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.


pretty bad
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
6,046 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

problem #8

Dec 292014


  • 27,292 miles


Car jerks when accelerating. After being stopped and stepping on the gas, car feels like it is going to stall out to the point when it begins to move again it jerks you back in the seat. Makes a loud grinding noise under the hood. Also, when turning the key to start the vehicle, it is hesitant to start. Car shakes and does not drive at an even pace unless on the highway at or above 40 mph. Been to the dealer numerous times about these problems, all to which they have no answers for.

- Duryea, PA, USA

problem #7

Dec 072012


  • 500 miles
The transmission shifts roughly between first and second gear. It causes the car to shutter and on an incline, has caused the vehicle to roll backwards. I have taken the car to a Ford dealership at least 4 times to fix the issue, but they have told me each time that there is no problem with the transmission. My driver door and driver-side passenger door have both opened while I was driving because of a faulty latch. They opened on separate occasions, so I have been to Ford twice because of the door not closing. Lastly, the ac has two separate issues where it doesn't work. The technicians at Ford have not been able to replicate the problem, so it has gone on unsolved.

- Desert Hot Springs, CA, USA

problem #6

Mar 312014


  • miles
Car hesitates at take off and take off when making turns.

- Lancaster, CA, USA

problem #5

Jan 172013


  • 150 miles


I bought a brand new 2013 Ford Focus in January 2013 after having previously owned a 2011 Ford Focus that was having transmission issues. The dealership had told me that the 2013 Focus models had a redone transmission that was more expensive and didn't have the "issues" that plagued the 2011 Ford Focus. Turns out it is the same transmission, except with a computer update which does not fix the issue. Within the first few weeks, my car was 'shuddering' for lack of a better description when accelerating; the RPM's go up sporadically to, revving the engine higher than it needs to go. It feels almost like it's going to die and then will catch the gear and go. I have taken my current car in for service once for another update, but my 2011 was in the shop multiple times to fix this issue, and always came back to me doing the same 'shuddering' as it did before it went in. I called Ford and they said they would talk to my dealer and they would take care of it. Well, by taking care of it, they meant that there is another 'update'. I had it updated on 8/26/13 and I picked it up only to find that the shuddering is worse. It's not safe to try and drive a car that shudders and lags when you have to cross busy streets and in normal daily traffic. I'm tired of dealing with this issue especially being that I bought a new car. And an american car at that. Ford needs to have some integrity and fix this before I do what I want to do and go buy a Honda or Nissan.

- Wichita, KS, USA

problem #4

Jun 122013


  • 5,077 miles
Driving on freeway, stop safely now triangle shows completely powers down. Pull to side, have to wait 45 minutes to drive again. Almost got rear ended.

- Los Angeles , CA, USA

problem #3

May 182013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 11,251 miles
Vehicle has had oil leaking into engine compartment since purchased in November 2012. At 3000 miles, rear engine seal replaced - leaks continued. Rear main engine seal replaced again at 8000 miles - engine compartment leaks continued. After two more visits to dealer and two additional trip to different dealers, third service dept. Claims that transmission is source of leak, not engine. If this is the case, then vehicle has been driven for over 11,250 miles with insufficient transmission lubricant - great cause for concern.

- Toledo, OH, USA

problem #2

May 022013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 300 miles
We were driving eastbound on 290 at 1st ave.our vehicle stopped accelerating. We pulled over to the shoulder. We called the Ford 1-800 number and requested tow service and that an Illinois trooper be called. We also called the dealership where we purchased the brand new car. The person at the dealership suggested we try starting the car again. Seconds after starting the car again, a flame burst out of the front hood. We evacuated the vehicle. Moments later more flames appeared, followed by the entire front of the car becoming engulfed in flames.

- River Forest, IL, USA

problem #1

Feb 212013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 3,800 miles
Vehicle lost all power while driving at 45 mph with no warning. After attempting to restart for 10-15 minutes, the car did re-start, but the check engine light stayed on. Took to dealership on 2/22. Awaiting information from dealer.

- Burtchville, MI, USA

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