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 1 of 6)

problem #120

Jan 032017


  • 62,000 miles


While driving I came to a stop sign and as I started to let out the clutch and moving roughly 10 mph my car engine completely shut off and power steering was lost. Interior lights were still functional but when I went to start up the car again it would not turn over. This is a manual transmission but nothing was working to get it started again. This to me is unacceptable flaw in the system that put me at risk of causing an accident. Being stuck in the middle of an intersection and without power to the engine. I am fortunate enough that I was on side streets and not on a highway as this issue could have caused a serious accident. I took it to a garage to get it fixed and they told me that my model was not under recall. Doing some research found Ford recall 14S17-S1 for the Ford Focus St same year (2013) as mine with the exact problem my car had. The garage that I am receiving the repairs at told me they found 5 wires that were severed and was part of the problem. I have yet to get the full diagnostics from the garage but will be adding the document to the report once this has been resolved and all issues are made aware.

- Northborough, MA, USA

problem #119

Dec 312016


  • 63,000 miles
At approximately 2:30 am this morning 12/31/16, our Ford Focus burst into flames while stationary in a parking lot. Thank god we and our 11 month old were not in the car at the time. We have had this car into the shop at least twice for transmission problems then our entire multi information screen including radio quit working, they refused to fix because we were out of warranty. We have barely had this car for one year and have had nothing but problems. Now we have no car because it is totaled from the fire. The police based on initial investigation said it was an electrical fire. I have seen another 2013 Ford Focus catch fire in australia and other places. I would like this to be investigated so this does not happen to other people.

- Chehalis, WA, USA

problem #118

Nov 152016


  • 55,540 miles
The fuse that controls the instrument panel in front of the steering wheel will not stay in. It does not "blow" and when this happens you have no speedometer, heat or gas gauge, turn signals, ect. I believe this to be a valid safety issue. When this fuse does not allow the current to get to the instrument cluster then the mpg readout returns to 30.7 in lieu of what was being shown at the time of the failure. Anytime your signal lights will not work that is a recallable situation. I believ fomoco knows about this. Also the sticker on the door jamb in regards to tire pressure reads 30 psi. Right now I have 30 psi in my tires and the "low tire" light is constantly on.when I contacted my dealer he said to put 35 psi in each tire to eliminate the problem. If the tire manufacturers wanted more than 30psi in their tires then why does the door sticker not say so and also the tire booklet.

- Bristol, VA, USA

problem #117

Apr 092015


  • 14,000 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle experienced shuddering and then stalled while being operated at a low speed. The failure occurred without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission control module was defective and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 14,000.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #116

Nov 092016


  • 37,100 miles
Vehicle does not start with warning parking aid fault. After several attempts, it starts but then stops. Vehicle shudders from start, gears make noises and down shifts unexpectedly.

- Burlingame, CA, USA

problem #115

Nov 082016


  • 60,000 miles
I have had my pre-owned vehicle for 1 1/2 years and have had continuous issues with my trunk popping open randomly. It opens anywhere and at random times. I've had it open while driving down the interstate, which is a huge safety hazard, potentially having things from trunk fly out and hit another motorist. It has been looked at twice by baxter Ford in omaha, ne. They can never seem to find the issue or have it "duplicate" on their time. This definitely sounds like a manufacturer defect.

- Omaha, NE, USA

problem #114

Oct 252016


  • 36,000 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While driving 35 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact was unable to restart the vehicle. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic. The contact was informed that there was misfire coming from the coil pack. The vehicle was repaired; however, the failure recurred. On several occasions while accelerating, there was an abnormal vibration coming from the engine. The vehicle was taken to the dealer to be diagnosed. The contact was informed that the vehicle was operating as intended. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 15V813000 (electrical system). The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the issue. The approximate failure mileage was 36,000.

- Fairfax, VA, USA

problem #113

Sep 012016


  • miles
Tcm updated 3 times die to cel. 4th car wouldn't start or even engine turn over. Towed to dealer, after 9 days new tcm placed in car. Back at dealer for another 7 days. Car driving sluggish and only getting 20mpg. Ford dealer claims nothing wrong. Car feels like a pickup truck.

- Egg Harbor Township, NJ, USA

problem #112

Sep 052016


  • 50,000 miles
Many problems with this Ford Focus.1st problem I had was a year after I bought the vehicle the fuel pump was leaking.I notice because my car was parked and it smelled like gasoline inside the vehicle.2nd incident happened a year later. I was driving home from work when car just shut off on the road. I was so scared.I was in notion barely move to the side of the road on rt 50.that was so scary I could have died.I had to tow the car to get serviced at sheehy Ford. They gave me the car back again and it happened again on the road on my way to work. At that time I towed it again but to koons falls church.looked at the vehicle and didn't find anything either until I got upset and they told me to go for a test drive with the mechanic and it happened while on the test drive. The mechanic stated to keep the car running so he can plug in the machine that reads the problems on the vehicle. He also stated that once you turn of the car and you turn it back on that it would reset it self and that's why they didn't know that tcm or tmc control needed to be replaced. This was very scary for for the passed 3 weeks I have been dealing with a static /popping noise /sound that comes from the vehicle when I'm driving & when the vehicle is parked, the key is out the ignition.I took it to sheehy since that's where I bought the vehicle. They provide the worst service on the vehicle. Bcuz they had my car for 4 days and didn't provide me with a loaner and had the audacity to tell me that the master tech was on vacation and I would have to wait still with no loaner vehicle.the radio is completely off and they want me to pay out of pocket to fix has just given me problem after problem is manufactured problems.I had so many safety issues that scared shutting off on the road and now making loud popping/ static noise where I thought I might be electrocuted.

- Annandale, VA, USA

problem #111

Jan 152015


  • miles
I was trying to trade in my car and when I came outside to start it up it wouldn't do anything and the car was towed to the nearest dealership. In addition, I have always experienced idoling and jerking when taking off which seems like transmission problems because I have had experience with that issue. Currently still have the same issues jerking and idoling when taking off. When my car experienced the electric problem was in 2015 and it had about 30 to 40,000 miles on it but the jerking and idoling have always occurred and I checked the recall before and they told me there wasn't a recall.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #110

Oct 122013


  • miles


The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. When the accelerator pedal was depressed, the vehicle hesitated to accelerate, surged forward, and the transmission warning indicator illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was serviced per NHTSA campaign number: 15V813000 (electrical system); however, the failure recurred two additional times. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Southbridge, MA, USA

problem #109

Jan 112016


  • 27,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. Upon refueling the vehicle, when making a stop or a turn, the vehicle failed to accelerate when the accelerator pedal was depressed. The dealer was notified of the failure several times and were unable to find a signal or dtc to replicate and diagnose the failure. The contact was to check with the manufacturer to determine if they could provide a repair solution to the dealer. The approximate failure mileage was 27,000.

- Fairfax, VA, USA

problem #108

Jul 282016


  • 35,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While driving 45 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the vehicle needed a new battery cable. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The failure mileage was 35,000.

- Winter Park, FL, USA

problem #107

Jul 182016


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that after vehicle was repaired for NHTSA campaign number: 15V813000 (electrical system) and while driving at 35 mph, the accelerator pedal was depressed but the vehicle hesitated before moving forward. In addition, the check engine warning light illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 50,000.

- Middle River, MD, USA

problem #106

Jan 012013


  • miles
The car has jerked, shuttered, and shook from almost the day I bought it, I have battled these issues from the very beginning. It won't accelerate for a few seconds when I push on the gas I have almost been in an accident because of it. The flashers come on when I unlock my door, my horn doesn't work, my driver window doesn't work, I have had the clutch replaced, the cluster was fried twice, and the control module has been replaced. Then driving on the freeway my car engine revved way up and the rpms went to 7000 and I lost power to accelerate my car. I was in the middle lane when I lost the power to my vehicle I put my flashers on and coasted to the side of the freeway. Thankfully the freeway wasn't busy. The reverse also went out on my car. The car is now in the shop for the 6th or 7th time for the same issues but it is never fixed.

- Bardstown, KY, USA

problem #105

Jul 252016


  • 42,829 miles
I shut the drivers side door and took off driving on a city street when the door ajar came on and the drivers side door flew open, I caught the door, but it will no longer latch shut.

- Rialto, CA, USA

problem #104

Dec 312015


  • 30,000 miles
2012 hatchback Ford Focus automatic the vehicle stalls whenever accelerated. It feels as if the computer sends the signal to maintain the speed or speed up but the transmission can not keep up with it, therefore it stalls. It does it when I'm driving on the city street and on the highway, the speed does not relate to when it occurs. In order words, if I am driving at a constant speed for a lapse of time it will still stall and if I need to speed up, for example when making a turn onto a street it will stall or when making a lane change.

- Downey, CA, USA

problem #103

Jun 052016


  • 0 miles
Vehicle was parked. I went to turn on the car, and the steering wheel was locked and would not turn at all. Had the car towed to the dealership. The service manager says the electric steering rack and pinion has failed and has to be replaced at a cost of $1,497. In addition, the car has also had numerous repairs to the transmission system. The car has had problems with the transmission since the very first day of purchase. The car will vigorously shudder at random times. The shuddering occurs every time I drive the car and it causes the car to violently jerk forward. We have taken the car in for all of the service updates/recalls, and the transmission problems still persist. The computer screen also will turn off randomly while driving. One time while driving on a highway, the car died. It was very dangerous. I should not have purchased this car.

- Plano, TX, USA

problem #102

May 032016


  • miles
Takata recall purchased car took to dealer a week after because the gear shift was making loud noise upon reverse in driveway two weeks later I head a loud pop and it broke according to the dealership they did not fix it now my lights won't turn off it says my trunk is open while it's closed and my driver door will not lock or stay closed and the car makes noises as if the key is in the ignition and it's not my door will not lock and my trunk will not open with the key.

- California City, CA, USA

problem #101

May 022016


  • miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. On several occasions, the vehicle failed to start. The vehicle was taken to the dealer to be diagnosed. The contact was informed that the battery needed to be replaced. The battery was replaced, but the failure recurred on nine separate occasions. The vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 15V813000 (electrical system). The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was not available. Updated 07/29/16

- Dallas, GA, USA

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