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 5 of 27)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #443

Dec 282015


  • 44,000 miles


I purchased a used 2013 Ford Focus SE from crossroad Ford fuquay varina on November 2015. The car was displayed on clearance. (27000 miles). I thought it would be good on gas for travels back and forth to work. Yes, it is good on gas. However, the transmission started shuddering and rattling at 10 mph late December 2015. I changed the spark plugs and it seemed to run better. By late January 2016, it begin to shudder/ rattle again. I requested asistance twice by chat on the Ford website but no one contacted me. I finally called the dealer who confirmed problems with the tcm, a need for computer reprogramming and clutch issues. Ford diagnostic confirmed that it needed a new clutch. It is on back order for 6 to 8 weeks. I was told to continue driving it but the engine reved up on 04/15/16 at a speed of 55mph and the check engine ligh came on. So I scheduled a service ( 04/18/16) I was told that the engine light was related to the clutch issue. Additionally, I was told that cyclinder one was misfiring and I need a new coil pack. I have a 2007 Ford Fusion sel (234,00 miles), it has been the most reliable car. No problems with the transmisson on the Fusion. What happened with the Focus? I find it appalling that a 44,000 mile vehicle could have so many problems. I feel that the Ford location in fuquay varina, nc knowingly sold this car to me with knowledge of the defects. There are so many complaints by numerous customers about the Focus. The dual clutch transmission (dct) is not reliable. Fsa title: Transmission clutch shudder / transmission input shaft seal warranty extension field service action number: 14M01 fsa title: Transmission control module extended warranty coverage field service action number: 14M02

- Fuquay Varina, NC, USA

problem #442

Mar 152016


  • 45,000 miles
This car has had problems since it was purchased in may of 2015. Transmission makes loud grinding noises, loss of power, stalling, loss of acceleration. I have had it to the dealer multiple times to only be told we've updated the transmission and it should be ok.....just drive the car, let it get used to my driving and it will be ok. Not true! none of this has helped. The last time it went to the dealer, it had to be towed because it wouldn't start. This is a huge safety hazard and Ford should be held responsible. They should not be allowed to keep sending customers on their way with vehicles that they know are faulty.

- Bastian, VA, USA

problem #441

Nov 112015


  • 50,000 miles
The car shifts roughly from 1st to 2nd gear while in motion. It shudders and jerks while trying to pull out into traffic. It also hesitates when accelerating from a stopped position. The vehicle has been brought into the Ford dealer multiple times and have been told that this is a typical problem for this car and can not do anything about it. I bought this car for my daughter who is a new driver, based on its safety rating and after owning it for only a couple of months am now faced with this issue. I feel that this is now a safety issue since it affects entering into traffic with a shifting problem.

- St. Cloud, FL, USA

problem #440

Apr 042013


  • 8,000 miles


Transmission shudder, rough shift, hesitation, grinding noise on acceleration. Unsafe to drive on slippery road conditions

- Hortonville, WI, USA

problem #439

Apr 022016


  • 63,000 miles
Transmission jerks and hesitates when pulling out since the day I bought it 2 yrs ago. Talked to the dealer and was told it was normal. Had a computer update done and still the the same. As of recently the problem got worse. I was at a red light in the middle of a busy intersection when the light changed I pulled out and then the transmission would not shift and I was stuck sideways in the middle of the intersection with oncoming traffic. I shut the car off and restarted it and was able to get off the road then it did the same thing again. I again shut it off and let it sit for about 15 min tried it and was able to make it back home. Since then it has happened a few more times with the same result. I have researched and seen alot of other people are having similar problems and Ford is aware and yet nothing. My factory warranty has expired and I cannot afford repair costs that according to reports does not completely fix the problem anyway nor can I afford to replace the car because I owe more than it is worth. Any information or help would be greatly appreciated.

- Shamokin, PA, USA

problem #438

Mar 262013


  • 5,690 miles
We had problems with the transmission since we bought the car on 11/16/12. We experience sudden lurches forward when pressing on the gas pedal, delayed acceleration when taking of, sudden loss of forward propulsion, transmission slipping, delayed gear engagement, hard or erratic shifts and transmission engagement failure while driving. Due to all these problems we once lost control of the car while driving on a city street at 55 miles per hour and had to stop on the side of the road. We have taken the car at least 8 times to get serviced and the the problem does not get resolved.

- Sebastian, FL, USA

problem #437

Sep 082015


  • 17,858 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While driving at any speed, the vehicle jerked, stalled, and lost power. The failure began immediately after the vehicle was repaired by a local dealer for the tcm/PCM control module. The failure recurred and the vehicle was taken back to the dealer who replaced the clutch assembly in September 2015. The failure recurred and the vehicle was taken back to the dealer eleven times. The dealer continued to reprogram the tcm and the PCM, stating that the transmission assembly needed to be replaced. The part was on back order. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and stated that it was a characteristic of the transmission. The contact was advised to place 50 percent pressure on the acclerator pedal. The failure mileage was 17,858.

- Kissimie, FL, USA

problem #436

Mar 192016


  • 10,000 miles
Transmission does not shift into gears as it should, no power going up hill.sounds like motor going to fall out when you park.these happens several times and at different places

- Cambridge, OH, USA

problem #435

Mar 062016


  • 29,200 miles
I purchased the car in question used from carmax in boynton beach, Florida on the first week of March 2016. The Ford Focus had approx. 29,200 miles on the odometer. During the first 200 miles, I noticed the car shifting roughly from first to second, and second to third gears. The erratic operation was most noticeable when the engine was warm. When accelerating from a full stop, the vehicle would shudder and jerk sometimes. I took the car back to carmax after three days of shifting problems. Representatives of carmax took the car to autonation Ford in delray beach, Florida for inspection and diagnosis. The dealer confirmed there were powertrain problems. Now, I have been advised that there are field service bulletins pertaining to the transmission control module, shaft seal, and clutches. Ford has advised me that the clutches need to be replaced and are on backorder for at least 8 to 10 weeks. It is likely I will be without my car for three months or longer.

- Greenacres, FL, USA

problem #434

Mar 282016


  • 30,000 miles
The so called automatic transmission, slips and chatters when starting from a stop. The issue is worst when trying to start from a stop on any inclined road or trying to make a turn, the car has been reflashed in Feb 2016 as per the tsb, I was told by the dealership that I had to drive it for a min of 600 miles before they would retest it, the issue is it is worse after the reflash programing of the transmission control module. I have times when trying to accelerate, that the dash warning lamps come on and buzzers go off, the car won't move then bang it moves, a totally unsafe car, the eyes of a now retired master auto tech who fixed cars for 45 years.

- Highland Lakes, NJ, USA

problem #433

Jul 042013


  • 4,000 miles


During a road trip while on a highway onramp going mostly straight at gradual acceleration, experienced complete failure of the computer system, beginning with erratic changing of gears rocking me back and forth in my seat, to infotainment display shutdown, to engine stopping. Had to exit highway and 'reboot' the system to continue travelling. After initial repairs, still experienced harsh gear shifts up to and including present day. Gear shifts could easily affect the control of the vehicle. To my understanding, the fault is how the computer uses the dual-clutch system to shift gears. I have been told that at times, the car did not know what gear it was in. There have been multiple recalls regarding these issues with this and other Ford models with this clutch system. There are other work reports, but I was unable to fit them within your upload limitations.

- San Marcos, CA, USA

problem #432

Mar 162016


  • 86,000 miles
I can't start the car or it randomly will not start. I leave heading to work everything is ok, car starts no problem. When I get back into the car and try to drive home or store. Car will not start, dashboard says car is in park or neutral. When I turn key to the on position, I move the gear shift to other gears, still dashboard says it's in park. My T-mobile more than likely went out but, they can't replace it until my check engine light comes on for the codes for my tcm. If the problem for the car is known for having bad seals and tcm, why not just replace it. This will be the 3 time I have taking my car back to the dealer, and there only solution is reprogramming the car computer. I have taken it twice this week alone.

- Turlock, CA, USA

problem #431

Mar 102016


  • miles
Purchased a used 2013 Focus in January of 2014. Drove fine for the first 6 month but since then have had it in the dealership 3 separate times for transmissions issues (in under 9 months) each time Ford claiming it fixed the issue. New hardware Ford is claiming to have put in the car is failing again. Latest failure occurred at an intersection where I lost the ability to accelerate completely and had to get out and push the car with other motorists to saftey. The car then had to be towed to the dealer. This nature of this failure is going to eventually cause some serious injuries and crashes if it hasn't already. Given the number of complaints I urge the NHTSA to open an investigation into this.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #430

Jul 152013


  • miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While driving at various speeds, the vehicle made a loud noise and jerked forward without warning. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission control module and transmission failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired under a manufacturer's recall, but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage and NHTSA campaign number were unknown.

- Sumiton, AL, USA

problem #429

Feb 252016


  • miles
Have had car in for multiple transmission issue's. dropped off to dealer was told clutch was bad and part is on back order.this will be the fourth clutch installed have talked to Ford and the BBB no help.the car has less than 60,000 mile been through four clutches and two tcm's. every four month car at dealership getting transmission work done.with all the issue's of the car value have decreased value. And will go upside down if trying to get rid of my lemon. I will never buy from Ford again and am very disappointed in there handling of the problems.

- Newport News, VA, USA

problem #428

Mar 012016


  • 24,000 miles
Transmission shudders when shifting from 1st to 2nd. It also shudders at higher speeds, sometimes violently. It has been in for service twice in less than a month. The first time they updated the computer and it still shuddered on the way home. The second time Ford reported that the vehicle "has the latest calibration and rpms are within Ford spec at this time."

- Bellbrook, OH, USA

problem #427

Dec 072015


  • 38,000 miles
I purchased my used 2013 Ford Focus in 2015 with no notice of the potential clutch/powershift recall by the dealer. In December I received the notice of recall and brought it to a dealer. They ran the software fix. It did not fix the clutch shudder, however they removed the open recall off of the site despite my reservations. The dealer was unconcerned, but told me it would take at least 6-8 weeks to get a new clutch and that that should fix the problem. The shudder has gotten so bad that the car is nearly un-driveable and unsafe when I do drive it to work. It shudders and won't upshift and won't accelerate which is very problematic when one is trying to drive in traffic and avoid hurting oneself, other drivers, or pedestrians. I took my complaint to Ford Motor Company as I wanted a loaner car or something until they could fix my car, however they have only given me a case number and told me that there is now no estimated date to get a new clutch for my car. I am now forced to drive an unsafe car as they are unwilling and unable to fix my car or find another solution for me.

- Earlville, NY, USA

problem #426

Feb 122016


  • 61,500 miles
Ford Focus purchased in 2013. Transmission in for repairs total of five times. Two of those five times, vehicle had to be towed back to dealer. First tow: Vehicle started shuddering violently while going 70 mph on expressway, " transmission fault" light came on, (two children in the car under the age of 9 as well), turned hazards on and coasted off onto a nearby exit and waited for tow truck. Second tow: Vehicle stopped, shuddered while exiting expressway, warning system came on "transmission fault: Service now". both times vehicle lost power, could not engage into gear. High traffic area on expressways, luckily was not injured. Non-tow repairs: Transmission shudders violently, has difficulty switching out of first or second gears, able to drive vehicle to shop, where it is serviced, but begins to have issues within several months of repairs each times, repeat of the same issues. This is an extremely unreliable and dangerous vehicle that loses power and has issues with the transmission locking up/failing at any given moment, despite multiple repairs and clutch replacements by a certified Ford dealer. This vehicle needs to be seriously reevaluated for safety.

- Lombard, IL, USA

problem #425

Feb 012016


  • miles
On December 26, 2015 I bought my daughter a used 2013 Focus four door sedan with 46882 miles from a local dealership in annapolis, Maryland. The car drove very nice with no obvious problems. In early February this year my daughter noticed that the transmission made a loud rattling, shuttering noise from a stop. It now happens from pulling forward from every stop, like from a stop sign or traffic light. The cars feels like there is no power to the wheels and when the transmission catches it lunges froward. The transmission feels like it is shifting between first and second gear and vibrates badly. The symptoms are getting worse and now the symptoms are worse and it happens almost every time you start from a stop. It is also worse if you are on an incline or slight hill although the symptoms can occur on a flat road. The symptoms also occur in reverse. The problem is now happening almost all the time. The car does not appear safe to drive. The car currently has only 49000 miles. I bought this car for my daughter and now I can not let her drive it since she commutes 75 miles a day. My daughter now has to use her mom's car and since I am handicapped I can not drive the Focus so my wife has to and I feel she is at risk of injury or worse. I am over 50 years old and have never had a car do this. I have talked to other Focus owners and they all have the same problem. Someone has to do something to Ford to have them fix the transmissions before a death occurs. Not only do the dealerships not know how to fix the problems they are saying nothing is wrong. Please help us consumers who have been the victims of Ford new transmission. Ford has not fixed this problem which was reported in is now 2016!!!

- Annapolis, MD, USA

problem #424

Nov 092015


  • 48,000 miles
The car shudders - and is worsening and will soon be inoperable - very dangerous. Took to dealer and they said it needs a new clutch but it would be 3 months or longer as they are out of stock. Ford issued an fsa and that is 14M01. Do they expect me not to drive the car for 3 months.

- Sussex, WI, USA

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