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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2013 Ford Focus:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2013 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 15 of 27)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #243

Nov 172014


  • 45,680 miles


Sudden stuttering power loss when making a turn nearly caused a rear and head-on collision. Lack of acceleration for several seconds left vehicle immobile. Constant shuddering under different loads of acceleration with no passengers, multiple passengers, on different road grades and conditions occurs. Loss of confidence in vehicle to maneuver safely.

- Ventura, CA, USA

problem #242

Sep 152014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 22,900 miles
Grinding/rattling noise and heavy shuddering/shaking/lurching occurs at low speeds. Not normal sounds. I drove manual vehicles for over 15 years and never experienced this occurrence, with the exception of first learning how to drive a manual. It is currently in the shop for a recall (that this site doesn't note, for some reason, but Ford does find). I have never once (2 months time) gotten over 31 mpg either. This was purchased as a commuter vehicle, and for it to rarely get 30 mpg is sad, considering my driving an 8 year old, 175K mile corolla meant getting upwards of 34 mpg consistently. Have made 2 payments on the car and wishing I had never bought it.

- Kyle, TX, USA

problem #241

Dec 042013


  • 12,940 miles
Bought the car on 11/06/13, noticed hesitation when I accelerated from a stop. Brought the car in 12/04/13 to have the bucking checked. There was a transmission leak found and fixed, and had the clutch replaced. Second time I brought it in on 07/28/14 with the bucking again, this time they said there was nothing wrong with it, but the bucking stopped after I got it back. Third time in was 10/08/14. I was getting on the highway when the car accelerated on its own, engine light came on, and when I put the car in reverse to park it, the car accelerated, then it wouldn't move when I pressed on the gas to back it up, had to get out and push it back on its parking spot. Had the car towed the following morning, tow truck driver started the car and drove it up on the ramp with no problem. We contacted Ford Motor Company and was told there was nothing they could do. When we picked up the car the mechanics said they found nothing wrong with the car and that they thought there was something wrong with the computer but there was nothing they found wrong that needed fixing. A few days later the volume in the car kept going up and down on its own. Then the 80mph warning program was turned off by itself. The car is still bucking and the brakes now seem to feel slippery.

- Waltham , MA, USA

problem #240

Sep 022013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 9,000 miles


However it does take 1000 miles for it to learn how you drive, well we have had the car for almost 2 yrs now and it is still learning, there are thousands of complaints about this vehicle, from the beginning of purchasing this car we have had nothing but trouble with it, we have had passenger side seat belt buckle issues causing air bag problems, ignition switch problems, we have noticed that since we bought the car the transmission has had shifting issues along with shuddering and hesitation problems, we received a letter from Ford stating that there was a tsb to bring the car in to have the computer re-programmed to address the issue, we took it into the dealership and were told if we still have the problem to contact them and let them know, we were driving the car one day and was stopped at an intersection fixing to cross 2 lanes of traffic it was clear we went to pull out the car hesitated couldn't find the right gear to go into and suddenly surged into traffic, I then contacted the dealership immediately and the service advisor started asking if I have ever driven a manual transmission before, mind you this is supposedly an automatic "manual" as they call it and is controlled by computer and that it will act as a manual transmission, the advisor from was very condescending stating if I knew how to drive a manual transmission that I would understand, and that I can bring the car in for service that he could "care less" whether or not I brought it back in or not that he got paid every time I brought it in, I have spoken to the dealer principal about this and stated about it being very poor customer service, I then proceeded to contact Ford Motor Company the following Monday, no help was provided here, this car is not safe......major issues with the transmission.

- Clinton, TN, USA

problem #239

Mar 012013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 5,000 miles
My car currently has 31K miles on it. I have been to the dealership 7 times in the 2 years since I purchased it with the same or similar complaints. At low speeds it shakes/shudders/rattles/hesitates when shifting gears. I understand it's a manual transmission but I don't believe for a second that the manufacturers intended for the car to behave this way. It hesitates when accelerating from a stop to a point where it feels as though it will stall. I no longer make lefts before oncoming traffic for fear that it will stall completely. I have had the clutch replaced and the car has been "reprogrammed" countless times, always with the same result: After a few days, the problems return and it only gets worse as the car gets older. I am truly starting to hate this car and regret ever even giving Ford a chance. I will never buy a Ford again.

- North Attleboro, MA, USA

problem #238

Jun 022014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 11,000 miles
The car started experiencing very rough shifting problems after the it reached operating temperature. The car has been to the dealer twice and it still experiencing shifting issues, hesitation, surging, shuddering, vibrating. The only time the transmission is smooth is when the car is at a constant speed and is not shifting gears. I purchased this car so that I could hand it down to my daughter. I'm not going to be able to do that with these issues. It is not safe for an inexperienced driver to operate.

- Mooresville, NC, USA

problem #237

Oct 292014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 25,700 miles


After owning my 2013 Focus SE hatch for 20 months I finally bit the bullet, paid off my lease early, turned it in and walked away. The car is now only worth $10,500 (50% of original value) so that tells you all you need to know what the reputation of this car is doing to its value. What a shame because it truely is a great car - except for its terrible transmission. Took it in 3 times over the last 20 months to 2 different Ford dealerships and each time its deemed "normal" or the transmission is "reprogrammed with the latest update" but the shuttering, noise, hesitation, etc continues. The last straw was once again at in intersection while turning left the car hesitated and I was almost T-boned again (second time in 6 months). Complaining to Ford got me "customer satisfaction program 14M01: An extension of the warranty to 7 years. Are you kidding me! so the only way I know how to vote is with my wallet and so after over 20 years of Ford I bought a 2015 Honda Accord LX. The cvt transmission in the Accord is so smooth it's almost like driving an electric car. I'll take my Honda made in O-H-I-O over the Ford made in Mexico any day! good luck and god bless to all the other Ford Focus owners out there. I hope this never gets to the point of a fatality but unfortunately I'm not optimistic.

- Aurora, OH, USA

problem #236

Aug 012014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 20,000 miles
There is an obvious transmission problem with the vehicle. When going from 1st to 2nd gear from a stop it shudders and nearly stalls. This is a constant every day issue. I bought the car new, I have brought it to the dealership twice and was told that because there is no official recall Ford is not allowing the dealerships to fix the problem even thought there are aware of the problem across the board with the 2013 model of the Focus and the fiesta. I was basically told that with an official recall the car would have to stall out on the road or be the cause of an accident in order for the issue to be fixed.

- Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #235

Oct 272014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 89,127 miles
Transmission went into neutral, pulled over restarted, car drove in lower gear, then went into neutral again while driving on road. Pulled over once again. Restarted, then transmission shifted erratically. Again went into neutral, then into lower gear able to limp car into nearest dealer. This is happening to many cars to be isolated. Ford needs to own the bad design.

- Derry, NH, USA

problem #234

Feb 202013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 30 miles
The transmission shudders during accelerating and has continued to do so fir the past 18 months. The issue has progressively gotten worse.

- Pooler, GA, USA

problem #233

Oct 142014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 15,150 miles


Vehicle failed to shift into gear during turn in an intersection. Engine revs but transmission didn't shift into gear, then it forcefully engaged into gear. Vehicle repeatedly and forcefully engages gear at low speeds causing to it jerk forward abruptly and without warning. Transmission has continuous chatter during initial acceleration.

- West Islip, NY, USA

problem #232

Nov 202013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 1,200 miles
Transmission lurches on acceleration shudders and shakes.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #231

Oct 222014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 19,262 miles
No reverse on automatic transmission, and loud noises when on drive position.

- El Paso, TX, USA

problem #230

Oct 232014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 61,000 miles
When I first got the car in September 2013, the car would jerk and shake when pulling off from a stop and was also very loud. I took it to be serviced and they told me that was normal. I took it back a few months later because I didn't believe that was normal. They fixed it. But now it's starting to shake again. In June 2014 the engine light started coming O for a few days. I took it to Ford and they claim they fixed the problem. The light came back on in July, they claimed there was nothing wrong with it. The light was back on in September, they claimed yet again, nothing was wrong with it. I took it took a small transmission shop, they read my codes and immediately found a problem, claiming it was a transmission issue. A few days later, the light was back on. Each time the engine light comes on, it would stall and immediately slow down right in the middle of traffic. Each time Ford claimed nothing was wrong with the vehicle, the engine light would be on for two days. Each time I took my vehicle to Ford, they would keep it 2-5 days... I couldn't get a rental car half of the time because they wouldn't actually do their job until the last day and then tell me that nothing's wrong with my car. We all know, your warranty company needs to know the problem before authorizing a rental vehicle. This last time in October, they claim to have fixed it. They claim that a sensor had to be replaced. I will never buy another Ford vehicle. I cannot wait to get rid of this car! my car is still shaky. It makes a kind of loud noise now as well.

- Sumter , SC, USA

problem #229

Apr 302014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 10,750 miles
Vehicle bucked or shuddered when starting from a complete stop or if coasting and then gas applied. Issue was said to be fixed at this time 4/30/14, which it did run better until it happened again on 9/6/14 when I pointed out the same issue. It was determined that there was a leak coming from the bell housing and it was dripping on the clutch causing the shuddering. On 9/16/14 it was taken to the garage for repair. I am still experiencing some shuddering, especially in reverse when going slow but also at times going forward. Not satisfied that it is completely fixed, but Ford has extended the warranty to 7 years/ 100,000 miles. I will be contacting the garage in the near future for them to look at it again.

- Roaring Brook Township, PA, USA

problem #228

Aug 202013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 2,500 miles
The transmission in the car started to behave erratically once we had ~2500 miles. It was making horrible grinding noises while shifting gears. It was shifting between gears (up/down/up/down) while ascending hills like it couldn't decide what gear to be in. It seemed to have lost power such that pressing the accelerator was not resulting in an expected increase in speed. It started to roll backwards occasionally when stopped on a hill, immediately after removing my foot from the break. On several occasions it would lurch forward while coming to a stop. Occasionally it is unable to find the appropriate gear, or stays in a gear well after it should have shifted to a higher gear. It often shudders, often to a point that it feels like it is going to stall, when accelerating from a stop. In general, we don't feel safe driving this car between the random lurches/jumps and the random lack of power/response to the throttle.

- Madison, WI, USA

problem #227

Oct 182014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 22,891 miles
Vehicle shudders, jerks, shakes upon launch. Also when going uphill vehicle jerks (similar to how a standard engine would jerk when taking off in the wrong gear). Also when parking, vehicle "jumps" into park after car after engine is off or foot is taken off brake. Transmission problem"?"

- Hambleton, WV, USA

problem #226

Mar 222014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 33,602 miles
Purchased Focus in March of 2013 soon after purchase vehicle began to lurch and hesitate while accelerating almost to the point vehicle would stall gets very scary when pulling into traffic with no power to accelerate. I immediately took vehicle back to dealership and they confirmed I needed a clutch that there was a seal leaking which caused the failure! they performed repair and not even a month later the problem occurred so I returned the vehicle again just to find out the other clutch they didn't replace had failed also. They again replaced clutch and I returned home. Within 2 days of repair the vehicle started shuttering and when accelerating the vehicle wouldn't shift into any gear so I was stuck on the interstate going 40 mph in a 70 speed zone so I immediately pull over and call Ford which tells me to bring it in on Monday because there not open on Saturday. I return vehicle to there disbelief that there is an issue because it has all the latest reflashes and clutches in vehicle but low and behold they inform me my transmission control module has failed and needs to be replaced. They replace tcm and send me home. Yesterday probably 2 months after virtually every component has been replaced vehicle starts to shudder horrible probably the worst I've experienced to date so I take it to my dealership and they inform me I need another clutch!!! the vehicle has 48K miles on it I am sick of worrying about whether or not I can accelerate and merge into traffic without the vehicle getting rear ended because the clutches are slipping. Something needs to be done. Thank you

- East Bernstadt, KY, USA

problem #225

Oct 102014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 49,121 miles
Been having the transmission shudder for the past few mouths and last week I went to put my seatbelt on and it wouldn't lock.driver side seatbelt broke on the female end.

- Ohatchee, AL, USA

problem #224

Oct 112014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 27,800 miles
When at a complete stop and needing to accelerate into traffic, the vehicle hesitates and then thrusts/jerks into gear.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?