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 19 of 21)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #43

Feb 202014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 16 miles


My 2014 Ford Focus has a 6-speed transmission that lurches and/or shudders and/or hesitates when trying to slowly accelerate - almost like someone driving a stick shift that never has one before. This happens if you are stopped and try to very slowly accelerate - could easily cause an accident while creeping up to whatever may be in front of you. Or - it happens if you are going at a slower rate (less than about 15 - 20) and want to just speed up a little. These problems cause many hair-raising events for me - especially in tight, rush hour traffic........... >>>>>>> the above problems have been happening since my car was brand new with 16 miles (and the other 2014 Ford Focus 6-speed transmission cars that I test drove acted exactly the same). I asked my salesman about it and he said that it was the how the transmission works. I have 4,000+ miles on it now and the same things are still happening. I will complain to the service writer about this "problem" when I take it in for its first visit to the service department for an oil change........ >>>>>>> as a P.S. - this Ford Focus gets less of an average fuel economy (28 mpg since first fill-up) than my 2010 Ford Focus (31 mpg since its first fill up).

- Clementon, NJ, USA

problem #42

May 142014

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles
The car has severe transmission issues I have almost been killed twice for being thrown out into traffic once and trying to pull out onto a busy highway. Stopping at a stop sign or red light is a nightmare, my car will stop fine, but when you go to take off it jumps and the transmission slips leaving you basically sitting in the middle of the high way barely getting anywhere then all of a sudden your car will take off and make you loose control. The rpms are all messed up if I'm driving down the road the RPM hand just dances all over the place this car is a death trap!! thanks Ford for ruining my life and sticking me with this true lemon of a car...

- Chatsworth, GA, USA

problem #41

Aug 272014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 13,344 miles
The transmission was reprogrammed a month ago for serious shuddering and stalling. Within a week the engine would race and the car would not shift gears. The engine would also stall. In interstate traffic this is a scary dangerous situation. Now the dealership says the clutch is out. I filed a case with Ford and a customer service regional manager was to call me by call...Friday a call was call. Monday a call. Tuesday a promise of a call. Wednesday no call..get the picture.

- Batesville, IN, USA

problem #40

Feb 172014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 21 miles


When you step on the gas the car hesitates then makes a grinding sound and lurches as the transmission engages. The problem has existed since we purchased the car its been in the shop multiple times, each time we get it back the problem still exists. This is completely unacceptable as we use it for a drivers education car!! the dealership was aware of this problem and they are just as culpable as for is for putting out an unsafe vehicle.

- Lynnwood, WA, USA

problem #39

Aug 262014

Focus 8-cyl

  • 100 miles
Car is jerky when accelerating. Feels as if I have a manual transmission with a clutch problem. Car shudders at low speed and also occasionally hesitated when entering a highway. This put me in dangerous situations numerous times.

- Peoria, AZ, USA

problem #38

Aug 202014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 1,800 miles
With car in cruise going down grade trans would down shift in lower gear causing car to slow and engine to over rev. Had to slow to 45 for trans to correct it`S self. Have also had issues with it in reverse jumping in and out of gear. It also jumps while at low speeds searching for the correct gear to be in.

- Rke, VA, USA

problem #37

Oct 242013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 18,000 miles


At ~18,000 miles vehicle started to hesitate upon acceleration to a point the car would stall enough that the vehicle behind us had to brake hard to avoid collision; experiencing heavy shuttering and vibration when vehicle changes gears. Took vehicle to dealer on 10/24/13, advised that the transmission clutches are defective, parts are on back order. Repaired at 20,166 miles on 12/05/13. At ~29,000 miles started to experience same problem as describe above; took in to dealer on 8/19/14, confirmed that the problem is present, furthermore upon inspection dealer advised that front tires are at ┐┐0┐Ł wear and noted they were ┐┐unsafe┐Ł, service manager stated that is due to the excessive vibration and slippage of the transmission. Parts are on back order. Car is unsafe, unexpected hard hesitation is causing near rear end collision. Tire slippage is causing vehicle to hydroplane/slip on wet roads.

- Palm Coast , FL, USA

problem #36

Feb 122014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 800 miles
Transmission constantly shudders and grinds. Tries to shift gears when in cruise control. Engine tried to stall. Very loud metallic noise. Returned car to dealership in February and was told it was all normal. Second time I was given a piece of paper explaining "normal" noises. None of which my car was making. Third time they re-programmed the transmission. Car is being taken back to dealership for same problems this Wednesday. Ford has known of these dangerous problems since the 2011. Yet they continue to knowingly sell dangerous cars. And no one does anything.

- Batesville, IN, USA

problem #35

Feb 152014


  • 100 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while accelerating after a stop sign, the vehicle jerked violently without warning. The failure recurred on numerous occasions. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission needed to be reset. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was unavailable. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 100.

- Blue Eye, MO, USA

problem #34

Aug 062014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 8,600 miles
Vehicle shudders upon starting forward movement or when slowing or stopping and then restarting forward movement. Downshifting into lower gear and then accelerating produces a shudder, severe loss of power, must accelerate heavily or vehicle continues to shake and shimmy while not accelerating. Feels as if the engine/transmission is going to shake out of the automobile.

- Summerdale, AL, USA

problem #33

Jul 162014


  • 8,000 miles


I purchased a 2014 Focus SE with an "automatic" transmission in November, 2013. At 8,000 miles, the transmission began acting more strangely than usual: 1. when trying to accelerate from one slow speed to a slightly higher speed, car would lurch, hesitate & almost stall. 2. when trying to accelerate quickly from a slow speed, especially when going uphill after a turn, car would shudder & make a rattling, sometimes grinding, noise. 3. when accelerating moderately from a stop, car was slow to switch gears. Ford service reprogrammed some software & replaced the clutch. They said the transmission seals were leaky, but that Ford wouldn't have the redesigned replacements until December. A week after the service the car is running more smoothly.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #32

Aug 012013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 600 miles
From dead stop on slight incline the car starts normally and then jerks and hesitates while attempted to shift into 2nd gear. This has caused numerous close calls with traffic. During the shift from 1st to 2nd the transmission makes a very distinct grinding sound (some people have compared it to the sound of aluminum cans crushing). The dealer claims this is normal operation of their powershift transmission. I guess the engineers designed it so it makes this grinding sound during normal driving conditions.

- Apex, NC, USA

problem #31

Jul 312014


  • 4,000 miles
I was entering an eight-car parking area and decided to park a few feet ahead by a high chain-link fence. The car was almost to a complete stop and I was about to shift into park when I heard a "revving" noise from the engine. The car bolted. Braking hard, I slammed into the fence and small tree. The airbags never deployed.I sat stunned. Never experienced anything like this in all my years as a driver. I believe the car malfunctioned and there was a "sudden unexplained acceleration".fix this problem or take the car off the market!

- Plainville, CT, USA

problem #30

Jul 112014


  • 412 miles
The transmission shifts abruptly and engine runs rough when stopped. The car will lunge forward after taking foot off brake without touching the accelerator. The car looses power at highway speeds causing to slow down at highway speeds. While backing up the car binds up and grinds as the car rolls backwards. Upon accelerating from at stop the car has loss of power then RPM go up before the transmission abruptly shifts causing the car to speed up too fast or almost to the point of being out of control. I have taken the car to the shop twice and had to have it towed to a third dealer shop.

- Peoria, AZ, USA

problem #29

Jun 022014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 6,117 miles
The transmission on this vehicle is faulty and the vehicle stalls out at low gears. When you stop at a stop sign or stop light, turn the steering wheel on acceleration, or back the vehicle it stalls out and then the vehicle jerks/ shakes to get back into gear. It is terribly dangerous. Ford has now attempted to fix the issue on my vehicle 3 times and has failed to do so. My vehicle has had the transmission re-sealed and on a separate occasion they have taken my transmission apart to replace the clutch at just over 6500 miles. My vehicle is in the shop for the 3 time, returning with the issues that were allegedly "repaired". the vehicle will not go on acceleration, often times - in traffic - I have been almost ran over or rear ended by other vehicles. I shouldn't have to die first, before this issue is taken care of. I bought what I thought was a nice, new, reliable and safe vehicle.. it has turned out to be a lemon that can very well end up costing my life. Many consumers have this very popular vehicle, Ford is not alerting anyone to the problems they are selling these vehicles with. The vehicle stalls out going down the road.. and to an unsuspecting driver following behind me, I could end up rear ended and seriously hurt or killed. The reviews from other Ford Focus drivers make it obvious that Ford has tried and failed over and again to fix this transmission problem. Some reviews mention how the transmission have caused them accidents, when the vehicle suddenly jerked into gear causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle. Something must be done about this. How can Ford corporate get away with this?

- Rockville, MD, USA

problem #28

May 242014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 25,221 miles
My 2014 Ford Focus has many transmission issues from grinding gears, hesitant transmission, non-working ac from time to time (more often it does not work then works). The vehicle tends to not sh*t or engage the transmission when turning corners and then applying the gas peddle to move forward, in stop and go traffic the vehicle shakes and makes grinding noises when shifting (automatic transmission), on days that are hot the ac tends to never work - when driving 30 miles back and forth from work to home it almost never becomes cool and only puts out hot air. I have taken my vehicle into Ford 5 or 6 times now, this last time I was just informed (about 20 minutes ago) that nothing is wrong with the vehicle that it operates under Ford guidelines and that the tech's found nothing wrong with the car. When I left fremont today before I took it into Ford it had the same issues, grinding, shaking when stop and go and the ac did not work. And now, less then 4 hours of being in the shop they called me saying nothing is wrong and I know for a fact that it is. I have all documentation on my vehicle from the dealer from the first time it went into the shop. Ford Corp who I have been dealing with (will not give her info until you request due to above disclosure) has told me that basically it operates under their guidelines so nothing is wrong. I am asking for help - something is wrong with this brand new car and Ford is failing to address any and all issues.

- Stockton, CA, USA

problem #27

May 292014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 750 miles
I bought my Focus is late April of 2014. After only a month I started to notice that when I would accelerate after stopping for a light or sign, my car would do this "puttering" thing. Then I got caught in rush hour driving home and wow, anytime I would start to accelerate it felt like I was driving a manual for the first time. I called Ford and they said that my car was still "learning how to drive" and that once I reached 1500 miles the problem would go away. Well, here I am 4 months later and 4000 miles under the hood and the problem still happens on a daily basis. I've kind of learned to drive with it doing that, but it's extremely embarrassing when I have people in my car and it's jerking and jolting all over the place. Ford keeps telling me that it will go away, I even had one guy tell me it was just how the car drives and there's nothing they can do. Personally, I think that's bologna. Hopefully Ford does the right thing and fixes this problem before it becomes even worse.

- Blue Springs, MO, USA

problem #26

Jul 292014


  • miles
I have noticed while driving my vehicle that it stutter and makes a loud grinding sound when I am going up inclines and when I am braking. I noticed my car is will be jerking and feels like the transmission is bout to give away when I am in traffic. I took my car back to the dealership because it was still under warranty and explained to them the issues that are going on with my car. They proceeded to tell me that my issues was normal for my car. I asked how could this be normal that a brand new car stutter, grinds, shift gears on it own, jerks when applying brakes or acceleration, and feels like transmission is slipping. I spoke with the mechanic that looked at my car and he said that my model car is like it has a manual engine in and automatic car. He stated that this was normal as far as the manufactures states but actually this is not normal. Cars should not be shifting gear automatically. This issues that my car is having are very hazardous, especially in stop in go traffic and on inclines, just driving period, in the end I feel something needs to be done about this with this making model car especially being that this is a newer model car (2014).

- Gwynn Oak, MD, USA

problem #25

Jul 302014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 9,500 miles
Occasionally when backing up going forward or turning the wheel the car makes a suttle grinding noise.

- Fenton, MI, USA

problem #24

May 012014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 10,000 miles
While driving my car here and there it has hesitated to go and almost feels like it is out of gear. When it starts to go it stutters. Recently it has been getting worse. Two days ago I was in traffic going 35 and my car went from RPM raising as I hit gas pedal to my speed dropping. I had to quickly turn out of traffic shut my car off and restart it. It now has done this twice. I to have taken it and they said it is normal. I do not know of any vehicle that should be normal jerking the driver or hesitating in traffic when trying to go. This is a serious issue when transporting children. The dealer stated it was trying to get use to my driving so it can adjust to how I drive. Really!!! it is not normal to feel like your transmission is slipping and you are getting whip lash just driving a car normal. I was never told this when I bought the vehicle or god as my witness I would never of bought it. It is scary and can cause serious issues in heavy traffic flow. This needs to be resolved or a new vehicle issued!!!

- Youngstown , OH, USA

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