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 4 of 21)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #343

Jun 182016


  • miles


We have had this vehicle in several times for shuddering, hesitation and other issues involving the transmission. We have had the sensors adjusted, the software updated, and the dealer had had a clutch part on order for 4 months at this point. We first took car in during February for this issue. It is now June. They told us they will need to replace some clutch assembly part, which is taking a long time for parts to be obtained. Dealership can not give us a time when this will be received to perform repair. Concerned about the driving safety for my daughter. Car jumps and hesitates in lower gears. Same complaints many have already made about this vehicle..

- Rockwall, TX, USA

problem #342

Jun 142016


  • 10,000 miles
Power steering failure and hesitation, shuddering in transmission. Reported on 6/17/16 for previous failure incident on 5/13/16. Dealer had repaired vehicle under warranty bur repairs failed to work. New incident that occurred on 6/14/16. Internet search indicated class action lawsuits have been filed against Ford for both the steering problem and transmission problem, nhtsb appears to have already opened an investigation. Still waiting for repairs to be made.

- Amston, CT, USA

problem #341

May 132016


  • 9,112 miles
On 5/13/16 power assisted steering failed. Vehicle very difficult to steer. Vehicle was towed to auto dealer. Also transmission shuddering, choking accident or damage occurred because of these at that time but elevated risk of an accident. Repairs for both made by dealer under warranty.

- Amston, CT, USA

problem #340

Jun 172016


  • 10,000 miles


Transmission stutters thru first and second gears from a stop or slow roll. Will lose power when accelerating to freeway speeds as though it was going to stall out in the lower gears. Clutches rattle as if not engaging. Have had the transmission seal replaced for oil on clutches. Did not fix the stuttering through the gears or the rattling clutches. The transmission updates are current. None of the updates fixed the problem or improved acceleration through the lower gears. I purchased this car new-has only 10K miles.

- Aberdee, WA, USA

problem #339

May 062014


  • 100 miles
I have owned this car for 2 years. I purchased it on 5/3/2014 and took it home to notice 2 days later that the trim of the body frame was coming undone and also the front bumper was detaching (it was parked in my garage). I took it back and got the parts fixed. Then a month later I returned it back to the shop for stalling, hesitation, RPM's going up to 5, vibration of car and got the PCM/tcm reprogrammed. This was all going on while driving down any road and going on the gas from a light/stop sign. I've had the clutch replaced (took 3 months of car in shop to do that). Had the PCM/tcm reprogramed about 8-9 times. My car has been in the shop at least 11 times in the last 2 years. I just picked it up last night for another reprogram of the trans and its still hesitating, has a rattling noise when going on the gas and a very serious shake to the whole car. But I get told the car is fixed or nothing is wrong. Open your eyes because there is definitely something wrong with these cars......... I have documents and pictures to prove it.

- Reading, PA, USA

problem #338

Apr 142016


  • 27,000 miles
The transmission started stalling going down the highway, RPM's high without vehicle going forward. Took it in to the dealer on 05/10/16 and was told there was a recall that had to do with the clutch inside the transmission. I had just bought the vehicle in March 2016 for my daughter and was never told there was a problem with the power train and I told them I had safety concerns. The dealer ran a diagnostic and said they reprogrammed it and should take care of the problem for a bit. The fix did not work. We went there today. 06/15/16 and will take the vehicle back to the dealer on 06/22/16 for them to tear down the transmission and to clean it up to keep it running. We were told it will take a while to get the part in that was needed. I complained to the manager this time. I am worried about my daughter's safety with this vehicle stalling and then picking back up with the RPM's at a high rate.

- Brookland, AR, USA

problem #337

Sep 052014


  • 44,000 miles


The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. While driving approximately 65 mph, the vehicle accelerated on its own and down shifted suddenly to approximately 45 mph. In addition, while attempting to accelerate from a stop sign, the vehicle stalled. A mechanic diagnosed that the transmission needed to be serviced and the clutch replaced. The transmission was serviced and the clutch was replaced approximately three times within a year and half time frame. The manufacturer was notified. The VIN was unknown. The approximate failure mileage was 44,000.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #336

Aug 252014


  • 12,000 miles
I have had my Focus in to be repaired four times for the clutch plate assembly shuddering/jumping/hesitating upon starting up from a stopped position.the last time it was in was March of 2016, and is now doing the same thing in June 2016. This was first noticed at 12000 miles, but not addressed until the milage was 15500. This disqualified it for the buy back with Ford through the BBB autoline. The clutch plate has been replaced twice and adjusted the sensor two other times. This is a safety concern in the event of pulling onto the interstate or in heavy traffic and does not give the acceleration needed. I have asked a couple of times for a buy back, but have been told no. Please help me and other consumers to have this issue addressed and fixed.

- Natchez, MS, USA

problem #335

Jun 082016


  • 14,000 miles
Transmission is jerky, difficult/slow to accelerate making for unsafe driving conditions. The car has other is issues but this is the worst. It is unsafe to drive and fails to accelerate with power or speed when pulling away from a stop, changing lanes, getting onto a freeway, or during typical driving conditions. Ford makes excuses - first it was the computer, now it is the clutch. This has been ongoing since I leased it as a brand new car Dec. 2014.

- Fair Oaks, CA, USA

problem #334

Jun 302013


  • 2,000 miles
Transmission skipping at slow speed and start

- Foxboro, MA, USA

problem #333

Jan 012015


  • 30 miles


The vehicle hesitates when driving from a complete stop and going from 1st to 2nd gear. I have an automatic transmission. This vehicle has done this since the 1st week I owned it. The problem gets much worse the longer it is driven. After about an hour of driving is when the hesitation feels more like the vehicle either can't shift properly or the engine is about to die. When there are 4 adults in the vehicle this issue is amplified. I have to take extra caution when entering traffic from a stopped position due to the major hesitation when shifting gears and I am always worried when making legal turns crossing in front of oncoming traffic. Lastly my vehicle is gas not electric.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #332

Apr 012015


  • 500 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. While driving approximately 70 mph, the vehicle suddenly slowed down and would not accelerate. During the incident, the "engine fault, service now'' message displayed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who was unable to duplicate the failure. In addition, when accelerating from a stop, the vehicle would shutter. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the clutch was faulty. The PCM and tcm were reprogrammed and the clutch was replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failures. The failure mileage was 500.

- Stacy, MN, USA

problem #331

Sep 182015


  • 17,871 miles
I have had my car now for 18 months and it has been in and out of the shop for clutch issues the clutch has been replaced now twice and they updated my computer trying to fix the clutch as well. My car is still not running properly. It has a rough idol worse than what it was before I got my clutch replaced yesterday and it jerks when starting out ( this jerking is not bad right now because I just had the clutch replaced but its still there) I have requested this vehicle to be bought back multiple times and I get a no and they wont tell me why and dont return my emails. I have just requested another buy back and waiting on a response. Thanks for your time and I hope you can help me out.

- Mineral, VA, USA

problem #330

Nov 192015


  • miles
Despite taking my car in multiple times for repair (including software updates and a new clutch at 19466 miles), the transmission has been shuttering, shaking, slipping, and has a hesitant/ delayed response when accelerating from a stopped position (e.g. making a left hand turn to cross an intersection with oncoming traffic). I feel extremely unsafe especially when accelerating to cross an intersection because the automatic transmission will have a delayed response transferring power to the rear wheels despite pushing the accelerator and will continually shutter, slip, and shake while getting up to speed thus making a slow and uncertain acceleration. This can severely limit my ability to move my car out of harms way.

- Coral Springs, FL, USA

problem #329

May 242016


  • 50,000 miles
First problem was the car shuddering and jerking. Ford garage, repair some transmission seals, programming, replaced fuel tank, fuel pump and engine wire harness repair. Shortly after the car began to lose ability to move when accelerating, the engine RPM's would rev and vehicle had little power to move. Ford garage replaced clutch and did programming. On the way home from that repair, our care suffered the same symptoms it was brought in for. It is currently in the shop and we have no confidence in what we will get back.

- Fine, NY, USA

problem #328

Jan 012016


  • miles
I purchased my 2014 Ford Focus 1/1/16. When driving at slow speeds and always if accelerating at 10mph the car jerks and sputters. I took back to the Ford dealer and had what they said was an adjustment due to a recall. Didn't fix anything, took it in again and the answer is its the design due to a 5 speed within an automatic transmission it has to adjust itself. This car will not accelerate when a light turns red turning left and I need to get out of the way, it jerks and sputters, same problem at any stop. My concern is that if I can't accelerate to get out of the way I'm going to get hit, at a light, stop, on the freeway. Ford told me that's the way all of them drive. This is a daily occurrence since I purchase the car.

- San Dimas, CA, USA

problem #327

Aug 012015


  • 11,000 miles
Clutch replaced at 18K miles due to shuddering, hesitation and rolling backwards on hill in drive. At 38K issues are starting again. Several almost accidents when on hill and turning in traffic. Purchased a year ago and devalued $10K since.

- Athens, IL, USA

problem #326

Dec 022014


  • 4,625 miles
Transmission started shuddering not long after purchase. Ford acted like they did not know about these problems even thought we now find that they have been well documented for years. Multiple trips to 2 dealerships have not fixed problem. The shuddering takes place while in motion, sometimes driving straight, often when turning. Longer trips or hilly terrain exasperate problem. Driving in winter conditions ( snow, ice)makes it difficult to tell if it is the tires or transmission that is slipping. Very dangerous defect. Drivers and passengers feel very unsafe in this vehicle. Wondering why NHTSA is so slow in dealing with this problem.

- Kennebunkport, ME, USA

problem #325

Aug 072015


  • 20,000 miles
The transmission jerks when starting off and shifting gears. I've had it in 3 times for "software updates" and each time the mechanic tells me that all Ford Focus experience the same thing and that it was designed that way.

- Bethlehem, PA, USA

problem #324

Sep 262014


  • 14,000 miles
I bought my 2014 Focus in August of 2014, it was a lightly used rental from late 2013 to around the spring of 2014 and only had a little over 14,000 miles on it. Since that time I have had to take it in (including this most recent appointment in a few days) 3 times for the same issue. When I am accelerating from a stop, the car will shutter, hesitate to shift, often grind until it reaches a higher gear. After I take the car in the problem is gone for about a month but then slowly starts to come back the more I drive it. The problem is much more prevalent when I am driving around residential areas with a lot of hills and stop sign intersections. I am worried that if this issue continues throughout the life of my car it will either cause an accident, or at least put me in danger of causing an accident, and it will also cost me a fortune to maintain if I have to continually take it in for repairs each year!

- Riverside, CA, USA

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