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 18 of 21)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #63

Mar 312014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 7 miles


I have the same issue as everyone else with the stuttering shifting. I complained about it within a day of first purchasing the vehicle and was told that is how the car is supposed to shift, they would not even look at it. I was told that I just have to accelerate through it. I have learned not to put myself in a position where this may threaten an accident for me but it is still a huge safety concern where I have to constantly think about how the vehicle will perform pulling out into traffic and typically wait for a larger opening just in case the car wants to act up.

- Crestview, FL, USA

problem #62

Oct 012014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 33,000 miles
The vehicle on acceleration shutters, this is a know problem. I know that Ford and the NHTSA have known about this problem with the 2014 Ford Focus. I don't know why a recall has not been issued, this is a safety hazard, when pulling into oncoming traffic. I have had the clutches replaced once, and the vehicle still shutters, not a much, and I am being told that it falls within the limits set by Ford Motor Company. I am not happy with this alternative, and the problem should be fixed altogether. The vehicle is still making noise, I have been told by ruidoso Ford that this noise is normal. I have my doubts. I am looking at this arm of the us government to make sure that the vehicle I am driving is safe and that recalls are done efficiently and promptly.

- Ruidoso , NM, USA

problem #61

Feb 152014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 140 miles
I immediately noticed that the car seemed to be slipping gears/transmission. I put the car in reverse and it acted like the emergency brake was on and it wasn't. when accelerating the car hesitates, shutters, slips gears and stalls. I have had the car completely stall out in drive and in reverse. I'm afraid to pull out into traffic unless it is completely clear. I called about the issue and was told that it had to learn my driving habits. Well I now have 7000 miles on my car bought in Feb 2014 and it is worse than ever. Today I took it into the shop for a "computer update". then was told it's more than that and that they would have to keep my car because of clutch. It's a new car and I shouldn't be afraid to drive my car and get hurt. What are you going to do when the car lunges out into traffic or stalls when I pull out because it has a "computer update" issue and I'm killed? the service tech told me that he himself had owned one and got rid of it because of the issues. I want someone to contact me about this asap. It's not normal to have a new car that won't accelerate and stay in gear.

- Pleasant View, TN, USA

problem #60

Sep 232014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 3,215 miles


While driving up a hill I stepped on the gas so I could keep up with traffic and the vehicle bogged down and slowed to about 15 mph before the trans mission kicked in and the car started moving again. Also sometimes when you are taking off from a stop the car will lung forward into traffic also when driving about 10 mph the transmission will constantly shift up and down and jerk like it is looking for the correct gear. Was told by the dealer that Ford is aware of these problems but considers them with spec for this type of automatic transmission. When you bring the car into the shop the first thing they do is give you a 2 page handout describing how this automatic works but my problems are much worse than what they describe yet they can't find anything wrong. I am afraid to drive this car in traffic because you never know what it is going do. It would have been nice to have seen this handout before purchasing the vehicle as I probably wouldn't own the lemon now.

- Kent, WA, USA

problem #59

Feb 282014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 1,000 miles
I bought my car new back in feburary 2014. It does all kinds of things!! it does not shift right. It jerks, slips, revs high. If you need to accelerate it doesn't ever gear down correctly, either too much or not enough. It has completely stalled at intersections and would not move. It would not even rev up. I had to have it towed. It has accelerated into traffic at a red light, twice!! and each time did not have brakes. My children were in the car and it was a near miss. My children could have been killed!! I have had it at my Ford dealership 5 times!!! yes 5 times!!! each time it runs fine and does not do anything wrong while they are checking it out. The manager of the service dept states it is like a smartphone and once you cut it off it resets so this is probably why they can't find anything wrong with it by the time they get to it. I do not feel safe driving this car. But it is my only car. I don't know what to do. My dealership state they cannot do anything. Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- Ringgold, GA, USA

problem #58

Apr 012014


  • 7,500 miles
The transmission sputters when taking off from a dead stop. At a constant speed the car shifts into a higher or lower gear. Noises are made grinding noises when changing from 1-2-3 gears.

- Harrison, TN, USA

problem #57

Jun 022014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 10,000 miles


Vehicle shutters on take off and rattles. The shuttering at times can become serious to the point the vehicle acts like it wants to stall. I was told that Ford motor is very aware of this problem which involves a faulty clutch system but yet when checked by a computer, if the reading states certain numbers, they don't want to do anything about it! this is absurd! this vehicle is not safe to drive yet Ford does not want to fix the vehicle. When I drive this vehicle at times, the vibrations are so severe that I have to let up off the accelerator in order for it to stop. That's when I'm afraid that I'll get hit. A recall needs to be done on this problem. There have been 36 lawsuits filed just in one county in Pennsylvania alone for this problem NHTSA needs to step in and mandate Ford for a recall.

- Ooltewah, TN, USA

problem #56

Mar 052014

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. While driving approximately 10 mph and engaging the brakes, the vehicle suddenly accelerated without warning. The failure occurred four times. The dealer was unable to locate the cause of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired and the manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 15. Updated 11/21/14 the consumer also experienced a transmission shifting problem. Updated 01/08/15

- Burkley, MI, USA

problem #55

Sep 152014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 9,340 miles
Ford Focus began leaking fluids due to a main seal issue. Automatic clutch/transmission shutters, jerks, vibrates and lurches at low speeds or on hills.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #54

Aug 292014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 3,000 miles
In July I purchased a new 2014 Ford Focus for my son. Immediately he complained about it being sluggish and it shifted when it shouldn't and didn't shift when it should. In August he was involved in an accident when he backed into a parked car. The event cost me $525. He shifted from reverse to drive and pressed the accelerator but his car kept rolling back until it struck a car. Last week was the first time my wife or I drove his car. When she returned she said that she would never drive the car again. She reported the same transmission and shifting problems my son had mentioned. When I drove it to the dealer I put the car in reverse and backed out of the driveway. After I was in the street and totally stopped I put the car in forward and pressed the accelerator. Nothing happened. I checked the gear indicator and pressed the accelerator again. Nothing happened. After sitting iin the the middle of the street for several seconds the car finally moved. It was very sluggish and within the first 100ft. It shifted at least 3 times. Performance like this continued every time I started from a dead stop. I spoke with the service rep about what I had just experienced. He said that the transmission was doing exactly what Ford says it was designed it to do. He said he had personally scheduled over 20 2014 Focus cars into the shop to check the transmission because of the same complaints. He said Ford has a set of tests and if the car passed those tests they wouldn't do anything. He said every 2014 Focus he and the other 7-8 reps had scheduled for the tests had, by Ford's instructions, passed the tests. I sincerely request that you force Ford to do a recall on these cars. Noting the large number of complaints the cars obviously have very serious safety issues, especially their failure to shift when the driver takes the action to make them shift.

- Springfield, MO, USA

problem #53

Aug 012014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 5,000 miles


My 2014 Ford Focus has all of the symptoms being reported by thousands of others such as jumping forward, engine RPM racing up after bogging down to recover from a stall. The transmission sounds like a bucket of rocks being shaken around. Cracks, bangs and worst of all when pulling away from a light it just takes a big gasp, bangs down to a lower gear and jumps forward. Getting on the freeway safely requires pushing the accelerator near the floor and hoping it will downshift before the truck behind you gets there. This car is not even safe in a parking lot. I have had to stomp the brake down hard to keep from hitting other cars in the lot at work. This happens after it nearly stalls the engine and recovers by racing up. My 2014 Focus spent two weeks at germain Ford and was returned with a horrible rumbling sound and it was nearly impossible to get it to accelerate. The rumbling, though felt through the chassis, was later reported to be an improperly assembled air intake? this made no sense to me. I believe it was the engine being heavy loaded because the Focus would not downshift. I returned the car to germain Ford where they kept it for one day and reported there were no further issues with the car. After this two week repair I was presented with a document explaining the operation of the transmission for the Focus, not before. The document does not mention the banging into a lower gear while pulling away from a stop. It does not mention the car jumping in reverse or the engine being loaded to a rumble because the transmission refuses to downshift. I have had the car back from the latest service attempt for as long as the "green clutch", break in time is supposed to require. The car now jumps in reverse backing out of a parking space and acceleration is what I would consider dangerous. I ran out of characters but would welcome a reply or call.

- Hilliard, OH, USA

problem #52

Apr 152014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 2,000 miles
When I first bought car at the end of March, the vehicle would sometimes jerk at low speeds. Almost like a stick shift that was improperly shifted. This would happen even in reverse. And sometimes I can push the accelerator and the car would not move and then lurch forward. But this was an infrequent occurrence. I went on vacation last week (9-5 to 9-13) and drove the vehicle 2000 miles round trip. While driving I got stuck in stop/go accident traffic and the transmission on the car was constantly slipping and the car jerking forward. Also it would idle really hard before the vehicle would jerk forward. This occurred during slow speeds. The transmission now makes noise at 15 mph and 35 mph. This almost like a low grind (errr noise). And the jerking has gotten worse. You can push the accelerator down and nothing happens and then the car lurches forward. Have to keep distance between myself and the vehicle ahead of me. I have an appointment next week for the dealer to look at but there is something wrong with the transmission on the 2014 Ford Focus.

- Toledo, OH, USA

problem #51

Sep 152014


  • 9,800 miles
While in a median turn lane, I accelerated forward to turn left from a complete stop. As soon as I reached the middle of the road, the automatic car slipped out of gear and in to neutral, leaving me at almost a dead stop in the middle of a busy, uphill road. While trying to get the car back in gear, I was almost rear ended by two cars coming up the hill. Luckily they were paying attention, but had to swerve in the next lane to avoid me. I put my car in "select shift" mode and manually switched to 2nd gear. It was the only way the car would go back in gear. The Ford dealership service department has it now, needless to say, as I don't feel safe. I have also been experiencing a grinding noise and shaking/surging when accelerating from a complete stop in this vehicle. I believe this is related to the incident that occurred.

- Liberty Twp, OH, USA

problem #50

Feb 032014

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles
2014 Ford Focus transmission noise, 38,000 miles. Car has a grinding noise at low speeds ( under 40 mph ) car will lurch forward unexpectedly cause loss of control. Car will roll backwards while the transmission is in the drive position on an incline. Very concerned with the safety of this vehicle. Not to mention the resale /trade in value of this car is declining with every bad report issued. I would like to see Ford recall these cars and correct these issues before someone gets seriously hurt driving one of these defective vehicles.

- Parkville, MO, USA

problem #49

Sep 122014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 8,600 miles
My 2014 Ford Focus is a piece of junk! the transmission slips and shudders all the time. It's like it doesn't know what gear to be in at low speeds. To me this is a very dangerous car. Very unpredictable!!

- Pryor, OK, USA

problem #48

Sep 102013


  • 0 miles
2014 Ford Focus SE. The car has always shuddered and jerked when starting off from stop. I am afraid to pull out into traffic unless it is totally clear. My daughter has a 2012 Ford Focus and it does the same thing. I run premium gas and the top grade oil.

- Montgomery, AL, USA

problem #47

Aug 272014

Focus 6-cyl

  • 300 miles
Purchased car 8/27/14. Noticed immediate stuttering, and shifting whenever it wants too. Will not down shift and fails to accelerate from a full stop. Took to repair shop for dx test and was told computer was updated. Car downshifts now but still shifts erratically and still will not accelerate from a complete stop. The shuttering is worse.

- Harvest, AL, USA

problem #46

Feb 042014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 8,055 miles
Car stutters and almost stalls out when starting from a complete stop. The problem is worse the hotter the temperature (ie 90 to 100degs bad stutters).

- Sandford , NC, USA

problem #45

Jan 222014


  • 35,000 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. The contact stated while driving various speeds, the vehicle hesitated. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for diagnosis. The mechanic informed that the vehicle functioned as designed. The manufacturer was notified of the issue. The approximate failure mileage was 35,000.

- Denham Springs, LA, USA

problem #44

May 012014


  • 8,600 miles
Vehicle has extreme shutter/lurching forward when accelerating from a stopped position. The Focus has been taken in for service on four different occasions and computer updates have been made. We continue to experience the same jerking during acceleration but have been told by the service manager and also the owner of the dealership that this is "normal" for the Ford Focus. We feel that this is very dangerous and could cause an accident when it lurches forward especially in heavy (bumper to bumper) traffic.

- Long Beach, MS, USA

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