Notes: Even though the first model year of a major redesign should typically be avoided, Ford did a good job & the 2008 Ford Focus doesn't appear to have any major defects.

That said, the following model years of this 2nd generation Focus (2009-2011) do appear to be slightly better.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
20,500 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.

2008 Ford Focus transmission problems

transmission problem

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2008 Ford Focus Owner Comments

problem #4

Feb 072011

Focus 4-cyl

  • 67,000 miles


Got stuck in the snow and ice Feb.2011. Low gear is out on my transmission at 67,000 miles on my 2008 Ford Focus. I think it's a coincidence the transmission has never felt like it shifted right. I've been a "motor head" forever until the computerized motors came out, I know my cars, motors and tranies, this is not right and I am calling Ford tomorrow, Feb. 14,2011, and have a discussion with them. I feel they need to take responsibility for this especially since I see other people have had trany problems also.

- High Ridge, MO, USA

problem #3

May 272008

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Ltr to the potus re a defective 2008 Ford Focus he co-signed for his grandson, car is a lemon and wants Ford to take responsibility/accountability for their product. The consumer stated the vehicle has been to the dealer 13 times for the same problem. Different parts in the transmission were constantly being replaced. The consumer complained of smelling burnt transmission fluid, the transmission would not shift, the cooler lines and control valve were replaced. Eventually, the entire transmission was overhauled.

- Norfolk, VA, USA

problem #2

Jan 312009


  • 15,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Ford Focus. The contact heard a loud grinding noise coming from the transmission while traveling at highway speeds. There were no warning indicators illuminated on the instrument panel. He took the vehicle to the dealer on numerous occasions and they stated that there was a failure within the transmission, but they could not identify a solution. Currently, the vehicle has not been repaired. The manufacturer did not assist. The VIN was unknown. The failure and current mileages were 15,000.

- Marion, IA, USA

problem #1

Dec 012007

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The transmissions shift points are not calibrated correctly. The shift points are off. Starting from a stop the vehicles first shift is 3000rpm. While under normal acceleration from that point the RPM's can go as high as 3500 before the second shift. Once in second gear, depending on the engine load the RPM's can go as high as 4000. As I mentioned, engine load. On a slight downgrade the trans shifts normal with lower RPM at all shift points. On a slight upgrade shift points are higher. Drive down the highway at a steady speed. The first shift seems ok. In second gear the RPM's will stay at 2500 to 3000. The transmission does no shift until you let of the gas pedal a little. Once in third gear the od does not kick in until speeds above 60mph. I had the vehicle to the dealer. They checked for codes and there were none. The shop foreman drove the vehicle then requested we drive another to see if the problem was present. We drove another vehicle that seemed to perform the same. I mentioned to him, if this is a normal operation maybe the computers program is wrong. Maybe the transmission needs to be reflashed. He claimed Ford would not put out a product like that. Example: We had snow a couple of day ago and you naturally had to watch your speed. I drove around at 30mph with the RPM's at 3,000.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

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