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 6 of 8)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #54

Sep 122012

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles


1. the sputtering, hesitation when pressing down on the accelerator 2. after stopping the car, the extra "jolt" seems as if it could be a safety concern/issue 3.year later all this got worse and I had the car towed in to the dealership 2 times for a total of 38 days of "fixing" the problems of the transmission. 4.I've had my car back now for 3 days, the hesitation is still there, no sputtering noticed as of now.

- Universal City, TX, USA

problem #53

May 182014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 5,250 miles
When driving at highway speed 65 with cruise control engaged the vehicle feels as if the engine is cutting out or engine braking is being applied the RPM's drop from 2.5 to 2.25 feels like the engine is pulsing.

- Augusta, KS, USA

problem #52

May 092014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 5,192 miles
The vehicle stalls and shudders when shifting through lower gears. To avoid the issue you have to accelerate at a fairly high rate from a stop sign. Very dangerous when turning corners. Have taken into the dealer once scheduled for second trip this week. They say it is with in their tolerance boundaries.

- Augusta, KS, USA

problem #51

May 022014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 3,900 miles


The vehicle will stall upon pressing the clutch in while in gear or neutral regardless of speed at random intervals. I'll notice that coming to a stop with the clutch in the car has a hard time finding an idle then ultimately dies. This mostly happens while the car has been running for awhile and the ac is on however it has happened with the ac off. This has happened multiple times including while down shifting into a lower gear while turning. The dealership was unable to reproduce this despite showing video proof of the issue. This is an overall safety concern when the car could shut off at any given moment while driving.

- Auburn, WA, USA

problem #50

Jan 152014


  • 24,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while traveling various speeds, the vehicle suddenly stalled. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the failure could not be diagnosed. The manufacturer was contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was 24,000.

- Hiddenite, NC, USA

problem #49

Apr 252014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 49,400 miles
I first noticed a problem with my transmission the first week I bought my '13 Ford Focus. I would hear a shuddering and gears grinding when I would accelerate and my transmission would slip when shifting gears. I took it to the dealer and asked them to check it out but was told that it was normal and nothing to worry about and sent me on my way without even taking a look under the hood. I informed them I was worried about getting into an accident with it and they said that would be impossible and it was of no concern. On Friday, April 25th, 2014, after driving 40 minutes to work, I started my car up again and turned onto a main city road from a parking lot then onto a residential street. There, I noticed my transmission light had turned on and my car was having a difficult time shifting gears. The rpms skyrocketed and then plummeted. I was going about 20mph-25mph and my dash is reading 4rpms. I then turn onto another main road where my car started chugging along, it felt, while revving multiple times. I had no control over my own vehicle. About a mile or two away, I reached my destination. I parked and then started to drive again where my car then stopped and I had to declare it inoperable. The next day, I had to have the car towed. Come to find out, the transmission problems I complained about to the dealer were not normal and any day my car was going to quit on me. April 25th, 2014 happened to be that day. My car is just outside of the lemon law as I purchased it last January. Ford is hesitant on helping me and getting my car back and running. I was told there was no problem and nothing to worry about, therefore, I did not pursue the problem any further.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #48

Jun 182013


  • 150 miles


The first incident occurred two days or so after purchasing the car. Heard grinding noise in the front of the car as if metal was dragging on asphalt. Took it to dealership and they stated it was normal. About two weeks later check engine light came on. Took it to dealership and they ran a test and said nothing was wrong and reset the computer. A week later, message comes on the screen in the car to immediately pull over due to high temperatures. Lifted the hood and steam was emanating from the coolant reservoir and the lid had come off due to the pressure. I had to call for a tow to the dealership. They ran another test and found that the radiator fan had failed and they had to replace it. More repeated trips to the dealership to address the grinding transmission but to no avail. In April 2014, I started to experience violent shuddering and jerking, along with the grinding, and again took it to the dealership. They told my husband nothing was wrong because they did not experience it when he came in. Took it back the next day, they ran a test and found that I was is fact right that something was wrong. The clutch was being leaked on by seals above it. They told me they had ordered the part and would call me when it came in. I was not told to leave it there. They said they would call me when the part came in. The car lurches forward when shifting and shudders horribly. I would not recommend this car to anyone and I do not feel safe driving it and nothing seems to be done about it.

- Clarksville, TN, USA

problem #47

Mar 082014


  • 7,000 miles
On my 2013 Ford Focus St I have been experiencing a stalling issue while moving. Car will stall when clutch is pressed while slowing down. Ford has a tsb issued, but will not perform required work due to no code being present. The issue will come and go. Upon browsing internet this is a known issue and many people have been told Ford will not perform the fix. So there are numerous Ford Focus St on the road having this exact problem. It is affecting the current year as well. Here is a link to a discussion on this topic as you can see it is pretty much more than 50% of cars sold seem like they will eventually have this issue. It's a matter of luck if it will throw a code. People have resorted to fixing it themselves. This is absurd. This issue needs to be made public since Ford seems they are trying to save money by saying they need a code present. I brand new car should not be stalling while moving or any time you don't physically shut it off. It's creating a dangerous situation.

- Woodbury, NJ, USA

problem #46

Apr 092014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 18,000 miles
Engine stalls and shuts off while coasting or coming to a stop with the clutch in.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #45

Nov 012013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 26,000 miles
Upon startup, the car idles rough and the rpms drop until the ECU catches it and the rpms increase. The problem becomes more frequent as the car is driven. At times, the rpms will drop so far that the car will stall. The problem tends to get worse as the car heats up. It has stalled multiple times when come to a stop at an intersection or to park. For example, I went out to start the car after about 20 minutes of it sitting after 40 minutes of mixed commuting and the car could not keep an idle. It stalled on me 3 times and felt like it was going to shake itself to pieces. I finally got it started by holding down the throttle and I was able to move the car. It was 60-63 degrees out on April 3rd, 2014 in southeastern ct when this problem occurred. The problem also seems to get worse as the air temperature increases.

- Groton, CT, USA

problem #44

Apr 022014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 15,267 miles


I was driving on an interstate at highway speeds in a completely flat section of the road and had been approximately 20 minutes in my journey when I noticed my car started slightly shuddering. When slowing down for a merging vehicle, my vehicle went to over 5000 RPM (automatic transmission by the way) and my speed dropped, dangerously dropping my speed in a passing lane to 20 under the speed limit. While making multiple attempts on the gas to accelerate the speed, my RPM's kept going up and my acceleration kept declining with cars swerving until I could get into the righthand lane. I have never had an accident or any difficulty with my vehicle as I purchased it new. Further, I have noticed that even though I have an automatic transmission, when stopped at intersections or lights, if I let up off of the gas at all, my car rolls backwards much like a manual transmission would do, which now that I know the transmission does this, I am aware, however on uphill stops I find it difficult to not roll backwards in switching between the brake and acceleration if a car is closely behind me, stopped. I have taken my car to a Ford dealership for it to be looked at, and the customer service rep at my local dealership (where I didn't buy the car) states that the transmission issues are common in Ford focuses of this model year -- and Ford is aware/the dealership is aware -- yet they "can't find anything actually wrong by guidelines" for the car. It's a safety hazard and needs to be dealt with immediately! I expect a new car with no accidents to run smoothly!

- Crozet, VA, USA

problem #43

Jun 072013

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles
When I drive it sounds like something is grinding and/or a rattling in the front of the car. It does not always make this noise however when it does it sounds like my transmission is gonna fall out in the middle of the road while I am driving. I can also feel a vibration in my foot peddle. On June 07 2017 they reprogrammed my transmission hoping that would resolve the problem. On another visit December 27th 2013 they lubed some part of the front of my vehicle. Then on March 19th 2014 they did another reprogram advising me this time its more specific for my vehicle. They also gave me a print out on why my car made this noise and advised me it was normal. They have heard the noise all 3 of these times, there were a few other visits where they were unable to hear the noise so they were not sure on how to approach the problem. With the last reprogramming they did so far has helped the noise it is not as often occurring however now my car is jerking, almost like the transmission is slipping. They did advise me I would need to drive 500 miles to ensure the reprogramming has been fixed and I am not at my 500 miles yet.

- Wilmington, NC, USA

problem #42

Mar 292014


  • miles
Vehicle just stopped running while driving down the road.

- Bloomsburg, PA, USA

problem #41

Jun 042013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 3,000 miles
Vehicle stalls when clutch is depressed when coming to a stop. Sometimes idle is erratic if the vehicle stays running. It hunts to idle properly.

- Bonneau , SC, USA

problem #40

Oct 012013


  • 3,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while she drove at 70 mph, the place transmission in park warning light illuminated then the vehicle stalled. The failure was experienced several times. The contact stated that she was able to coast to the shoulder to restart the engine. The vehicle was taken to the dealer several times but the failure could not be replicated. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 3,000 and the current mileage was 10,000.

- Royal Oak , MI, USA

problem #39

Jan 122014


  • 8,700 miles
While traveling on the freeway the car just died. Engine shut off, how ever all the electrical in the car were still working. Once pulling off the free way, the car started after several attempts but then died shortly after. The car then would not work. After getting the car towed to quirk Ford in quincy they had to keep it as a code they do not know what it means came up, so they do not know how to fix the car. The car is still in the shop to this day and they wont give me a rental.

- Allston, MA, USA

problem #38

Dec 312013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 12,552 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while attempting to accelerate, the vehicle jerked violently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the failure could not be diagnosed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was 12,552. Updated 02/11/2014 the consumer believed there may be a problem with the transmission and the tie rod. Updated 02/20/14

- Hawthorne, FL, USA

problem #37

Dec 232013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 12,377 miles
I was on my way to work on 12/23/2013 and on the dashboard of my car said engine fault check system now light came on and the car immediately shut down on me on the expressway I tried several times cranking my car but it wouldn't start so I call idot to help me they came and towed me to the nearest exit after an hour and a half my car started up but the engine symbol remain on the dashboard I was able to drive it back home I waited for joe rizzo Ford to open and then I took my car to them they ended up keeping my car and I had to rent me a car until the problem was fix joe rizzo Ford said they will call me when the problem is fix--> the car they gave me was another Ford Focus 2013 and what do you know the freaking engine light came on in the rental car I had my personal car for a year now there is no way that I should be having engine problems or anything else wrong with this car Ford really needs to get these problems fix before an accident happen to someone.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #36

Dec 032013


  • 2,045 miles
Two weeks prior to this incident I went and took it for a maintenance oil appointment, on December 3 as I started the vehicle, it would not start, it kept marking check engine, it left me stranded on the middle of my street boylston street, boston, after several attempts it would start but not get too far. I then had it towed to quirk in quincy.

- Boston, MA, USA

problem #35

Aug 152013


  • 10,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while having the vehicle serviced, it was found that there was an oil leak. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was confirmed that the main seal, clutch pack and front seals had failed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 10,000.

- Quakertown, PA, USA

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