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:
6 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
19,569 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 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2013 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 10 of 27)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #343

Jun 192015


  • 45,250 miles


My 2013 Ford Focus has the 2.0 6 speed automatic, don't know if that is the problem. But when driving this car in warm to hot weather, this car will get you killed!!!!!!!! after driving around 10 miles and coming to a stop everything is fine. But when you get ready to accelerate from that stop the car will barely move. You can give it almost full throttle and there is no power. Once you finally get almost to the floor with the gas pedal it takes off like a bat out of hell. It actually will scare you for a second until you realize the car has taken off. This has also happened after taken off around a curb and then all of a sudden no gas pedal. There is nothing!! you can try to feather the gas pedal and there is no response, nothing at all and then all of a sudden it takes off! my wife and I have to travel to raleigh nc monthly, and that is the reason I bought this car because of its fuel mileage and for the room. After making one trip, I will never drive this car to a extremlly busy town again until it is fixed!!!! I have also told my daughter if we get killed in a auto accident, make sure you have a lawyer look into the accelerator pedal, and Ford Motor Co. Because they are at fault!! after getting home, I research a couple of Ford Focus forums this seems to be a major problem with these cars, and from what I have read I haven't seen any type of fix unless you buy a controller that plugs in between the accelerator pedal and the accellertor harness

- Waynesville, NC, USA

problem #342

Jul 192015


  • 53,000 miles
Bought it brand new, had a slight jerking bunny-hop, leap, at acceleration dealer said it would adjust.. after 33000 miles dealer replaced transmission... now same is happening again with a added twist.. while driving on highway at 65 mph my Ford Focus has decided to downshift to a lower gear and causing the passengers to lurch forward and control becoming hazardous.. also include that while driving at highway speeds car tends to hesitate as if ignition is being turned off, if only for a second...

- Warrenton, VA, USA

problem #341

Jan 032014


  • 60,000 miles
The vehicle shudders/vibrates when shifting. The transmission is an automatic but shifts like a stick. There would be times where the vehicle would feel like it was powering down when it would go between gears. Due to dealer service issues, it took more than a month to fix the issue. Now, in 7/22/2015, the transmission is once again shifting funny, bogging down, shuddering and my check engine light is on. There is an action service on the Focus transmission, but no parts are available for several months, and only three days of rental are being offered. Even with the extended service plan, I would only get 13 days. Concerned with the safety of driving the vehicle to work, which is 70 miles one way. No help offered, except an incentive to buy a new vehicle, which is not financially feasible at this time. Not sure how Ford expects people to live without transportation for several months while they try and figure it out.

- Southgate, MI, USA

problem #340

Apr 022014


  • 34,000 miles


Since I purchased this vehicle I have had continuous problems with the transmission. The car has been disabled while driving twice. I have had the car in for service several times for software updates. The problem continues. The car shakes in the lower and higher gears. When I accelerate it hesitates creating a safety hazard. I have called customer service. She referred me to the dealer who in turn has told me there is nothing they can do. Customer service has stopped answering my calls since last fall (2014). The problem continues.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #339

Jul 162015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 3,000 miles
I have only 11,000 miles on my brand new car. I've been complaining about a weird grinding noise and a shuddering of my engine when going through first and second gear. I took it in twice to check (was charged) and was told there was nothing wrong with the vehicle. Finally, I took it in because the noise was so terrible- they said my clutch had failed their tests. I for months drove scared that the car would suddenly jolt forward and hit someone's car.....updated 11/05/15 the consumer stated while in traffic or going up hill slowly the transmission would overheat. The consumer would have to pull over and let the vehicle cool down for 8 minutes. Updated 1/8/2016

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #338

Jun 242015


  • 33,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While driving at 5 mph, the vehicle decelerated without warning. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 33,000.

- Louisville , KY, USA

problem #337

Jul 152013


  • 10,000 miles


First started experiences transmission shuddering/hesitation shortly after purchasing the vehicle. Dealer reprogrammed tcm twice. Then, in October 2013, while attempting to get on the highway, the car locked into 1st gear, red-lined the RPM and would not accelerate over 25 mph. Attempts to put the car in neutral or the automatic shift mode were unsuccessful. Entered the freeway going 25 mph and almost got in a very severe accident. Was able to exit the freeway at the next exit where the car was shut off. After starting the car again it was able to shift out of 1st gear. Took it back to the dealer and they told me I needed a new clutch. After the new clutch was replaced the shuddering decreased but the car still hesitated. At about 40K miles, in February 2015, the shuddering/jerking worsened. This time the jerking was so violent that passengers in my car said they did not feel safe driving in it. The car would accelerate extremely slowly, even when pressing the pedal to the floor of the vehicle. Dealer reprogrammed the tcm again. This made the jerking worse. Dealer recorded a shuddering of over 500rpm. I was put on a waiting list for a new clutch (second one). Called Ford customer service where I asked for a rental car while the new clutch was on order (8-12 weeks). They told me the car was "within drive-able specs" despite the severe jerking and lack of acceleration and would not provide me alternate transportation. They also told me the car was "supposed to shudder" and it is a "different kind of transmission" that I "just don't understand." There have been numerous complaints about this vehicle and Ford can't seem to fix it. Instead of replacing the transmission they tell people that the issues are "normal." The 2013 Ford Focus needs to be recalled before someone is killed (if they haven't been already).

- Grosse Pointe Woods, MI, USA

problem #336

May 162014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 13,143 miles
Traveling on I-80 in New Jersey after slowing/braking due to heavy traffic ahead and slowing to about 40 mph, the vehicle for about three minutes would not accelerate to highway speed of 65 mph. Vehicle was service at Ford dealer requiring the replacement of clutch and software reinstall. Similar incident occurred a year later June 24, 2015 while traveling on I-77. Was driving at about 70 mph and had to slow down due to police action on the right side of the road. After slowing to about 50 mph the vehicle would not accelerate or was very slow to accelerate to highway speed. Scheduled a service check with Ford for July 8, 2015. But the technician "could not verity concern." Note the vehicle was taken to Ford for other transmission issues November 4, 2014 and June 13, 2015: Grinding, rumbling noise from transmission area, jumping/stuttering forward when accelerating from stopped position and tendency for transmission to slow vehicle when traveling under 30 mph. Transmission/ software issues. The clutch was replaced for the November service date and only software was installed on the June 13, 2015 service date. Updated 09/09/15

- Brentwood, NY, USA

problem #335

Jun 022014


  • 22,700 miles
June 2014 - pulled off the main highway onto a side road. Accelerating from a stop sign, the car started to shutter severely between the 1-2 shift but continued to run normal once up to speed. When I got home, I took the car to the Ford service department. They had to replace the clutch pack in the automatic transmission and reprogram the tcm at 22,700 miles. October 2014 - car started shuttering again during 1-2 shift and had a rattle sound coming from under the car. Took the car to dealer and they had to reprogram the tcm again. April 2015 - returned to the dealer because the shutter was getting worse. They reprogrammed tcm again. June 2015 - car shuttered severely and hesitated as I pulled out of a parking lot onto the road, almost causing me to get rear-ended. It finally shifted and we were able to get the car to the dealer. They said the PCM had to be reprogrammed as well as the tcm again, but they could not detect any shutter. July 1, 2015 - car shuttered from take-off at a stop sign, then hesitated before shifting. Took the car to the dealer and they said no shutter was detected but they reprogrammed the tcm again to relearn how we drive. July 11, 2015 - 39,000 miles. Turning left on to a road from a stop sign, the car shuttered, hesitated and jerked but would not shift into the next gear. It did show the engine service light then. I pulled to the side of the road to keep from getting rear-ended. Called the dealer and was told to try and get the car to them. I managed to get the car turned around, headed to the dealer. The car shuttered then hesitated again before shifting. It was only shifting from 1st to 3rd then to 5th. At the dealer, I had the service writer drive the car with me in it and it shifted normal, but the code was still there. He said shutting off the engine may have reset the fault. This needs recalled before injuries happen. Recall now!

- Hopkinsville, KY, USA

problem #334

Jun 012014


  • 10,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While driving at various speeds, the accelerator pedal was depressed but the vehicle did not accelerate without warning. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer. The technician was unable to diagnose the failure. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 10,000.

- Black Mountain, NC, USA

problem #333

Sep 102013


  • 12,000 miles


I have had issues since the car was one year old. The issue that has just happened on Thursday 2nd of July. I had just come off the high way and was heading home and the car just stopped driving! now they are saying it is the tcm (all part of the transmission/shift gear). I have had the shift gears replaced two times and computer updates two times. Now this is very serious, if I was still on the high way I could have been killed. I have asked on more than one occasion to have the car bought back and have been told no! I am afraid to drive this car, and with the problems I am having a huge problem trading it in, I would be underneath by 7,000. Please help!!!!

- Westboro, MA, USA

problem #332

May 032014


  • 15,000 miles
Bought the vehicle used with about 15,000 miles on it in the spring of 2014. Didn't notice during initial test drive but after a couple days of driving found the transmission shudders and makes a loud grinding noise but only when starting out from a stop. Took to local dealer on 7/16/2014 and they did a re flash they said should correct the problem. It was ok for a day or two but then the transmission started shuddering and grinding from stops again only now it continued to shudder even after it shifted into 3rd gear, before the re flash it only shuddered when shifting from 1st into 2nd gear and then it was fine. On 8/05/2014 I took it back to the dealer again. They tested it and said that even though they do feel the shudder I am still complaining about it still falls within Ford guidelines and is considered normal, the service writer told me it will have to get so bad that the dash just about shakes itself loose before Ford will do anything about it, like replace the clutches. On that visit they did not generate a repair order or give me a receipt probably because they didn't do anything. On 6/24/2015 I took the vehicle back to the same dealer again with the same complaint only this time I also told them that besides the shudder the vehicle will now actually bog down and stop moving right in the middle of an intersection for a second or two at times while its shuddering. Once again they said there was another newer re flash available that may help the problem so they performed it. Again it seemed to shift good for one day but after that it started shuddering and grinding all over again on start out from stops just as before only now it continues to shudder in 3rd, 4th and 5th gears all the way up to hwy speeds and continues to grind all the while. This condition is not safe, Ford knows it and needs to do something about it asap before someone is killed.

- Neenah, WI, USA

problem #331

Sep 192014


  • 20,000 miles
My vehicle failed to shift and had erratic lunging as well as loss of propulsion. It spent more than 3 months at the dealer in total and now the same problems are coming back. I have taken it in to be fixed more than 7 times and now will need to take it in again. The problems started around 20K miles and have continued since. The problem nearly caused an accident when the transmission failed to shift and stayed in neutral. Please help.

- Ware Shoals, SC, USA

problem #330

Apr 222015


  • 35,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While driving at an unknown speed, the power train failed without warning. The vehicle switched from drive to neutral. The contact stated the failure occurred several times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer to be diagnosed. The vehicle was diagnosed for a failed transmission clutch and tcm module. The vehicle was repaired; however, the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 35,000.

- Vinita, OK, USA

problem #329

Feb 012013


  • 102 miles
Noticed that the powertrain within the first week of owning the Ford Focus was not right. Spoke to the dealership and was informed that it was normal. The car shakes in the first and sometimes second gear when accelerating. I was informed by the service department that they could reset the computer and it would relearn my driving behavior. I have had it reset once and in about 2 weeks, the car began to shake again. It is totally embarrassing when I have someone in the car that notices it as well. Ford should be fixing this issue. It is very common. What do you think potential buyers of Ford think when they find out that Ford will do nothing. The reset on the computer is a joke and Ford sent us a letter covering any potential transmission issues until 100,000 miles. Yeah, not. I have an extended warranty to cover that. In the meantime, until the transmission fails, I am expected to just cope with the minimal power of acceleration in first and second which is high dangerous when pulling out in front of traffic. The car was perfect the first week and then went downhill and very disappointing. I agree with the other owners. There is no way I can ever sell this vehicle since it is a very noticable issue when driven. Unhappy with Ford's response to the multiple Focus owners with this very same issue.

- Pleasanton, TX, USA

problem #328

Jun 192015


  • 44,000 miles
My car stalled going down the road at approximately 35 mph upon attempting to accelerate the vehicle revved to the red limit, and would not go into gear. I was thankfully able to pull to the side of the road and get myself and my child to safety by rolling in neutral. Ford Motor Company has had thousands of complaints about the transmissions in these cars stalling or completely malfunctioning while driving yet there has not been a recall on them. My infant was in the car! had I been entering a highway or something the results would have been terrible. All the company will do is extend the warranty to 100,000 miles and then we as consumers are screwed. Basically they "fix" it until the warranty is up. This is not acceptable or safe in any way.

- Lugoff, SC, USA

problem #327

Jun 012013


  • 1,500 miles
The transmission shudders and the car will not accelerate. We almost got hit in the drivers side door with the other car going approximately 45 mph. Can't pullout safely.

- Roanoke, VA, USA

problem #326

Jun 152015


  • 41,896 miles
Trying to back out of my driveway when it first happened. The shifter didn't engage but the shifting level moved. The information on the car screen said that that hill assist isn't working. The second time when driving in a intersection the same information popped up and the transmission stalled going nowhere. After awhile the car could move again but on the way home it happened again. Today it doesn't even start, tried in the morning and in the afternoon.

- Anchorage, AK, USA

problem #325

Jun 082015


  • 45,500 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While driving approximately 5 mph and attempting to accelerate across two lanes of traffic, the vehicle would not respond. The dealer stated that the incident was normal for that type of vehicle with a dual clutch transmission. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and the contact was instructed to take the vehicle to a different dealer to get a second opinion. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 45,500.

- Austell , GA, USA

problem #324

Jun 122015


  • 70,450 miles
The car's transmission lost drive (no warning lights) and started to coast with my speed reducing rapidly. I was forced to cross 2 lanes of traffic with no power to the vehicle. I brought the vehicle to a stop and moved shifter to "P" but the car's information system said the vehicle was not in park. I put the parking brake on and called the towing company. This is an extremely dangerous problem. I was lucky not to have an accident.

- Evensville, TN, USA

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