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:
2 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
20,736 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2013 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 2 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #100

Apr 292016


  • 136,000 miles


New dealer maintained 2013 Focus titanium Focus 6 months old about 18000 miles had bad wheel bearing on the drivers side, at 46000 transmission was overhauled due to poor shifting, AT120000 catalytic converter failed, AT136000 car died due to bad wiring harness and fried several sensors, at 143000 transmission control module failed, at 144000 the transmission module failed again on a 3 year old car.

- Stockbridge, MI, USA

problem #99

Mar 032016


  • 50,000 miles
I went to start my 2013 Ford Fusion and all of the electrical controls in front of the steering wheel did not work, gauges, readout screen, tach, speedometer, turn signal indicator lights. As I have pancreatic cancer(stage 4) it is virtually impossible for me tocrawl around under the glove compartment to check the fuses. One of my brothers-in-law came over and found the fuse box and looked at several fuses but none were blown. He pulled several fuses and noticed they were corrode on the male ends, as was the female end of the fuse box. I had noticed for several days the computer screen in front of the steering wheel was slow to come on. My car was parked in my driveway in a stationary condition. This seems to be to be a very dangerous condition, especially if it happened while driving, you have no speedometer no tach, no turn signals, ect. Anything that is controlled by that fuse. I have had cars since 1963 and never encountered that problem(cored fuse ends). Nor have I ever had a car with an auto transmission that "shuddered" when going from a standing stop. You cannot check the fluid, there is no dipstick. I guess they are all in dearborn, mich at the Ford headquarters(just a little humor). If the truth was known Ford knew about the corroding fuse box, same as the torque converters and transaxles in the Ford 2000 - 2006 Taurus', yes I have had my bout with them also.

- Bristol, VA, USA

problem #98

Mar 252016


  • 34,350 miles
70 amp fuse blows while driving, seemingly at random times. This fuse feeds power to a fuse panel located in trunk. When this fuse blows the radio, power windows, power locks, power seats and heated seat function, parking aid system, and smart key system do not function. Due to the smart key not working it makes the car extremely difficult to restart if it had been shut off. If the issue happens while driving the car will continue to run normally other than the noted systems. I had the car at the dealer twice for a total of two weeks, they were unable to duplicate the issue after replacing the fuse and driving the car around town. I got the car home today after it's second trip to the dealer and took apart a panel in the trunk that covers the suspect fuse panel and wiring. I found that the wire bundle for this fuse box runs through a plastic guard until about a foot away from the fuse box, when the wires exit this guard they run tight around the edge of the trunk and come into contact with a sharp metal edge, this edge had cut through the insulation of the main power feed and shorted out. I have attached pictures of what I found. While the circuit was protected by a 70 amp fuse, it still must have created a good amount of heat during the time it was shorted, and there is a felt panel not a few inches away.

- Rocky Point, NC, USA

problem #97

Mar 012016


  • 51,000 miles


Engine will stop running intermittently while driving on city streets or while turning off of a highway. Also, occasionally will die at a stop light. Vehicle has a rough and erratic idle while stopped at a traffic light. Sometimes idling so low as to almost die. Other times idling at 1400 or 1500 rpms

- Belle Isle, FL, USA

problem #96

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 #95

Mar 142016


  • 57,600 miles
I have a 2013 Focus and on 3/14/16 on my way home on the freeway, my oil & battery light started flickering on and off at the same time and as it did the car was stalling out. I put my 4-way flashers on, slowed down and moved to the right lane as a safety measure. After another few miles both lights came on and stayed on and the car shut down. I pulled over to the berm, waited a few minutes, tried starting, it started and drove home with no issues. I drove to work the next day with no issues. On the way home things started happening again, the car shut down, but this time after waiting a few minutes the car never started. I had it towed to the dealer and they found that a wiring harness was up against the throttle body and wore through the protective insulating tape, then the wires causing the problem. Also, in speaking to the mechanic he said that the bracket the harness was using to keep in place was causing it to be up against the throttle body so he unclipped the bracket. I'm going to call the Ford customer service center to discuss. Another issue was that the "book" said it would take 3 hours, but only took 2. and yes they tried to charge me for the 3. interesting at $125/ hour, that would be $250/ hour they're making while the mechanic starts on the next car! unbelievable.

- Mentor, OH, USA

problem #94

Feb 012016


  • 51,000 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While driving at various speeds, the vehicle staled without warning. The vehicle was able to restart. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the oil needed to be changed. The vehicle was repaired; however, the failure persisted. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign numbers: 15V813000 (electrical system) and 14V495000 (electrical system). The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 51,000.

- Groveport, OH, USA

problem #93

Mar 042016


  • 40,750 miles
While on a highway (August 2015), vehicle transmission began to slip followed by the car shutting off while driving at freeway speeds, vehicle would not turn back on and left me stranded in the middle of the highway. November 2015, while driving along freeway, car transmission began to slip, causing the car to again shut off completely while driving at 65mph. December 2015, driving on a city street, once agin transmission started slipping and vehicle shut off in mid motion while going 30 mph. In February 2016, vehicle started normally, once we pulled out onto a road, car began violently bucking transmission seemed to engage then disengage placing the vehicle in danger of being hit by cars from behind, and jostling passengers substantially. In March 2016, vehicle was driving 70 mph down freeway when transmission slipped, the transmission then seemed to engage normally again, but as vehicle exited freeway on feeder road, transmission disengaged, bucking car, driver had gas pedal floored and the vehicle would only move a few feet. After transmission re engaged, the car lurched forward without drivers foot on gas, putting vehicle at risk for hitting car in front of it. Each time vehicle has had an incident, we have taken it to a local Ford dealership, transmission computer module was replaced, clutches replaced, transmission re programmed 3 time, PCM replaced. Each time vehicle has been given back within a month their is an issue. Ford has told us that they really do to have a fix for the problems, and each time we are given an unsafe vehicle back that has imposed danger on our lives and others on multiple occasions. Ford even returned vehicle after it had stalled on them, because they could not find anything else wrong. We have been very lucky that each incident has not resulted in a crash.

- Friendswood, TX, USA

problem #92

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 #91

Jan 032016


  • 52,000 miles
This vehicle exhibits the same problem as described in NHTSA campaign # 15V813000, recall# 14S17- S1. I contacted Ford who stated that this vehicle is not covered under the recall, even though it was manufacturer during the dates covered by the recall. This vehicle has hesitated and almost stalled while entering high speed traffic on several occasions and with increasing frequency, nearly causing an accident. I would like this vehicle added to the list of vehicles being recalled for repairs before bodily injury or death occurs because of this defect

- Cheshire, CT, USA

problem #90

Jan 152016


  • 136,000 miles


Driving in rush hour traffic on interstate 96 near milford mile marker 175, passing in the left lane about 75 mph the engine died and the engine fault light came on, so I pulled over to the left side shoulder, could not restart, had tow truck take to nearest Ford dealership to troubleshoot, 3 days later was informed that the engine wiring harness had rubbed thru on something and shorted out. The crank position sensor was bad, total repairs $700 for wiring repairs and parts. This car has been dealer maintained since new have all receipts, not covered under warranty.

- Stockbridge, MI, USA

problem #89

Jan 082016


  • miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 70 mph, the electrical system failed. In addition, the contact stated that the headlights became inoperable and flickered on and off. The contact also mentioned that after the vehicle was turned off, the radio and running lights remained on for another fifteen minutes. The vehicle eventually turned completely off. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Dryden, MI, USA

problem #88

Dec 242015


  • 65,000 miles
Lost power after stopping at a stop sign. Could not start the car again after shutting it off. After several attempts and some waiting, it restarted, got around the corner and died again. After having it towed to Ford and being told nothing was wrong with it, drove 2 hours away and on the return trip the next day, lost power on an on ramp. Again, could not start the car after shutting it off. Eventually got started and barely made my way to the next (mostly unused) exit.

- Chino Valley, AZ, USA

problem #87

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 #86

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 #85

Nov 062014


  • 30,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While driving 10 mph, the vehicle would not shift into a higher gear and made an abnormal sound. The vehicle was able to shift, but required numerous attempts. The check engine warning indicator illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was confirmed that the transmission malfunctioned and the vehicle needed a new clutch. The vehicle was repaired; however, the failure recurred.the manufacturer was not made aware of the issue. The failure mileage was approximately 30,000. The VIN was not provided.

- Upper Marlboro, MD, USA

problem #84

Oct 202013


  • 3,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle vibrated excessively intermittently and hesitated to accelerate. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The VIN was excluded from NHTSA campaign number: 14V495000 (electrical system). The dealer stated that the wiring harness would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure previously occurred in 2014 and the vehicle was taken to be repaired. The failure mileage was 3,000.

- El Paso, TX, USA

problem #83

Sep 012013


  • 9,600 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While driving approximately 60 mph, the vehicle would not shift into the next gear without warning. The vehicle was driven to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the shaft sealer fractured and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired; however, the failure recurred on three other occasions where the shaft sealer was replaced each time. The contact also stated that while driving approximately 25 mph, the vehicle would not shift into the next gear after the transmission warning indicator illuminated. The vehicle was driven to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission control module needed to be reprogrammed. The vehicle was repaired; however, the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer and was diagnosed that the transmission control module was faulty and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 9,600.

- Grovetown, GA, USA

problem #82

Sep 242014


  • 78,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While driving 20 mph, the vehicle began to shake violently. In addition, the vehicle lost power and would not accelerate without restarting the vehicle. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The failure mileage was 78,000.

- Radcliff, KY, USA

problem #81

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

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