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 5 of 8)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #74

Oct 012014


  • 33,000 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While driving slow speeds, the vehicle sputtered and jerked. The contact experienced a sudden increase in the engine rpms while trying to pass another vehicle followed by the vehicle stalling. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 33,000.

- Roseville, MI, USA

problem #73

Nov 192012


  • miles
Like most of the complaints on this vehicle my Focus hesitates and stutters. There was also a fluttering noise in the front end while the car was off that happened right away after purchasing. I took back to the dealership a week later and was told that the noise was normal and that the stuttering was due to the smaller engine. Finally took the car back in because it was getting worse, and this time the throttle body was reprogrammed (which I was originally told was completely replaced, but wasn't the case) come to find out this a common issue in Ford vehicles but no recall issued, just part of the NHTSA customer satisfaction program. Many of the models in this program were issued a extended warranty, but not the Focus. I was informed by the dealership I will be financially responsible for a new throttle body if it starts again once my warranty is up. Not sure why this is okay to continue with new Ford models when it was first addressed in 2012, and why I'm responsible to pay to fix a problem that is the makers error of which they have been made aware of.

- Sterling Heights, MI, USA

problem #72

Sep 162014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 16,309 miles
Just like 100S of others, car stutters and hesitates. Took to Ford dealer in macon, ga. And problem continues and we all wonder why there is no recall. Does no one care about safety and doing what is right"??????????????????"

- Perry, GA, USA

problem #71

Sep 122014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 7,500 miles


I've reported this issue several times. It is going to cause an accident!! when stopped at a stop light, or stop sign, the car wants to keep moving, even though heavy brake pressure is being applied. When I am at a stop light and the light turns green to move forward, the car hesitates to move, causing the vehicles behind me to blow their horn! there is nothing I can do!! this car is going to cause myself or other owners an accident with no doubt in my mind! the hesitation to take off when I'm wanting to get out of the way of oncoming traffic, scares me to death!!! something needs to be done before an innocent life or lives are lost!!!

- Breezewood, PA, USA

problem #70

Aug 222014


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Cpsc: I1490081A. 2013 Ford Focus. Consumer stated the car stalls, stutters and also lurches between shifts.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #69

Jun 022014


  • 20,153 miles
The car is experiencing transmission problems. It shudders and bogs down as I am accelerating, and often lurches forward unexpectedly. The car makes a loud grinding noise when shifting through gears. The problems began in low gears, but I am now experiencing problems at all speeds, including lurching forward. I have taken the car back to the dealership twice, only for them to tell me this is a normal occurrence. I am afraid the transmission issues will cause an accident. I am also concerned that the grinding of the gears will cause damage to other components of my vehicle.

- Edinburg, IL, USA

problem #68

May 012014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 2,000 miles


Shifting into neutral (while decelerating/braking) will intermittently cause engine rpms to rapidly drop, resulting in engine failure/stall. Attempts to restart the engine are typically successful, although occasionally requiring multiple attempts, due to engine re-stalling. Key factors seem to be engine oil temperature, and braking/decelerating.

- Hayward, CA, USA

problem #67

Apr 292014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 19,500 miles
I bought my 2013 Focus SE pre owned with 19500 miles in March of 2014. Within a month the car was shaking horribly at stop and at speeds between 0-30mph, while grinding-like noise came from the transmission. I am in fear of my wife and my safety, I almost got rear ended by a big 1 ton diesel truck because my car would not accelerate from stop. I took it the dealer and the car was "repaired" by the Ford dealership where I bought it from. After taking it home 2 weeks later I brought the car back because the same problems were occurring. Ford service assured me there was absolutely nothing wrong with my car. Me being a chemical plant worker working overnights made it difficult to bring the car in for a third time during their business hours. First chance I got I brought the car back to the dealership a month later to get it fixed again. I talked to the dealer manager and he guaranteed me he would help me with this issue, he took me to the Ford service manager just for him to tell me "its normal" for that car to do that. They said all they could do is some computer reset to the car and gave it back to me. The service manager told me the car will start shaking again eventually and there's nothing they can do to fix that problem because that's the way the transmission was designed. I am in the process of filing a lemon law complaint against Ford. Will never buy another Ford vehicle again.

- La Porte, TX, USA

problem #66

Sep 092013


  • 200 miles
I purchased my 2013 Focus titanium, auto transmission, in September 2013. After a few days, I noticed hesitation/shuddering, jerking, and grinding when accelerating from a stand-still/"off the line" as well as when the car was downshifting from higher gears. I called my dealer, nazareth Ford in nazareth, pa, to report the issue. I was told by the dealer that this was "normal" for the transmission, which is a "manual automatic" transmission. I was skeptical, but I was advised to drive 500 miles and see if the problem corrected itself. I was discouraged to make an appointment, since this was supposed to be "normal" and I had not reached 500 miles yet to see if it would improve. It never did and has only gotten worse. Last week after almost a year and 17,500 miles with no improvement, I was fed up. I called the dealer to make an an appointment. The dealer kept the car two days and reported that they reprogrammed the transmission. I picked the car up last Saturday and after 15 minutes or less, the issues returned. I contacted the dealer again and the person did not return my phone call. I visited in person and was advised again that I should drive another 500 miles so the reprogram could take effect. The dealer commented that a number of customers have come back for premature transmission replacements, which did not leave me with a great feeling. This issue has proved to be potentially life-threatening on a number of occasions, such as coming to a stop at the end of an intersection, red light, or highway ramp before accelerating back up to speed and climbing any sort of hill. Jerking and grinding prevents the car from accelerating smoothly. While I am otherwise happy with the features of the car, this is a deal-breaker. With the number of miles that I drive, I am scared that this improper functioning will cause a collision if left unresolved.

- Easton, PA, USA

problem #65

May 222013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 3,000 miles
When turning a corner and attempting to accelerate the care shuddered and made loud noises. It progressed to shuddering every time I accelerated...climbing small grade, changing speed zones etc. This is an automatic car. I had it into shop where they cleaned clutches and the problem persisted and now there was shuddering when I attempted to back down a small drive way incline. The car continues to shudder and make noise. The service department tells me the car needs to learn my driving This is embarrassing and frustrating not to mention that I feel very unsafe driving a car with transmission problems. I was told to drive it more, but I refuse to drive a brand new car with these issues.

- Cape Vincent, NY, USA

problem #64

Jul 232014


  • 50,301 miles


I was stopped in line at a light. When the light changed I pushed on the gas and the car would not move- it sounded like the engine was stuck in neutral. I shut the car off and restarted it and that's when the check engine light came on. I was almost rear-ended several times as the car would not move. I had it towed to the dealer only to be told that they didn't know what was wrong-after two days I was told it was due to an update that needed to be done to the engine software and that it was not covered under either the basic warranty or the extended warranty and I would have to pay for the repair. I had the same vehicle to the dealer for a sound in the engine on 6/30 and they couldn't find anything! I have a friend who had the same issue when his car was a month old and they covered the cost of his repair.

- Nashua, NH, USA

problem #63

May 262014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 9,850 miles
As I was driving the car, at low RPM's the car would stutter and stall. It is more pronounced with the air conditioning on. Took it to the dealer and could find nothing wrong with it, I was told this is common. On my way home from the dealer the car stalled leaving a green traffic light and I was almost hit in the rear end. The car finally lite a check engine light 3 weeks later. Dealer changed an O2 sensor and 4 days later in July car went into "limp mode" in first gear as I was leaving a restaurant. The car hesitated and stalled in traffic, I was almost hit in the rear of the car again. The dealer claims that the an actuator controlling the radiator vents is bad, but this should no have caused the car to go into limp mode. Ford has a tsb for a wiring harness problem, the number is tsb 13-9-7 that explains the issues of stuttering and stalling, but unless 2 codes are read on the computer they refuse to fix it. The problem is well documented on website. Hundreds, if not thousands of cars have the same issue. I believe that one day someone, if not many people, will be seriously hurt due to this issue.

- Galway, NY, USA

problem #62

May 012014


  • 36,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the vehicle stalled several times and the engine light remained illuminated. Also, the contact mentioned that the vehicle shifted out of parked independently. The dealer advised it was normal for the vehicle to roll out of park on its own. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure and current mileage was 36,000.

- Lamar, SC, USA

problem #61

Jun 072014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 9,000 miles
As I was waiting a traffic light my engine revs dropped so low the engine quietly died. When I went to accelerate from the light I realized the car had stalled and had to restart the car. It only happened once more in the next month and a half, then happened three times yesterday. The last time the car stalled I was getting ready to make a left turn through a traffic light during the rush hour commute home. The car did start up again, but it struggled to turn back on and some dash lights flashed up me (I believe the cel flashed on.) I was stuck in the middle of an intersection during rush hour for approximately 5 seconds with a dead car.

- Carmel, IN, USA

problem #60

May 192014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 7,100 miles
Engine started idling rough while down shifting, once the vehicle came to a stop the vehicle shuttered (rpms) and then stalled. This has happened quite a few times, but is intermittent. Engine started idling rough while traveling through a corner and down shifting from 3rd to 2nd, at that time the clutch was pushed in and the car stalled. I lost power steering and slightly traveled into the on coming lane of traffic at 25 mph. The stalling while down shifting has happened quite a few times, but is intermittent. Engine idles rough while at stops or down shifting, but does not stall. This happens almost all the time, does not always stall, but is also intermittent. Hill assist seems to be intermittent as to when it wants to work or not work. After performing a tsb on my car the clutch stuck to the floor. After I pumped the clutch a few times it started acting normal.

- Grand Junction, CO, USA

problem #59

Jun 172014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 10,293 miles
Ford Focus St (manual transmission) stalls repeatedly when coasting to a stop. Once stalled while driving at 40 mph which is potentially dangerous. Sometimes the idle drops very low (500 RPM) but doesn't stall. No check engine light (cel). Dealer said without cel there is no indication of a problem. From online research this appears to be a widespread problem with 2013 Focus St.

- West Chester, PA, USA

problem #58

May 012014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 9,974 miles
2013 Ford Focus St has stalled on the highway going 65+ mph multiple times, in addition to on -ramps and while coming to a stop, resulting in loss of power brakes and power steering. Multiple times has stalled without giving a check engine light, meaning the dealer wouldn't look at it despite being under warranty. Engine's idling speed is wildly erratic before and after stalling events. Have been incredibly lucky so far because this is extremely dangerous and a huge safety risk. Terrified of losing power again while turning left ahead of oncoming traffic or while merging onto the freeway. Ford has issued tsb 13-9-7 for those lucky enough to have the ECU store a code, notice the issue and get it to a dealer while still under warranty, but this absolutely needs to be a recall before someone gets hurt or killed.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #57

Jun 212014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 13,258 miles
I purchased my vehicle in Sept 2013 brand new with 23 miles on it. I have no medication done to my car, and for the past few months I've noticed a small miss every once and a while. This problem started getting worse at times my car would accelerate without me pushing the throttle. On 21 June 2014 the problem got much worse and started to stall when I am in neutral, and the throttle is all over the place. The car is currently at the Ford dealership, this problem is all over the internet, with quite of few 2013 Ford focuses effected this is a problem that need to be raised. It is a major safety concern that if left untreated could result in someone losing their life.

- Fort Meade, MD, USA

problem #56

Jun 122014


  • 23,787 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the check engine warning lamp illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The techcnician was unable to diagnose the failure and stated that the contact could drive the vehicle as long as the check engine sensor light was not flashing. Also, the contact stated while traveling approximately 50 mph, the vehicle stalled. The dealer was contacted and the vehicle was towed to the dealership for further inspection. The manufacturer was notified of the faiure. The approximate failure mileage was 23,787.

- Hayesville, NC, USA

problem #55

May 012014


  • 8,000 miles
Car is lagging and bogging consistently; turn acceleration in unpredictable, frequent transmission shuddering occurring, un-smooth shifting, I do not feel safe. Low gas mileage 20-24.

- East Haven, CT, USA

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