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 21 of 27)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #123

Apr 022014


  • 35,000 miles


The contact 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that he accelerated from a complete stop when he felt the transmission slip. The contact stated that failure only occurred whenever the vehicle was warm. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for inspection. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 35,000.

- Santa Rosa Beach, FL, USA

problem #122

Nov 132013


  • 6,500 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated while driving various speeds, the vehicle lunged forward without any warning and the transmission was leaking. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and the technician diagnosed that the transmission seals and clutch assembly needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 6,500. The current mileage was 10,950.

- Rockledge, FL, USA

problem #121

Mar 082014


  • 7,000 miles
On my 2013 Ford Focus St I have been experiencing a stalling issue while moving. Car will stall when clutch is pressed while slowing down. Ford has a tsb issued, but will not perform required work due to no code being present. The issue will come and go. Upon browsing internet this is a known issue and many people have been told Ford will not perform the fix. So there are numerous Ford Focus St on the road having this exact problem. It is affecting the current year as well. Here is a link to a discussion on this topic as you can see it is pretty much more than 50% of cars sold seem like they will eventually have this issue. It's a matter of luck if it will throw a code. People have resorted to fixing it themselves. This is absurd. This issue needs to be made public since Ford seems they are trying to save money by saying they need a code present. I brand new car should not be stalling while moving or any time you don't physically shut it off. It's creating a dangerous situation.

- Woodbury, NJ, USA

problem #120

Nov 082012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 1,500 miles


My 2013 Ford Focus wants to stall when going from 1st to 2nd and or the gears slip and the car stutters losing speed suddenly. It is equipped with the manual automatic transmission. Initially it was also doing it while trying to reverse. I called the dealership with in two months of purchase and was told that the vehicle needed to be "broken in" and continue to drive it for 1500-2K miles. I let it go and finally brought it in the following September and since than an additional 5 times. They have replaced the throttle body and reprogrammed the vehicle three times. It will act ok for a few weeks after the reprogramming then slowly goes back into the same pattern until it happens on a consistent basis. I find it occurs more after driving highway miles and then being stuck in heavy traffic (which is my daily commute). I've spoken with four different Ford technicians and each claim that Ford is aware of this problem however they do not know how to fix it. Initially I was accused of driving two footed or not knowing how a standard should shift. Upon explaining that I do not drive two footed, I am well aware of how standards should shift as I am not a new driver, I would be connected with a technician. This is a huge safety concern especially in bumper to bumper traffic on the highway.

- Merritt Island, FL, USA

problem #119

Feb 042013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 5,000 miles
2013 Ford Focus transmission problems include noise, grinding, shuddering, lurching. Dealer claims they are normal but represents safety and financial issue (I'll never be able to sell the car) and I don't want it anymore. This is a dangerous vehicle.

- Tacoma, WA, USA

problem #118

Apr 092014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 18,000 miles
Engine stalls and shuts off while coasting or coming to a stop with the clutch in.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #117

Aug 062013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 6,000 miles


In August of 2013 I brought my 2013 Ford Focus into the dealership with transmission issues. I owned the car for 6 months at that point with 6,000 miles on it. Car was shuddering at lower gears, transmission felt like it was slipping, at times RPM would rev up higher than normal, grinding noise could be heard from the engine at times, loss of power and a couple times complete loss of acceleration while trying to turn across traffic. I took the car into my local Ford dealership and a couple of software updates were applied to the car. This fixed it for maybe 3 months then I started noticing loss of power in the car again, and now recently all of the same issues I originally had, and listed above, have resurfaced. Current miles are 14,000. I can't even go up a hill faster than 25 miles an hour, the car fails to change gear and engine rpms rev and the transmission is slipping everyday. My car is back at Ford, this time for a week while they try to determine what is wrong with it. This is not normal operating for a car no matter what Ford says. Loss of power while trying to cross traffic is definitely a safety concern.

- Auburn, WA, USA

problem #116

Feb 052014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 5,000 miles
While driving, the transmission shifted itself to neutral. It did this a number of times. This is dangerous because I could have been hit in the rear end when the car slowed down. Apparently, it was a faulty computer code.

- Nipomo, CA, USA

problem #115

Mar 012013

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles
I am experiencing a problem with my 2013 Ford Focus that is making me so nervous and scaring me. I am so afraid it is going to cause an accident, especially pulling out into traffic. I have a clean driving record and have never had an accident. When I stop at a stop sign, look both ways, see a vehicle some distance away and know it is ok to pull out but then the car stalls and before you know it the oncoming traffic is upon you. It shudders when I start to take off into traffic or from a stop. Also, when I slow down and try to speed up it does the same. Sometimes it shudders so bad that I am afraid it is going to cut off. It also makes a noise like a rattle. My car only has a little over 9,000 miles on it and is well taken care of. I have taken it back to the dealer and they have ran it through the service procedures as required by Ford motor. This 2013 Ford Focus has been in the shop three times since I purchased it in December, 2012, always for the same problem and it has never been repaired. When I took the car back to the dealer the first time this happened I was told by an employee at the dealership that these cars are notorious for this problem. You and I both know that a car is not supposed to do this. Ford motor is aware of this problem with these vehicles but feels it is not bad enough to do anything about it. That is like going to the doctor and he tells you lets wait until you get worse before we do anything. I am asking that my 2013 Ford Focus be repaired as it should be. If it means replacing the transmission or whatever it needs then do it!

- Cordele, GA, USA

problem #114

Jun 072013

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles
When I drive it sounds like something is grinding and/or a rattling in the front of the car. It does not always make this noise however when it does it sounds like my transmission is gonna fall out in the middle of the road while I am driving. I can also feel a vibration in my foot peddle. On June 07 2017 they reprogrammed my transmission hoping that would resolve the problem. On another visit December 27th 2013 they lubed some part of the front of my vehicle. Then on March 19th 2014 they did another reprogram advising me this time its more specific for my vehicle. They also gave me a print out on why my car made this noise and advised me it was normal. They have heard the noise all 3 of these times, there were a few other visits where they were unable to hear the noise so they were not sure on how to approach the problem. With the last reprogramming they did so far has helped the noise it is not as often occurring however now my car is jerking, almost like the transmission is slipping. They did advise me I would need to drive 500 miles to ensure the reprogramming has been fixed and I am not at my 500 miles yet.

- Wilmington, NC, USA

problem #113

Mar 032014


  • 26,000 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated while driving approximately 20 mph, the transmission slipped without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis, who advised the contact that the transmission would need to be replaced. The transmission was replaced. After the repairs, the failure still recurred. Additionally, the check engine warning light illuminated sporadically. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer multiple times and the dealer was not able to diagnose the problem. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 26000.

- Etta, MS, USA

problem #112

Feb 142014


  • 15,548 miles
On Friday 2/14/2014 @ 1100, I was driving on interstate 5 South, when my car, without lifting foot from the gas pedal, suddenly lost power going from 65mph to 30 mph, in a matter of seconds. A low swoosh sound from motor occurred at same time. I had to exit the freeway at sea world drive exit from the far freeway lane, making for a very dangerous situation. I am very glad I was not rear-ended as I exited the freeway. After exiting the freeway and pulled to the shoulder and stopped the car..after 5 minutes the engine went back to normal and ran like nothing had occurred. I took it to the mossy Ford dealership the same day (service number R020298788). They kept it overnight. They could not replicate incident and told me they had no idea what had happened. They told me to wait until it happens again, and to bring it in again. This is an unacceptable response from Ford dealership. On 2/25/2014, I took it into tune crafters to see if they could find out what was going on with my new car. They could not replicate the issue, but did note in writing the throttle is not as responsive on take-off acceleration, and there is a brief hesitation in the transmission shift and throttle. I am filing a formal complaint with Ford Motor Company today. I do not feel safe driving my new car anymore. Thank you, nellie downie

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #111

Jan 172013


  • 150 miles
I bought a brand new 2013 Ford Focus in January 2013 after having previously owned a 2011 Ford Focus that was having transmission issues. The dealership had told me that the 2013 Focus models had a redone transmission that was more expensive and didn't have the "issues" that plagued the 2011 Ford Focus. Turns out it is the same transmission, except with a computer update which does not fix the issue. Within the first few weeks, my car was 'shuddering' for lack of a better description when accelerating; the RPM's go up sporadically to, revving the engine higher than it needs to go. It feels almost like it's going to die and then will catch the gear and go. I have taken my current car in for service once for another update, but my 2011 was in the shop multiple times to fix this issue, and always came back to me doing the same 'shuddering' as it did before it went in. I called Ford and they said they would talk to my dealer and they would take care of it. Well, by taking care of it, they meant that there is another 'update'. I had it updated on 8/26/13 and I picked it up only to find that the shuddering is worse. It's not safe to try and drive a car that shudders and lags when you have to cross busy streets and in normal daily traffic. I'm tired of dealing with this issue especially being that I bought a new car. And an american car at that. Ford needs to have some integrity and fix this before I do what I want to do and go buy a Honda or Nissan.

- Wichita, KS, USA

problem #110

Nov 222012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 300 miles
Automated manual transmission clutches are slipping causing moderate to severe (intermittent) hesitation. Dealer says that the way its supposed to be when I took it in first week we had it. Went to independent mechanic for second oil change and fluid is leaking in rear main seal, dealer didn't even check. Replaced clutch assembly at 21000 miles, hesitation from start, 8000 more miles, dealer says nothing wrong, take to independent mechanic and again leaking from rear main seal. Just got car back with new seal, didn't replace clutch. Contacted attorney to lemon law the car in Georgia and they have sent notification to Ford.

- Powder Springs, GA, USA

problem #109

May 282013


  • miles
In 2/13, my husband and I purchased a '13 Ford Focus from brewster Ford in NY. Unfortunately, our car has never worked correctly. It randomly loses power. It feels like the gas pedal doesn't respond sometimes when we try to accelerate. Our car is currently in their service center for the 4th attempt to repair the problem without any intervention. 3 of the master mechanics, scotty, carlisle, and anthony, say they have driven the car multiple times without repairing anything because they claim that they cannot recreate the problem. 5/28/13 the hesitation and nonresponsive acceleration increased and we brought our car to the service center and paid for an oil change. We were given the car back and told there was no problem found. 6/14/13 we brought the car back to the dealer for the same problem. There was an update for the computer and we thought it might be fixed. 12/9/13 we came back to the service center for the same problem, but this time the car shut off while my husband was driving on the nys thruway and this time the check engine light was on when I dropped it off. Again the car was given back and we were told no problem found. They said that the check engine light was not on. It had been on for two days prior. 12/18/13 we brought our car back to the service center. After we called Ford corporate for help, the service manager, danielle got involved. The gas mileage dropped at this time from 32-27 miles/gallon combined. Our car was at brewster Ford's service center for over 30 days without being contacted once. When my husband called to check on the status, he was told they were waiting on a service engineer to come out. After speaking to angela, the regional manager from Ford, we were told that the service center is unable to recreate the problem and we should again take our unsafe car. 1/23/14 today the regional manager agreed to approve a second opinion.

- Yorktown Heights, NY, USA

problem #108

Jun 072013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 3,500 miles
Automated manual transmission clutches are slipping causing moderate to severe (intermittent) hesitation. Dealer says that the way its supposed to be when I took it in. Went to independent mechanic and fluid is leaking in rear main seal, dealer didn't even check. Replaced clutch assembly at 12000 miles, hesitation from start, 8000 more miles, dealer says nothing wrong, take to independent mechanic and again leaking from rear main seal. Currently waiting for loaner to get fixed again. Contacted attorney to lemon law the car in Georgia and they have sent notification to Ford.

- Powder Springs, GA, USA

problem #107

Feb 142014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 15,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact was driving 55 mph when the vehicle decelerated without the brake pedal being depressed. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for inspection but no issues were found. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the issue. The approximate failure was 15,000. Updated 04/04/14 updated 04/11/2014

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #106

Feb 082014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 13,286 miles
I was driving on the highway at midnight 2/8/2014 at about 75mph when my car started to become stiff in the steering and lost speed rapidly. I down shifted from 5th gear to 4th gear the car would not accelerate even with my foot pressed all the way down on the accelerator, I shifted down to 3rd because of the sudden loss of speed and still nothing the cars rpms would go higher but the speed would not change. This nearly caused me to have an accident so I exited the highway and shut the vehicle off. Once the vehicle was shut off and turned back on the problem went away, I contacted Ford brought it in to their service center and they could not replicate this problem and suggested I continue to drive the vehicle until it happens again.

- Chatsworth, CA, USA

problem #105

Apr 182013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 3,000 miles
Purchased this vehicle on March 30th, 2013 and have had constant transmission problems ever since. The transmission grinds, lurches, rolls backwards on hills, on some occasions refuses to shift gears, squeaks and rattles. I have taken my vehicle into davies Ford in charleroi, pa (which is documented) for service and they have tried to reprogram the shift points. This has lessened the symptoms of the vehicle but they are still persistent at different levels of severity. Some days there aren't any signs of trouble and other days the vehicle grinds and lurches. I have been told that these are characteristics of the dct transmission. The problems have consistently occurred between the purchase date of March 2013 to the current date of 02/07/14.

- Donora, PA, USA

problem #104

Oct 012013


  • 3,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while she drove at 70 mph, the place transmission in park warning light illuminated then the vehicle stalled. The failure was experienced several times. The contact stated that she was able to coast to the shoulder to restart the engine. The vehicle was taken to the dealer several times but the failure could not be replicated. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 3,000 and the current mileage was 10,000.

- Royal Oak , MI, USA

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