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 1 of 8)

problem #154

Nov 042015


  • 15,000 miles


My car is involved in recall 14M01, the current millage is 31100 mile the problem is a power lose and a sever vibration when the car is stopped in a red traffic light. This issue is getting worst every day and the car was fixed 4 times for two different Ford dealers in which the tcm was replaced, reprogramed, changed the transmission oil, the gasket and clutch, in the past the shudder was just in low velocity and now the shudder and power of lost is at any velocity or gear change. I been involved two times in a sever risk of crash when I was driving in a highway @ around 40 miles suddenly the car in front stopped, I had to change my line to not crash, I check the side mirror, push the gas change my line and then the car do not response and the car behind of me had to push the brake and almost crash on the back of my car. My car is now again with a dealer to try to fix the issue but I can, T accept again a change of the tcm when it didn't work in the last three times. If we take in a continues time frame my car was more than 5 months in a Ford garage. The 2nd issue is an excessive consumption of gasoline and high emission of co my car is in Mexico city, it's tested every 6 months to check the gases emission it didn't pass the test 4 times in 7 months, the dealer tried to fix 4 times too w/O answer as the diagnostic of the car was wrong in booth issue cases (power loss-vibration and inefficient combustion) I request by phone get all the information to the dealer in regard of the test for the diagnostic and codes from the ids and they service manager told me they can't because is confidential" and I say I'm the owner and driver an I need to know what is happening because I'm in a risk of crash and they can't hide me this information I just check the tsb 15-0120 procedure in your web site to know what they will do and they refuse my request.

- Searcy, AR, USA

problem #153

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 #152

Nov 012016


  • 86,364 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While idling, the engine suddenly stalled. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the canister purge valve was faulty, which caused the fuel pump to malfunction. The fuel tank became deformed. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 86,364.

- Cincinnatti., OH, USA

problem #151

Nov 252016


  • 74,000 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While driving approximately 60 mph, the steering wheel shook violently and the vehicle failed to accelerate. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the engine was failing. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 74,000.

- Chula Vista, CA, USA

problem #150

Nov 042016

Focus 4-cyl

  • 54,600 miles
I was literally leaving the Ford dealership for "shut down isssues and shuddering issues" when they supposedly couldn't "verify the problem" I was driving home on a five lane highway and my car completely lost power in the middle of an intersection going 70mph and was stuck in the middle of the freeway until a tow truck came and towed my car back to the dealership where it is currently at right now. This is my 5th attempt for them to fix it.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #149

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 #148

Oct 202016


  • 59,500 miles


At an intersection, the car sputters from a stop and sometimes stalls. Likewise, after re-fueling the tank the car stalls 2-3 times in a row on ignition before starting and staying on. When approaching a stop, the car has sometimes had the other dashboard warning lights come up and felt like it was about to stall, with the RPM gauge bouncing around near zero, but has not fully stalled during deceleration (possibly due to me pressing on the accelerator to prevent the stall). The service engine soon light came on shortly after this began. At that time, the fuel gauge also began to "stick, " not moving from position until the car would be stopped and restarted, and mis-representing the number of miles left before needing to refuel. I'm currently at a Ford dealership to get inspected and repaired. I've been told that it has something to do with a pump, but nothing more at this point.

- New York, NY, USA

problem #147

Oct 172016


  • 73,000 miles
Timing cover leaks 1-quart of oil every 3,000 miles. This seems to be a known issue for all 2012-2014 Focus'. Ford will not acknowledge the defect.

- Highlands Ranch, CO, USA

problem #146

Aug 012014


  • 22,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While attempting to accelerate, the vehicle jerked and hesitated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 22,000.

- Hodgkins, IL, USA

problem #145

Oct 052016


  • 84,000 miles
Problem with the transmission has a very delayed shift from 1st gear to 2nd gear and it is an automatic. Can hear the gears slip and grind when trying to change lower gears... especially going up any type of hill.could cause a wreck when pulling off a side street to main road or when going up a hill it can't almost feel like the engine is going to drop out the bottom of the car and the car to rolling backwards.

- Charleston, WV, USA

problem #144

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 #143

Sep 122016

Focus 4-cyl

  • 50,323 miles
Car was in motion in rush hour highway traffic at speed of 55 mph when engine went to neutral revving and would not move. Almost rear ended because of this. Car would show drive on the lcd panel but be in park. You could not move the shifter either. I had just left (5 minutes) an authorized Ford service dealer after having my car towed there from a previous occurrence and explained to the service people the exact issue as above but they said there was no issue and said my Focus was fine well obviously it is not and my understanding is that this has been a common complaint for this engine. To be driving at highway speeds and your coming to a stop is very dangerous thankfully I or my family was not harmed just mentally shaken. Please investigate this issue as it looks as if Ford is ignoring the problem. Thank you.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #142

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 #141

Jul 272016


  • 40,000 miles
When accelerating from first to second gear the car will shudder like it wants to stall. It seems to happen the most when there is any kind of extra weight in the car, when accelerating from a stop, and when going uphill. It will be fine for a while then all of a sudden it will do this every time I try to accelerate. The car only has 52,000 miles on it and definitely shouldn't have this kind of a problem

- Pawcatuck, CT, USA

problem #140

Jul 092016


  • miles
On October 6, 2012 I purchased this new automobile. February 27, 2013, the auto was taken to a local dealer. There seemed to be a shuddering/dragging when the gas pedal was applied from a complete stop. An inspection was done and no problem was found (it was happening sporadically). After taking it in a few more times they still could not find a problem. August 4, 2014 I took car a dealer 110 miles away. After describing what was happening, the mechanic told me it was probably the clutch was not engaging. They repaired it and it seemed to be driving much better. By mid 2015, the car started shuddering again, so on November 11, 2015, since I knew what was the probable problem was I took the car to a local dealer and told them what the other dealer had done. They verified the problem and had the car for several days while parts were ordered and a new clutch was installed. They told me the car was leaking oil and they would order the necessary parts (new clutch). The car was brought in again on 12/8/15 and left several days. They again ordered parts and replaced defective ones with other parts. On 1/18/16 the car had to be towed to the dealer because all the oil had leaked out of the car. The car would not move and there was a computer message stating there was a problem with the transmission. Again the car was at the dealer for several days while parts were ordered and installed. On 2/16/16 the car again was brought into the dealer. This time extensive work was done on the car. Three engines were ordered and another clutch was installed. I received my car back the week of April 5 (6 weeks later). On 7/11/16, the car had to be towed to the dealer (50+ miles away) because the computer message read transmission hot stop car immediately. Again another clutch was put in with other parts due to the clutch breaking. My car was at the dealer for another 6 days.

- Jordan, AR, USA

problem #139

Jul 082016


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While the vehicle was merging into traffic, the vehicle failed to accelerate for approximately ten seconds. The vehicle was diagnosed and the transmission and power control module were replaced, but the failure continued. The manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 60,000.

- Bel Air, MD, USA

problem #138

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 #137

Sep 012015


  • miles
Engine light comes on, car will not back up, driving car will hesitate going forward, and sometimes as driving hesitates to change gears. Took to Ford three times including a free receiving recall letter. Had to buy a battery for them to check car! no problem starting ever! idling car will cause car to hesitate going while driving. Recall was for a part for transmission, and asoftware update program 15B22

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #136

May 012016


  • 68,000 miles
The car shudders when taking off from a stop sign or light. This is ridiculous!

- Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #135

Nov 022015


  • 79,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While driving at an unknown speed, the vehicle began to vibrate. The accelerator pedal was depressed, but the vehicle failed to accelerate and lost power. The check engine warning light illuminated. The failure recurred on numerous occasions. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission control module and clutches in the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired; however, the failure persisted. The vehicle was taken to another dealer, but was not diagnosed or replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 79,000.

- Black Wood, ID, USA

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