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 14 of 27)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #263

Dec 052013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 7,200 miles


I was entering a car port that has a slight 2 degree downward slope to the front of the car port. The vehicle's engine seemed to accelerate slightly while depressing the brake and go through the car port front overhang. The current driving conditions adequate (the weather -very cold, snowing but carport was clear underneath) before and since the repair the transmission seems to hesitate to engage momentarily on deceleration and acceleration operations.

- Southfield, MI, USA

problem #262

May 102013


  • miles
Every recall event for my 2013 Ford Focus, I have encountered. After a year and half of continued trips to and being without my car for service. The transmission issues still not resolved along with the electrical issues. The stereo display goes blank, at times shows incorrect date and clock jumps to different hours. The car lunges forward when you get to about 25 to 30 mph or hesitates when you excel. When you put in park it will lunge forward or act like you've popped the clutch even when brake is on. It shudders, has bump & bang noises, lunges, suspension noises. I can feel bumping/thumping under my feet when turning corners. Have had issues with the gas tank assembly and fuel system gauge (this part has been fixed) continued issues with the digital panel, intermittent erratic cluster radio, clock and sync issues that the service department cannot duplicate. When I have issues with the digital panel, I take a picture. Once I turn vehicle off and back on it sometimes clears it up. I've complained about tires noises and ride, they say tires are fine. I went to the dealership to just trade it in and the dealer suggested I contact Ford motor to have them buy it back. I have placed a complaint on the Ford website, but have yet to receive a response. I am afraid to drive this vehicle but have no other choice. Do I have to ruin my credit by just dropping my vehicle off and walking away for them to take back. Ford Motor Company does not make it easy to talk to someone regarding my vehicle. They should be more accessible now before something tragic happens.

- Elk Grove, CA, USA

problem #261

Nov 242014


  • 9,815 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle would hesitate when attempting to accelerate and made a loud grinding noise. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician rebuilt and sealed the transmission. The failure recurred. The failure mileage was 9,815.

- El Paso , TX, USA

problem #260

Jan 172015


  • 14,035 miles


We have a 2013 Ford Focus and while we love the car, there is a huge safety concern with the transmission. We have been back and forth with multiple Ford dealerships (4 rental cars) trying to resolve why our car has been stuttering and jerking in low gear. We have yet to have any answers with the problem. The car is under full warranty plus Ford's premium warranty that covers an extra 500 components of the car. Ford has verified the stuttering problem yet refuses to fix it because the stuttering does not meet "their standards". apparently our car is stuttering at 170 RPM and it needs to be at least 250 RPM in order for them to fix it. What?! I assume they can not put a new transmission in because all of their transmissions do the same thing! we went in to try and speak to someone higher up on the organizational chart. We were given a salesman (go figure) who was trying to sell us a Ford Fusion for double the amount of money we are paying now! we have no where left to turn for help. Please help us and everyone that has the same problem. Im afraid of my fiancé ending up in an accident because the car stutters too much and will not get across the road.

- Rock Hill, SC, USA

problem #259

Dec 022013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 12,665 miles
The shifting on this 2013 Focus has had the usual jerking, shuddering, sudden bursts when accelerating throughout the two years of ownership. In November 2013 when accelerating on the highway, I was unable to merge into traffic until I let up on the gas and tried again stepping on the gas. It happened again when changing lanes when it would not accelerate. Took it in and a new clutch was installed. It has been in to re-program since then and in between re-programming have put up with the issues because you are tired of wasting time at the dealer getting the same re-programming done only to have it done again. January 22, 2014 upon turning the corner lost capability of being able to speed up beyond 12 miles per hour. Car currently in shop and dealer has said clutches were bad and waiting for parts to repair. There were no warning lights of something wrong on the dashboard. Luckily, I was close to home and this occurred at a reasonable hour to get it into the dealer. I have called Ford three times without a resolution. I believe this vehicle is unsafe since I do not know when this will happen again. It is also going to cost me to trade this vehicle in to another company since they all know of the Focus problems. I do not want another Ford. Ford has said that the engineers are working on this but I have had this vehicle for two years and continue to suffer.

- Brookfield, IL, USA

problem #258

Jan 012013


  • 1 miles
The cars transmission shutters at all different speeds, I feel unsafe and the dealership has attempted repairs that either work for a short period or none at all.

- Orland Park, IL, USA

problem #257

Jan 212015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 24,012 miles


Even though there was no accident, there is a possibility to have one since the transmission "slip" and then car looses power, so the driver will accelerate and suddenly the transmission engages again and your car will make a sudden movement. This cars are equipped with a noisy transmission and now slips. I wish I can return my car. My first cars did not required any major maintenance other than oil, oil filter, spark plugs (when remembered) but now cars require all types of 'maintenance'.

- Mayaguez, PR, USA

problem #256

Jan 162015


  • 39,700 miles
Every single time I drive in the city and take off the transmission shutters and skips. It sounds like a dump truck taking off. It feels very unsafe and likes to do things on its own. A car should not have these types of issues at that low of miles. I have to much money in this car for Ford to sale a defective product.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #255

Oct 012014


  • 25,000 miles
Had to buy two new front tires due to wear at only 24,000. Tire person says they were just discussing this rash of 2013 Ford Focus owners with this same problem. This vehicle shakes, and vibrates excessively upon acceleration. Taking off slowly is the most noticeable. I find that if I punch the accelerator at take off it is more positive without too much shaking and vibrating. Now it jumps, shakes and vibrates into gear to catch up. Makes loud rattling noises when turning and acceleration. By the sound of this car you would never guess it was a fairly new car. I am so disappointed. Also having some type of electrical/computer problem. If I use the auto sensor lights the computer screen will display a large information icon and the cars warning chime is going continually. Will not use auto sensor lights anymore. Too scary. This is all happening while I'm driving. The second time this happened I freaked to death while driving and trying to figure out what is going on with my car and this warning chime going off. I even thought maybe one of my car doors was ajar and my child is in the back. Very dangerous situation. This morning January 16. I go out to unlock my car and nothing, the car will not unlock. No flash of lights. So I try it several more times and finally my driver door unlocks. I'm thinking remote battery. I still can't unlock other doors not even from the inside. I put the key in the ignition to start. Nothing. No life. I start to head in to get keys for second car. I try the remote again and now the other doors unlock. Key in ignition and car now starts. My clock is still at 5:39 am. Car will not recognize ipod. Check cable. Turn car off and on after several more attempts to get car to recognize ipod, suddenly starts to work. Try to fix my clock many more times, still going back to 5:39am pull out car dummy book. Nothing.

- Jacksonville, TX, USA

problem #254

Oct 012013

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving approximately 20 mph, the vehicle began to shake and stalled continuously after applying the brakes. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The technician diagnosed that the adaptive transmission was faulty and needed to be replaced. The failure recurred multiple times and the clutch assembly was replaced. However, the failure persisted. The vehicle was taken to the dealer again where the transmission was reprogrammed. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 25,000. The VIN was not available. Updated 03/04/15 updated 6/15/2015

- Mt. Orab, OH, USA

problem #253

Sep 042013


  • 3,000 miles


I have noticed that my car shifts awkwardly and makes a grinding noise when shifting into second and sometimes third gear. Sometimes the car will bog down and then get a surge of power and level off. Sometimes I will start going and between first and second gear it will bog and cause me to jerk forward. Some days it won't do it but most of the time it does.

- Dallas, GA, USA

problem #252

Jul 032013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 330 miles
Since the Focus was first drove there has been a shutter, a noise coming from what we thin is the transmission. We bought this car in NY and took it to the dealership twice and told us that the car needed to be drive and should stop this at a 1000 mi. Moved to ar took it to the dealership they said it was under recall? that the car needed to be reprogrammed concerning drivetrain. Took it back 2 other times was told the car hadn't been driven enough for the program to take effect. Now the automobile has progressively gotten now shutter, decreases in power, and consider dangerous to drive. Took car in again to dealership.also contacted Ford corporate customer service and informed of problem. Customer rep gave me a number for my case and stated my issues will be assessed.

- Fort Smith, AR, USA

problem #251

Dec 022014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 13,900 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving at low speeds, the vehicle suddenly shook and shuddered when in first or second gear. The vehicle was taken the dealer, who diagnosed that the clutch shaft seals needed to be replaced and the clutch needed to be reset. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure reoccurred. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 13,900.......updated 01/12/15 updated 4/26/2016

- Riverview, FL, USA

problem #250

Jun 022014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 17,000 miles
Car transmission will hard shift, or shudder at speeds around 15 to 25 mph. This can cause a delay in shifting and is an issue in traffic and/or merging onto freeway. The car began to start a delay in shifting at higher speeds around 24,000 miles.

- Riverside, CA, USA

problem #249

Nov 122013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 32,000 miles
I have owned this car for a very short time and have had numerous interactions where the shifting (and grinding) would cause the car to make a halting/shudder after accelerating. At this time it felt as if I were going to get hit by another car due to how abrupt the whole thing was. I have contacted Ford a lot. They don't seem to concerned about the safety issues I have proposed which is why I am here. I live in Alaska but purchased the car from astro Ford in Mississippi. I am military and now have to drive this thing back home. Thanks for listening to my complaint.

- Anchorage, AK, USA

problem #248

Oct 012012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 15,000 miles
When vehicle is stopped and at idle such as at a red light, the engine shakes and when the accelerator pedal is depressed the car hesitates and does not want to move and feels like the vehicle will stall. Once speed is up to about 10-15mph acceleration is fine with no vibration or shakes. This issue can be very serious when trying to pull out into traffic. Took to the dealership and was told nothing was wrong. Something is wrong and is unsafe.

- Warren, MI, USA

problem #247

Nov 032014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 41,585 miles
As many other owners have mentioned, my Ford Focus has this problem with accelerating after being stopped at a light or stop sign. I do the best I can to play with the gas pedal, trying to find a sweet spot so the car behaves but it's pretty impossible. The car is great on the highway but for stop and go driving it is awful. I'm not sure I can keep the car with such a persistent problem that seems to affect all Focus models, but I will talk to the dealership repair people this week and let them know I have filed this complaint and that I expect them to take care of the problem.

- Westport, CT, USA

problem #246

May 012014


  • 12,000 miles
First the car was running fine when I bought it new in 2013. Then around 10,000 miles the car started to jerk shudder and slip out of gear.. the car jerks at stop and go speeds and when baking slowly out our driveway. The car also makes a grinding noise when making turns at low speeds. Lastly when riding the breaks at stop lights it sounds like something is grinding. Ford replaced the clutch and the problem is still their. The two dealerships said everything would be corrected when the clutch was replaced but it has not. The Ford customer service manager said that this is normal because it is a automatic manual transmission. Why would you sell a car that performs like a 30 year old piece of junk.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #245

Jul 092014


  • 60,000 miles
I was driving home from work, it was raining, as I pulled off the light, the car began sputtering and would not go over 10 mph. I merged to the shoulder and the dashboard lit up with critical engine fault, and a few others, the car stalled and I sat there for about 30 mins. I managed to get home that day and after sitting for 24 hours, it ran fine again.this morning (Dec.9th2014) raining again, I pulled into my parking lot and the car began sputtering and when I placed it in park, another critical engine fault appeared, I have read about 100 other cases describing the same situation.

- Saint Leonard, MD, USA

problem #244

Nov 212014


  • 55,000 miles
Was in the far left hand lane on I-15 in the mira loma, ca area going about 10-15 mph in stop and go traffic, as traffic started to clear I pressed the accelerator to increase speed and the car would not go any faster than 20 mph. I pulled off to the left hand shoulder and had the car towed to the nearest Ford dealer. This is the second time this has happened. In addition, the car constantly "shudders" at low speeds to which Ford has advised me is a design flaw in the automatic transmission, clutch assembly and that nothing can be done about it.

- Temecula, CA, USA

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