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 19 of 27)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #163

Jul 012013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 12,000 miles


Transmission was slipping in and out of first and second gear. Car was jerking back and forth at low speeds. Took to the dealer and noticed seals were leaking. We also own a 2014 Focus and have the same problems with that transmission.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #162

Jul 032014


  • 17,800 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving 35 mph, the transmission shifted into the neutral position independently. The transmission was shifted back into the drive position and the vehicle resumed normal function. The manufacturer was not contacted. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 17,800 and the current mileage was 18,200.

- Hazelwood, MO, USA

problem #161

Nov 202013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 11,000 miles
The car does not shift properly and it continuously bogs down even though it is an automatic transmission. At times when in a stopped position and I go it will lurch forward. When driving normally it will pull back and not want to shift into the next gear. I have taken it to Ford about 5 times in the last year and they do nothing. They tell me that is normal for the this transmission. If it is normal why didn't it do it the first 6 months we owned it. I get no where with them. The service guy even told that they are having issues but their hands are tied because Ford wont fix it.

- Del Mar , CA, USA

problem #160

May 192014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 7,100 miles


Engine started idling rough while down shifting, once the vehicle came to a stop the vehicle shuttered (rpms) and then stalled. This has happened quite a few times, but is intermittent. Engine started idling rough while traveling through a corner and down shifting from 3rd to 2nd, at that time the clutch was pushed in and the car stalled. I lost power steering and slightly traveled into the on coming lane of traffic at 25 mph. The stalling while down shifting has happened quite a few times, but is intermittent. Engine idles rough while at stops or down shifting, but does not stall. This happens almost all the time, does not always stall, but is also intermittent. Hill assist seems to be intermittent as to when it wants to work or not work. After performing a tsb on my car the clutch stuck to the floor. After I pumped the clutch a few times it started acting normal.

- Grand Junction, CO, USA

problem #159

Apr 302013


  • 34,037 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the vehicle failed to shift into gear and when the gears engaged the started to shake. The failure continued to occur continuously over a period one year. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician diagnosed that the clutch and the catalytic converter needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 34,037.

- Robertsville, MO, USA

problem #158

Jul 052014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 35,720 miles
Erratic shifting during a cold start resulting in ridiculous jolting of the car. My head hit the steering wheel from the forces applied due to the erratic shift programming. The seat belt keeps my body from impacting the steering wheel from the resulting movement each and every time I accelerate from a stopped position.

- Nazareth, PA, USA

problem #157

Dec 232013


  • 8,000 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to increase in speed when the accelerator pedal was engaged. The failure occurred continuously for six months. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 8,000.

- Westfield , IN, USA

problem #156

May 102013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 0 miles
We purchased this car brand new from the dealer. From the very beginning it shifted very rough and rattled skipping from 1st to 2nd very hard and we heard a sound like dragging cardboard. The first time it was taken to the dealer they said "it was normal" and that the car had to get adjusted to our style of driving. They did computer check and nothing wrong. We thought this was ridiculous, but continued to drive this car with same sounds, sometimes more than others. We have taken this car to 2 dealers with both saying basically the same thing, that Ford messed up with this transmission and it is just the way it is, nothing is wrong with the car and it is safe. Our daughter does not feel safe in this car when it lurches forward or doesn't shift gears when she is trying to accelerate into speeding traffic. We want something done to fix this problem.

- Clarksville, IN, USA

problem #155

May 152014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 38,530 miles
When I put the car in drive and begin to accelerate the car stalls and jerks rapidly when throwing itself into 2nd gear. Once it finishes the jerking and stalling motion it makes a loud rattling sound under the hood. When in gear and accelerated going to 35-55 it will stall then the rpms will go higher and it will jerk back into gear accelerating faster than I was going. Sometimes it will barely go from a stopped position to trying to accelerate then all of the sudden jerk into gear.

- Dunn, NC, USA

problem #154

May 152014


  • 15,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that after shifting from reverse into drive, the engine vibrated and caused the entire vehicle to shake violently. The contact mentioned that no warning lights illuminated on the instrument panel and the vehicle resumed its normal operation after the vehicle shifted from first to second gear. The failure occurred on two separate occasions. The manufacturer was contacted and did not offer a remedy. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician diagnosed that the clutch assembly and transmission needed to be replaced.the vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred. The failure mileage was 15,000 and the current mileage was 15,300.

- Elizabeth, PA, USA

problem #153

May 302014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 9,500 miles


I purchased the car in may it drove fine for 2 weeks. Then the transmission started hesitating, shutter noises, and vibrating. I took it to Ford 2 days later it started all over again. The car has already been repaired before I purchased it. I was not disclosed that information when I purchased it. Now I have a unreliable car, thanks Ford!

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #152

Jan 082013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 3,930 miles
I understand and appreciate that the automatic transmission in this car revs and tends to behave like a manual transmission. I owned a Celica with a manual transmission years ago. However, on several occasions this Focus has decelerated, paused and then lurched forward and I was powerless to accelerate it or alter its "lurch". it tends to make a wind up noise on these occurrences. It occasionally hesitates when I apply the accelerator from stopped. Sometimes the hesitation is longer and more pronounced than at other times. I have taken this Focus to the dealer on five occasions since I bought it new in September of 2013 and it is diagnosed with a code 7000 and the dealer has to keep the car overnight because the transmission needs to be reprogrammed from Ford headquarters as I understand it. The dealer also may perform a drum adaptive learn strategy and adaptive learn drive cycle. When I leave the car seems to have "settled down" and runs more smoothly and quietly. It also gets substantially better mpg. On April 2, 2014, at 17,995 miles, I took it in because it was hesitating on acceleration and jerking and noisy. The Focus had a cracked motor mount. And again the transmission was given its usual computer update from Ford. Currently, the Focus mileage is at 21,300 and it's winding itself up, jerking me around, hesitating and lurching. Two days ago, I was making a left hand turn into heavy traffic and, as I stepped on the accelerator to pull out, the Focus did not respond for a few seconds. At that point I had to brake because it was too late to enter oncoming traffic. This is very worrisome for me especially since my son drives the car as well and he is a novice driver with one year experience. In March, I was traveling and rented a 2013 Ford Focus and drove it about 500 freeway miles. It seemed on it's best behavior.

- Rpv, CA, USA

problem #151

Mar 312014


  • miles
Car hesitates at take off and take off when making turns.

- Lancaster, CA, USA

problem #150

Dec 172013


  • 10,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated while driving various speeds the vehicle hesitated and made a rattling noise. The vehicle failed to accelerate from a complete stop and erroneously rolled backwards. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who reprogrammed the transmission and informed the contact the vehicle had to learn his different driving habits. The failure recurred. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The VIN was unavailable. The approximate failure mileage was 10,000.

- Austin, AR, USA

problem #149

May 272013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 100 miles
Vehicle has been serviced 3 times, first time when the car was 2 days old (to me). Vehicle lags, grinds, over-revs, under-revs and stutters on hills and sometimes flat land too. Particularly bad when turning. 3 attempted fixes, no real improvements, only different issues got better while others got worse. First attempted fix claimed a section of the transmission was replaced, second they found a leak in the transmission although I found nothing in my garage and 3rd was my complaining of the issues not being resolved yet. After 3rd fix, car is as bad as ever.

- Vancouver, WA, USA

problem #148

Mar 072013


  • 18,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated while driving 65 mph, there was a hesitation and vibration when the accelerator pedal was engaged. The failure recurred whenever the vehicle was in operation. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for diagnosis. The technician stated that the transmission fluid was leaking. The vehicle was in the process of being repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 18,000.

- Daly City , CA, USA

problem #147

May 012014


  • 8,000 miles
Car is lagging and bogging consistently; turn acceleration in unpredictable, frequent transmission shuddering occurring, un-smooth shifting, I do not feel safe. Low gas mileage 20-24.

- East Haven, CT, USA

problem #146

Aug 082013


  • 12 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated while driving approximately 2 mph, the transmission surged without prior warning. The failure recurred intermittently while traveling at extremely low speeds. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer, who informed that there was no defect and that the unexpected surge was the characteristic of the transmission. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 12.

- Coupeville, WA, USA

problem #145

May 142014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 22,400 miles
Just purchased a used Ford Focus SE 2013. The car lurches forward upon accelerating and then the rpms decrease while accelerating, then increase for a moment, then decrease again. This happens any time I accelerate. The car jerks forward then stops. While the rpms are increasing, the car makes a revving sound almost as if I'm in the wrong gear (though it's an automatic), then it sounds as if it's stopping while the rpms drop. I hear an intermittent grinding sound that seems like the transmission is being overtaxed or damaged.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #144

May 012014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 5,000 miles
The vehicle shudders, shakes, grinds and hesitates when shifting through low gears and when starting from a stop. It has done this since we bought it new in July 2013. I have an appointment with the Ford dealership, but the person with whom I spoke said most of the issues they've seen like this are "within their tolerance limits." That is not okay!

- Dallas, OR, USA

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