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 7 of 8)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #34

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 #33

Nov 242013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 301 miles
I have only had to car for a day. The car makes an awful rattling noise and hesitates when going in and out of traffic. To make matters worse, today I was in a parking lot and when I was in drive I pushed the gas to go forward and the car went in reverse! please recall this car. It's so unsafe and someone is going to get killed. Luckily no one was behind me when this happened. Awful transmission. A danger!

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #32

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 #31

Oct 152013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 20,000 miles


Car jerks alot! always jerking at low speeds and usually through gears 1-4. very unreliable in city driving and feels very unsafe. I totally regret purchasing this vehicle. Taken it several times to the Ford camelback in phx AZ and they just say its the way the manufacture built the car and how the car is able to save gas. Ford needs to recognize this problem and give Ford owners a break.

- Fremont, CA, USA

problem #30

Oct 102013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 9,000 miles
Was driving up my driveway which is fairly steep, the engine slipped out of gear (it's an automatic transmission) and started to roll backwards down the hill, the engine was revving/redlining as if it were in neutral. I quickly applied the brakes, and stepped on the gas. The car was still not in gear and continued to roll back, I applied the brakes again, and then the gas at which point the car shot forward, lucky that I was far enough away from the garage or any objects and remained in gear when I pulled into the garage. This same thing happened to me on flat ground in a parking lot one day. The lurch was less, but the car still shot forward faster than it should have, another instance where I was lucky that there were no pedestrians/cars/objects to run into. This car is dangerous and a liability.

- Clayton , NC, USA

problem #29

Sep 132013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 14,664 miles
For a few months prior I had noticed a shuttering stuttering type feeling when coasting or at at stop, almost like the car was going to stall. On 9/13 I was in stop and go traffic going up a hill into a dodger game when all the sudden a warning popped up on the screen informing me that the transmission had overheated and I needed to pull over, stop the car and wait for 8 minutes. When I attempted to drive the car to pull over the engine would rev but the car didn't move, then it started doing large lurches forward. It was impossible to get out of the traffic and move the car to safety without further endangering myself, my passengers, and the other vehicles around me. The smell was so bad I actually got out of the car at one point thinking it might explode. This went on for about half an hour as I tried to get to safety. I took the car in for repairs the next morning and it was in the shop for a week. I got it back and could tell there was still something wrong because the shaking was now so bad I would get motion sick anytime the car was at a stop. 5 days after picking it up I took it back to the shop. Again, they had the car for a week. After picking it up, three days later I was again pulling into dodger stadium and the same thing happened. Transmission over heated, lurching as I try to pull over to safety and a terrible smell coming from the car. The car is back in the shop again, but I feel that my safety is threatened and I do not want this car back. In 23 days, the car has had to go into the shop 3 times, for a total of 15 days so far.

- Simi Valley, CA, USA

problem #28

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 #27

Jun 132013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 1,000 miles
This car needs to be recalled. Took to dealer with problem about 1,000 miles. They acknowledged it has a problem and said they needed to keep it overnight. Then I find out all they did is reset the computer. That did not work and now at 7,000 miles the problem is getting worse. Engine hesitates and slips when starting accelerate and is worse around 30 mph when the engine shutters, rattles and jumps like I am riding on a horse. How can Ford sell a car that has a major flaw like this" I see hundreds of complaints similar problems. When is the government going to do something? I just wasted my money. I expect to get a good car with no problems but I get a new piece of trash. How can I get the car fixed or my money back"

- Daytona Beach, FL, USA

problem #26

Jun 032013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 164 miles
When shifting the car from first to second, a very loud banging sound was heard. Checked online for similar problems and found that Ford had issued a tsb for this problem on June 10, 2013. Went back to the dealer and informed them of my problem and the tsb. Was told that they would have to experience the problem before they would order parts. Had to make an appointment for them to drive the car and leave it an entire day. Went back July 18, 2013. Dealer had a tech drive the car, and yes, there was a problem. Parts ordered. After waiting weeks, was told that there is a nationwide backorder on parts. After hitting 3000 miles, started to have severe steering issues. When shifting into second or third under acceleration, the would almost make a right turn. And then when accelerating in second and third, the steering wheel would vibrate so bad I had to hang on for dear life. Back to the dealer. They made a call to Ford engineering who said that new mounts would fix the steering issues. In August, I started calling heather at Ford customer service. Explained about the backorder and my steering issues. Told her I was afraid to drive the car. She said she would try to expedite the parts. After weeks of no results, talked to her about me buying aftermarket mounts that are available. She said Ford would not authorize anything but Ford parts. I said that would be acceptable if Ford would come up with the parts. I am now being told that parts might be here in October. Word on the web is that delivery will most likely be November or next year. Finally broke down and bought my own mounts at a cost of $369. My safety is worth that much. I will try to get my money back from Ford, waited 9000 miles for them to fix it.

- Monee, IL, USA

problem #25

May 222013


  • 210 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the entire vehicle started shaking and jerking without warning. The vehicle was taken to a dealer and to a mechanic, who both stated that the computer needed to be reprogrammed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 210. The current mileage was 3,600.

- Washington Park, MD, USA

problem #24

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 #23

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 #22

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 #21

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 #20

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 #19

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 #18

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 #17

Nov 062012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 650 miles
Tried to tell dealership about stuttering of car when it is shifting, response was not enough miles on it, nothing was checked out. Also called dealership again about the stuttering, had the feeling they thought I was crazy. Oil change at 5000 miles, was asked about how I liked the new standard automatic transmission, was not impressed, was taken out on the road, had a loud screech in the front of the car on the highway, was told sometimes a something gets loose and air gets under it and it screeches**.2nd oil change, had enough of the run around, made some noise and got the car checked out on a computer, low and behold, they found a bad clutch, they are replacing it at no cost to me, problem is I don't want this car anymore, I feel very unsafe driving this car, & I feel it is a " large red lemon "& I want it replaced with a good dependable new car, I don't have to be afraid to drive. Thank you, would like to think this would help my cause.

- Fond Du Lac,, WI, USA

problem #16

Aug 272013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 1,600 miles
I have a Ford Focus ev 2013. Twice the car has shut down while driving and the message appears asking you to pull over and stop. This is potentially very dangerous. Further, the sync software does not work properly. The gps shows wrong location, including that the car is at the Michigan assembly plant, clock shows wrong time, phone does not connect or will not disconnect and the rear camera picture shows while driving forward.

- Santa Ana, CA, USA

problem #15

Feb 112013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 3,296 miles
Vehicle grinds gears frequently. From 1st to 2nd gear vehicle will shake, loose power and almost stall before engine regains power and shifts to go forward. Taken to Ford 4 times. They say it is normal and just needs to be broken in. At one visit, they gave me a 2 page handout on how dual clutch engine works, as if that justifies the performance. They finally replaced clutch which helped for a couple of days before original problems returned. Now, on a good day, the car just grinds in 3rd gear. Meanwhile, Ford does nothing, says there is no problem.

- Plainfield, IN, USA

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