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 20 of 27)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #143

May 182014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 5,250 miles


When driving at highway speed 65 with cruise control engaged the vehicle feels as if the engine is cutting out or engine braking is being applied the RPM's drop from 2.5 to 2.25 feels like the engine is pulsing.

- Augusta, KS, USA

problem #142

May 092014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 5,192 miles
The vehicle stalls and shudders when shifting through lower gears. To avoid the issue you have to accelerate at a fairly high rate from a stop sign. Very dangerous when turning corners. Have taken into the dealer once scheduled for second trip this week. They say it is with in their tolerance boundaries.

- Augusta, KS, USA

problem #141

Sep 242012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 500 miles
The cars transmission stutters, shakes, and hesitate between 1 and 2 gear causing loss of power, grinding noise from transmission, the car also will roll back when on any type of hill.

- Middletown , NY, USA

problem #140

Oct 302013


  • miles


Vehicle's powershift transmission grinds when shifting at lower speeds. Transmission also surges +/- 200 to 300 rpms during perfectly steady accelerator position. Vehicle has attempted to stall numerous times in both drive and reverse. Vehicle also exhibits unpredictable power response (ie very little power when accelerator applied or way too much power when accelerator hardly pressed), resulting in numerous incidents of near collision. Vehicle also shudders when accelerating from a stop. Took vehicle to dealership and was turned away and told all characteristics were "normal". vehicle is, in my opinion, very unsafe and will not be driven other than out of necessity until it is either recalled, fixed, or bought back.

- Fort Walton Beach, FL, USA

problem #139

May 022014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 3,900 miles
The vehicle will stall upon pressing the clutch in while in gear or neutral regardless of speed at random intervals. I'll notice that coming to a stop with the clutch in the car has a hard time finding an idle then ultimately dies. This mostly happens while the car has been running for awhile and the ac is on however it has happened with the ac off. This has happened multiple times including while down shifting into a lower gear while turning. The dealership was unable to reproduce this despite showing video proof of the issue. This is an overall safety concern when the car could shut off at any given moment while driving.

- Auburn, WA, USA

problem #138

May 012012


  • 12,000 miles
The vehicle ever since about 8 months post purchase and to date has a very uncontrollable, jerky transmission, often times lunging forward and even vibrating during acceleration. It rolls back on hills as well. It shifts unpredictably a lot of the time and sometimes gears will slip and then catch very abruptly. How it's avoided recall for this long is beyond my understanding...

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #137

May 312013


  • 1,200 miles


We purchased a 2013 Ford Focus with the dct. By 1200 miles, the transmission was grinding and stuttering to the point of almost stalling during acceleration. Ford performed a repair after finding the clutches burned up and bearing failure. This fix lasted for awhile before the problem returned. During this period we had difficulty getting Ford dealerships to acknowledge the issue. On multiple occasions, with my baby daughter in the back seat, the car would surge, hesitate, nearly stall, and otherwise pose dangerous driving situations. Eventually Ford performed a second repair finding clutch failure again and then when that repair lasted less than 500 miles replaced the entire transmission. But now, even with the new transmission, the problems have returned. Ford customer service insists that nearly stalling and obnoxious stuttering is normal and possibly the result of multiple drivers confusing the computer. Were now at 14000 miles and problem remains.

- Newton, IA, USA

problem #136

May 082014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 23,840 miles
While accelerating from a stop there is a sudden loss of power with a dragging feeling. Vehicle losses speed for several seconds then catches with a jolt.

- Gardena, CA, USA

problem #135

Aug 102013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 1,800 miles
Would not shift into reverse. This was the only time it would not shift but raised a red flag. After turning off ignition and trying again it finally engaged, all other shifter selections were fine; N, D. soon thereafter I began noticing a strange grinding noise coming from the front end accompanied by a slight vibration upon acceleration from a stop or when negotiating a curve at slow speed. We left for tucson soon thereafter towing our Focus behind our motorhome. The car continued with the same issues as described above so I took the car to a local dealer. They test drove and said they didn't find anything wrong and if it happened again to bring it back. Soon after.this we drove from tucson to albuquerque and the car shuddered and hesitated while shifting so badly I felt it was unsafe. Returned to dealer in tucson two more times where they finally "fixed" it. Lasted two days now worse than ever. I feel that this car is very unsafe and should be taken off the road. I have been driving several vehicles since 1958 and this is my worse driving experience ever. I will be making an appointment with my local dealer today to see if they have a solution. I know I am one of many Ford owners with these same transmission issues. Ford should be made to issue a recall. From what I have read Ford considers good fuel mileage more important than safety. If my local dealer can't fix the problem so that I feel safe driving our Focus I will be going back to Toyota or Subaru asap. Another "big three" failure. I am from Michigan and am embarrassed to drive this car assembled in Michigan with a transmission that is total junk.

- Harbor Springs, MI, USA

problem #134

Nov 062012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 5 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving 40 mph, the vehicle failed to respond to acceleration attempts. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 5 and the current mileage was 22,600. Updated 06/30/14 MA the consumer stated the vehicle experienced inconsistent transmission performance and lurches during acceleration from a stop. The vehicle could not be trusted during expected quick response. Updated 07/2/2014

- Safety Harbor, FL, USA

problem #133

Apr 052013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 300 miles


I am leasing this car and got it in March 2013. I have had it in the shop 3 times already and the dealers, 2 different ones, keep telling me it is just normal. I have been driving a long time and even drove a 5 speed, but never have I had these issues. Grinding, shuddering, jerking in lower speeds and I sometimes think the transmission is going to fall out of the car. It has been over a year since I have had it in the shop, as I work and it seems to be worthless for me to take it in. I am not sure if I can file a lemon law complaint, but not sure what else I can do.

- Grapevine , TX, USA

problem #132

May 042014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 5,000 miles
While driving, instrument cluster lights and notification lights blinked off and on 5 times car continued to run normal. Also possible that the tach and speed needle dropped to zero and then went back up to normal. Also starting from a stop hesitation and jerking while starting out from stopped position and from shifting from 1st to 2nd gear. Automatic transmission.

- Wausau, WI, USA

problem #131

Mar 252014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 35,000 miles
This vehicle has a transmission problem that has it hesitating and lurching forward in the slower gears. It is very unpredictable when starting out and I have nearly hit several cars, several times. I brought it back to the dealership, and they updated the software. That did not fix the problem. Then they told me it was a normal "feature" of the manual/automatic transmission. The computer would "learn" my driving habits after a short while. It never has and the problem persists.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #130

Feb 122014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 7,385 miles
I purchased a Ford Focus in May 2013 brand new from a dealership. For the first 6-8 months the car drove fine. Starting in January 2014 I noticed my transmission was grinding through out each gear which is odd because I drive an automatic. I have taken it in four times for repairs covered in my 36000 mile warranty and the problem still persists. The car will vibrate and shudder and jerk when I'm accelerating as well as the persistent grinding. The grinding sounds as if someone put gravel rocks in my transmission. I have searched in online forums and youtube videos and found that there are thousands of other people complaining about the exact same problems and that their local dealerships have also been unable to repair them properly. I don't feel safe driving my car when the transmission feels as if it could go out at any second. A few others have already been able to lemon law their vehicle do to these problems. If it cant be resolved I wont be purchasing from Ford again in the future. My current mileage is at 14,000 and the problems are still occurring.

- East Moline, IL, USA

problem #129

Jul 132013


  • 560 miles
TL-the contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated while driving approximately 30 mph, the vehicle began to shake and vibrate continuously. In addition, the transmission would slip gears. The failure recurred whenever vehicle driving from a complete stop or during deceleration. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer twice for diagnosis. The technician was able to duplicate the problem and recommended that the six clutches be replaced. The vehicle had not been repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 560.

- Edmonds , WA, USA

problem #128

Apr 252014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 49,400 miles
I first noticed a problem with my transmission the first week I bought my '13 Ford Focus. I would hear a shuddering and gears grinding when I would accelerate and my transmission would slip when shifting gears. I took it to the dealer and asked them to check it out but was told that it was normal and nothing to worry about and sent me on my way without even taking a look under the hood. I informed them I was worried about getting into an accident with it and they said that would be impossible and it was of no concern. On Friday, April 25th, 2014, after driving 40 minutes to work, I started my car up again and turned onto a main city road from a parking lot then onto a residential street. There, I noticed my transmission light had turned on and my car was having a difficult time shifting gears. The rpms skyrocketed and then plummeted. I was going about 20mph-25mph and my dash is reading 4rpms. I then turn onto another main road where my car started chugging along, it felt, while revving multiple times. I had no control over my own vehicle. About a mile or two away, I reached my destination. I parked and then started to drive again where my car then stopped and I had to declare it inoperable. The next day, I had to have the car towed. Come to find out, the transmission problems I complained about to the dealer were not normal and any day my car was going to quit on me. April 25th, 2014 happened to be that day. My car is just outside of the lemon law as I purchased it last January. Ford is hesitant on helping me and getting my car back and running. I was told there was no problem and nothing to worry about, therefore, I did not pursue the problem any further.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #127

Apr 252014


  • 22,800 miles
When accelerating from a stop or moving position in my car I get a crunching, grinding noise and sudden jerking. Seems to come from the transmission but every time I take my car in for service they refuse to even look at the car and say it's normal and hand me paperwork saying it's fine. Sometimes the car will hardly even accelerate from a stopped position or move as slow as molasses. I need help with this because it's very dangerous.

- Irving, TX, USA

problem #126

Apr 172014


  • 14,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that after parking the vehicle on a hill, it rolled away in reverse and crashed into another vehicle. A police report was not filed. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 14,000.

- Atlantic , GA, USA

problem #125

Jun 182013


  • 150 miles
The first incident occurred two days or so after purchasing the car. Heard grinding noise in the front of the car as if metal was dragging on asphalt. Took it to dealership and they stated it was normal. About two weeks later check engine light came on. Took it to dealership and they ran a test and said nothing was wrong and reset the computer. A week later, message comes on the screen in the car to immediately pull over due to high temperatures. Lifted the hood and steam was emanating from the coolant reservoir and the lid had come off due to the pressure. I had to call for a tow to the dealership. They ran another test and found that the radiator fan had failed and they had to replace it. More repeated trips to the dealership to address the grinding transmission but to no avail. In April 2014, I started to experience violent shuddering and jerking, along with the grinding, and again took it to the dealership. They told my husband nothing was wrong because they did not experience it when he came in. Took it back the next day, they ran a test and found that I was is fact right that something was wrong. The clutch was being leaked on by seals above it. They told me they had ordered the part and would call me when it came in. I was not told to leave it there. They said they would call me when the part came in. The car lurches forward when shifting and shudders horribly. I would not recommend this car to anyone and I do not feel safe driving it and nothing seems to be done about it.

- Clarksville, TN, USA

problem #124

Jul 222013


  • 8,700 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while trying to accelerate, the transmission slipped. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who could not duplicate the failure. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 8,700.

- Gainsville, FL, USA

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