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 5 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #40

Nov 112013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 5,562 miles


Driving home from school with my grandson and the car started to jerk as we crept in the line of traffic. Almost sounded as if it was ready to stall! this car has just over 5000 miles on it and I enjoy driving it but this problem has persisted and is a safety issue as jerking makes it difficult to judge how close to get to the car in front of you ( because the "slipping " in and out of gear surges forward ) and could cause an accident. Even at speeds up to 35-45 mph the hesitation makes me feel as if it is going to stall. So today I researched the problem and am shocked to find this is a major issue and needs to be addressed asap by Ford. Also the door locks don't work properly when using as the manual states. I plan to be at my dealership first thing in the morning.

- Newport News, VA, USA

problem #39

Oct 202013


  • 1,500 miles
Car: Ford Focus ev (all electric) - second report on NHTSA website on this specific vehicle failure: Incident: While backing out of packing space in costco parking, I started to shift from reverse into drive. All of sudden, the car shut down and had complete loss of power. I could not move the auto transmission shifter out of the (N) neutral position. The weird thing was that as you looked at the dash board panel, it said the car was in (P) but the shifter was physically in neutral and the car acted as if in park (wheels in gear - can't push it). The car had no power and I was stranded in the parking lot lane between parking stalls. I called my husband and fritz Ford in riverside, ca (where I recently bought the vehicle). Fritz called a tow truck to get the car and my husband came to pick me up. Being that the Focus ev is new, the tow truck driver was a little confused on how to get it on the truck as the car would not move and the transmission was locked in neutral. Fritz still has the car after 5 days claiming there is no issue with it. Hmm?

- Wildomar, CA, USA

problem #38

Oct 242013


  • 100 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while in reverse, the vehicle suddenly accelerated and moved forward. The contact also stated that the navigational system could not be activated with the navigational button and the speedometer provided two different speed readings. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for further inspection. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 100 and the current mileage was 5,633.

- San Francisco , CA, USA

problem #37

Sep 052013


  • 1,500 miles


While driving the car at any point in time the car starts to sound like its going to die almost like I'm driving a standard but I'm not. I mostly notice it when driving in town. Yet I have noticed it when going faster as well. I purchased this vehicle brand new. I was never informed of this being "normal". I have taken the vehicle in. The person working on my vehicle said they drove it and noticed the issue. Stated that resetting the computer system would resolve this problem. Yet after having this redone. Not even an hour later I notice the issue has not be resolved and is still happening. I am afraid that I will get into a wreck, not to mention I have wasted my money on this vehicle. I feel as if I am throwing my money away completely. When talking to my sales man after having this issue not resolved. He tells me that this is an issue that everyone complains about though Ford states this is normal. I have had many vehicles in my life and this is by far not normal. If this vehicle did this while I was test driving the car. I would not have purchased this car ever. Something needs to be done about this issue. Do we need to wait until someone is seriously injured from the defect before something will be done. Ford... fix this!!

- Lyons, NY, USA

problem #36

Oct 042013


  • 6,000 miles
Vehicle stops middle of no where abruptly.

- Cupertino, CA, USA

problem #35

Aug 132013


  • 6,000 miles
When driving on residential roads, I often feel my 2013 Ford Focus stall or jerk. Often times there are glitches in the electrical wiring of locks and also in the radio. The door will stay locked after hitting the unlock button on the inside multiple times. The radio will not turn on, unless I turn off and re-turn on the car. As for the stalling, it often stalls when going anywhere from 30-65 mph.

- Stow, OH, USA

problem #34

Jun 032013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 164 miles


Car is equipped with voice command. When I use voice to turn on heat or ac, I will say for example, climate 68. The car will respond, setting climate 68. Then it does not turn on. If I touch the climate touch screen it then comes on at 68, even if it was previously set at 75. Been to the dealer repeatedly for two software updates, once pulling out the control box per Ford request to check the part number and once to have the 8 pin control module replaced. Now waiting for Ford engineering to come up with a fix.

- Monee, IL, USA

problem #33

Sep 232013


  • 4,500 miles
Vehicle warning "stop safely now" appeared and the ev lost all its motive power and stalled. Repeated attempts to restart the vehicle failed.

- Los Altos, CA, USA

problem #32

Sep 212013


  • 1,350 miles
This applies to a Ford Focus electric, not a gasoline model. Was traveling approximately 30 mph when "stop safely now" indicator appeared. Vehicle slowed and came to stop within a few seconds while still in traffic lanes. I placed the car in park and switched the system off, then on again. It started normally and drove normally for approximately 50 miles while I went home. There is no apparent valid reason for the vehicle to stop itself. Under other circumstances this could have been extremely dangerous. Checking reports on the internet, it appears that this problem is very common, and many people have reported repeated occurances of this problem. Weather at the time was moderate (70 to 75 degrees F). This is a new car (two weeks old, approximately 1350 miles) while I don't suggest that the following are contributing factors, I list them because they were unusual for me and this may be helpful to reviewers looking for common circumstances: 1. the vehicle had been given a level 1 (120 volt) charge earlier in the day, bringing the state of charge from approximately 60% to 70%. this is unusual because I usually use level 2 (240 volt) charging. 2, the vehicle had been switched "on" with the air conditioner operating for about an hour but without driving anywhere. The problem occured shortly thereafter, after driving approximately two miles. 3, no other unusual circumstances were noted. Car drove normally before and after this incident.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #31

Sep 212013


  • 500 miles
Car:2013 Ford Focus ev. Noticed "stop safely now" light on at stop light just after exiting freeway off winchester rd in temecula, ca. Was able to accelerate to get onto wincheter road traveling West going down hill and nervously coasted down hill noticing the steering becoming difficult. Thankfully the left turn light was green so I was able to coast thru the intersection and get on jefferson road. I attempted to accelerate, however, the car was unresponsive. I immediately pulled into the first available parking lot off of jefferson road - pollo loco parking lot and turned vehicle off. Call husband to come get me. He turned vehicle on without incident and drove it home with out issue. Working with dealer for next steps. Call fritts Ford as I talked to daniel in service and he reported that another Focus ev owner just reported teh same issue and was on the way to the dealership on Saturday, 21.Sept. This problem is perhaps much bigger than we think?! fyi: Dealership = fritts Ford, riverside, ca car purchased on Sunday, 15.Sept.2013. Owed the car for 6 days.

- Wildomar, CA, USA

problem #30

Sep 202013


  • 1,245 miles


This is for the Ford Focus electric. I was driving on a busy road going approx 50 mph when all of a sudden I lost power and had no acceleration a message came on the display that said stop safely now in red with a exclamation point inside a triangle at that point I was a hazard to other drivers as the vehicle was slowing down as I was trying to merge to the right hand side. I finally was able to stop and I turned off the vehicle. I let it sit for a minute and tried to restart and it would not, I tried a second time and it finally came up ready to go. I contacted the dealer and they advised me to take to the service dept in the morning. This was a safety hazard that needs to be fixed.

- Riverside, CA, USA

problem #29

Sep 192013


  • miles
Traveling at approx. 35 M.P.H. on county road, pull over safely light came on, unable to pull over immediately due to traffic, traveled a short distance in attempt to find a shoulder to pull onto, car died in a curve. No power at all.

- Alpine, CA, USA

problem #28

Sep 132013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 6,744 miles
This is regarding Ford Focus electric vehicle 2013 model. This is the second time it has happened. While driving it suddenly beeps and displays message "stop safely now" and car just stalls and stops running. Quite dangerous while driving. It has been to Ford dealership after the first incident and they were not able to diagnose the issue and after a couple of weeks that I got back the vehicle, it happened again. It is again in the service center of Ford dealership, but they still do not know why this happens or what is the fix. This needs to be addressed by Ford asap as it is a huge safety issue.

- Fremont, CA, USA

problem #27

Aug 152013


  • 2,900 miles
Car stalled with some warning messages for no reason. After complete turn-off restarted normally. Happened in traffic and could result with accident.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #26

Jul 252013


  • 2,935 miles
I was coming back from school to my house. The engine light came on asking me to pull over safely. I did that, the car stalled. I freaked out, and called my dad. He said not to worry as it had happened to him in his Ford Focus electric too. He asked me to wait for two minutes and then restart the engine. I did that, the car was fine then. Please talk to my dad if you have any questions. His contact information is listed below. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Granite Bay, CA, USA

problem #25

Aug 132013


  • 4,530 miles
I lease two Ford focuses; one for me and one for my daughter (under my wife's ownership). The car has stalled on me twice and once on my daughter. The first time it happened at speed of 35 miles per hour in June 2013 and the second time at less than 2 miles hour in August 2013. The first time, it asked me to pull over to the side and stalled. I pulled over and parked the car, looked at the wheels thinking that it may have happened due to low air, however, nothing. I shut down the car and then restarted after two minutes, it started just fine. That is until the second time when it actually happened at the corner of 11th and J street in sacramento, ca. I got out of the city garage made a right turn on 11th to make a left on J street. At the light, it just shut down with the warning without ability to pull over. I had to waive the drivers behind me to go around. I could not do much. Same thing, after two minutes, the car restarted. At both times, the car was fully charged. Similarly, this happened to my daughter, who freaked out and she called me. I told her it may be glitch as it had happened to me the first time around. She pulled over, parked, waited for two minutes, restarted and so far her car is fine. Whom should I report this to? the first time, it gave me time to pull over, however, the second time, it just shut down. I thought Ford knew about it thus did not report. Please help me report this. I love the car as there is no more gas station trips, however, it needs to be addressed. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Granite Bay, CA, USA

problem #24

Jul 242013


  • 150 miles
This is a Focus electric. While stopped in an intersection waiting to turn left, the stop safely now light illuminated and the car shut down. I was able to shift into neutral and get the car out of the intersection. After a few cycles of the start/stop button the car started again and resumed normal operation.

- Palm Springs, CA, USA

problem #23

May 132002

Focus 4-cyl

  • 2,230 miles
The car has locked me out three times when I had the keys in my pocket the electrical went out the car stalled and I had to call for help and the blue tooth was out. I got out of the car and called the dealer 25 miles away. I got the car started and drove to dealer and they put a new sd card in the console, saying the wrong card was being used. Now, the transmission shudders and I took it to the dealer for a test drive and they said the tires are out of balance and never balanced at the factory. The car looses power on steep hills and some times rolls back on hills. The dealer says the transmission will memorize my driving habits. The transmission two months later still shudders until it warms up and hesitates to shift T times and I feel the need to use the throttle in between shifts. The transmission will clunk every now and the as the gears are out of sync now, this car has a mind of its own and seems to try and correct itself electronically. The transmission feels like it's going to loose one or both of its clutches at anytime. The car is an accident waiting to happen. An example the car down shifted on me and a car behind me almost hit me. The dealer knows there is a problem, but tells the same story. That's how a dct is. Ford needs to help the dealers and step up. The government ought get after Ford. The car is unsafe, unreliable and needs a recall. The car has 3600 miles on it and runs like 1936 Ford manual shift. What a waste of 25K, no more american cars for me.

- Scarborough, ME, USA

problem #22

Aug 282013


  • 1,378 miles
My daughter was driving our new 2013 Ford Focus electric home from school at approximately 35mph when the "stop safely now" message appeared on the instrument panel. She started to pull over to the side of the road but before she could get safely to the curb, the car shut down. She was unable to get the car started and we had to have it towed to a Ford dealer. After reading about this 'stop safely now" warning online it seems to be a common problem. I understand that cars break down but completely disabling the car in this way could lead to a serious crash.

- Torrance, CA, USA

problem #21

Aug 242013


  • 1,900 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while at a stop, the vehicle stalled and the stop safely warning light illuminated. The contact mentioned that the vehicle failed to restart. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where the failure was unable to be replicated. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure and current mileage was 1,900.

- Redmond , WA, USA

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