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 16 of 27)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #223

May 262013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 23 miles


From day 1, the transmission has excessively slipped through 1st gear as though the clutch is not being properly engaged (dual clutch transaxle). At one point, the car bucked upon acceleration forcefully as though it stalled. The problem is most severe when ambient temperatures are over 90 degrees (common here in Arizona). The PCM has been reprogrammed twice by the dealership and after the first 1000 miles, the slippage subsided (for the most part). Recently, the car was in for an oil change and when I got the car back, the 1st gear slippage was back very noticeably. I'm not sure if the dealership reprogrammed the PCM during its visit as there is nothing on the paperwork stating such. At times, making left hand turns in traffic is very scary because of the cars hesitation to accelerate. It's obviously a programming issue with how the clutch is being engaged by the computer... as though the clutch is only being half engaged during 1st gear acceleration.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #222

Oct 112014


  • 29,300 miles
Was driving with my wife and noticed a loud rattling sound coming from the transmission. I had just had my Focus serviced less than three weeks ago. Seems the longer I drive the worse the transmission gets. Hesitation and slipping followed by loud noises from transmission.

- Huntington Beach, CA, USA

problem #221

May 242013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 2,000 miles
Vehicle shudders between shift points, hesitates as though stalled and suffers from power train rattling. Even though the vehicle power train has been reprogrammed multiple times as well as clutch assembly repair and replacement the issues return.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #220

Apr 262013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 200 miles


Total loss of throttle, stalling in traffic, shuddering and erratic shifting with the Ford powershift transmission. Since purchasing car new in 2013, I had problems with the powershift transmission, initial problems was a noise that sounded like the muffler was dragging the road, problems got worse as mileage increased. Returned the car to several dealers for diagnosis, was told that the transmission is operating as designed and no repairs were attempted. Problem got worse and I had experienced total loss of throttle in traffic on several occasions, car stalled and jerked in traffic causing neck to snap back. After repeated attempts to get the problem fixed with two different Ford dealers, a customer satisfaction letter came from Ford detailing issues with powershift transmission. I had to take my car into the dealer again, for diagnosis and was told they got it the transmission to fail the thresholds after 6 attempts, which warranted replacement of the clutch pack and internal seals, supposedly a faulty design that allowed oil from the gearbox to leak into the clutch pack causing slippage, noise and issues. Ford returned the car 5 days later, issues went away for 3 weeks or so, and have started to reappear in the same fashion as when the car was purchased new and is getting worse each day, with over 1000 miles on the car since service. As of today I have experienced shuddering and total loss of throttle in traffic, a few times were dangerous in pulling out in front of oncoming traffic the car could have caused me to get into an accident, also lunges in slow moving traffic. I am afraid to let my wife drive the car due to the behavior of the transmission and see again I will soon have to return to another dealer (#3) for correction.

- Wellington, FL, USA

problem #219

Oct 032014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 28,600 miles
I have a 2013 Focus with 28600 miles. On a daily basis I when I accelerate it rattles and hesitates. The dealership said it was a smart transmission and is just what it does. On Oct 3rd 2014 I was at a busy intersection and waiting for the light to turn green. The light turned green and the car acted as though it was in neutral and would not drive. After about 15 seconds with everyone honking at me it started to move forward but sounded like it was going back and forth from neutral to drive and I couldn't go over 30. I barely made it to a parking lot. I pulled over and called the dealership but it was to late and the associate said I had to call back at 7 in the morning. My car shuddered all the way home especially when I had to stop and accelerate at a light or stop sign. I called in the morning and they said to bring the car in. The next day it drove fine. They thought it might be bad gas due to the fact the engine light had come on during the malfunction. That just made me mad. The dealership put it on the computer and it came up a bad transmission module? I am out a car for a week. I do not want the car back. What if it happens after 36000 miles. Ford knows about this problem. I bought this car with an expectation of it being safe. It is not. It is a dangerous car. You should be ashamed Ford corporation you are putting peoples lives in danger.

- Buhler, KS, USA

problem #218

Jul 162014


  • 12,000 miles
Engine shut off while driving, after displaying transmission not in park. Has happened twice now. Car just had tsb 14-013..PCM/tcm reprogrammed. They also replaced clutch and seals under same tsb.

- Andover, MA, USA

problem #217

Sep 162014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 16,309 miles


Just like 100S of others, car stutters and hesitates. Took to Ford dealer in macon, ga. And problem continues and we all wonder why there is no recall. Does no one care about safety and doing what is right"??????????????????"

- Perry, GA, USA

problem #216

Sep 052013


  • 6,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While stopped at a traffic light or stop sign, the vehicle shook and shifted into the wrong gears when the accelerator pedal was depressed. The contact also noticed that the vehicle hesitated while shifting. The vehicle was taken to multiple dealers for diagnostic testing and was informed that the seals to the clutch housing were leaking. Oil seeped onto the clutch, which caused the vehicle not to shift properly. The computer for the transmission was reprogrammed and one of the two clutches was replaced, but the failure recurred. The manufacturer stated that the vehicle was sold with a power shift rather that automatic; therefore, the failures would recur. The approximate failure mileage was 6,000.

- Ytsilanti, MI, USA

problem #215

Sep 272014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 33,000 miles
My wife pulled out to make a right turn and the car bogged down, stuttered, hesitated. Long enough that she was scarred by the approaching traffic. This has happened several times. The stuttering, bogging down occurs all the time! we have had the car into kendall Ford twice already and have another appointment scheduled for October 28th. The next available service time. Service manager stated he has 40 of these cars in need of this repair right now, and that is the reason for the delay. This car is unsafe in its current condition. We are reluctant to drive it, please press Ford's to do the right thing and fix these cars. It should not take tragedies to make corrections! thank you [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Chugiak, AK, USA

problem #214

Aug 012013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 500 miles
Shifts rough (hard),slips when going up hill, put it in park you have to use E brake, clicks loud if sitting on a hill rolls back some and makes loud noise as if park is not hold the car still engine makes starting noise for hours after turning engine off.

- Oak Hill, OH, USA

problem #213

Dec 162013


  • miles


My Ford Focus SE hatchback has delays in shifting gears at low speeds and from stops. When accelerating, the engine revs higher but does not shift until a few seconds later which causes the car to jerk like a manual transmission. This is dangerous when trying to merge onto the freeway or at a 4-way stop when you have to react quickly and with timing accuracy, or trying to teach my daughter to drive! the service center of my dealer said the software had to be updated the first and second time I brought the car in for this problem. Does this mean I have to bring the car in every time there is a new software update which seems to be quite frequently? and the software update doesn't even solve the problem. I even got a thank you email from the service director at my dealership (sent by a person with a email), which is most likely just a stock email. It thanked me for my service business and said that if I had further concerns that I could "reach out" to him at my earliest opportunity. Well I replied to that email voicing my concerns about this problem and after 4 months have not received a reply email or call addressing my concern.

- Honolulu, HI, USA

problem #212

Apr 222014


  • 10,000 miles
Vehicle has been in for service 4 times for issues with transmission. Hesitates or jumps when shifting. Sometimes almost stalls out. Dealer has done everything they can and state that Ford is not allowing them to service the vehicles. Dealer stated they have 25 Ford Focus currently in for same issue. I am scared to drive the vehicle with my daughter in it, as this clearly is a safety issue. The issue seems worse at lower speeds and with A/C on. Contacted Ford and they are stating this is "normal operation" if it was normal operation, I don't understand why it would start around 10K miles and 1 year of driving.

- Hazel Park, MI, USA

problem #211

Jan 072013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 11 miles
My Ford Focus had a jerky ride from the day I bought it. I mentioned after the test drive that it seemed a bit jerky on shifting and they said it was normal. A week later I told them again and again they said it was normal because of the new design. It got worse to the point that twice when turning out into traffic when I thought I had enough room to enter traffic it seemed to want to stall and I had to steer it back into the turn lane so as not to get hit. The car very often smelled of burnt rubber though at the time I explained it away as being from other cars nearby. In August 2014 I took the car in for a oil change and found out that a seal between the engine and transmission had failed and I had a major oil leak. This was unbelievable for a car with just 35,000 miles and lucky me I was eligible for an extended warranty on those parts from Ford for 100, 000 miles. Ford notified me the next week about the warranty only after the repair. The car drove better for a couple of weeks but then the shudders returned and began to worsen. I was going to take it in and have Ford look at it again but then on 9-14-2014 I was exiting my car and there was an overwhelming odor of burnt rubber coming from the engine. I decided right then I was not going to put up with the defective and possibly dangerous car anymore and I traded it in at loss. I recommend a serious look at this issue. Ford keeps saying these issues are normal for the new design and people are not used to it. I highly disagree. I got rid of it at a loss. That should say it all.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #210

Jan 012014


  • 9,500 miles
Shuttering, hesitation, grinding, power loss, roll back, stalls in traffic.

- Prospect, OH, USA

problem #209

May 012014

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles
Continuance issues with my Ford Focus 2013 Ford Focus "banging, jumping, slipping, shaking and grinding: It's has now become an issue that's affects the drivability and safety of the vehicle and passengers. ?bogging down ?takes off in a lurch, accelerates rapidly at times, safety issue ?cars rolls backward when stopped on a hill. Safety issue ?car occasionally jolts forward when shifting at low gear, safety issue ?I?M told ?it has to learn how you drive.? I drive the car every day and it still hasn't so called, learned ?concerned about even pulling out in traffic for fear the car isn't going to go or will need time to find its gear. Safety issue ?in stop and go traffic it; slips often/hesitating/jerking/stuttering and grinding. ?RPM spikes and drops when shifting. ?noise when making a left hand turn. "sometimes will not go into reverse at all; on 9/9/14 stuck in a parking spot because the vehicle only moved two feet in reverse. Prior to this incident, the vehicle was towed into dealers because it would not go into reverse at all.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #208

Sep 042014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 7,000 miles
Loud grinding noise coming from a brand new Ford Focus. Being told that the sound is normal. I didn't sign up for a vehicle that sounds like it's dragging metal down the street only to be told this is normal for this vehicles dual transmission..

- Elmwood Park, IL, USA

problem #207

Aug 222014


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Cpsc: I1490081A. 2013 Ford Focus. Consumer stated the car stalls, stutters and also lurches between shifts.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #206

Oct 012013


  • 28,676 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving 45 mph, the vehicle started to jerk, and decelerated intermittently. The vehicle resumed normal operation after a minute. Also, the contact mentioned that the vehicle experienced a clicking noise in the front end of vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician reprogrammed the vehicle transmission soft wear, replaced the clutch and repaired a major electrical faults. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 28,676.

- La Mirada, CA, USA

problem #205

Jan 012013


  • 50 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While driving various speeds, the vehicle jerked and hesitated to accelerate when the accelerator pedal was depressed. The dealer was unable to determine the cause of the failure and stated that the transmission operated as designed. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was unavailable. The approximate failure mileage was 50.

- Monroe , GA, USA

problem #204

Dec 072012


  • 500 miles
The transmission shifts roughly between first and second gear. It causes the car to shutter and on an incline, has caused the vehicle to roll backwards. I have taken the car to a Ford dealership at least 4 times to fix the issue, but they have told me each time that there is no problem with the transmission. My driver door and driver-side passenger door have both opened while I was driving because of a faulty latch. They opened on separate occasions, so I have been to Ford twice because of the door not closing. Lastly, the ac has two separate issues where it doesn't work. The technicians at Ford have not been able to replicate the problem, so it has gone on unsolved.

- Desert Hot Springs, CA, USA

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