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 9 of 27)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #363

Sep 032015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 52,725 miles


I just purchased a 2013 Ford Focus three days ago. Today as I was driving, I noticed that when I come to complete stop while driving, the transmission feels like it jerks and the acceleration feels slow. After doing research I seen thousands of buyers of the same vehicle complaining about the same problems I am. I really need some help as to what direction to go in. I am a single mother of a 7 year old daughter and I used all my money to purchase a reliable car and now I am dealing with these issues. The car is fairly new so it should be safe to say that it should not be having defective transmission problems, this is very dangerous. Unfortunately Ford isn't pressing the issue towards helping buyers with these issues. Please help and press a serious issue with recalling this vehicle. I represent many people who are upset after buying this vehicle. Thank you.

- Stockton, CA, USA

problem #362

Sep 022015


  • 17,003 miles
Stopped in stop-and-go traffic on a major highway, when I attempted to accelerate again the vehicle flashed a warning which said "hill start assist not available" and the engine died completely. I lost all power to the wheels and lost power steering, was able to coast to the shoulder, where the car would not start. All warning lights appeared to come on, including seatbelt, check engine, traction control, etc. The car indicated it was in "drive", in spite of the fact that I had the gearshift in park. It would not shift gears or allow me to start the engine. After sitting for 30-40 minutes waiting for a tow truck, the car suddenly appeared to function normally. I drove home, and 10 minutes later, while parallel parking, the incident occurred again: Backing into a parking space and attempting to pull back out, going uphill, the exact same sequence of events occurred ("hill start assist not available", loss of power and steering). This time the vehicle coasted backwards into another car. No injuries or damage. The 2013 Ford Focus cannot be trusted to be driven on the highway. I have read many reports online of other drivers having identical or very similar issues with hill start assist/transmission/traction control errors, loss of power, loss of power steering, and inability to shift gears or restart the car, with this error sometimes happening *while driving at highway speeds* resulting in loss of control of the vehicle. I do not feel safe driving this car. I feel less safe knowing that Ford with this problem waiting to happen are being driving every day by unknowing drivers. This is a safety issue of the highest magnitude. It is absolutely outrageous that Ford has issued no recalls.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #361

Aug 172015

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles
Brief description of the problem, driving the car home from work the engine revved up and alert flashed saying the stabilizer control had a problem, then another light flashed with an exclamation mark. The engine revved and it picked up speed. I was able to stop it on the shoulder of the road. Turned the engine off and put it in park. The shift lever was in park but the display said I was still in drive. The car would not re-start. I had the call emergency road service to have the car towed back to the dealership. I had just purchased the car three weeks earlier on July 22, 2015. Waited two hours in 100+ degree heat for the tow truck to arrive. The dealership states it was the tcm (transmission control module) that caused the problem. In researching the cars history I found out the car has had this same problem 3 times. It's only two years old with 42,000 miles on it. This is defective and should be recalled. I still don't have my car back, (it's been 10 days now). I feel this is a dangerous vehicle and I would prefer to have the problem resolved not just constantly repaired for the same problem. It's not safe to drive, this problem can re-occur at any given time.

- Unknown, AZ, USA

problem #360

Jul 242015


  • 80,000 miles


I was driving through town, a few seconds after taking off from the traffic light the light went out around my D gear and the car slipped into neutral, I put the shifter into drive where it locked up, I turned the ignition swith off and a minute later turned the car back on, the gear light reappeared and I drove it another minute till it happened again, I was able to get to a parking lot doing this over and over again.the car has been in the shop for one month now and cant seemed to be fixed, ,I could have been killed if I had been on a major highway..the engine does not seem to be affected by this problem...

- Micanopy, FL, USA

problem #359

Aug 012014


  • 20,000 miles
Shuddering, jolting, lurching, grinding of the transmission between 1st and 2nd gear. This had been the main issue, I went to Ford 6 times for this and it still has issues. Most recently, my car wouldn't go into 2nd gear and would rev very high and then slams into gear & has a very intense lurch forward. It has done this in intersections and pulling out onto bus highways. I went to the local auto parts store as the check engine light was on. The error code they received was "P0902 clutch actuator circuit low".

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #358

Sep 152014


  • 17,000 miles
I have brought the car to the dealership for multiple (4) transmission issues over the past year. The car has 25000 miles on it. The last time was July 17, 2015. When I picked up the car I was told it needed a new clutch but was okay to drive. I was told the clutch was back ordered 4 to 8 weeks but the car was okay to drive in its present state. The car continued to stutter at low speeds but I was told this was normal for this transmission. On July 31st the car began to stutter harshly and then completely stalled out in traffic in the middle of the road. The on board computer indicated a transmission failure. A second Ford dealership said they repaired the transmission but not the clutch that was previously indicated. They also said the car was safe to drive. It is not. It stutters harshly and can't be depended on to merge into traffic safely. As of today, it sits in my driveway waiting for a new clutch. I don't know if it will finally be repaired or if the problem will return. In my opinion this car is not safe and the potential exists for someone to get seriously hurt or even killed. I know of two other owners of these vehicles (Focus). Both are having the exact same problem. One of which is having her transmission repaired for the third time today. This is a safety issue.

- Cherry Hill, NJ, USA

problem #357

Aug 232015


  • miles


I was driving approximately 40 mph yesterday when all of a sudden the car started de-accelerating and came to a complete stop on the road. Fortunately I was in the far right lane and was able to pull into the median. The car was still on and all of the other power was on but when I pushed the gas, nothing was happening. I had an error light pop up that said "parking assist not available" and then another one about "hill assistance" or something like that. I had not attempted to use either of those functions. I turned off the car for a few minutes. When I turned it back on a bit later I was able to go another mile back towards home and then the same thing happened again. Luckily I was close to home so I waited again and was able to make it home. I brought it to the dealership this morning (had to stop twice on the way here for the same reasons as yesterday). They said the transmission module has to be replaced. I asked if this was a known issue and the service person said yes, it is and that some people received recall letters. I did not receive one. It's going to take about a week to fix and is covered under warranty. Apparently Ford is extending the warranty to 100K but I haven't seen that in writing yet. This is incredibly frustrating and scary. This car is only 2.5 years old! when I looked it up online and saw that there is a class action suit, I was shocked and dismayed. I'm worried I'll continue to have problems and that it will have no resale value.

- Scottsdale, AZ, USA

problem #356

Jan 012015


  • 40,000 miles
Car shakes and hesitates while trying to accelerate. Seems like clutch or transmission slippage. There is also some type of vibrating/rattling noise at the same time. Once the car shifts past 2nd gear it seems to be better. Bought the car with 35000 miles and didn't notice it right away. Slowly has gotten worse and the car now has 56000 miles. Something is not right.

- Alexandria, MN, USA

problem #355

Aug 132015


  • 35,714 miles
Bought this vehicle used with 34,869 miles on July 8, 2015. After having for about a week, noticed shaking, grinding noises, seems to be "missing" in the transmission. Took to dealer on 7/21/2015 and the reprogrammed the tcm. Vehicle still made same issues so I took to a different Ford dealer 7/27/2015 and they did the same thing. On 8/13/15 the vehicle would not start. Roadside assistance came out and jumped the vehicle to start and "faulty transmission failure" appeared on the dash screen. I attempted to take the car to the dealer but the vehicle would not go into reverse or drive. Called tow truck to take to Ford dealer that same day. The next day they claimed it needed a new transmission control module. As of today, 8/19/2015 - the car is still not fixed and is still in their shop.

- Sharpsburg, GA, USA

problem #354

Jul 312013


  • 5,000 miles
My 2013 Ford Focus has been in the shop 4 times, one of which took over month to get the part. My transmission is clearly faulty and whenever I accelerate to 20mph or 45mph my transmission isn't properly shifting. On 8/18 my transmission felt like it was going to drop out while I was on the highway in Michigan. This is after just receiving my vehicle back from Ford service within the last 7 days. I don't feel safe driving this vehicle at high speeds with a faulty transmission.

- Trenton, MI, USA

problem #353

Aug 172015


  • 64,000 miles


I have been having continuous and progressively worsening issues with the shifting of this car. Last night as I was leaving home at low speed, the car felt like it came out of gear...several times and would not move forward. I had to turn around and luckily made it home. Of course, I could not accomplish the things needed to do. I have had the car back to the dealer only to get vague incomplete answers in the past.

- Arden Hills, MN, USA

problem #352

Mar 122013


  • 4,700 miles
This car started giving me problems shortly after I bought the car. At the time the dealership told me that it was normal function and that the car was expected to shudder slightly and to run it for a 1,000 miles to allow the car to adjust to my driving.when the shudder slowly became worse, I finally took the car in for service. Since that first time, I have had the transmission replace 3 times and I cant ever count how many "software" updates. Each update I get the same run around about driving it for 500-1000 miles to allow the system to reset. That is crap, and it never works. Additionally, the last two updates I had to contact them...really if there is an update needed shouldn't they be contacting their consumer" the worse part is the the two times it acted up I was out of town when the car started acting up. I had to invest in aaa, just because I can't trust my "new" car. My biggest concern is that this problem could very easily cause a serious accident. It causes the car not to accelerate as it should: For example you go to pull out onto a road with plenty of time, but the car spudders and doesn't pick up speed or merging onto the express way and it doesn't accelerate as it should" I work in the transportation industry, I happen to work in their safety department and can tell you that I would never allow one of our trucks on the road that performed like my car does. (or should I say doesnt') it is a safety to me and the motoring public. There are multiple complaints and Ford has done nothing but extend warranties to make up for the shotty product they have put out to market. In any other industry I could return a product that was crap, but with cars - you are just stuck! I have been fighting this battle for two years now. This is outrageous and someone needs to do something to hold Ford accountable before someone is seriously injured or worse

- Hartville, OH, USA

problem #351

Dec 042014


  • 22,000 miles
The car shudders & hesitates upon take off from a standing start. It fails to pick up speed after starting & hesitates instead of moving off. It jerks forward then hesitates. We have taken it to the dealer 3 times, but they only do what Ford has dictated that they do which does not fix the problem. I have contacted Ford Motor Co. & they say they are not willing to fix the problem but we need to live with it.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #350

Aug 082013


  • 0 miles
I have had problems with the Focus since I bought it in 2013. The transmission shudders, vibrates, goes back on hills and rattles. I finally gave up after several attempts to get it fixed and being told its all normal. My frustration with Ford and its dealers is that they knew about this problem long before I bought mine, why were they still selling them to unaware buyers. I had bought a 2010 Focus from a different dealer and had to return that one because the transmission broke a week after I got it and only after I notified the bureau of auto repair did they exchange the car. Now I feel stuck with another lemon but no one will do anything about this problem. It's been 2 years and I'm still trying to get someone to do something about this, not just for me but for all the consumers that were conned into buy this lemon. I will never buy a Ford again.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #349

Aug 082015


  • 33,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while at a stop light, the vehicle failed to accelerate. The air bags and seat belt lights illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 33,000.

- Tustin, CA, USA

problem #348

Aug 012014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 20,000 miles
My Ford Focus is having transmission and stalling issues as reported many times before my 2013 Focus has had a recall and was to be correct, a year later it seems I am still having the same issue. At anytime while driving stop and go or just driving my car feels like it wants to fight to shift, causing the car to putter like motion and jerking motion, the car has stalled out on me before while driving 70 mph, as I feel this is a growing concern I want others to know that is not just your car. I do see many post with the same issue and its all 100% true as I love Ford and will never drive anther car I feel for my safety each and every day that I drive my car. My car has been in the shop a hand full of times. As my car is brand new and should not drive the way it feels.

- Clearwater, FL, USA

problem #347

Aug 052015


  • 52,456 miles
As I was driving East on the long island expressway prior to exit 41S the cars notification lights kicked on several messages came up which included rear park assist, hill start assist as well as battery indicator, oil light, check engine light, etc. I attempted to push on the gas however nothing occurred I was coasting at 40 mph I signaled to get over into the right lane, I applied the brake however it also locked up and would not brake, I was almost rear ended/side swiped by several vehicles as I was unable to keep up with traffic and brake accordingly. I got to the right shoulder and hit the E-brake to stop. I turned off the vehicle and attempted to restart however the engine would not kick on and the gas pedal would not work.

- Seaford, NY, USA

problem #346

Aug 032015

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles
Ford Taurus. Consumer writes in regards to transmission warranty and issues. Consumer has another vehicle correspondence in artemis. The consumer stated he received a letter for his daughter's vehicle regarding a problem with transmission clutch shudder/transmission input shaft seal. The consumer stated the vehicle did not perform well on hills. After, waiting over 90 days for the parts to arrive, the vehicle was finally fixed. However, two months ago, the problem returned.

- Birmingham, AL, USA

problem #345

Aug 222013


  • 13,500 miles
In August 2013 after owning car short time took to dealer and service manager drove it with us and said many people think there is an issue with shuddering and delayed acceleration but it's just the high performance transmission.. not to worry. The car continually got worse over time and we got a recall notice and took in in Oct 2014. They replaced the clutch and seals. May 5 the car got really back on long drive home from la. Overheated and then warning light came on. Turned car off and back on warning light went off and drove car home shuddering very bad and with extreme delayed acceleration. Had cars behind us on hills honking and almost rear ended us... took car in May 15 they said it wasn't safe to drive and they had it for 2 months to fix clutch, seals and adaptive learning sensor, replaced tcm, electronics. 8/8/15 while on freeway steering assist fault notification - service required. Pulled off and when I tried to start car again I couldn't move the steering column. Called nearby Ford dealer and they said you can't drive it - safety issue. It is currently in the shop again. Having this happen on a freeway is terrifying - cars honking at you, trying to steer off, etc. This is a danger and Ford needs to take care of it instead of continuing to do temp fixes!!!!!

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #344

Feb 142014


  • 5,263 miles
Owned 2013 Ford Focus for 9 months when we noticed car was "shuddering" and "slipping " into gear when starting to accelerate. We were pulling onto a busy street and of course had to accelerate. It lugged and delayed shift into 2nd. This caused lower than expected acceleration and because we could not get up to speed in the time required almost got hit. Took it in for problem in 2/2014 and they said it was a transmission leak ( at only 5200 miles!). fixed leak and sent us home. The same problem became noticeable again. We took it 6 months later (8/2014). Mileage was 9247. They said a part of the clutch was broken now and replaced the clutch assembly. The 3rd repair was in 4/2015 where they reprogrammed the PCM-tcm and sent us home. It is currently back at Ford service so 7/2015 with 16000 miles with the same problem. They said Ford is constantly working on a new clutch to fix the problem. They will most likely replace it but "it is not guaranteed to work!" Ford did extend the warranties on the vehicle to 100K for power train. Which does is little good if we have to bring it in every 4-6 months! also we said we needed a rental for the time it was in the shop (we need a car!) and they said Ford just came up with the policy of 2 day rentals - only. It's been on the shop for 3 days already and we have to wait until the last 2 days of repair when we will "desperately " need the rental. Unbelievable. They said this is what Ford is "doing for us" in regards to this repair issue. Like we are supposed to take it and like it.

- Fountain Valley, CA, USA

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