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 20 of 21)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #23

Jul 012014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 15,555 miles


Every time I put the car in drive and start to go between 5-10 mph the car begins to stutter. Its getting progressively worse everytime I drive the vehicle. I've taken it to the shop 2-3 times already and they have only put a "bandaid" on the situation. They have only reset the transmission computer back to its default settings. I am wanting something to be repaired - actually replaced under my warranty.

- Severn, MD, USA

problem #22

Jun 012014


  • 7,000 miles
For a couple of months now, when I drive at slower speeds (usually 15-25 mph) the transmission appears to grind when changing gears. From what I've read, Ford is claiming this is slipping of the transmission and is "normal" for the car. Brand new cars should not make noises like this. Glad I purchased an extended warranty from my credit union. Also, the passenger side window does not close as quickly as the other windows.

- Georgetown, TX, USA

problem #21

Jul 022014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 16,000 miles
While vacationing in myrtle beach the week of July 4th, my car in heavy traffic started jumping and jerking like I had a clutch and was missing gears. This continued the whole trip. Going up hills the car stalls and jerks really bad. I carried the car to the dealership when we got back and they drove it and said it was a new transmission that Ford was using. The man explained to me that the break acts like a clutch and it would jump and jerk like this. They did a computer update and said that if this continued to bring it back. I have small grandbabies in my car all the time and my daughter drives back and forth to school. They drove it for about 10 minutes in a parking lot and said nothing was wrong. I wanted him to take it down town in traffic and he declined and said the parking lot was better. The transmission is messed up and a computer update is not working. A different guy at the dealership said that they (Ford) were trying the computer updates first and if it didn't fix it to bring it back. He spoke like mine wasn't the only one that had problems. I am scared to drive the car. Me and my daughter share the car and I am really concerned for our safety. It seems to be worse when you drive slow or start off. My son in law drove the car in myrtle beach and he said that the transmission was slipping and I needed to carry it back to where I bought it and demand they fix it. I bought the car new and thought it would be a good dependable car, now I am scared to go anywhere in it.

- Gadsden , AL, USA

problem #20

Jun 222014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 7,500 miles


Accelerating from a stop light on a slight incline, first time I noticed a lurch or jerk. About that time I began noticing that the transmission is not operating as it had been in the past. The lower speed shifts are not smooth and sometimes when de-accelerating if feels as if the brakes are being applied quickly, ┐┐trailer hitching┐Ł. the transmission also seems to shift to a higher gear at the incorrect time, causing loss of power and poor performance. The transmission problems do not occur all of the time, but it seems to be getting worse. I am concerned that the problems with the transmission will cause a failure. I have taken the car to the dealership and they said there is nothing they can do. The service manage actually said they could replace the clutches but it will just do it again in a few thousand miles. I contacted Ford customer care and spoke to a regional service manger who also said nothing will be done.

- Georgetown, TX, USA

problem #19

May 282014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 100 miles
My issue which I consider a safety issue is with the transmission, just a few days after purchasing the car I happened to be driving in stop & go traffic on the baltimore beltway and that is when I first experienced the transmission issue. The issue is that when you slow the car down to almost a complete stop (but do not come to a complete stop) and you try to accelerate the cars transmission starts making a clanging/grinding noise for a second or two as if the car did not know whether to go into first or second gear. When the car finally selected the gear it wanted to be in the car would lurch forward rapidly. I consider the lurching forward in stop and go traffic a safety issue, however my biggest safety concern is (hesitation) the second or two it takes for the car to start forward. Since you have removed your foot from the brake and have attempted to start forward I am concerned about being rear ended by the car/truck behind me. I have experienced this condition on several occasions in stop & go traffic and when slowing down to make a sharp turn. The car should be smart enough to have a smooth shifting transmission in all instances. I am also concerned that the transmission will fail because of all the clanging/grinding and cause additional issues and cost additional money there is another issue that may be a problem, the electronic assist power steering at highway speeds does not respond as any other car I have driven, the steering seems very loose and constantly needs to be controlled (more than normal), also when changing lanes it takes more effort on the drivers part to maintain control of the vehicle. Also, if you encounter a road with indented pavement (like something a heavy truck would leave) it takes more effort to control the vehicle then it does with a hydraulic steering system.

- Red Lion, PA, USA

problem #18

Jul 012014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 12,000 miles
Entire car will jerk in and out of first and second gear at low speeds. There is a delay in shifting when accelerating, almost like the transmission is "slipping." Driving in traffic the car jumps forward and slips back into first and second gear.this car only has 12, xxx miles on it and it is already having powertrain problems. We also own a 2013 Focus and the dealer replaced the transmission seals and clutch after it began to leak - car had same symptoms as described above.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #17

Jul 102014


  • 9,400 miles


The transmission in the vehicle jolts, jerks, shudders, slips and becomes very hesitant in stop and go traffic and in normal driving conditions. The jolting and slipping almost caused me to rear end another vehicle while in stop and go traffic. The vehicle was at the servicing dealership one week ago regarding the transmission, which found a leak of fluid to the "dry clutch." I believe the design flaw that causes the leak of fluid to be serious enough to possibly cause great bodily harm and/or death. The vehicle does not have consistent or predictable acceleration due to shuddering and slipping, rendering the vehicle uncontrollable at times. The known symptoms, cited in tsb #14-0047, raise substantial concerns for operating the vehicle in a safe manner on public roadways.

- Belleville, IL, USA

problem #16

Feb 012014

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles
Transmission jerks and grinds at 2200rpm in first gear, grinding noise while going up hills, transmission shakes and jerks when shifting from first to second, very rough and unpredictable shifts, shifts into higher gears way to soon then will downshift or go into neutral, hesitation and vibration from launch, transmission slips at random and will not downshift, transmission surges under acceleration....steering seems to have a mind of it's own when turning on to street the steering wheel wants to stay in whatever position you have it turned and is very hard to keep straight on highway..rattling noise like something is loose coming from front passenger area when going over bumps or while sitting at idle it can be heard has been to the shop three time S for rattling noise and it is still not fixed and has been in the shop for the transmission four times and every time they tell me the don't experience it or it's just the way it is or that I am driving the car wrong...I have a wife and a three year old and I am terrified for then to be in the car.

- Travelers Rest, SC, USA

problem #15

Mar 122014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 6,891 miles
When making turns, driving uphill or accelerating, the car makes a grinding noise. I also noticed my car jolting forward at times or making a sound like I'm stuck in gear while driving. I called the dealership and they said it was the clutches slipping. After the fix, my ( I believe my transmission) car is still jumping. This has serious repercussions, especially in traffic when it is stop and go. When in traffic, my car has jolted forward causing me to stop at far distances from the car in front of me in case it happens.

- Alexandria , VA, USA

problem #14

Mar 152014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 3,752 miles
I slowed down to make a left turn across a traffic lane and the transmission would not work. It finally kicked in and I barely missed being struck by an oncoming car though I had plenty of space originally. These vehicles are dangerous as the transmission is unpredictable. I have repeatedly had similar issues since this time but Ford tells me this is 'normal' behavior. Someone is going to get killed in these cars. Do your job and make Ford fix the transmission.

- O'fallon, IL, USA

problem #13

Apr 122014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 5,000 miles


Consistent grinding noise at about 2000rmp 2 or 3 gear with decrease in power. Ford says this is normal. Loss of acceleration can not be safe.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #12

Jun 252014


  • 21,360 miles
I rented a Ford Focus flex fuel 2014 from alamo car rental from ogg airport in maui. The car transmission failed all a sudden during acceleration from rest with a warning from the lcd display that there is a transmission problem and service is required immediately message. During this time, the transmission does not respond and the would easily roll back if on an inclined slope or sudden stop in the middle of a highway, which could cause serious rear collision. The bad thing is that alamo and Ford know about this and they still rent out this model of the vehicle! sorry I feel not providing my personal information for privacy purposes. I provided the alamo car rental address. Best rest assured that the Ford Focus flex fuel 2014 is defective with its transmission and is extremely dangerous!

- Kahului, HI, USA

problem #11

May 162014


  • 4,000 miles
I placed my car in reverse at an incline on my driveway I triple checked the tail lights, gears on dash and on shifter knob to verify that the car was in fact in reverse however my car instead moving in reverse was moving forward. I checked again and let go of gas and again it crept forward. Placed it in neutral and it too went forward as well (triple checked the vehicle to be sure I was in the right gear). This car gave no warning of what it was doing or that the transmission was malfunctioning. Other problems the transmission does is that it shudders on acceleration, meaning its shakes like a manual transmission car when this car is in fact an automatic. It's shakes a lot in turns, low speeds, and just on acceleration without a full and complete stop. I have taken this vehicle time and time again to Ford and I they are only doing the minimal work. Ford has restarted the transmission computer and only once did they remove and changed a part of the transmission (clutch was removed and changed). I believe that they are waiting for a fatality to happen in order for Ford to have a recall. I know I am not the only person having these issues. People driving the 2013 Focus and fiesta are having similar issues. I have tried the lemon law only to be told that I was aware of what I purchased and that is that....they may tell what technology is in the vehicle and how this saves gas however they forget that the consumer is not an expert mechanic! please help!

- Pico Rivera , CA, USA

problem #10

May 202014


  • 6,000 miles
Transmission is doing what they call shuddering. The computer controlled transmission does not shift correctly.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #9

Mar 202014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 280 miles
I started hearing a weird noise from the front end of my car. It's like a grinding noise...sounds like aluminum cans being crushed. Doesn't matter where I drive it, flat surface or uphill it makes the same noise.this happens between 18 to 21 mph. Also, after I make a full stop it would skid, sometimes shakes even just a little tap on the gas pedal. It's dangerous enough that I almost hit a car in front of me. Driving on the freeway; sometimes it losses power / won't accelerate. The car can't keep 55 mph it goes slower until it reaches 48 mph. I don't feel safe driving the car.

- Daly City, CA, USA

problem #8

Apr 012014


  • miles
This vehicle has driven erratically since I picked up the car at the end of March 2014. The vehicle sometimes idles rough especially when engine is cold. The automatic transmission shifts erratically and is not smooth. It drives very jerky and sometimes feels like it is bouncing at low speeds. Car will lurch forward or backward after stopping, which is a safety issue at stop lights/signs and in parking lots. I love the design, but I am so disappointed. I had my prior car for 14 years and now I feel I am stuck with this one for 14 years. It makes me very upset to think about it after saving for so long to buy a new car. The dealer tells me nothing is wrong. I'm embarrassed to have a passenger for fear they will think I am such a poor driver. The car bogs and feels like it is being held back between 35-45 mph when it should be shifting. I have seen other similar complaints on the internet and Ford should recall these cars and fix the transmissions.

- Roselle, IL, USA

problem #7

Mar 192014


  • 1,500 miles
Two weeks after I bought this car I noticed it jumps and stutters feels like the emergency brake is on when taking off. After being in the shop twice and having the clutches replaced it has now started doing it again and it has only been a week. Its really scary when you are driving down the road and need to go and the car wont go because the transmission.

- Umatilla, FL, USA

problem #6

Apr 152014


  • 900 miles
Jerking upon gears changing.. grinding sound upon acceleration and when turning left. Took it to the dealership, they determined at 900 miles the car needed a new clutch. This was replaced thinking it would fix the shifting issues and the grinding noise. The grinding noise came back yesterday as well as the car trying to cut off and idling very low at stop signs/stop lights.. the grinding continued through 3rd gear. The dealership is still trying to determine what is causing this sound. Replacing the clutch did fix the jerking and hard shifting issues however the grinding sound is still an issue.

- Roanoke, VA, USA

problem #5

Sep 022013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 100 miles
Trouble with the dual clutch automatic transmission from the first day of ownership. The car now has 6K miles and the problems persist. The following problems are even worse during cold weather: The transmission shifts poorly, roughly, misses shifts, chooses the wrong gear for the vehicle speed, disengages and sends the engine to redline then drops into gear with a bang and either slows the vehicle with engine braking because the gear is too low, or lugs the engine with no acceleration because the gear is too high. The transmission is always shifting, and seems 'confused' as to what gear that it should be in. In city driving, if I need to suddenly brake, when I re-apply the throttle again, the transmission hangs between gears and the engine revs to redline then drops into gear and chirps the tires. The transmission also makes grinding noises when changing from 1st to 2nd gear. Also very slow to drop to a lower gear when throttle is pressed for quick acceleration. Takes about 2 seconds for it to downshift and then accelerate. Also, the gear indicator on the console (prnds) doesn't line up with the shifter or illuminate to show which gear is selected, so it's difficult to tell whether I've selected reverse, neutral, or drive. In addition, the display on the instrument panel that shows the gear selection sometimes takes over 30 seconds to illuminate or 'boot up' to indicate what gear is selected. I often end up in neutral when I think I've chosen reverse or drive while I wait for the instrument panel indicator to 'boot up'. the dealerships say that I have the current software, and, "they all do that." Dangerous, and will probably add up to very expensive repairs as it can't possibly be reliable under these conditions.

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #4

Apr 052014


  • 462 miles
Transmission grinds and shudders starting from 0 mph, into second gear, and also sometimes into third gear. This is not a safe transmission.. the problem is only getting worse, and I can't imagine what the transmission will feel and sound like at 2,000 miles..

- Oklahoma City, OK, USA

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