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:
9 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
9,222 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2014 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 3 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #72

Oct 192015


  • 42,000 miles


The engine overheats for no reason and as a result the car shuts off. Took the car to Ford and was told due to it being a dual clutch transmission there is nothing under the hood to cool the engine down and to just put the hood up for 20 minutes and it is fine. This has happened 3 times now in stop and go traffic.

- Martinsburg, WV, USA

problem #71

Jan 262015


  • miles
Vehicle has had a red fluid leak for quite some time. The car has been back to the dealership for this issue many times and currently filing lemon law arbitration. The car has been out of commission for 55 days altogether since it's purchase in January this year due to the fluid leak which seems to be more of coolant than anything else. It is burning oil and or losing it somewhere that isn't visible. It also has had electrical problems with starting as well as the radio clock and presets all resetting after sitting for more than 24 hours. I have had to have the sunroof resales after it had leaked for over two months and the dealership wasn't able to find the leak. The front end makes horrible noises when decelerating. It grinds and whines as if something is about to blow up. I've taken it into the dealer for all of these concerns and only one of them has been resolved fully. I'm very disappointed in my purchase.

- Waynesville, NC, USA

problem #70

Sep 302015


  • 19,355 miles
Previously, due to the transmission shifting into reverse while the gear selector is in "D" drive, I backed into a female pedestrian hitting her and almost running her over. There are still scratches from her rings on my back bumper. Ford has performed numerous tsb's and recalls to "fix" the issue. Upon the most recent tsb and recall update, I was promised it would take care of any issues, including an issue where the vehicle would shudder and search for a gear before engaging and spinning out from a complete stop. After driving it for 30 miles, I noticed the engine running rough, shaking, and slowing down while in idle. I stopped for a refuel. I got back in the vehicle and calculated my mpg's as I always do - only 19mpg, which Ford says is "within spec" as long as it is not more than 8mpg off. (the on board mpg calculator shows 22.7mpg - always incorrect). It should be 26city, 36hwy. I placed the gear selector in "D" drive (as was also referenced in the on board screen). Once pressing the accelerator, the vehicle's in dash screen flashed that I was in "R" reverse and the vehicle lurched backwards. I braked, then the engine revved and went automatically back into "D." I drove 2 blocks, at a speed of 40 mph in "D, " it again switched to "R" revving the engine, then slowed to a stop. I pulled over, turned the engine off and waited before turning it back on. The drive home, it would jump between gears "searching." I let it sit overnight, and today it has not exhibited these actions. I'm uploading a photo showing the car doing 35 in the "R" position with the RPM jumped up to 3500. I was actually going forward. In "R, " car should not go over 20mph. This is evidence that it switched mid "D" drive. Also, the tires are starting to form pits and has a circumference of separation/splitting which dealership said is "fine." This is causing a vibration and whirring noise.

- Lubbock, TX, USA

problem #69

Sep 082015


  • 4,700 miles


Vehicle was losing power, rough idling and stalling while driving. Took to dealership and was found to have 2 cylinders with low compression and metal in engine. Ford case#7853581 engine was replaced. Vehicle at dealership for 9 days. Ford regional customer service manager does not respond to my emailed questions. After repair car does not start up immediately, gradual problem until 9 days after engine has been replaced, the car does not start at all. Towed to dealership and has now been there for 2 days. I fear that an accident may occur while driving this vehicle and believe that it is not safe.

- Watsonville, CA, USA

problem #68

Sep 012015


  • 11,000 miles
The transmission is shuddering, slipping out of gear and it feels like it is going to stall while accelerating from a stop. I could hear grinding noise, like its and bolts and loose.

- Brick , NJ, USA

problem #67

Nov 152014


  • 10,200 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. While at a stop, the vehicle shook when the accelerator pedal was applied. In addition, the vehicle jerked before accelerating. The failure recurred several times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer who reset the computer and replaced the fuel module, but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 10,200.

- Mt. Airy, MD, USA

problem #66

Aug 152014


  • miles


I purchased my 2014 Ford Focus SE on February 14, 2014, and since then have taken it back to the dealership 3 times (today, being the third time) to have the transmission worked on. The first time they replaced the clutch; the second time, when I called to make an appointment, they told me there was a recall on the timing and that it needed to be re-calibrated; and when the problem persisted, I took it in yesterday and was told today that there's nothing they can do. The report reads, "road test diagnose customers concern. Perform tsb 150120 measure shudder after relearn. Test passed. A 143 out of a max allowable 250 was recorded & sent to Ford. The transmission is working within Ford's design specifications." Well, Ford's design specifications are terrible. The car jolts forward from a stop and dramatically shudders, no matter how lightly or heavily I accelerate, and during high speeds it has trouble shifting gears, often times emitting a grinding noise. This noise is more present at lower speeds, though. I do a lot of freeway driving and dealing with traffic, which means a lot of stop-and-go traffic, so the drive is unpleasant, at its best, and hazardous, at its worst. It needs to be taken care of but Ford says that there's nothing they can do; that that's just the design of the transmission. I am afraid for my safety. Please do what you can to have Ford issue a recall and fix this problem. I'm fed up with their carelessness. I did not sign a contract for a broncin' buck, but a simple car with great gas mileage and a smooth ride. When I test drove it I thought it was just a sensitive accelerator that I would just need to get used to. I should have gone with my gut and bought the Kia optima.

- Escondido, CA, USA

problem #65

Jul 312014


  • 8,000 miles
Beginning at 6000 miles and 7 months of operation, my 2014 Ford Focus began operating erratically. The transmission exhibited physical shudders, lurching when coming out of 0mph, and bogging down/failing to shift to accelerate when merging onto the highway. The first and most noticeable time, it resulted in my hitting the bumper of the person in front of me and a more than $5000 repair to their car. At the time, I was a safe distance away at a drive-thru and applied gas to move forward. At first, nothing happened, then the car lurched forward suddenly. I tapped the person in front of me-- no one was hurt and no damage was done to my car, but damage was done to theirs. This has continued to worsen until now the car exhibits violent shuddering coming out of first and second and has problems accelerating, to the point where it has nearly gotten me hit going through an intersection and caused issues merging onto highways.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #64

Feb 182015


  • 6,000 miles
Since about 6,000 miles, my car "stutters" upon acceleration. Going forward from a stopped position, there is hesitation prior to acceleration which is an accident waiting to happen as those behind me accelerate normally. Then, it stutters, or hesitates, as I accelerate to a point, at which point acceleration ceases and the rpms race. Again, a danger of being hit from behind or the side when merging. I asked my oil change guy to take a look at the transmission, but he refused as he has heard about transmission issues with the Ford Focus cars and suggested I take it to the dealer. When I called Ford to make an appointment, they were well aware of the problem and said they just needed to "recalibrate". my car "passed" their test, but the issue continued. I spoke with the dealership who said he is on the phone with 7-8 Ford Focus owners a day talking about this issue that is allegedly not a safety concern, but a design which is not a defect. He said if and only if my car were to fail the "test", then they would have permission to order a new part. I took my car in again, it failed, and now I am waiting 12-16 weeks for the part to come in. From what I understood from the dealership, the new part may make things a bit better, but the way it drives will be the same. This design is not only flawed, making for an uncomfortable ride, it is a safety concern. I can only hope the government steps in to force Ford to take responsibility and do what's right, because it seems they are unwilling to do so.

- Grayslake, IL, USA

problem #63

Jan 012014


  • miles
Ransmission control module reprogramming for overt tcm failure warning shiftling problem. Went to dealership April 30 2015 and waiting on the part it has been over three months waiting

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #62

Apr 062015

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles


The vehicle drives like it is in the wrong gear. It seems like the transmission or something is dragging. It does not go smoothly to another gear. It drives hard for a 2014 car. I don't know what the problem is..... updated 09/30/15

- Rocky Mount, NC, USA

problem #61

Jul 122015


  • 21,000 miles
While driven I had trouble with car jerking when trying to drive then error message transmission at fault and hill side assit not working. It would go for a little while then driving the message kept coming on. Rmp would jump real high and not moving then it would catch and jerk and continue going.

- Arlington , TX, USA

problem #60

Aug 062014


  • 9,000 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. The contact stated while driving at an unknown speed, the vehicle began to shake. The contact discovered that an unknown component in the engine failed and caused the air conditioning unit to fracture. The contact also stated that the speedometer failed to indicate the accurate speed level. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that unknown wires needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 9,000.

- Sante Fe, NM, USA

problem #59

Jul 022015


  • 21,000 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. While at a complete stop on an incline, the vehicle would sometimes roll forwards or backwards. In addition, the vehicle would occasionally lunge forward. The vehicle would also stall and the lights on the instrument panel and the hazard lights would illuminate. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the computer adaptive learning sensor needed to be adjusted. The failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified of the failures. The failure mileage was 21,000. MA 10/2

- Salem, OR, USA

problem #58

Jun 272015


  • miles
I approached a red light to make a right turn. I came to a complete stop, the on coming traffic had a green left arrow allowing them to turn them in front of me. Once the traffic cleared, I started my right turn. The car stuttered as I began to accelerate, the vehicle behind me appeared to almost hit me as my acceleration was almost not existent. I pressed the gas further and finally around 5500 RPM, the car seemed to 'engage' since it lurched and the tires chirped a bit as they grabbed the pavement.

- Santa Clarita, CA, USA

problem #57

May 122015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 266 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled without warning while driving approximately 40 to 45 mph. The vehicle was towed to the dealer, but was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 266. Updated 7/10/15 the consumer was informed the problem was the transmission computer module. However. 100 miles later, the problem occurred again. Updated 05/05/16.

- Hudson , OH, USA

problem #56

May 102014


  • 6,000 miles
After driving into houston last year, came to a stop light on the tollway. The light turned green, I pressed the accelerator and the engined revved high followed by a metal "clapping/clanking" noise when vehicle changed gears. I took my foot off of the accelerator, but car still accelerated on its own. I ended up running into a curb to keep from hitting other vehicles. The next day, going up a parking garage at 2-5mph, transmission exhibited erratic movement and had a sudden acceleration in reverse (gearshift was in the "drive" slot). A girl was passing behind me and was struck as I was reacting to the sudden change in direction trying to brake. She put her hands out to push herself away and her ring scratched my back bumper and her hand dented in my back license plate. Her hand was turning red and bruised, but she refused to leave her info with me (she looked to be about 15). Service dealers in houston could not "replicate" problem and said this is "normal." After this incident, my highway mpg's have dropped from 35-42mpg to no more than 27mpg. City went from 26-30 to no more than 24mpg. Drove to austin in April, strong hesitation and "stuttering" from a complete or near stop. At highway speeds, it feels jumpy. Vehicle will accelerate on its own between 5-20mph, and 45-55mph. I drive on a college campus where speed is 20mph and I will have to put car into neutral to keep it from accelerating. I took this vehicle to the dealership at around 100 miles - they gave me a printout from Ford showing why this behavior is "normal" and will get better with more mileage. At around 6000 miles at the dealership in houston after injuring someone, they said it was "normal" for this vehicle to exhibit "undesirable conditions" and I just need to further break in the transmission. Now the problem is even worse, and my local dealership says it will take at least 2 weeks in the shop.

- Lubbock, TX, USA

problem #55

May 062015


  • 22,400 miles
I was driving on the freeway at 70mph in fifth gear and something in the engine blew. I started blowing oil and smoke out the rear, "service engine soon" came on, and the oil light came on. I lost all power and power steering, so I made my way to the shoulder. I pulled the hood latch and stepped out of the vehicle. Upon exiting the vehicle I witnessed flames shooting out from underneath the hood in the engine bay. I backed up and watched the front of the car fully engulf into flames.

- Fairfield, CA, USA

problem #54

May 052015


  • 77,500 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. While driving at 70 mph, the engine stalled. The vehicle was taken a to a dealer. The technician diagnosed that the fuel pump assembly, fuel line pressure sensor, and the ignition coil needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 77,500. Updated 7/14/15

- Farmington, MI, USA

problem #53

Sep 252014


  • 100 miles
Auto clutch surges, jerks, drags. Shifts into reverse when you are in drive.

- Lakewood, WA, USA

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