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 3 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #80

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 #79

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

problem #78

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 #77

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 #76

Apr 202015


  • 42,000 miles
The dash unit will cease to work and all speakers in the car will unexpectedly emit an earsplitting, high frequency squeal. This sound is intermittent with a loud crackling and popping which cannot be stopped. This occurs while driving the vehicle, when the vehicle door is opened and the engine is not running, while the vehicle sits without any operation or ignition, or at any other time. The piercing sound has only stopped by removal of fuses in the passenger side fuse box. The entire dash unit will not function and thus does not alleviate the noise. This sound has been produced by the vehicle when not in motion, engine is not running, and car has been immobile for a long period of time. The abrupt, deafening sound is a safety issue which can cause an accident due to the driver's reaction.

- Centerburg, OH, USA

problem #75

Jun 042013


  • 40,000 miles
I bought my vehicle in 2013, new from the local dealership. After owning the vehicle for a few days we noticed the shuddering on acceleration. Immediately called the dealership and was told this was break in time. A few months into owning the vehicle, the transmission failed, we brought it into the local Ford dealership again, and had the transmission flushed and work done to it. Since then the vehicle has been to the shop four times for the same issue of the transmission and the electrical system flashing and shutting down. The vehicle will shudder upon acceleration. Now no lights, brake lights, dash lights, will come on. The vehicle will run, but you have no idea how fast you are going, you have no turn signals, the 2013 Ford Focus is a time bomb. Ford will offer us no solution except to bring it in and look at it. After bringing it in four times I do not feel comfortable bringing it back and having it not completely repaired and having to put more money into this vehicle when it is not going to be properly fixed. I am not sure how failing transmissions, and electrical issues are not considered safety issues and put on immediate recall but I must assume it is because I am not a mechanic, but stuck with a lemon that Ford refuses to acknowledge there are issues with.

- Lynn Center, IL, USA

problem #74

Jul 082015


  • 44,885 miles


As I was driving home with my daughter I had turned a corner going a low speed like 10mph and the steer assist fault warning light came on and my steering wheel locked up as I was turning and I had to force my car straight. I moved off to the side and I was so daughter who is autistic also said mommy I'm scared. I had no idea if it was safe to try and get home or if I should sit there.I am so frustrated that I bought this car to replace a car that had gone out and have only had it for 5 months. I'm even more upset that I trusted that the 2013 Ford Focus was a stable car and here I am about to have to shell out money that I don't have to get it fixed. I'm outraged that this type of thing is happening to many Ford owners, and I'm regretting that I even chose this car. They boast about being american made yet it's bad quality american made. I also have an issue with the car jerking and shaking while driving or stuttering. Although this is equally dangerous it is tolerable. I hope this company makes it right with their customers and think of our safety before they keep making these very disappointed beyond words. Major work on a car with only 44,890 mikes on it.shame on you Ford

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #73

Apr 012015


  • 20,000 miles
Ford Focus S 2013 horn was not working starting in April 2015. Car was purchase new in July 2013. In mid April horn was working again, but only for about 3 days. Horn was inoperative entire month of April and began working again in mid-May. About 3 weeks later, starting in June, horn was again inoperative. Checked relay and fuse and both worked - relay "clicked" using horn button on steering wheel and when key fob locked doors. Determined horn was faulty and relay/fuse not the problem - called dealer for appointment. Dealer confirmed horn was inoperative and had to order a horn which required that I come back a second time to have it replaced. Dealer & service personnel were very cooperative and I told them this problem is common for Focus and read many posts on the internet confirming this issue.

- Providence, RI, USA

problem #72

Apr 152015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 23,530 miles
Driving on the highway the car is non stop bugging down like someone grabs the car and pulls it back. Then when I try to take off the car drops to almost zero rpms and dies in the middle of the road for 3mins and then start but acts like it has zero power and jumps back and forth trying to go. Very dangerous I think!

- El Paso , TX, USA

problem #71

Feb 142015


  • 39,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While driving at approximately 60 mph, the vehicle jerked and the vehicle failed to accelerate when the accelerator pedal was depressed. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer, where it was diagnosed that the input shaft needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure persisted. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and stated that the VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 14V495000 (electrical system). The failure mileage was 39,000.

- Dunn, NC, USA

problem #70

Feb 022015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 5,100 miles


Have taken the car to fairview Ford san bernardino. Were I bout the car. With trans problem under extracare warranty and they cannot fix it. Its been 3 times that I've taken it for the same problem. Now a new problem with the car not starting with the dash and radio turning on but the engine. I don't know why these problems have not became a recall issue. Cant take it to any other Ford dealer because they will not honor the extracare warranty. And charge me a arm N a leg just to check it and knowing what's wrong. Never again will I buy another Ford.

- Victorville, CA, USA

problem #69

Jan 022015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 46,000 miles
My 2013 Focus started experiencing a loud pop, causing me to jump and swerve, thru the speakers and the radio would stop working. It would happen once in a while. I could reset the radio by restarting the car. It started happening more and more often. It progressed to include a very loud crackling/popping noise. Now (2/09/15) I had to pull the fuse (#79) in order to stop the noise, even when the radio and car were off. I'm without a radio now and looking a large bill. All of this started happening after the 3/36. Started at 46K miles or so. Seems like others are having similar problems.

- Wyoming, RI, USA

problem #68

May 102013


  • miles
Every recall event for my 2013 Ford Focus, I have encountered. After a year and half of continued trips to and being without my car for service. The transmission issues still not resolved along with the electrical issues. The stereo display goes blank, at times shows incorrect date and clock jumps to different hours. The car lunges forward when you get to about 25 to 30 mph or hesitates when you excel. When you put in park it will lunge forward or act like you've popped the clutch even when brake is on. It shudders, has bump & bang noises, lunges, suspension noises. I can feel bumping/thumping under my feet when turning corners. Have had issues with the gas tank assembly and fuel system gauge (this part has been fixed) continued issues with the digital panel, intermittent erratic cluster radio, clock and sync issues that the service department cannot duplicate. When I have issues with the digital panel, I take a picture. Once I turn vehicle off and back on it sometimes clears it up. I've complained about tires noises and ride, they say tires are fine. I went to the dealership to just trade it in and the dealer suggested I contact Ford motor to have them buy it back. I have placed a complaint on the Ford website, but have yet to receive a response. I am afraid to drive this vehicle but have no other choice. Do I have to ruin my credit by just dropping my vehicle off and walking away for them to take back. Ford Motor Company does not make it easy to talk to someone regarding my vehicle. They should be more accessible now before something tragic happens.

- Elk Grove, CA, USA

problem #67

Oct 012014


  • 25,000 miles
Had to buy two new front tires due to wear at only 24,000. Tire person says they were just discussing this rash of 2013 Ford Focus owners with this same problem. This vehicle shakes, and vibrates excessively upon acceleration. Taking off slowly is the most noticeable. I find that if I punch the accelerator at take off it is more positive without too much shaking and vibrating. Now it jumps, shakes and vibrates into gear to catch up. Makes loud rattling noises when turning and acceleration. By the sound of this car you would never guess it was a fairly new car. I am so disappointed. Also having some type of electrical/computer problem. If I use the auto sensor lights the computer screen will display a large information icon and the cars warning chime is going continually. Will not use auto sensor lights anymore. Too scary. This is all happening while I'm driving. The second time this happened I freaked to death while driving and trying to figure out what is going on with my car and this warning chime going off. I even thought maybe one of my car doors was ajar and my child is in the back. Very dangerous situation. This morning January 16. I go out to unlock my car and nothing, the car will not unlock. No flash of lights. So I try it several more times and finally my driver door unlocks. I'm thinking remote battery. I still can't unlock other doors not even from the inside. I put the key in the ignition to start. Nothing. No life. I start to head in to get keys for second car. I try the remote again and now the other doors unlock. Key in ignition and car now starts. My clock is still at 5:39 am. Car will not recognize ipod. Check cable. Turn car off and on after several more attempts to get car to recognize ipod, suddenly starts to work. Try to fix my clock many more times, still going back to 5:39am pull out car dummy book. Nothing.

- Jacksonville, TX, USA

problem #66

Dec 152012


  • miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled several times and unknown warning lights illuminated. The vehicle was towed to the dealer on more than one occasion where the failure was unable to be replicated. The vehicle was then taken to a different dealer where it was diagnosed that the PCM needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired due to the part not being available. The dealer informed that it might take six weeks for the part to become available. Additionally, the contact stated that the clutch was shuttering in first and second gear. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was not available. Updated 3/12/15

- Silver Creek, GA, USA

problem #65

Dec 272012


  • 10,000 miles
My vehicle shudders between first and second gears when accelerating from stopped or low speeds. It jolts randomly when driving in lower speeds. There are sounds of grinding and rattling when coming out of turns/accelerating out of a turn.

- Charleston, SC, USA

problem #64

Nov 232014


  • 23,900 miles
Car went from 60 mph to 40mph to 20mph to zero and stalled and died in less than ten seconds while driving on the interstate North of atlanta, ga on Nov 23, 2014. Car came to complete halt when I tried to push the gas pedal and accelerate. I almost died. Car has been in the repair shop at Ford dealership for over 23 days now.

- Rex, GA, USA

problem #63

Oct 012012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 15,000 miles
When vehicle is stopped and at idle such as at a red light, the engine shakes and when the accelerator pedal is depressed the car hesitates and does not want to move and feels like the vehicle will stall. Once speed is up to about 10-15mph acceleration is fine with no vibration or shakes. This issue can be very serious when trying to pull out into traffic. Took to the dealership and was told nothing was wrong. Something is wrong and is unsafe.

- Warren, MI, USA

problem #62

Jul 092014


  • 60,000 miles
I was driving home from work, it was raining, as I pulled off the light, the car began sputtering and would not go over 10 mph. I merged to the shoulder and the dashboard lit up with critical engine fault, and a few others, the car stalled and I sat there for about 30 mins. I managed to get home that day and after sitting for 24 hours, it ran fine again.this morning (Dec.9th2014) raining again, I pulled into my parking lot and the car began sputtering and when I placed it in park, another critical engine fault appeared, I have read about 100 other cases describing the same situation.

- Saint Leonard, MD, USA

problem #61

Dec 082014


  • 26,000 miles
The electronic door lock engages when the car is in gear and moves forward or reverse. When the car is driving, at any speed, including maximum highway speeds, the doors can be opened by pulling in the interior door handles. All doors can be opened this way. This is very dangerous. Especially for children in the car.

- Harrisburg, PA, USA

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