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 8 of 27)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #383

Oct 132015


  • 46,000 miles


Vehicle no longer moves forward or reverse. Was parked in a rest stop. Restarted vehicle to leave and it did not move. Check engine light came on.

- New Haven, CT, USA

problem #382

Oct 072015


  • miles
I have a 2013 Focus with about 48,500 miles. When I accelerate the transmission rattles and sometimes stutters. It has been in the shop three times in the past year for the same problem. First time the technician reprogrammed the computer, second time replaced parts, third time reprogrammed the computer. Within a week the problem resurfaced. The service manager states that I must wait 1,000 miles before I can take it in for repair.

- Kennebunk, ME, USA

problem #381

Aug 022015


  • 36,000 miles
The vehicle was in motion on the highway when the cars transmission failed causing the car to jerk violently while momentarily losing control of the car and running off the road.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #380

Oct 312013


  • 4,000 miles


Vehicle shutters on acceleration. Transmission slips and car loses power. Dealer has reprogrammed the transmission software numerous times but vehcile continues to exhibit same problems. Dealer replaced clutches in transmission a few months ago. Vehicle worked properly but has now been in the dealers shop twice in the last two weeks with the same transmission problems. This car is dangerous to drive.. routinely loses power when turning into traffic or merging into traffice!

- Oceanside, NY, USA

problem #379

Sep 012015


  • 66,000 miles
The vehicle lost transmission engagement (shifted into neutral on its own) while trying to accelerate/cross through a busy intersection. This left me without any power to the wheels and no way to move out of the path of on-coming traffic. Fortunately quickly shifting the car into neutral and then back into drive fixed the problem and I was able to make it through the intersection safely. This problem has happened several times so I do not dare let my teenage daughter drive the car. The vehicle also shakes and shudders while accelerating at low speeds. Ford is offering two "customer satisfaction programs" to fix the problem. One is 14M01 which replaces faulty transmission seals which leak causing fluid contamination to the clutch. The second is 14M02 which replaces/reprograms their faulty tcm (transmission control module). My complaint is that I have a salvage title vehicle due to cosmetic damage to body panels. As such, even though Ford is acknowledging their transmission system is faulty, they won't cover the cost to repair their faulty transmission seals and clutch (program 14M01). They did cover the cost for the second program (14M02) and replaced/reprogrammed the faulty tcm at no cost to me. But this is a safety issue. I personally have been in very dangerous situations several times now because of this issue. This should be a safety recall (not a "customer satisfaction program"). Ford has a faulty transmission system which is causing dangerous and potentially deadly situations for drivers. Ford has acknowledged this. So, to keep Ford from saving a few bucks at the expense of someone's life, both of these "customer satisfaction programs" should be converted to what they really are, a safety recall, so that Ford can not exclude branded title vehicles.

- South Weber, UT, USA

problem #378

Sep 012015


  • 40,000 miles
I have had my car in a Ford dealership to be repaired five times. Two involving recalls on my transmission, due to shuttering and hesitation to shift while driving. I believe this vehicle is highly unsafe since I never know if my car will be able to accelerate properly while changing lanes. This happens mainly in the city streets when being in first or second gear.

- Chandler, AZ, USA

problem #377

May 132013


  • miles


Transmission surges during acceleration and deceleration. Almost like insufficient fuel being received by engine. Dealer stated that this is due to Ford "powershift" transmission and not fuel line. Causes concern for safety and future performance after more mileage. This has existed since purchas of vehicle in May 2013 and still exists now after 11000 miles.

- Brighton, MI, USA

problem #376

Jul 182013

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles
On July 17, 2013, I bought a 2013 Ford Focus from the Ford dealer in my area. On July 18, 2013, I took the car into the Ford dealer, because as I accelerated from every stop, and from some left and right turns, the transmission produced very loud grinding noises as the gears shifted and the car would jerk or shudder. At this time the transmission was reprogrammed per tsb 14 0047. Having owned the car for one day, it was a shocking revelation to be told that the cars behavior was typical for my particular make and model. I was told it was not a safety issue and that I could bring it back whenever I felt it necessary. On September 16, 2014, I took the car back to the Ford dealer with the same complaints. The work done at this time as written on the invoice was as follows: Programmed PCM and tcm road tested reset transmission strategy. I was reassured, yet again, that these car behaviors were characteristic of the 2013 Focus and that I need not worry about safety for myself and others. Although the reprogramming made a positive difference, my car has never been without some gear grinding, skipping, and shuddering on acceleration and during slow L and R turns. I have not returned for service because I was assured it was not a safety issue. Essentially, I learned to live with it. On September 22, 2015, I received a letter from Ford Motor Company notifying me they were providing a software update program 15B22 for the transmission control module and customer satisfaction program14M02. The language in this letter is, quite frankly, alarming, leading me to believe that the transmission in the 2013 Focus is, in fact, a serious safety issue. I have already scheduled an appointment for the update. Please advise me of further action that can be taken.

- Pawleys Island, SC, USA

problem #375

Jun 042013


  • 616 miles
The car makes horrible noises when in low a low speed. It hesitates. It makes horrible crunching noises. It has been to the dealer many times. They always say that they hear it, but that it is not a problem. The vehicle has stopped in the middle of the road. Now, in September 2015, I have received a software update program 15B22 which is extending my warranty. Ford already agreed to extend my warranty in 2013 because of my complaints. However, that documentation does not show up in the Ford oasis system, but Mr. Ford's office assures me that if I show them the letter, it will honored. I have all of the back up material from 2013 including phone logs. I believe this is a safety hazard that can only be corrected with replacing the entire transmission at no cost to the customer. I am very afraid the vehicle will stall in the middle of rushing traffic. It has stalled in the middle of the road already. I made Mr. Ford's office aware of this, also. I would never pass this car onto my child or a relative, and I will feel guilty when I am able to finally trade it in an buy a new vehicle. The car should not be on the road.

- Bel Air, MD, USA

problem #374

Aug 122015


  • 34,000 miles
I have a 2013 Ford Focus and twice within the last 30 days the transmission has malfunctioned at highway speeds almost causing an accident both times. The clutch will engage which will disconnect the engine from the drive-shaft. You have no power to move forward and the car starts to slow down rapidly. I had to maneuver the car to the far right hand side of the road both times. Once I had stop, the Focus would work in only first and second gear. If you tried to get the car to go into a higher gear the clutch would engage preventing you to move forward. The first time I had the Focus repaired, the dealership stated that it was a defect in the software program and replaced the original with a new software program. Upon picking up my Focus after the first repairs, I asked the Ford service representative, will this fix the problem? he would not tell me the car was fixed, only that the repairs were made to Ford's specifications. Less than 30 days later while traveling home on the interstate at highway speeds, my Focus's transmission once again malfunctioned with the clutch engaging causing the car to slow down. Once again I had to pull over to the right side of the road through three lanes of rush hour traffic. The second time the dealer ship repaired the Focus; they stated that they replaced the computer and the software. When I asked for the second time is the car is fixed, they would not say that the car's transmission will not malfunction again. We I took the car back for the second time the service rep informed me that their dealership had three other focuses that had transmission failures and had the same repairs that my Ford had the first time. These cars are death traps and Ford should have a total recall on them.

- Kennesaw, GA, USA

problem #373

Sep 162015


  • 37,000 miles


While driving my 2013 Ford Focus St my manual transmission's fourth gear failed after I heard a clunking sound coming from the transmission during light acceleration. Then three days later my third gear failed to engage as well. Currently I am on my second getrag six-speed transmission after my first one's second gear failed at 19K miles in a similar fashion.

- Catonsville, MD, USA

problem #372

Sep 202015


  • miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While traveling 25 mph, the transmission fell out from under the vehicle which caused the contact to stop immediately. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission mount failed and needed to be re-mounted. The vehicle was currently being repaired. The manufacturer was not aware of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Harper Woods , MI, USA

problem #371

Jan 072014


  • miles
When accelerating the car from a stop, the car will shudder often significantly making it difficult to move the vehicle. This happens every time. Have contacted Ford and had the ECU updated. This has not helped. Ford says they will replace the clutch as it is leaking fluid (on back order for months) but they have not stated that it will fix the problem

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #370

Sep 162015


  • 48,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While driving 45 mph, the vehicle made a loud abnormal noise and would not accelerate over 45 mph. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission needed to be repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 48,000.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #369

Jan 252015


  • 55,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle experienced a complete loss of power while driving 60 mph. The check engine warning indicator illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission failed. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and stated that they would continue to try to remedy the issue until the warranty expired. The failure mileage was 55,000. The VIN was not provided.

- Channelview, TX, USA

problem #368

Jan 222014


  • 16,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While driving approximately 45 mph, the vehicle's speed reduced independently and the check engine warning light illuminated. The failure recurred multiple times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnostic testing. The mechanic replaced the clutch, the transmission was removed and sealed because of a leak, and the computer was reprogrammed; however, the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 16,000.

- Oconomowoc, WI, USA

problem #367

Aug 052014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While driving at low speeds uphill or on an incline, the transmission hesitated as if the vehicle would stall. The vehicle was included in a manufacturer's recall related to the failure; however, the recall part was not available. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was not available.

- Matewan , WV, USA

problem #366

Sep 022015


  • 28,822 miles
On September 2nd while driving to work near the exit of the 22 fwy eastbound the vehicle started jerking and jolting severely with loss of power. I was able to exit and managed to drive in to the work parking lot. The car was towed to the nearest Ford dealership. Here is the report from the dealership: 15822 transmission control module reprogramming for overt tcm failure w. when I bought this vehicle brand new I told caruso Ford in long beach ca not long after that car jerks and jolts then hesitates, and every time I took the vehicle in for maintenance that the vehicle hesitates, jolts and jerks at times while driving. They kept telling me nothing was wrong. This car has had a defective tcm module since the day I bought it. On September 2nd my life was endangered on the fwy due to negligence by both Ford Motor Company and caruso Ford dealership. They know that there is a defective problem. I have read other complaints on here. I blame caruso Ford more on this problem because they have failed to listen to me and fail to do a proper internal check which put my life at risk. The car has been repaired by the other dealership near my work where it was towed at. I still don't know if there could be a more serious problem within the power train system later on..

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #365

Jun 282015


  • 48,000 miles
Was taking off from a stop ligh, vehicle shuddered enhine light came on and car slipped into neutral on its own. Has happened multiple times

- Katy, TX, USA

problem #364

Sep 032015


  • 60,000 miles
Driving on I80 West bound and my rpms shot up to 5,000/6,000. I proceeded to take my foot off the gas to let the transmission catch, however, when I put my foot back on the gas my rpms shot up again. My transmission had completely died. I had no ability to move forward. I managed to make it to the right hand shoulder from the left lane. I shut my car off once I reached the shoulder to see if that would help the problem. When I tried to start my car it would not turn on. I had dashboard lights but the car would not start. My car was still saying it was in drive when it was in park. My car ended up being towed to Ford and they told me I needed a new transmission control module and that they have had several focuses come in with this problem in the last two to three weeks, so they are now keeping this part stocked. This could have been a very dangerous situation given that I80 is a very busy expressway and my car died while I was driving it.

- Elwood, IL, USA

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