engage, safety hazard, faulty clutch, mostly on take off, etc )at 5900 miles I took it in for a service and asked about this. I was told this was "normal" it's the new dual clutch transmission aka dct. If this was normal then why did it get excessively worse as I added miles? so I believed them and continued to drive until later it continued to worsen and be more noticable. 6-18-15 Ford replaced the clutch and it continued the same problem within 500 miles.

- Camano Island, WA, USA

problem #160

Apr 012014


  • 1,000 miles


The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. While driving at 5 mph, the vehicle jerked. In addition, the accelerator was depressed and the vehicle accelerated in excess. The vehicle was taken to a dealer multiple times who diagnosed that the software needed to be updated. The vehicle was repaired however, the failure recurred on numerous occasions. The contact stated that while at a stop light, the contact depressed the accelerator pedal and as the vehicle accelerated in excess, the contact crashed into the rear of another vehicle. The air bags failed to deploy. A police report was not filed and no injuries were sustained. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the gears in the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 1,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- George Town, TX, USA

problem #159

May 012015


  • 7,000 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. While accelerating from a complete stop, there was a delayed response and the vehicle accelerated in a jerking motion. The failure recurred multiple times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, where it was diagnosed that the transmission clutch needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 7,000.

- Cobleskill, NY, USA

problem #158

Oct 012013


  • miles
I have the same issues as everyone else with my clutch/transmission. It causes my car to jump, stall, grind, fail to shift, roll, etc. I have been in numerous near-accidents and Ford won't buy back this unsafe car because of Oklahoma's lemon laws. I have had the clutch replaced twice now and work done on the transmission. I got the car back two weeks ago and now it's back in again with the same problems. The car is not safe to drive. If you're reading this, do not buy a Ford Focus!

- Tulsa, OK, USA

problem #157

Jul 022015


  • 18,000 miles


The wife complained about the transmission making noises periodically but I never did hear or feel any issues when test driving it. I first noticed the issue myself on 7/2/15 when I was driving. It at the beach on vacation. I spoke with the dealership on 7/6/15 about the issue and a recall I received on the fuel pump and was told they would contact me when the fuel pump came in and to monitor the transmission until then. Returning home from a trip the week of 7/28-8/2/15 the transmission started to violently shudder when leaving from traffic lights to the point there was concern if we would get through the intersection without getting hit or struck from behind. We contacted the service dept on 8/3/15 and an appointment wasn't available until the morning of 8/6/15. We did not drive it until we took it to the appointment due to safety concerns and it is now 8/10/15 and we are still without a vehicle. The dealership stated it was having problems but Ford wouldn't fix it until it fell into a certain RPM category or totally failed. They said they would reset it and if we have further issues let them know. The service tech told us the transmissions in the Focus have had issues due to using a converted manual to automatic transmission and that the system gets "confused" when to shift. We are also told, the six speed transmission learns the operator and if someone else drives it, it gets confused when to shift or what to do and creates failure of the clutch. The issues noted create a very dangerous situation that could lead to collisions at intersection or if pulling out into traffic.

- Connellys Springs , NC, USA

problem #156

Jul 292015


  • 8,844 miles
I began noticing issues around 8,500 miles. My car would hesitate when I would go from an idle into gear, surge forward, stutter as I was braking or going into speed, and lastly refuse to change gears as I sped up making me think I was in low gear. I now have to make sure all cars are clear before I make turns because my car will lose power as I make turns, which makes me feel extremely unsafe. I drive my car between rochester, NY and buffalo, NY often and this is quite concerning to me. I took it into the Ford service department since I am under warranty and I was told it was the clutch assembly part that is malfunctioning. The part is on national backorder, but should be in a couple days and I should be fine to drive my car as it is now. Well I looked up the issue and there is a class action lawsuit because of this transmission defect. I don't feel safe at all knowing I am driving with a faulty transmission, if I get in an accident I am at fault!

- Webster, NY, USA

problem #155

Apr 062015

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles
The vehicle drives like it is in the wrong gear. It seems like the transmission or something is dragging. It does not go smoothly to another gear. It drives hard for a 2014 car. I don't know what the problem is..... updated 09/30/15

- Rocky Mount, NC, USA

problem #154

Jul 022015


  • 24,000 miles
When trying to accelerate in the car the transmission shudders and causes the vehicle to stall. The transmission has issues shifting and causing the vehicle to jerk.

- Glenpool , OK, USA

problem #153

Apr 012015


  • 17,200 miles


The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. While driving approximately 35 mph, the vehicle suddenly decelerated without warning. The failure recurred multiple times. The vehicle taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the clutches in the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 17,200. The VIN was unavailable.

- Barn Well, SC, USA

problem #152

Mar 132015


  • 450 miles
I have complained to Ford ever since we purchased our brand-new Ford Focus SE 2014 in that the transmission does not shift correctly. More than once the engine responds but the transmission does nothing at all! I took my car in with the above complaint with only 250 miles and I was told that I needed more miles on the car, 2500, so that they could look at two different modules and reset them if needed. Well that¿'s what they did. I returned at a different time with the same complaint and was told I needed yet more miles on the car. I took my car in for servicing with 6500 miles but now Ford is saying they need 10,000 miles before they can do anything at all. When I mentioned they earlier had reset the modules I was told by another member of the service department that was wrong to do what they did but I no longer believe what they say about my problem. This same problem can get my family and I killed especially when I press the gas and want the transmission to downshift and nothing happens! the engine responds with 6000-7500 RPM¿'s but nothing more. In one instance we were almost run over by a 16 wheel tractor trailer on a highway going almost 70 mph. I can no longer trust the car and Ford is not doing anything at all to help our situation and I am sure someone is going to be killed before anything is done and then it will be a day late. I need help not we need more miles on the vehicle. I am hoping that reporting my situation will help me get action to be taken and that Ford is held responsible for such a poor design attempting to use a manual transmission as an automatic transmission. So please help me with this most serious problem and situation....updated 09/28/15

- Kissimmee, FL, USA

problem #151

Jul 022015


  • 21,000 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. While at a complete stop on an incline, the vehicle would sometimes roll forwards or backwards. In addition, the vehicle would occasionally lunge forward. The vehicle would also stall and the lights on the instrument panel and the hazard lights would illuminate. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the computer adaptive learning sensor needed to be adjusted. The failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified of the failures. The failure mileage was 21,000. MA 10/2

- Salem, OR, USA

problem #150

Mar 032014


  • 3,000 miles
When stopped upon acceleration the clutch slips/chatter occurs especially when engine/drivetrain warm. Problem becomes worse in warmer weather and more consistent.

- Wakeman, OH, USA

problem #149

May 242014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 1,000 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving at 25 mph, the accelerator pedal was depressed but the vehicle failed to accelerate. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the clutch/automatic transmission failed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 35. Updated 8/31/15

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #148

Jun 272015


  • miles
I approached a red light to make a right turn. I came to a complete stop, the on coming traffic had a green left arrow allowing them to turn them in front of me. Once the traffic cleared, I started my right turn. The car stuttered as I began to accelerate, the vehicle behind me appeared to almost hit me as my acceleration was almost not existent. I pressed the gas further and finally around 5500 RPM, the car seemed to 'engage' since it lurched and the tires chirped a bit as they grabbed the pavement.

- Santa Clarita, CA, USA

problem #147

Oct 042013


  • 100 miles
Purchased 2014 Focus new, shortly after the transmission began to slip and shudder. Returned the vehicle to the service department twice and was told it was normal for the vehicle during the initial driving due to the transmission and the computer learning to talk to one another. The shuddering became worse. Took it to a different dealer than the one where it was purchased. They "reset" the computer. The shuddering resumed. The clutches were replaced. The car has again started shuddering. The dealer has again "reset" the computer. The hesitation/shuddering is bad enough upon acceleration I am afraid of being hit by other motorists.

- Lake Charles, LA, USA

problem #146

Jan 012015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 12,500 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. While driving at 15 mph, the clutch slipped to different gears and the transmission failed to engage properly. The contact mentioned that the vehicle shook and made a grinding noise when accelerating. The vehicle was taken to dealer where it was diagnosed that the clutch needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 12,500. Updated 8/27/15

- Wilmington, NC, USA

problem #145

Jul 012014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 3,250 miles
The transmission started shuddering on slow starts. The car had trouble deciding what gear it needed to be in. Sometimes it was very slow on take off and other times it just didn't want to go. Rpms were going up and down while my foot was steady on the gas pedal and we were cruising at 55 on flat road surface with no wind. Ford now admits that the clutch is bad and will do a warranty repair....updated 08/20/15 the consumer stated the vehicle was in the process of being repaired. Updated 08/27/15

- Athens, GA, USA

problem #144

Jun 182015


  • 16,060 miles
I am treating this as a new occurrence, or at least Ford told me I had to start at the beginning. I purchased my car in March 2014. In October 2014, I had the heating core replaced and the clutch replaced. I went through several months of taking the car back and forth to the dealer with shifting issues. The would hand me a piece of paper and tell me it was normal. After it was towed to the dealer and I spoke to the service manager, I was told that the transmission vibrations far exceeded the normal and they were authorized to replace the clutch. At time of replacement, they found shards of metal in the bell housing. So I would say about 4 months after they replaced the clutch, it has started to do the exact same things that it did before the clutch was replaced. Sometimes you can hit the gas pedal and the car will not go, sometimes, the car will jerk when being backed up sometimes. I have now had the car lurch forward and lurch backward and my foot was not even on the gas pedal. When it lurched forward, I was traveling at a very low speed in a parking garage and as people were crossing in front of me the car lurched forward, my foot was not even on the gas pedal. The transmission does not shift smoothly, especially at low speeds. And the car again sounds like it is grinding as it shifts gears. The dealer did a shift rpms test (again) and said everything in new clutch is within specs but reset the computer. They did that several times the last time. I think that this is a serious safety issue, especially when the car lurches when the gas pedal is not touched. The dealer advised me that Ford does not have area service managers and that I just have to follow their procedures. My car is only 14 months old. Lat shift rpms 2516-2266 250 RPM 2974-2754 220 RPM, is the results they have on my paperwork MA 08/04/15

- Toledo, OH, USA

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