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:
7 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
14,984 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 8 of 23)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #306

Mar 282016


  • 22,671 miles


Have had the vehicle for just over a year. Had performed well until about 20,000 miles. I do a lot of driving ferrying children to and from school, to sporting events, getting myself to and from work. The vehicle began to hesitate and it seemed like there was a timing issue with the shifting mechanism. I often had to mash down on the accelerator to get it to advance. It is very tricky in traffic esp. On the interstate. We are obliged to use I-10, the busiest highway in America, and to go across the I-10 Mississippi river bridge where such hesitation and lack of control of speed could provoke a fatal accident. Took it to the dealership, the service manager implied that I didn't know how to drive it correctly given that it is not truly an "automatic" transmission. Mind you it is not marketed an anything but an automatic. They performed some kind of computer adjustment. The problem continues to manifest itself however especially after the car has warmed up. Took it back in and the service guy was not very helpful, still implying that I just needed to adjust my method of driving. Am now waiting on a new set of clutches that will "repair" the problem but not get rid of the "shuttering". I have not been given a loaner car in the interim and continue to subject my children to these unsafe conditions. There is obviously a design flaw in this transmission and Ford needs to own up to it and do what is right for customers before there is a major accident and fatalities.

- Port Allen, LA, USA

problem #305

May 012013


  • miles
I have been dealing with this issue since just months after purchasing my brand new Focus. As I have been told that while the vehicle is an automatic transmission, it uses a clutch in the transmission like a manual, resulting in an issue with shifting. When accelerating, the vehicle shutters and hesitates, causing severe issues during stop-and-go traffic or in city driving. Additionally, after the shuttle, the vehicle will do one of two things. It will either jerk forward or do nothing at all after letting off the gas pedal. Because you never know which it will be, keeping at least 20 feet (usually more) away from the vehicle in front of you is necessary to avoid an accident. Additionally, the vehicle experiences this while merging on an express way. The RPM gauge will show a significant increase as well as the sound, but the vehicle will not react as the rpms show. It will hesitate and then either jerk forward, or nothing at all. I have taken my Focus to multiple Ford service departments and each time, the dealership does not provide a permanent solution. They will explain that they fixed it, either by installing a new clutch, or giving it a system update, and each time the problem continues back. I have taken my vehicle to dealerships who have acknowledged the problem and have not been able to solve it five separate times. Most recently, I have notice the issue becoming more severe - especially after driving long distances. This is absolutely unacceptable and I am extremely disappointed in Ford for not stepping up and taking ownership of this issue.

- Ortonville, MI, USA

problem #304

Oct 052013


  • miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. While accelerating from a stop at low speeds, the vehicle hesitated to accelerate and shuttered without warning. In addition, there was an abnormal sound emitting from the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission needed to be reprogrammed. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer, but the failure was undetermined. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Jim Thorpe, PA, USA

problem #303

Feb 122016


  • 28,000 miles


Bought car February of 2016 at 28,000 miles, car started hesitating, stuttering, vibrating at acceleration. Other times, it feels like it is going to just take off on its own. I took the car in to Ford and was told that it was the clutch and it would tak 8-12 weeks for the part to come in and in the mean time I can drive the car without worry. I do worry because my son just got his license and I am afraid that the hesitation will cause an accident. I did some research and noticed that this is something that a lot of Focus owners are dealing with. This is very dangerous and the vehicle should be recalled.

- Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #302

Aug 042014


  • 5,000 miles
Bought car brand new in June of 2014. After approx. 5,000 miles, car started hesitating, stuttering, vibrating at acceleration. Other times, it feels like it is going to just take off on its own. Other times it feels like it is going to stall out at any time. I mentioned this at my last visit to dealer and was told it is "normal for this type of transmission". they said they made some adjustment and there was nothing else that can be done. This is unacceptable! how many complaints must be recorded before anything is done about this problem?? I feel unsafe at times and hope the government can put some pressure on the Ford company to own responsibility and correct this ongoing problem.

- Honey Brook, PA, USA

problem #301

Oct 012014


  • 10,000 miles
I bought my 2014 Ford Focus in August of 2014, ever since I have had transmission problems. The car shakes, shudders and jerks with acceleration. It also makes a grinding vibrating noise. I have taken it in for service multiple times and have been told this is normal for Ford cars. I do not feel safe driving and am afraid the car will stall one day as I do a lot of city driving with multiple stops and accelerations. I should not be having these problems with a new car. Ford needs to recall this issue, as it is a danger to drivers.

- North Branch, MI, USA

problem #300

Mar 212016


  • 20,000 miles


Since day one this car's transmission has not worked properly. I should have just brought it right back to the dealer that day. It has been back 4 times for transmissions issues: Shuttering at take off, accelerates on its own without your foot on the gas, keeps changing gears when trying to accelerate on a highway, lurches forward when moving slowly (pulling into a gas station), rpms go up when you take your foot off of the gas and do not drop back down again until you are at a complete stop. The front brakes are completely worn. I see these complaints on the internet over and over again. Today we were driving the car on a highway and it just stopped accelerating. Had to pull over very quickly to get over to the shoulder safely. Motor was still running with an engine fault message was displayed. Ford's roadside assistance doesn't even cover getting your car off of a toll road and living in NJ they are hard to avoid. The dealer says that that is the way the car drives. They write up the paper work very vague and never put the correct description for the issues. The car goes in and out of the service department - programming update. There are 479 complaints for this car on just this site for mostly the same issue. The other 2 cars I own have 0 and 35 complaints on this site - big difference. My last Ford.

- Lanoka Harbor, NJ, USA

problem #299

Mar 102016


  • 10,000 miles
Car jerks, hesitates from stopped position. Clutch replaced at 10,000 miles. At 15,000 miles car was brought back into the deal. Computer adjustments made on the clutch and put within range. Car has been brought back to the dealership 3 more times. The last on March 10 2016. Car started to jerk and hesitate the very next day. I need my car for work and this is unacceptable. The trans needs to be recalled. I have had a Ford since 1982. My 2 brothers work for Ford for over 30 years. I am really considering moving on from Ford with my next vehicle. Very frustrated customer.

- Plainfield, IL, USA

problem #298

Mar 172016


  • 201,000 miles
While turning at a light, my steering went out and caused me to veer into oncoming traffic in the opposing lane. It now takes great effort and muscle to make and turns in the vehicle. I have had the vehicle in the shop numerous times due to a faulty transmission. Now when I turn on the vehicle, the instrument panel displays that there is an urgent transmission fault, then it will flash that there is an urgent steering assist fault. While running a vehicle health report, the vehicle states that the transmission is at a "reduced power state" which causes it to hesitate, not change gears, and not be able to accelerate properly - all of which Ford says are "characteristics of this transmission." Also, the transmission does not work at all in sport mode and has went into reverse or park grinding to a screeching halt while driving on a highway. Luckily, I did not crash when the steering suddenly went out. My vehicle is currently in a lemon law dispute, therefore, Ford will not further diagnose my vehicle.

- Lubbock, TX, USA

problem #297

Mar 112016


  • 25,000 miles
The transmission on the Focus is ineffective and, quite frankly, dangerous. Delayed starts and failures to accelerate are the norm. Ford refuses to fix this known problem and this model really should be recalled before injuries happen.

- Bloomington, MN, USA

problem #296

Apr 102014


  • 14 miles


My car jerks and jumps everytime I take off, from a driveway, stop sign, stop light, etc. Feels as though the transmission has a default, like it is going to fall out. I checked, there are no recalls, when I have it serviced, I bring it to their attention. They just tell me there are recalls. When I tell them I have never received a notice, they respond, you will. I feel I am ignored. This has been going on since, I bought the car, almost 2 years ago. April 2014. I know it had been sitting other than their lot for quite some time.

- Sedalia, MO, USA

problem #295

Dec 122014


  • 11,000 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. While depressing the accelerator pedal and attempting to drive, the vehicle failed to move. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the dual clutch transmission failed and needed to be replaced. The transmission was replaced; however, the failure recurred. The contact stated that the transmission was replaced and reprogrammed three times, but the failure continued. The manufacturer was made aware of the failures. The failure mileage was 11,000.

- Harpers Ferry, WV, USA

problem #294

Mar 042016


  • 5,800 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. At 5,800 miles, the transmission caused the vehicle to jerk and vibrate when the gears were shifted. The dealer replaced the clutch. The failure also occurred at 18,500 miles. After repairing the vehicle again, the failure recurred at 29,000 miles. The manufacturer was not notified of the failures. The VIN was unknown. The initial failure mileage was 5,800. Updated 04/22/16

- Marysville, MI, USA

problem #293

Jan 202016


  • 17,000 miles
When starting the vehicle it has a 'hard start' and idles extremely rough for a car with only 18200 miles. It has done this since I purchased it in June 2014. I've had enough cars to know that this is indeed not "normal". it feels like the idle is not set right and it vibrates enough that you can feel it while in park and idling. I was told by the service manager who is obviously not a mechanic that this is 'normal' for the 4 cylinder engine to vibrate. Also the car continuously shudders, lurches and loses power on acceleration as a result of a faulty transmission. Clutch assembly was replaced at 9300 miles. Note to everyone, upon taking the car to the garage for the fuel pump recall in Dec 2015, the car had to be put in the garage again in Jan 2016 for the purge valve to be replaced, which resulted in my tank becoming deformed (deformed means it shrinks, but no one bothered to explain that to me). Within a month (after 4 repeated trips to the garage for the same issues: Distance to empty calculations and miles per gallon were all over the place, no gas mileage to speak of but each time was told that when diagnostics were performed my car was getting 35 mpg). However, when I put gas in it, I had a 12 gallon tank before purge valve was replaced in Jan 2016, 9 gallons was all it would hold and the gauge showed full. The the car used 1/4 tank of gas to drive 27 miles. The vehicle is still shuddering at a stop light & lurching when accelerating and feels as though the tires are grabbing for traction. But it is within 'specs' according to the technicians. I have had the following replaced: 2nd fuel tank; 3rd fuel pump; 2nd purge valve; and 2nd clutch assembly and the car isn't even 2 yrs old yet and has under 20,000 miles. It is a road hazard. I've had it to 3 different garages and still no resolution. Contacted Ford (dont bother), I have since contacted the BBB.

- Myrtle Beach, SC, USA

problem #292

Jan 012016


  • 2,000 miles
From the purchase of the vehicle (Dec. 2014) there have been repeated issues with power. Within the first months it powered down on the freeway - with the dashboard's power flickering on and off and the car put putting to a near stop. We were only driving about 40 mph and it was not a steep incline. When I called the dealership from which I purchased the car they didn't report any recalls or malfunctions, when I brought it in they said that there was a transmission software updated needed. On and off for months throughout the year my car would struggle when accelerating and shake. Although I brought it in and called multiple times I was told that it was safe and operable. Finally in January 2016 I brought it in again (after having gone in multiple times for inspections and fluid changes) when I had experienced stalling enough times to frighten me and after a whole day was told that there was a recall on the clutch. It has been 2 months!!! I have not received a loaner or rental vehicle even though the car is unsafe to drive and there is a malfunctioning clutch that controls the power of the vehicle which could stall at anytime resulting in an accident. My car is still shaking and worries me to drive every single time; I do not have an alternative vehicle or the money to pay for one nor should I have to. I have been disregarded repeatedly by Ford's corporate customer service manager nikki and by the gentlemen whom I once respected at the service department of petaluma Ford. The part has been "on order" for more than a month. I am appalled at the way that this situation is - or rather is not being handled. This car is a lemon and after paying thousands of dollars for this vehicle I would like to be reimbursed so that I can purchase a reliable vehicle outside of Ford's limited selection or at least have the car rightfully replaced by an alternative vehicle.

- Rohnert Park, CA, USA

problem #291

Mar 052016


  • 27,000 miles
The trunk will pop open while driving (in motion). It happened couple times on many different situations and even in the highway. Last time I was at an avenue and it randomly opened and I had to urgently park. I have recorded a video that shows the event. I have also sent my car to Ford over 4 times to repair my transmission as my car was shuddering and shaking on take offs

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #290

Mar 012014


  • 20,000 miles
Between first and second the gear the car shudders while trying to shift resulting in loss of power, no acceleration control, and discomfort. This is a major safety issue that has not been addressed by Ford. They continue to say that it is supposed to be like that but did not inform me when I purchased the vehicle that it would do this.

- Racine, WI, USA

problem #289

Mar 022016


  • 26,000 miles
At 26000 miles I took car to dealer again for the car grinding and jerking at low speed (10 miles per hour) and not having power on acceleration at 40 mph. The car just decelerates for awhile before it finally goes. I was told that my car is needing a second clutch replacement. The vehicle is not even 2 years old. But it will be about 10 weeks before the part will be in. I had the clutch replaced in October 2014 (shards of metal were found in the bell housing) and had their recall of the tcm performed fall last year. What is sad is that the dealer/Ford argues with the consumer and tries to keep telling me everything is normal. This is not the first complaint I have filed on this (reference #10726101). These cars are dangerous and should not be on the road.

- Toledo, OH, USA

problem #288

Dec 152015


  • 12,000 miles
Transmission shudders and bucks in first and second gear. Loses power when shuddering. Difficult if not life threatening to drive at low speeds around town, in rush hour traffic. Brought in for recall and had transmission re programmed, but is now worse than before. Did research online regarding issue and found many with the exact same issue. Vehicle purchased 4/14 and has less than 15K miles. This is in addition to fuel pump recall that I received 11/15 and parts for that recall are still not available 3/16.

- Woodbury, MN, USA

problem #287

Feb 242016


  • 42,350 miles
I have the same "shuddering" issues as many of these other complaints. I have had the transmission reprogrammed several times and the issue goes away temporarily and then comes back. Worse, the vehicle has stalled while driving on the highway twice. I thought the first time was a fluke because I was able to get going again, but after the second time I had it towed to a dealer. They started the car and let it run for an hour, then plugged in the computer, and called me and said they didn't find anything wrong with it. Meanwhile I see several recalls online related to engine stalling related to electrical signals and fuel pump issues. While my car doesn't have any outstanding recalls right now, I can't help but believe this is the issue. I drive over 300 miles each weekend on busy highways, and now I have a car payment on a vehicle I can't drive because no one can fix it and the problem is still there, a huge safety hazard! I will never buy a Ford again, and I'm selling my stock.

- Elizabethtown, PA, USA

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