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 11 of 27)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #323

Sep 012013


  • 7,000 miles


When accelerating from a stop and when trying to increase speed, automatic transmission slips and shutters making it difficult to gain speed. This is particularly unsafe when merging into traffic. This is a automatic transmission..... but it feels like I am driving a manual transmission and the clutch is slipping (if anyone has ever had that problem it feels the same) has been to the dealership 2 times and both times I only got temporary relief. I can honestly say that this car is unsellable because of this problem. So I'm stuck because it hasen't been repaired with long lasting results, and selling it is not an option. No one in there right mind would buy this car with what may be a major transmission problem looming.

- Jersey City, NJ, USA

problem #322

Jun 012015


  • 40,470 miles
Monday June 1st after clearing the codes from the previous incident 2 days prior and taking a few short drives around town on Sunday the vehicle transmission seemed to be operating normally so Monday I drove to auburn at 5 am and had no issues. Coming home at about 1:30 it started to exhibit the same symptoms from Saturday so I got off the freeway and within a few blocks had intermittent "no power" to the wheels, giving it gas just revved the engine, I managed to limp it into a parking lot with the transmission going in and out. Hooking up my obd2 computer I got the following codes: P2862, P2837, P2862 (again) and P287B. I did notice on both days it failed that the transmission would not go into sport/manual shift mode. I attempted to clear the codes and the P2862 would not clear after 3 attempts so I called Ford roadside. Late in the 3 hour wait for a tow truck the car started and the code seemed to have cleared, I was able to move forward and reverse in the parking lot. I believe that it is somehow triggered by higher temperature drives but not that high, and at least a 20-25 mile drive. Saturday it was about 73 degrees when it failed and Monday it was in the high 60S. When I drove to work Monday morning it was in the low 50S. Also when it failed I could hear mechanism in the transmission seemingly trying to shift like the noise a regular manual transmission makes when shifting, (gears and lever actuators). They have no idea when Ford will be providing clutch parts let alone whatever else is broke. I now believe that the latest problem I have having is way beyond the clutches slipping and shuddering like most people have described. This problem is extremely dangerous and somebody will be seriously injured or killed when their Focus "automatic transmission" causes the car to loose power without much warning and in a dangerous situation. Why no recall?

- Bremerton, WA, USA

problem #321

Jun 142013


  • 100 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While driving approximately 10 mph, the vehicle hesitated and stalled without warning. The vehicle restarted and resumed normal operation. The failure recurred continuously. The vehicle was taken to the dealer on six separate occasions. The mechanic stated that the transmission was performing as designed. The transmission was reprogrammed five times; however, the failure recurred after the repairs. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 100.

- Brookfield , OH, USA

problem #320

Nov 052014


  • 15,000 miles


Same complaint as many others. Shimmys, shakes when going into 2nd. Not all the time. Seems to happen when not enough excelleration. From a complete stop.

- Washington, IA, USA

problem #319

May 292015


  • 40,400 miles
Automated manual 6 speed transmission has been exhibiting clutch shuddering for at least 6 months, dealer ordered new clutches 3 months ago and are still on back order. Saturday May 30th 2015 while pulling away from a stop light making a left turn at approx 5-10 mph the RPM went to around 5000 like the clutch was slipping then started shifting extremely rough and RPM up and down while the gas pedal was held steady at what should have been a low RPM state of no more than 2000-3000 RPM. While at city speeds going up a long hill it seemed like the transmission was stuck in 5th or 6th gear and would not shift even in sport manual mode and bogged down until finally with the gas held down it jerked violently and down shifted. When parking several miles later it would not go into reverse. This was a moderately warm day of about 75 degrees after a 25 mile freeway drive, the engine was not overheating and the oil level was good. The next morning my diagnostic computer (a can obd2) detected the dtc codes P2862 and P2837 and the car is apparently working normally after clearing the codes and driving around the block.

- Bremerton, WA, USA

problem #318

May 292015


  • 11,000 miles
TL-the contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated while driving from a complete stop, the transmission slipped first gear and the rpms increased. The vehicle was taken to the dealer on two separate occasions where the automatic transmission clutch was replaced each time. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 11,000.

- South Lyon, MI, USA

problem #317

Mar 012014


  • miles


Car stutters, stalls, jerks, whenever your under acceleration. In the 1st, 2nd and 3rd gears. It shakes, shimmies, and rattles horribly and is a hazard to turn in front of oncoming traffic, even when they are far away (it will bog down). Ford says this car does this for the new dual clutch car. Had it looked at many times and the last time they said its not bad enough to replace trans and they just keep reprogramming it. Problem just keeps coming back. Guess someone will have to get killed first in order to fix this isssue, and as from I can research, there are a lot of Focus's with this problem. First and last Ford I will own....

- Barnahrt, MO, USA

problem #316

May 162015


  • 41,692 miles
While travelling on an interstate in the passing lane, the check engine lite came on and there was an instantaneous and complete loss of transmission. Was able to pull over, restart car, and had a couple of gears, but same thing happened 3 miles later. Ford warranty simply reset the transmission computer. On 26 may, on the way home from work, the transmission again cut out; this time I had 2 gears and was able to get to a dealership. This time they replaced the dual clutch transition control module (tcm). 2 total and sudden failures of the transmission, and Ford only resetting and not replacing the tcm the 1st time is dangerous to me and my family, and irresponsible by Ford. This is much more unsafe than the airbags issue. This is the 4th clutch issue: 3 new clutches already put in due to the shuddering/jerking issue. But total loss of power is simply dangerous.

- Fairfax, VA, USA

problem #315

Jul 132013


  • 15,000 miles
The car's transmission started slipping around 15K, on July 13th, 2013 I brought the car to the dealer. They tried a reprogram which made it worse and then replaced the clutch. I got my car back on August 1st, 2014 the car was out of my possession for 18 days. Then it started slipping again I brought it to the dealer and the car's clutch was replaced a second time at 36K miles I brought it in October 21st, 2013. When I picked it up, it shuttered like mad, they had placed the clutch wrong and I didn't make it out of the dealer's lot. So, they set it properly and I got it back on November 18th 2014 the car was out of my possession for 17 days. Yesterday (5/27/15), the clutch failed to engage and I had to be towed to the nearest Ford dealer. It appears there is something wrong with the tcm, I have yet to see how long it will be out of my possession for. Ford has denied my request for a buyback twice now once at 36K and then again today at approximately 45K. If the car fails to engage when I am making a left hand turn or merging into traffic, I am going to get in an accident due to this malfunction. That means this car is putting me, my passengers, and other drivers at risk. So far, Ford has only offered me options for buying a new Ford with little financial assistance and no way to guarantee a new car will not have the same issues.

- Wharton, NJ, USA

problem #314

Apr 042014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 19,459 miles
I purchased a Ford Focus VIN #: [xxx] on 2-23-2013. Maguire Ford S. main St. Po box 39 duncannon pa 17020 I first called the dealer about grinding sounds and hesitation when pulling out in low gear when the car had 18,000 miles. Their initial explanation was that the "new Ford ? transmission as acting like a manual and some shudder and noise will be normal. It was obvious to be the car was not ?normal" and at 19,459 miles, April 4, 2014, the dealer found faulty clutches and put in a new clutch assembly (bv6Z7B546D). It still did not feel right and I took it back April 12,2013. They said it is normal. I asked if they would extend the guarantee beyond the 60,000 miles as I envisioned this as a recurring problem. They did not. Needless to say I was extremely disappointed. In August, 2014, Ford extended the warranty for seven years or 100,000 miles.( probably because of so many complaints) I was pleased until the car started acting up again at 38,000 miles. I took it in on 5/27/15 and the dealer confirmed I need clutches replaced again. However, the parts are backlogged and it will take three to four months! I am concerned about the safety factor. The shudder and grinding, I can live with for a while. The hesitation when pulling out into heavy traffic is unacceptable. In addition, a 100,000 warranty with a problem occurring every 20,000 miles means someone will eventually be faced with a huge repair bill, not to mention the diminished value of the car for resale or trade in due to this manufactures defect. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Dauphin, PA, USA

problem #313

Dec 092013


  • 4,846 miles


My car is barely three years old, and the first year it left me on foot, due to a power failure, when I got it towed to quiks in quincy, they explained something about a sensor and or power train, I have the results of what the work that was done on that day, now on 5/26/2015, again, my car starts to stall on me as I'm driving it, I took it in and now it turns out that its a gear shift problem, I have tried to change this car but it seems the company just want to fix it, since its in warranty, what can be done for a car that cost me 20,000 its not even three years old and has these problems, I no longer feel confortable I really would like another car with less headache, this is a new car, I don't understand it. Please help. My name is grace sanabria, 857-266-9987, Thank you.

- Boston, , MA, USA

problem #312

Feb 122014


  • 7,500 miles
Transmission hesitation and shuddering on acceleration to merge into traffic on I95, vehicle failed to continue to accelerate forcing me to pull of the road to prevent being hit by semi truck that was coming up behind me. This and similar incidents have happened several times since I purchased the car I have taken the vehicle in for service 3 times since then each time told it operates within specifications but they reset the control module and flash the software give it back and it operates fine for several weeks. It is now in for the 4th time and they finally are replacing parts but I feel this vehicle is unsafe and have seen where others are having similar issues yet no one has done nothing.

- Virginai Beach, VA, USA

problem #311

Jun 172013


  • 3,000 miles
This car stutters, stalls, jerks, loses acceleration in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd gears. It shakes, shimmies, and rattles horribly and is a hazard to turn in front of oncoming traffic, even when they are far away (it will bog down). Ford claims this is "normal" for the new dual clutch car. It is not normal for a new car to rattle, have sounds of metal against metal noises, shake, shimmy, stall and stutter on any car. This car is going to cause an accident one day and possibly even get someone killed our seriously injured. Ford needs to do the right thing and recall this car and fix it correctly (been in the repair shop 5 times for this already and still has the same problem). I didn't purchase a new car in 2013 to have these type of problems.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #310

Aug 252014


  • 18,491 miles
Automatic transaxle seals leak, eventually causing the car to hesitate badly during acceleration. Primarily happens from a stop, which has caused "close calls" on several occasions. Clutch and seals have been replaced 3 times in less than 8000 miles.

- Lewisville, TX, USA

problem #309

Sep 042013


  • 24,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While driving at unknown speeds, when shifting into second and third gear, the vehicle jerked. The failure occurred daily. The contact mentioned that the failure occurred violently when on an incline. The vehicle was taken to a dialer where it was diagnosed that the clutch needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 24,000.

- Ravenswoodwva, WV, USA

problem #308

Jun 192013


  • 10,760 miles
I have a 2013 Ford Focus. The car remains under warranty. Since I bought the car, the manufacture has paid for the clutch to be completely replaced twice due to issues with the car stalling while I have been driving it (it is a manual transmission that is controlled by a computer system and functions as an automatic for the driver). The car was bought in September 2012. The clutch was replaced on 6/19/2013 with 10,760 miles. The clutch was again replaced on 9/24/2014 at 28,215 miles. Both times the clutch has been replaced it has been due to safety concerns about the car stalling while going uphill. Last night (5/16/2015) while on the interstate going approximately 55 mph with my family in the car, I felt the car transmission slip out of gear. I was unable to accelerate/give gas to the engine and the car was rapidly decelerating. It was difficult to get to the shoulder safely. This car appears to have significant safety flaws with the the dual-clutch, automated-manual transmission that make it unsafe to drive.

- Oakland, CA, USA

problem #307

Feb 102014


  • 36,000 miles
Vehicle has bad issues with the transmission shutters lurches and bucks. Ford will only warranty transmission slippage below 30% throttle any slippage above 30% is not covered by any warranty. This is safety hazard when pulling into traffic. And does not make for a very nice to drive car. No other Ford transmission has that poor of standard. Slippage less than 250 RPM [per event] or over 31% throttle is still a broke car but Ford wont fix it.

- Merritt Isl. , FL, USA

problem #306

Oct 312014


  • 19,900 miles
Car's transmission shutters and jolts. Hesitates to accelerate. Dangerous when merging onto highway or making a turn. Sent it to Ford to fix as per their fsa on the transmission seal. Both dealerships said there was nothing wrong with it, but it still hesitates, shutters, shakes and jolts. This is a safety concern. It needs to be brought up to Ford.

- Allen Park, MI, USA

problem #305

Feb 202013


  • 320 miles
The car will nearly stall (as if transmission slipped/disengaged), engine sputters, transmission grinds and jerks then gears catch and car lurches forwards and speeds off as if it is possessed. This is very dangerous when attempting to enter moving traffic and especially dangerous when crossing multiple lanes of traffic or if the driver is less experienced or isn't aware that he/she needs to accommodate it. The more miles accumulated, the worse and more pronounced the issue. Ford "reprogrammed" my transmission July 2013 (11,000 miles) with no results. Ford's response, "shudder" is normal and the intentional design of the car. The issue worsened to the point the transmission would disengage while climbing hills ( worse on moderate to steep grades) and reliability of this car deteriorated to the point I was rolling backwards down a hill I had attempted to climb at 50-55mph because the car just stops moving forward then the car will grind, bang shake, jerk then lurch forward and speed off like it finally got gas and found the gears (May 1,2015). October 22, 2014, I took the vehicle in for an oil change, with the Ford letter in hand and asked them to check my car again. Parts were ordered and it was safe to drive until then but, if I was left stranded to call roadside assistance. Ford is stalling progress & repair of this issue because they intend to avoid lemon law. My complaints went undocumented on service request paperwork because "shudder is normal/intentional operation" and subsequent complaints were ignored/undocumented because there were no parts to repair it. Resale & trade-in value is low, depreciate at a faster rate and are generally unsafe. Ford needs held accountable, remedy the issue in a timely manner to minimize loss, investment and potential danger to those who unfortunately purchased this defective product. This car is unreliable & dangerous!

- Newton, WV, USA

problem #304

May 102015


  • 31,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle started to shutter when accelerating. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who reprogrammed the PCM. A few weeks after the repair, the check engine and the PCM warning lights illuminated. The failure mileage was 31,000.

- Chicago, IL, USA

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