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:
3 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
23,570 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2013 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 3 of 8)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #114

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 #113

Sep 012015


  • 49,000 miles
I was in heavy traffic, stop and start, and when I re-accelerated after going very slowly the car did not go and then it just died. I turned car off, got it started within 200 yards it died again. I once again turned car off, restarted it and was able to pull off the road. In the meantime, people behind me were honking wildly. Luckily, no one rear ended me. I was able to get car to my mechanic who told me the Ford people needed to look at it. This morning the car was towed as it now does not even turn on. Ford people said they had no idea what it could be. If I had been on a highway in stop and go traffic like that I might have been seriously hurt. Ford seems to be unaware of any problems. I think this is something they should investigate.

- Westport, CT, USA

problem #112

Aug 192015


  • 43,000 miles
Last night I hit a deer going 70 miles per hr. On the highway. My leg airbags deployed but my steering wheel did not only the clips came out. Due to knee airbags I have huge bruises on both legs. I feel that the steering wheel has a defective airbag since it did not deploy. If I had hit a tree instead of a deer its possible I would not be here to file this it did not protect me at all.

- South Ryegate, VT, USA

problem #111

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 #110

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 #109

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 #108

Oct 012014


  • 4,500 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While stopped momentarily, the vehicle hesitated when the accelerator pedal was depressed. The contact mentioned that the vehicle jerked violently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician diagnosed that the transmission failed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 4,500. Updated 12/01/15

- Acme, PA, USA

problem #107

Jul 212015


  • 66,800 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While driving at approximately 65 mph, the vehicle decelerated and stalled without warning. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 66,800.

- Londonderry, NH, USA

problem #106

Jun 192015


  • 44,000 miles
My car stalled going down the road at approximately 35 mph upon attempting to accelerate the vehicle revved to the red limit, and would not go into gear. I was thankfully able to pull to the side of the road and get myself and my child to safety by rolling in neutral. Ford Motor Company has had thousands of complaints about the transmissions in these cars stalling or completely malfunctioning while driving yet there has not been a recall on them. My infant was in the car! had I been entering a highway or something the results would have been terrible. All the company will do is extend the warranty to 100,000 miles and then we as consumers are screwed. Basically they "fix" it until the warranty is up. This is not acceptable or safe in any way.

- Lugoff, SC, USA

problem #105

Oct 032014


  • 15,078 miles
My car shuddered and received recall letter to have clutch replaced work completed 10/3/14. May 23,2015 had 22,500 service completed car had 19,795 miles at this service June 8, 2015 service for check engine light on June 16,2015 transmission failure light came on returned to dealer awaiting outcome!! this car should be protected under lemon law.. very unsafe and Ford is responsible. Please demand that Ford return money's paid & pay my loan off. How many people have to die before this issue is resolved?

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #104

Feb 012014


  • 1,000 miles


The vehicle has been very sluggish since day one of the lease. The transmission does not seem to engage accordingly. Upon acceleration the vehicle hesitates and/or sputters, lurching forward and then hesitating again. I have had the vehicle in for service by an authorized Ford dealer a few months ago but the problems still remain. I plan on taking the vehicle in again since it continues to display the same issues it has since the day we began our lease.

- Dexter, MI, USA

problem #103

Oct 312014


  • 19,900 miles
Car's transmission shutters and jolts. Hesitates to accelerate. Dangerous when merging onto highway or making a turn. Sent it to Ford to fix as per their fsa on the transmission seal. Both dealerships said there was nothing wrong with it, but it still hesitates, shutters, shakes and jolts. This is a safety concern. It needs to be brought up to Ford.

- Allen Park, MI, USA

problem #102

Feb 202013


  • 320 miles
The car will nearly stall (as if transmission slipped/disengaged), engine sputters, transmission grinds and jerks then gears catch and car lurches forwards and speeds off as if it is possessed. This is very dangerous when attempting to enter moving traffic and especially dangerous when crossing multiple lanes of traffic or if the driver is less experienced or isn't aware that he/she needs to accommodate it. The more miles accumulated, the worse and more pronounced the issue. Ford "reprogrammed" my transmission July 2013 (11,000 miles) with no results. Ford's response, "shudder" is normal and the intentional design of the car. The issue worsened to the point the transmission would disengage while climbing hills ( worse on moderate to steep grades) and reliability of this car deteriorated to the point I was rolling backwards down a hill I had attempted to climb at 50-55mph because the car just stops moving forward then the car will grind, bang shake, jerk then lurch forward and speed off like it finally got gas and found the gears (May 1,2015). October 22, 2014, I took the vehicle in for an oil change, with the Ford letter in hand and asked them to check my car again. Parts were ordered and it was safe to drive until then but, if I was left stranded to call roadside assistance. Ford is stalling progress & repair of this issue because they intend to avoid lemon law. My complaints went undocumented on service request paperwork because "shudder is normal/intentional operation" and subsequent complaints were ignored/undocumented because there were no parts to repair it. Resale & trade-in value is low, depreciate at a faster rate and are generally unsafe. Ford needs held accountable, remedy the issue in a timely manner to minimize loss, investment and potential danger to those who unfortunately purchased this defective product. This car is unreliable & dangerous!

- Newton, WV, USA

problem #101

May 102015


  • 31,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle started to shutter when accelerating. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who reprogrammed the PCM. A few weeks after the repair, the check engine and the PCM warning lights illuminated. The failure mileage was 31,000.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #100

Apr 172015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 36,500 miles
My vehicle downshifted from approx 60 mph- 20mph immediately and unexpectedly in rush hour traffics. I temporarily lost control of the car and if I had not been able to get it back under control and almost ran off the side of the road rt. 7 traveling North towards winchester and almost was hit by a tractor trailer in the right lane it lurched. I decided to turn off N aback road to see if this was just a, fluke and it seemed to do its and off, but not as roughly, revving up and down and shifting up and down, then wa fine until I turned onto rt.81 North towards inwood, wv. The vehicle continued to have was seems to be continuous revving and shifting problems, I drive it home and had my best friend follow me slowly to the parsons Ford dealership to be looked at. There is a transmission/computer programming issue that Ford is aware of. I had this issue in the first 1000 miles that occurred once in front of my house on bac creek valley drive, upon parking the vehicle, turning it off and restarting the problem disappeared. I commented on it during the 30,000 mile maintenance and chalks it up to a glitch during the normal break-in period of the vehicle. The last incident almost resulted in a potentially fatal condition, here I almost caused an accident with an 18-wheeler and other vehicles. I do not want my wife to drive this vehicle and feel it is unsafe and should be immediately recalled before anyone gets killed as a result. Based on a research Ford has upgraded the transmissions in the 2015 line of the Ford Focus line, and should replace the vehicles.

- Hedgesville, WV, USA

problem #99

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 #98

Feb 182015


  • 15,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While driving at various speeds, the engine stalled and the check transmission warning indicator illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 15,000. Updated 6/11/15

- Iron Belt, WI, USA

problem #97

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 #96

Sep 102013


  • miles
Pulling from red lights/stop signs is very dangerous due to the transmission stalling, shuttering, grinding. Very easily to get into accidents because stalling in transmission. Please recall this vehicle a lot of families are not safe in this vehicle.

- Santa Ana, CA, USA

problem #95

Mar 022015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 49,500 miles
For the 3rd time in a 3 month span, my 2013 Ford Focus SE stalled while driving. Vehicle would not restart for approximately 20 minutes. This created an unsafe situation where I was stuck with a disabled vehicle. 1st failure instance occurred when I was coming to a stop at a traffic light 2nd failure instance occurred while driving at highway speeds (65mph) 3rd failure instance occurred while just after entering a highway at approx 45mph.

- Allentown, PA, USA

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