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 23 of 27)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #83

Dec 032012


  • 200 miles


Transmission failure, slowing to exit off the interstate, vehicle shook violently. Took it to the Ford dealer that I purchased it from, they refused to look at or service my vehicle and sent me on my way. I had already taken it to them on 3 different occasions for a noise after the vehicle was shut off, they assured me the noise was normal, saying it was lubricating the transmission so it didn't have to "cold start." I found a tsb about this noise and took it back to them to have them correct the problem they had told me was normal. After they made the noise go away is when the transmission started to slip. I took it to a different Ford dealer who replaced the defective parts after a 36 day wait. I had the vehicle back for 3 days and the transmission started slipping again. I filed a complaint with the BBB requesting Ford do a buy back of the vehicle, arbitrator ruled they didn't have to. I am now in the process of appealing this decision. These cars with this particular transmission are unsafe and Ford is refusing to do anything about it.

- Altoona, WI, USA

problem #82

Oct 192013


  • 1,200 miles
My vehicle had difficulty starting, and once I did get it started, I could not put the car in reverse. The reverse gear would not engage on the automatic transmission. The car could operate in the forward direction, however, issues were noted when the car changed gears (from 1st to 2nd, and 2nd to 3rd) even though it's an automatic. Rattling sounds we're heard as the car lurched into the next gear. After 80 miles or so, the display said to turn the car off and wait 9 minutes for transmission to cool. After waiting, car had issues starting, and same problems persisted. Car was towed to dealership.

- Parma, OH, USA

problem #81

Oct 262013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 124 miles
I just bought this brand new 2013 Ford Focus titanium on Friday 10/25/2013 and it had 107 miles. I drove around yesterday. While getting on ramp to 85 South freeway from fremont blvd, I heard this loud rattling noise coming from under the vehicle, as I accelerated the noise grew louder. I had no choice but continuing and existed at the next exit. Drove to a small street, driving slowly to see what the noise was. There I were, every time I accelerate, you can hear the rattle. This is brand new car. I went online all night last night and surprisingly, there are some many similar car owners with the exact same problem with new 2012-2013 Ford Focus. I'm taking the car back to the dealer but I can see so much headache ahead to get this fixed. Please look into this matter as soon as possible to avoid more future car owners of Ford Focus.

- Sunnyvale, CA, USA

problem #80

Jun 012013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 20,000 miles


Vehicle going on lower gear (1st to 3rd gear) will slip. The transmission will jerk and choke. When it chokes the vehicle looses power and slows down causing the car behind almost hit me. Also there is a dry rattle from the transmission. Brought it back to Ford dealer and they said all test is normal but can't do any other repair to test because I am under warranty and Ford don't authorize them to do further repairs.

- Tracy, CA, USA

problem #79

Aug 012013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 10,000 miles
The engine and Ford selectshift dual clutch transmissions are dangerous. They are very unpredictable.the transmission shudders, grinds and bucks in traffic. It has caused me to nearly hit the vehicle in front of me before. The engine's electronic throttle is also very unpredictable. Sometimes when I try to merge into traffic and press the accelerator, nothing at all happens for a couple of seconds. This has nearly caused me to be struck by another vehicle before.

- Riva, MD, USA

problem #78

Aug 072013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 9,100 miles
With 9100 miles on it...while driving on the freeway the rpms revved to over 7000 and then down to zero. All gears were lost and had to coast to a stop on the shoulder. Towed to dealer where they downloaded software to it and said it was fine. Approximately 1000 miles later the same thing happened while crossing traffic on a highway. Towed to a dealer where a clutch motor was replaced. With 14320 miles on it the same thing happened while turning off a freeway ramp. Towed to dealer where the car was taken back in trade for a new car. Vehicle was powerless to move and could have resulted in injury or death of occupants due to shutdown occurring while moving in traffic at high speeds.

- Oakdale, MN, USA

problem #77

Oct 162013


  • 6,401 miles


After coasting around a corner at 30mph I pressed accelerator and the transmission started slipping and then caught and the car launched forward. It did this three times and now its making a grinding noise.

- Wanatah, IN, USA

problem #76

Jun 042013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 9,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while accelerating from a complete stop, the transmission began to slip gears in a jerking motion. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer three times where the computer system was reprogrammed on each occasion. The failure continued to recur after the most recent repair was performed. The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 9,000....updated 11-18-13

- Roland, AR, USA

problem #75

Oct 152013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 20,000 miles
Car jerks alot! always jerking at low speeds and usually through gears 1-4. very unreliable in city driving and feels very unsafe. I totally regret purchasing this vehicle. Taken it several times to the Ford camelback in phx AZ and they just say its the way the manufacture built the car and how the car is able to save gas. Ford needs to recognize this problem and give Ford owners a break.

- Fremont, CA, USA

problem #74

Oct 102013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 9,000 miles
Was driving up my driveway which is fairly steep, the engine slipped out of gear (it's an automatic transmission) and started to roll backwards down the hill, the engine was revving/redlining as if it were in neutral. I quickly applied the brakes, and stepped on the gas. The car was still not in gear and continued to roll back, I applied the brakes again, and then the gas at which point the car shot forward, lucky that I was far enough away from the garage or any objects and remained in gear when I pulled into the garage. This same thing happened to me on flat ground in a parking lot one day. The lurch was less, but the car still shot forward faster than it should have, another instance where I was lucky that there were no pedestrians/cars/objects to run into. This car is dangerous and a liability.

- Clayton , NC, USA

problem #73

Aug 132013


  • 6,000 miles


When driving on residential roads, I often feel my 2013 Ford Focus stall or jerk. Often times there are glitches in the electrical wiring of locks and also in the radio. The door will stay locked after hitting the unlock button on the inside multiple times. The radio will not turn on, unless I turn off and re-turn on the car. As for the stalling, it often stalls when going anywhere from 30-65 mph.

- Stow, OH, USA

problem #72

Oct 032013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 8,012 miles
Traveling at 40 mph when suddenly transmission disengaged and car slowed and only revved. Stop at stop signed, tried to accelerate engine only revved then transmission engaged and car jerked. This continued the 3 miles left to my house.

- Amelia, OH, USA

problem #71

Jul 012013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 2,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the transmission manual internal shifting system failed, causing the vehicle to shudder at low speeds and when reversing. The dealer reprogrammed the transmission computer and cleaned the clutch however, the failure was not corrected. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 2,000 and the current mileage was 29,293. Updated 11/12/13 the consumer stated as of October 29, 2013, he is still dealing with the shifter shudder, when first starting out. Updated 11/18/13

- West Palm Beach , FL, USA

problem #70

Jun 132013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 1,000 miles
This car needs to be recalled. Took to dealer with problem about 1,000 miles. They acknowledged it has a problem and said they needed to keep it overnight. Then I find out all they did is reset the computer. That did not work and now at 7,000 miles the problem is getting worse. Engine hesitates and slips when starting accelerate and is worse around 30 mph when the engine shutters, rattles and jumps like I am riding on a horse. How can Ford sell a car that has a major flaw like this" I see hundreds of complaints similar problems. When is the government going to do something? I just wasted my money. I expect to get a good car with no problems but I get a new piece of trash. How can I get the car fixed or my money back"

- Daytona Beach, FL, USA

problem #69

Oct 022013


  • 1,000 miles
In October of 2012 I purchased a new 2013 Ford Focus SE. With less than 100 miles on the car I noticed a grinding noise when the car was shifting from 2nd to 3rd gear. I also noticed that the car would roll backwards in excess of two feet when engaging the accelerator from a still position on an embankment. The car was taken to the dealer and upon examination I was told that this was a "normal and expected" result with Ford new transmission. The vehicle now has 32,000 miles and the transmission is not only grinding when shifting from 2nd to 3rd gear it is also slipping!! while shifting from 2nd to 3rd gear the car now lurches! Ford service once again has the vehicle in an attempt to diagnose the issue. I would never recommend this car as in the past year it has been in the shop over 5 times with this issue and no resolve. These issues pose a safety risk to all driving this vehicle. Ford Motor Company needs to address these issues!!

- Belen, NM, USA

problem #68

Nov 132012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 203 miles
Ford Focus 2012-2013 have dangerous transmissions. Ford sells you an automatic transmission, but actually is a manual transmission with dual clutches and a computer. My car lunges, surges, luges, grinds, and doesn't accelerate properly, it is like driving a bucking Bronco. Ford initially said these problems would go away at 3000 miles once the car learns how I drive. Here I am 6 times into the shop 11,000 miles and Ford service manager finally admits the transmission is flawed and there is nothing they can do to fix it. He states the parts for the transmission were not make to speck and that's the problem. My car sits in my carport now because it hurts my neck to drive jerks my head back and forth every time it decides to shift....if it does at all. I have had to pull over when getting on an los angeles freeways because my car cant decide what it wants to do and I am lucky not to have been hit. This cars transmission is horrible also rolls backwards on hills Ford forgets to tell you this until you bring it is. So, not only is this car a death trap, I feel like I was told I bought an automatic when I didn't its a manual. False advertising. When I buy an automatic I expect it to be an automatic. Ford needs to be responsible and get rid of these transmissions before someone is killed. Fyi also they say it gets great gas mileage but it is false I get maybe 20 in the city and maybe 30 on the freeway. There are thousands of us Ford Focus drivers out there that need Ford to step up and take responsibility for this faulty not made to speck transmission!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- West Hollywood, CA, USA

problem #67

May 012013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 4,000 miles
Back in may my husband and I were traveling in stop and go traffic and noticed that my brand new 2013 Ford Focus SE was grinding and making horrible noises while shifting. Especially shifting in lower gears. As I remind you... this is an automatic. As of today this is the 4th time that it has been back to the dealership and still the problem is not fixed. The car continues to jerk and make mental on metal grinding noises. Today when speaking to the dealer I was told that a Ford engineer was looking at it and trying to fix it. Remind you that the clutches have already been replaced, the computer has been updated, and the computer has been reprogrammed. When I called today they said that they had to keep it over night. This is totally ridiculous and this is a new vehicle!!! of the almost seven months that I have owned the Focus it has sit in the shop a total of 20 days. Come on Ford!!!!

- Chase City, VA, USA

problem #66

Jan 022013


  • 200 miles
I recently purchased a brand new automatic Ford Focus 2013 and am very disappointed and angry. The first problem is the car tends to stall in 1st and 2nd gear, keep in mind it is automatic. Besides stalling it does not switch gears properly between first and 2nd. I almost got into an accident when it stalled while I was going up a hill. This car needs to be recalled immediately!

- East Brunswick, NJ, USA

problem #65

Sep 212013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 9,676 miles
Driving into work one morning, I was following behind another vehicle at a low rate of speed, almost to a stop when I then turned into a parking spot, pushed the gas pedal and the vehicle did not accelerate so I then pushed the gas pedal again and the vehicle surged forward at a much faster speed than usual and the vehicle slammed into the wall of the parking structure in the space I was attempting to park in. On other occasions before this, I had experienced hesitation while pressing down on the gas pedal but nothing like what happened the morning that the vehicle surged forward, hitting the cement wall in the parking structure.

- Pinckney, MI, USA

problem #64

Sep 012013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 5,500 miles
My car had to go in for service twice. The issue as I described it was that the car bogs down, shudders while trying to accelerate, makes a rattling noise, and shifts incorrectly into the wrong gear. They applied a software update on 9/14 that was supposed to fix the issue, but it did not. I brought the car in today and they indicate that the transmission is leaking into the clutch. They say to pick up the car and drive it for the 10-12 days it will take to get parts. They'll fix it later they say. They will not provide a written statement of the problems they have found, as I requested. Not sure if it is safe to drive, I would think that it is not safe. The dealer is walls Ford, 2 merrill St, salisbury MA 01952.

- Newburyport, MA, USA

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