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 13 of 27)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #283

Feb 022015


  • 24,000 miles


When turning car sometimes hesitates when gas is pushed, could cause accident when there is oncoming traffic. Automatic transmission (or dry clutch) also grinds loudly often, and car jerks and shudders when shifting. Been to dealer twice for repair, transmission replaced once. Still messed up and dangerous.

- Lakewood, WA, USA

problem #282

Apr 022015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 28,000 miles
After having the transmission checked for leaks yesterday at rizza Ford, they told me a new clutch assembly was ordered but the vehicle was safe to drive until then. On 355 this morning, the transmission slipped and I was unable to drive the vehicle. I can't get the car in reverse and can only drive forward at a low rate of speed. There are issues with this make/model's transmission nationwide.

- Orland Park, IL, USA

problem #281

May 192014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 3,000 miles
I own a 2013 Ford Focus. I haven't had the car a week and I already feel a grinding/shuddering in the transmission. It also has a hard time shifting at low speeds. I've taken the car to the shop and Ford employees keep telling me its normal and nothing is wrong. Ford needs to recall this car!

- Jacksonville , IL, USA

problem #280

Mar 022015


  • 18,860 miles


Bought on 2/23/15 and reported problem with car hesitating/shuttering at start of moving and at stopping. Set up appointment. Was told they could find nothing wrong and suggest to me I was under warranty not to worry. A week later it is now shifting hard from 1st to 2nd. I found a letter from Ford to prev. Owner about this exact problem I'm now describing. Recall this vehicle B4 someone dies.

- Pricedale, PA, USA

problem #279

Feb 182015


  • 15,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While driving at various speeds, the engine stalled and the check transmission warning indicator illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 15,000. Updated 6/11/15

- Iron Belt, WI, USA

problem #278

Feb 142015


  • 39,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While driving at approximately 60 mph, the vehicle jerked and the vehicle failed to accelerate when the accelerator pedal was depressed. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer, where it was diagnosed that the input shaft needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure persisted. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and stated that the VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 14V495000 (electrical system). The failure mileage was 39,000.

- Dunn, NC, USA

problem #277

Sep 102013


  • miles


Pulling from red lights/stop signs is very dangerous due to the transmission stalling, shuttering, grinding. Very easily to get into accidents because stalling in transmission. Please recall this vehicle a lot of families are not safe in this vehicle.

- Santa Ana, CA, USA

problem #276

Aug 012014


  • 15,000 miles
Car will not shift, sputters, stalls, jerks. Has been to dealer 4 times with no results.

- Humble, TX, USA

problem #275

Jun 152013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 4,672 miles
Purchased the 2013 Ford Focus on 02/25/2013 with 5 miles. On 6/15/13, I went to the dealership after tsb 13-4-5 was released and presented it to the dealership. The dealership said that it was normal shifting and that there was nothing that they could do to fix the issue. January 2014, I took it back to the dealership for the same issue that I complained about in June, and they said what I was experience was the transmission clutch shudder and Ford is well aware of the issue and how to repair it. That was repair #1. over the next eight months, I had multiple issues but was told I would have to leave the vehicle for multiple days before the vehicle could be diagnosed for repair. I went for a second option and got the vehicle repaired on 9/24/24. Repair #2. repair #3 was made 11/4/14. Repair #4 was made on 1/10/15 and the issue is still ongoing. When speaking with Ford about the situation at hand and the issues that I was having, I was told by a senior regional manager that one resolution Ford could recommend is to trade in the vehicle. There have been multiple times were the Focus has jumped, stalled, chattered and loud grinding coming from the transmission. The same senior regional manager also told me that if they were to repurchase the Focus, that I would end up paying money to Ford for the usage!! she also said that I will never qualify for a lemon due to the first "repair" that was made exceeded what Ford would allow according to the state" Ford needs to own up for the issues they have caused the consumer and producing an unsafe and unreliable vehicle. The suspension issue is that there is a popping in the front end. Due to the popping, they have replaced top and bottom strut bearings on one side then the other side. The problem is still occurring and at this point they have replaced both strut towers, including new bushings/bearings.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #274

Jan 012015


  • 10,000 miles
For a number of months the vehicle transmission shudders, lags, and acts intermittently lurching. Very dangerous. When applying gas, one never knows if the vehicle will go forward smoothly, or instead lurch or shudder potentially causing to be rear-ended by someone or hit because the vehicle doesn't accelerate to queue. All accompanied by a loud grinding sound. A piece of junk!

- Harrison Township, MI, USA

problem #273

Feb 142015


  • 37,000 miles


Pulling from red lights/stop signs is very dangerous due to the transmission stalling, shuttering, grinding, etc. I have owned the car for 2 weeks and I am beyond mad that I traded a great truck for something I am afraid to drive.

- Portland , TN, USA

problem #272

Jan 012015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 17,000 miles
The 2013 Ford Focus has an ongoing safety concern regarding the transmission. This is a known problem, as there is a plethora of similar complaints online. The transmission jerks/shutters/jumps/vibrates etc. When shifting, mostly between neutral and gears 1 through 3. this is most prevalent when starting from a stop, or any low speed/coasting situations. This is a huge safety concern which Ford needs to address. I commute in stop and go traffic every day, and I never know when the card is just going to suddenly jerk forward, quickly accelerate, or not accelerate at all. This could easily lead to causing accidents, or not being able to avoid accidents, as I feel like I have little to no control over the car at low speeds. This is a safety concern I have every single day I drive the car - it's not a once-in-A-while incident, it's all the time. Ford should really fix this problem before people have catastrophic failures (if they haven't already) from this transmission failing, causing serious personal and property damage, accidents, and possible death.

- Waldorf, MD, USA

problem #271

Jun 172013


  • 5,000 miles
This vehicle is horrible. Bought it brand new in April of 2013 and before the year was up it was in the shop 3 times (been in there 2 more times since then) for transmission grinding, shaking, stuttering, bogging down and stalling. Ford tries to say this is "normal" for this dual system transmission. There is not anything "normal" about almost getting run over on a daily basis because the lower gear shifting is faulty. I guess Ford is waiting on someone to die before recalling this piece of junk. I should not have to worry about a brand new car this way and deal with the constant frustration and embarrassment this car is casing me, not to mention the money Ford gets every month from me. I can't believe I am paying them to drive this lemon. They need to own up to this bad performing car and recall it now.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #270

Feb 032015


  • 42,400 miles
Transmission is causing car to hesitate when giving it gas witch making it pretty scaring turning at open intersections and just driving it starts vibrations bad also its like it puts on brakes be driving and car slow down as if like some one was gearing down does all on its on!! needs fixing the proper way be for some one it's hurt or killed!!!

- Dunn, NC, USA

problem #269

Feb 022015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 5,100 miles
Have taken the car to fairview Ford san bernardino. Were I bout the car. With trans problem under extracare warranty and they cannot fix it. Its been 3 times that I've taken it for the same problem. Now a new problem with the car not starting with the dash and radio turning on but the engine. I don't know why these problems have not became a recall issue. Cant take it to any other Ford dealer because they will not honor the extracare warranty. And charge me a arm N a leg just to check it and knowing what's wrong. Never again will I buy another Ford.

- Victorville, CA, USA

problem #268

Feb 052013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 3,084 miles
I own a 2013 Ford Focus.when stopped, the vehicle rolls back when attempting to accelerate. When accelerating, vehicle shutters violently while shifting. I had the vehicle transmission repaired at the Ford dealer it was purchased from on 2/7/13. They replaced the clutch assembly in the transmission. The same problem then returned about 7 months later, I took the car back to the Ford dealer for yet another repair on 9/6/13. They reprogrammed the BCM. The same problem returned 4 months later. Then I received a letter from Ford Motor Co. With a transmission warranty extension for 7 years as opposed to the original 5 year warranty.I called the service person at the Ford dealer to inform them the same problem has returned. The service person said that Ford was aware of the problem and had no repair options at this time and not to bring the car in for repair. At this point the problem with clutch shudder is constant, and rolls back almost all the time. I have searched online and have found many Ford Focus owners with same issues. I feel the vehicle is becoming increasingly unsafe and unreliable. It is becoming evident that Ford Motor Co. Is not doing enough or anything to resolve this problem. Any help your administration can give would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

- Lockport, IL, USA

problem #267

Mar 122013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 2,700 miles
This vehicle has been deemed a "lemon" pursuant to Colorado BBB auto complaint. The clutch has been replaced twice but the vehicle continues to shudder, lag, or intermittently lurch forward. It is a hazard to drive.

- Greenwood Village , CO, USA

problem #266

Mar 012013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 5,000 miles
Beginning in March 2013, only 4 months after its purchase, I noticed my car hesitated to accelerate on the highway. I brought it into a Ford dealership, and they told me that I had a bad tank of gas. The issue appeared to have gone away after a while, but returned in 2014. In 2014, I brought my car into Ford on multiple occasions for the hesitation, shutter, and associated noises. I feel as if this is a safety issue, because my car is unable to shift into the proper gear when I am trying to accelerate onto a crowded highway or through an intersection. Ford has recalibrated the computer for the transmission multiple times, and even though the service receipt says that the shutter is still present after they fix it, it is okay by Ford's standards, so they allow me to leave the shop. The shutter appears to improve for the most part after taking it to Ford, only to return in a matter of two or three weeks. The recalibration service Ford is offering is not an appropriate long-term safety fix, and the transmission should be recalled and replaced with a true automatic transmission.

- Troy, MI, USA

problem #265

Sep 242014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 9,500 miles
Anytime while driving this vehicle you will experience grinding, shuttering and hesitation usually at lower traffic speeds, which is sometimes unsafe while merging into traffic because of the hesitation.

- Belle Vernon, PA, USA

problem #264

Jan 152014


  • 10,000 miles
My car shutters and hesitates when pulling off, rpms rev up and gas mi is not as advertised. It also makes noises that I thought were the door locks clicking when car is off, later to be told its the transmission is re-setting? besides that I have had 3 flat tires on the same side of the car, from rivet looking things that I think are falling out of the wheel well (at least 1 did!) this is my 1st new car and I've taken care of it! in fact I got it early 2013, and as of now it only has 15,600 miles on it! the last oil change was due at 16,000miles and I had that done @ November because that date was recommended. Everytime I have mentioned this to Ford they blow me off and say there is no recall, well bs I want, and deserve what I paid for, a new car, not a big headache!

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

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