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 6 of 27)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #423

Dec 062015


  • 39,400 miles


Car makes noise. Car sluggish when I give gasoline. Went to dealer about 5 times before dealer decided I had transmission problem. Dealer told me would only repair transmission. Waited for part. Went back to dealer to say car almost stalled. Was applying brakes at the time on highway. Out of concern for condition car was in, had car on cruise control to limit sudden application of gas or brake. Was on road for about 20 minutes on highway. I worried car would stall and cause accident. Dealer later said machine review of my car says it was drivable. Advised dealer if it almost stalls, it may stall. Dealer said: I will have to wait for part. It has been over 2 months, part not at dealer. Latest is that Ford corporation advised me part was sent 8 days ago. Dealer does not have part. Last 3 days dealer does not call back after I left messages to tell me status of part. Car is unsafe to drive, need to drive long distance, but I do not want to risk it. Waited for part since 12/6/2015. Dangerous highway incident was 1/1/2016

- Ridge, NY, USA

problem #422

Jan 162016


  • 57,500 miles
I have a 2013 Ford Focus and had to have a transmission module replacement due to the car intermittently, and with increasing regularity, refusing to start. I was fortunate enough to be in a safe parking lot when this started happening. In the dead of winter this can be a real problem, and depending on traffic conditions it could have been a lot worse. I am mainly filing this because the mechanic who fixed my car said that he had to go pretty far afield to find a new module because the area was (gaston county, nc) was out of them due to the frequency of problems with similar Ford models.

- Dallas, NC, USA

problem #421

Feb 022016


  • 17 miles
I have Ford Focus for 2 years from the first week on driving there is vibrating feeling and grinding sounds coming from the engine. When am at the stop light or in traffic when moving he vibration felt as if the engine is going fall out the car. I take it to the dealer to have a service done on it and I was told that there is a recall on the transmission module programming. A day later there is a pop up on my dashboard - transmission fault and its driving terribly. High compression sound coming from the engine and it slow down completely in traffic. I think this is at risk for an accident where drivers behind me and my safety. Ford should really consider the recall on these cars

- New Carrollton, MD, USA

problem #420

Jan 222016


  • 47,000 miles


While driving on the freeway at 65 mph the automatic transmission completely disengaged with a loss of control causing immediate slowdown. Unable to re-engage the transmission. Barely avoiding multiple car accident. There has been several recalls by the manufacturer regarding transmission problems.

- Santa Rosa, CA, USA

problem #419

May 012014


  • 30,000 miles
The transmission jumps and slips and on longer trips it gets to a point where the car is not safe to drive when you try to start moving it will bogg down and then it will take off and jump shutter we took it back to the dealer and they did rebuild the trans it run ok for about a month and the problem returned we took it back to the dealer and now they say this is normal for this car I can't see how this can be safe or normal to drive a car that jumps shutters and when you start out moving you can't tell if it's going to nose over and sit or take off my wife is scared to even drive this car any more and all Ford says is this is normal I have talked to some other Focus owners and most of them say the same thing that this transmission is not safe to drive and they all have the same issue

- Galena, MD, USA

problem #418

Nov 272015


  • 95,000 miles

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #417

Jul 132015


  • 60,000 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the engine stalled without warning. The contact also mentioned that the gear failed to reverse the vehicle intermittently. The contact also stated that while attempting to accelerate, the vehicle hesitated. The failures was persistent. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified about the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 60,000.

- Los Angelos, CA, USA

problem #416

Dec 212015


  • 20 miles
2013 Ford Focus, bought new, in shop first week of purchase. Transmission shuttering and jerking as I pull out in traffic. Also dies when in reverse. Brought to dealership and they say its normal. Its not normal to be out in on coming traffic and not able to move and kids are screaming "go mom go. We are going to get hit." Not normal. Also software problem. Radio won't turn on, phone cell phone wont do anything until I pull over and shut off engine. Then it resets. This car has been in shop many times for same issues and they always say its fixed now. But same issues over and over again. Been in shop too many time to count. Now car is out of warranty and begin repaired under extended warranty. When extended warranty is out I will have to pay out of pocket. This has been by far the worst vehicle in history.

- Watson, LA, USA

problem #415

May 282014


  • 30,000 miles
I've had the transmission redone twice one at 58K the problem started at 31K and again at 86K two weeks later the same surging, jolting, loss of power is still happening. Ford Motor Co. And dealers are horrible to deal with. Ford Motor Co. Won't respond they take messages if you can actually talk to someone. There are thousands of these cars with this transmission which is crap. They need to discontinue use because the fix is not a fix. Someone needs to stop Ford from producing unsafe cars. Any time I drive this care the jolts start after second gear then it doesn' change gears correctly it's sluggish this happens on streets and highways or when slowing down and attempting to speed up it has very little power and I end up wasting a lot of gas so the mpg's aren't correct in rating. Vehicle health report in syn is a joke, it will tell you your breaks are ok and they aren't. it goes through a quart of oil every 6 K miles. Now it's hard to start I jiggle the key and it sometimes starts there's a loud clicking noise and all the lights and electronics flicker then it finally starts. Don't buy any Focus! I've submitted a previous complain not sure if this is even being read...I have all my service records. Don't have a scanner if you want to see them. Dealers initially told me several times I'm not "giving it enough gas" even though there was already a recall on the transmission and I had 30K on the care.

- Yuba City, CA, USA

problem #414

Dec 222015


  • 51,520 miles
Since purchase I have noticed a shuttering or hesitation with my transmission. I have searched online and noticed many people have had the same issue. When I purchased my car I also bought additional warranty, in which my dealership says will cover the faulty part in my transmission. If I do not use the warranty I receive my money back. I do not believe I should have to pay for a part that many people deem faulty. The selling point at the dealership was the powershift and part of the reason I paid the amount I did. I am not happy people all over the country have this issue and are expected to pay to fix it.

- Huntertown, IN, USA

problem #413

Dec 132014


  • 48,000 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While attempting to accelerate, the vehicle hesitated to accelerate without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that an unknown part related to the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 14V495000 (electrical system). The failure mileage was 48,000.

- Green Castle, IN, USA

problem #412

Dec 152015


  • miles
Have been having transmission problems with 2013 Ford Focus. About 6 months after purchase a rattling noise emerged, this developed into a severe grinding which shakes/jerks the entire car. First visit to dealer for service I was told I need to learn to drive the car and everything was within Ford specifications. That said they reprogrammed things and also said there was a minor leak and a part needed to be replaced. This part was back ordered and was told they'd contact me when it was in. After not hearing back took car in for similar problems, again told everything within Ford specifications, reprogrammed again and said no parts needed to be replaced. Grinding progressed to a point where car would lug back and then jerk forward when switching lower gears (feels like it doesn't catch). Took car in for transmission 11/2015, reprogrammed and told clutch needs to be replaced but parts back ordered. Contacted dealer today (4 weeks later) to find parts backordered another 6-8 weeks.

- Mount Vernon, WA, USA

problem #411

Dec 122015


  • 59,450 miles
I was driving down hwy 144 on flat ground and a notification can not drive up hill came across the screen and then car just stopped no longer moved even though foot was on the gas.. so I put it in park and killed the engine and tried to restart it and it did nothing.. mind you I'm still in the middle of hwy 144 in granbury tx being honked at and flipped off by the people who had to slam on their breaks to keep from hitting me. 3 men and a woman finally stopped and helped push me and and my 9 yr old daughter out of the middle of the hwy.. after 3 hours of tryn to get my car to start I had it towed to the Ford house in granbury they were closed so the car sat there for 2 days and when they got in it, it started right up and they drove it so they are telling me nothing is wrong with it.

- Walnut Springs, TX, USA

problem #410

Sep 292013


  • 35,000 miles
Car will slip changing gears when accelerating causing a pause/jerk that could potentially lead to an accident. This has happened on many occasions when merging into traffic or making a turn. We have taken the car in for service 5 times this past year. Twice they have replaced the clutch and 3 times did an update. Each time telling us to give it 500-1000 miles to settle in. It only takes one time for something to happen. Looking at paperwork and found out the clutch was replaced a couple of months before purchase due to the same problem. We are the second owners and since buying it "used" (10,000+) we cannot file lemon law.

- Statham, GA, USA

problem #409

Nov 152015


  • 36,451 miles
This is a continuing problem with the dps6 clutch/transmission. Vehicle will launch in and out of gear while standing or moving. Clutch will engage and disengage at will. Vehicle will have complete loss of power starting out from a stop resulting in several near misses. Clutch will shudder at pull out and between gears and you never know if it will engage or not. This is by far the most dangerous car I have ever owned. You never feel safe and every trip could be your last. Ford has been sued over this(and lost) and still will not issue a recall on these cars. Every vehicle with this clutch/transmission can be fixed...Ford has the new clutch/transmission, we just need them to step up and do the right thing and recall/repurchase these death traps.

- Whitehall, PA, USA

problem #408

Apr 012014


  • 40,000 miles
Transmission issues: Clutch repairs X3 (drove off lot with issues. My mistake. I knew something was wrong with it during test drive, was reassured it was new technology.) 1 cleaning, 1 replacing of parts, then transmission control module went out while in motion on city street, going forward 25+ mph, quit completely. Had towed. Ran out of gas (in motion on a highway, 65 + mph) while monitor noted 150 to empty, found to be valve pressure management system failure, resulting in gas tank replacement

- Ellenwood, GA, USA

problem #407

Nov 052015


  • 26,456 miles
I purchased the vehicle at the Ford dealership in columbus ga in September of 2014. I have never owned a Ford before. But doing the test drive the car would roll back on hills, and it also did it after parking with the car in gear and switched off. The salesman explained that it was normal for the car to roll back and we should always use the park brake, on take off the cars transmission would slip and was slow to change gears he said it was normal with all small cars. We purchased the car with just over 19000 miles on it. Three months later I called the service shop about it because the car started slipping at the transmission and we found out there were electrical recalls on the car and warranty call backs about the transmission. After not getting a call back because they were backed up. I call back two weeks ago and told them that the car stalled with me and my grandkids were sitting in the back. Cars had to run off the side of the road to avoid hitting us from behind running at 50 mph plus this was very scary. I was told that Ford wanted all cars with that problem brought in for service right away, then L was told it would be after December 2015 before they could get to me because they were already backed up on cars with those problems. Were are paying for a car that has been sitting. We have had the car for over a year and driven it only 6000 miles because it is to dangerous to drive the car drops from 65 mph to 15 on the freeway with cars running at higher speeds around you they called me back after I informed them of this. After once again not hearing from them for two weeks I called and was given and appointment for 8:30 am the following morning. When the transmission stalls at 60 mph the engine light comes on. I was also told they don't have a loaner car and if its what that think is wrong it could take a month. Guess I will be paying for a rental.

- Columbus, GA, USA

problem #406

Nov 192015


  • 71,000 miles
I have had my car into the dealership 6 times with transmission troubles. The first 4 times I brought it in, I kept being told there was nothing wrong with my transmission. It works as designed. I kept having my car shuttering and lack of power, it was extremely noticeable when I needed to accelerate to cross traffic, at times I was afraid my car would not cross traffic in enough time because it would have a lack of power and then it would all of a sudden kick in. On 11/13/15, my car randomly downshifted and the check engine light came on. My car was having trouble engaging the transmission. A few miles down the road, transmission fault appeared on my information center on my dash. I stopped on the side of the road and shut my car off. Hoping this would possible let the computer re-sync itself. A few minutes later, I decided to see if I could get my car to a safer place since the shoulder I was on was extremely narrow with 50 mph traffic. As I started to move my car, I got approximately another 100 yards down the road and my information center on my car said my transmission was overheating and I needed to stop, at the same time, my car would no longer engage the transmission. I was able to coast to a safe spot on the side of the road. I called Ford roadside assistance and they were not able to assist me. So I called my insurance company. I was stuck on the side of the road for 3.5 hours waiting for a tow truck. I brought my car into the dealership. They were able to look at my car on 11/17/15. They said my car had some old fault codes they removed and that I didn't have the latest update. They said they updated my car and test drove it and everything was running fine. I picked up my car on 11/18/15 in the evening. On the evening of 11/19, my car did the exact same thing it did on 11/13/15. Needless to say my car is still sitting at the dealer.

- Rochester, WA, USA

problem #405

Nov 212015

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 29,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While driving approximately 25 mph, the vehicle stalled and lost all power. The vehicle was coasted to the side of the road where the contact waited a few minutes and then restarted the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to a local dealer who diagnosed and re-calibrated the transmission. The failure recurred. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 29,000. Updated 2/4/16 updated 02/16/16

- Malden, MA, USA

problem #404

Nov 102015


  • 56,000 miles
Purchased 2013 Ford Focus 11/8/15 used. 56K miles. Drove two days then shuttering problem with transmission. Brought car to dealer. Dealer will replace clutch. Takes 4-6 weeks for part. I am concerned that this will happen again. The transmission failed while accelerating on to highway. This is a major safety issue.

- Pennington, NJ, USA

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