Notes: Ford changed a lot of things for its 3rd generation, just none of them were a good idea.

The transmission tends to hesitate and jerk when accelerating. The new electronically-driven power steering can fail suddenly and without warning. Even Ford's SYNC can be a headache. Actually, scratch that last one --- it's always been a headache.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
18,903 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.

2013 Ford Focus brakes problems

brakes problem

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2013 Ford Focus Owner Comments

problem #10

Jun 132013


  • 10,000 miles


I purchased my 2013 Ford Focus SE brand new in June of 2013. I noticed the shuddering during acceleration immediately and mentioned it to someone at the dealership. I was told this was normal for it being brand new and that it would stop after awhile. We are now over 3 years later and it has not stopped. Someone finally convinced me to take it in. I've had several people that have been in my vehicle and can't believe that it does this and tell me that it is absolutely not normal. I took my car into the dealership a couple months ago and they said they reprogrammed something. This did not help. Took it back in again today and before even looking at it they are telling me that was I'm describing is normal and gave me a flyer explaining the transmission differences. I couldn't believe they thought I would buy into that. I immediately began researching the issue and am now finding out this is widespread. I'm beyond pissed. I was also involved in an accident on 11/13/14 in this vehicle where I hit the breaks and my car wouldn't stop right away so I rear ended someone. I just assumed I did something wrong but I couldn't believe that it wouldn't stop. I had plenty of room. The wheels did not lock up. The sensation I felt in the vehicle when I hit the breaks is hard to explain. It was as if I was pumping on the breaks as opposed to what I did, which was to put my foot all the way down full force.

- New Braunfels, TX, USA

problem #9

Aug 052015


  • 52,456 miles
As I was driving East on the long island expressway prior to exit 41S the cars notification lights kicked on several messages came up which included rear park assist, hill start assist as well as battery indicator, oil light, check engine light, etc. I attempted to push on the gas however nothing occurred I was coasting at 40 mph I signaled to get over into the right lane, I applied the brake however it also locked up and would not brake, I was almost rear ended/side swiped by several vehicles as I was unable to keep up with traffic and brake accordingly. I got to the right shoulder and hit the E-brake to stop. I turned off the vehicle and attempted to restart however the engine would not kick on and the gas pedal would not work.

- Seaford, NY, USA

problem #8

Jun 122015


  • 21,500 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While driving at an unknown speed, there was an abnormal noise coming from the rear end of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician diagnosed that there was a rear brake failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 21,500. The VIN was not available. MA 08/11/15

- Eau Claire, WI, USA

problem #7

Jun 262014


  • 38,000 miles


My Ford Focus shudders when accelerating and lurch forward without warning when I'm slowing down or accelerating. I have had it repaired once and need to go back again. How many times do I have to go without a car because the dealership once again has my car in for repairs due to a manufacturer transmission defect. Also, what premature internal wear is this all causing" will I need to replace parts before they would normally need replacing or fixing"! I'm worried the car will breakdown or there will be a crash where someone gets seriously hurt. It has been brought to my attention that Ford knew about the defect and concealed the information and there are numerous law suits out there for this particular issue. I really don't feel safe driving the car anymore. I can't remember the specific date of the first incident but I can find out from the dealership if necessary.

- Ofallon, IL, USA

problem #6

Dec 082014

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles
I was traveling a local highway, 195 East, and over a bridge when the two vehicles in front of me hit their brakes and started to spin out - the roads had appeared wet, but the bridge had become icy and a vehicle in front of them had already spun out. I was approximately 6 car lengths behind the vehicle in front of me, but when I stood on the brake nothing happened and I slid into the back of the vehicle in front of me and was ultimately rear ended. The anti-lock brakes did not engage, despite there being no traction on the icy roads and full pressure being applied to the brakes. I've lived in cold weather climates my whole life, driving in similar conditions, and have had anti-lock brakes engage. They should have in this incidence, no question. The vehicle is awaiting repairs, but I feel unsafe driving it again. It was also recently recalled for an issue with the transmission, requiring the clutch to be fully replaced.

- Tiverton, RI, USA

problem #5

Oct 122014


  • 50,000 miles
The contact rented a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 35 mph, all the lights on the instrument panel illuminated along with the transmission and you are not in park warning lights. In addition, the brakes and power steering failed. The vehicle was towed to the rental company. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was unavailable. The approximate failure mileage was 50,000.

- Washington , DC, USA

problem #4

Aug 262014


  • miles


An enterprise branch put me in a defective rental. The brakes were bad. The enterprise employee who put gas in it advised the branch manager there was a problem but he put me in the car anyway. I have tried for a week to get a regional manager to return my call. There were two comments made by individuals involved with the dealership that lead me to believe this has happened before. I don't care about a refund. I want a corrective action plan that can be monitored to ensure no one is put in that position again. The second vehicle's engine maintenance was due.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #3

May 012014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 9,974 miles
2013 Ford Focus St has stalled on the highway going 65+ mph multiple times, in addition to on -ramps and while coming to a stop, resulting in loss of power brakes and power steering. Multiple times has stalled without giving a check engine light, meaning the dealer wouldn't look at it despite being under warranty. Engine's idling speed is wildly erratic before and after stalling events. Have been incredibly lucky so far because this is extremely dangerous and a huge safety risk. Terrified of losing power again while turning left ahead of oncoming traffic or while merging onto the freeway. Ford has issued tsb 13-9-7 for those lucky enough to have the ECU store a code, notice the issue and get it to a dealer while still under warranty, but this absolutely needs to be a recall before someone gets hurt or killed.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #2

May 022014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 3,900 miles
The vehicle will stall upon pressing the clutch in while in gear or neutral regardless of speed at random intervals. I'll notice that coming to a stop with the clutch in the car has a hard time finding an idle then ultimately dies. This mostly happens while the car has been running for awhile and the ac is on however it has happened with the ac off. This has happened multiple times including while down shifting into a lower gear while turning. The dealership was unable to reproduce this despite showing video proof of the issue. This is an overall safety concern when the car could shut off at any given moment while driving.

- Auburn, WA, USA

problem #1

May 082013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 3,200 miles
Vehicle abruptly lost drivetrain power and came to a sudden stop in the left-hand lane of a major surface street in san jose. The vehicle suddenly displayed the warning 'stop safely now". attempts to restart or reboot the car failed leaving us dangerously stranded in moderate traffic for over 20 minutes until a nearby resident helped us to push vehicle to safety. All electrical systems on the vehicle continued to function but the vehicle was immobilized. Pushing the vehicle was very difficult, as if the brakes were engaged. The Ford dealer reported that the regenerative braking system was engaged and could not be disengaged. Ford dealership reported over 30 diagnostic trouble codes appearing on the vehicle that proved to be misleading. Inexperience of service team with electrical vehicles provided low confidence that they understood and repaired the cause of this failure. Ford Motor Company instructed the dealership to replace the electric motor and control module. Ford Motor Company agreed to refund or replacement of this vehicle.

- San Jose, CA, USA

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