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 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
18,018 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 2 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #49

Jul 262013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 8,000 miles


Purchased car in September of 2012. Car began shaking, sputtering and delaying acceleration after about 6 months. Contacted Ford, they told me that it was because the car had to "get used to its driver". continued sputtering, shaking at lower speeds when accelerating. Began feeling increasingly unsafe and contacted Ford again. They did service work in September of 2013 and said there was a leak in the clutches and it was "repaired". my car still shook and sputtered during every single drive but it became increasingly worse over 2015. I brought in for servicing in the end of April 2015. Ford said "all set" and after I pressed for more answers they said it was due to the computer not recognizing the gear specs. One week later and the car is still shaking, sputtering and jolting in lower gears. It actually jolted in reverse several times this week. Called Ford, they will be looking at it again next week (May 2015). I notice this every single time I drive my car and have yet to have a smooth drive without some sort of jolting, seizing, etc. I am used to it but I am very, very frustrated and sometimes nervous that it has stalled out even though this is an "automatic".

- Somerville , MA, USA

problem #48

Apr 152014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 10,000 miles
As I was driving down the road, I suddenly experienced a loss of power. Was driving about 45 mph but then suddenly the check engine light started flashing and I could not drive faster than about 20 mph despite what gear I was in or how much I pressed on the accelerator. After I turned the car off for a couple of hours, I drove it once again and it seemed to be acting normal and the check engine light was no longer flashing.

- Hixson, TN, USA

problem #47

Feb 022015


  • 24,000 miles
When turning car sometimes hesitates when gas is pushed, could cause accident when there is oncoming traffic. Automatic transmission (or dry clutch) also grinds loudly often, and car jerks and shudders when shifting. Been to dealer twice for repair, transmission replaced once. Still messed up and dangerous.

- Lakewood, WA, USA

problem #46

Jun 262014


  • 38,000 miles


My Ford Focus shudders when accelerating and lurch forward without warning when I'm slowing down or accelerating. I have had it repaired once and need to go back again. How many times do I have to go without a car because the dealership once again has my car in for repairs due to a manufacturer transmission defect. Also, what premature internal wear is this all causing" will I need to replace parts before they would normally need replacing or fixing"! I'm worried the car will breakdown or there will be a crash where someone gets seriously hurt. It has been brought to my attention that Ford knew about the defect and concealed the information and there are numerous law suits out there for this particular issue. I really don't feel safe driving the car anymore. I can't remember the specific date of the first incident but I can find out from the dealership if necessary.

- Ofallon, IL, USA

problem #45

Dec 272012


  • 10,000 miles
My vehicle shudders between first and second gears when accelerating from stopped or low speeds. It jolts randomly when driving in lower speeds. There are sounds of grinding and rattling when coming out of turns/accelerating out of a turn.

- Charleston, SC, USA

problem #44

Jul 032013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 330 miles
Since the Focus was first drove there has been a shutter, a noise coming from what we thin is the transmission. We bought this car in NY and took it to the dealership twice and told us that the car needed to be drive and should stop this at a 1000 mi. Moved to ar took it to the dealership they said it was under recall? that the car needed to be reprogrammed concerning drivetrain. Took it back 2 other times was told the car hadn't been driven enough for the program to take effect. Now the automobile has progressively gotten now shutter, decreases in power, and consider dangerous to drive. Took car in again to dealership.also contacted Ford corporate customer service and informed of problem. Customer rep gave me a number for my case and stated my issues will be assessed.

- Fort Smith, AR, USA

problem #43

Nov 122013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 32,000 miles


I have owned this car for a very short time and have had numerous interactions where the shifting (and grinding) would cause the car to make a halting/shudder after accelerating. At this time it felt as if I were going to get hit by another car due to how abrupt the whole thing was. I have contacted Ford a lot. They don't seem to concerned about the safety issues I have proposed which is why I am here. I live in Alaska but purchased the car from astro Ford in Mississippi. I am military and now have to drive this thing back home. Thanks for listening to my complaint.

- Anchorage, AK, USA

problem #42

Nov 212014


  • 55,000 miles
Was in the far left hand lane on I-15 in the mira loma, ca area going about 10-15 mph in stop and go traffic, as traffic started to clear I pressed the accelerator to increase speed and the car would not go any faster than 20 mph. I pulled off to the left hand shoulder and had the car towed to the nearest Ford dealer. This is the second time this has happened. In addition, the car constantly "shudders" at low speeds to which Ford has advised me is a design flaw in the automatic transmission, clutch assembly and that nothing can be done about it.

- Temecula, CA, USA

problem #41

Oct 232014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 61,000 miles
When I first got the car in September 2013, the car would jerk and shake when pulling off from a stop and was also very loud. I took it to be serviced and they told me that was normal. I took it back a few months later because I didn't believe that was normal. They fixed it. But now it's starting to shake again. In June 2014 the engine light started coming O for a few days. I took it to Ford and they claim they fixed the problem. The light came back on in July, they claimed there was nothing wrong with it. The light was back on in September, they claimed yet again, nothing was wrong with it. I took it took a small transmission shop, they read my codes and immediately found a problem, claiming it was a transmission issue. A few days later, the light was back on. Each time the engine light comes on, it would stall and immediately slow down right in the middle of traffic. Each time Ford claimed nothing was wrong with the vehicle, the engine light would be on for two days. Each time I took my vehicle to Ford, they would keep it 2-5 days... I couldn't get a rental car half of the time because they wouldn't actually do their job until the last day and then tell me that nothing's wrong with my car. We all know, your warranty company needs to know the problem before authorizing a rental vehicle. This last time in October, they claim to have fixed it. They claim that a sensor had to be replaced. I will never buy another Ford vehicle. I cannot wait to get rid of this car! my car is still shaky. It makes a kind of loud noise now as well.

- Sumter , SC, USA

problem #40

Jun 032014


  • 31,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving approximately 30 mph, the engine sensor light illuminated and the vehicle suddenly stalled. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician diagnosed that the throttle body was faulty and needed to be replaced. After the repairs were completed, the contact attempted to drive away but the vehicle stalled again. The vehicle was towed back to the dealer who was unable to duplicate the failure and no problem was found. The manufacturer was notified of the failure but no resolution was offered. The failure mileage was 31,000.

- Butler, NJ, USA

problem #39

Apr 262013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 200 miles


Total loss of throttle, stalling in traffic, shuddering and erratic shifting with the Ford powershift transmission. Since purchasing car new in 2013, I had problems with the powershift transmission, initial problems was a noise that sounded like the muffler was dragging the road, problems got worse as mileage increased. Returned the car to several dealers for diagnosis, was told that the transmission is operating as designed and no repairs were attempted. Problem got worse and I had experienced total loss of throttle in traffic on several occasions, car stalled and jerked in traffic causing neck to snap back. After repeated attempts to get the problem fixed with two different Ford dealers, a customer satisfaction letter came from Ford detailing issues with powershift transmission. I had to take my car into the dealer again, for diagnosis and was told they got it the transmission to fail the thresholds after 6 attempts, which warranted replacement of the clutch pack and internal seals, supposedly a faulty design that allowed oil from the gearbox to leak into the clutch pack causing slippage, noise and issues. Ford returned the car 5 days later, issues went away for 3 weeks or so, and have started to reappear in the same fashion as when the car was purchased new and is getting worse each day, with over 1000 miles on the car since service. As of today I have experienced shuddering and total loss of throttle in traffic, a few times were dangerous in pulling out in front of oncoming traffic the car could have caused me to get into an accident, also lunges in slow moving traffic. I am afraid to let my wife drive the car due to the behavior of the transmission and see again I will soon have to return to another dealer (#3) for correction.

- Wellington, FL, USA

problem #38

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 #37

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 #36

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 #35

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 #34

Jun 092014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 9,000 miles
Since I bought the car is been having a lot of issues with changing gears, I called and Ford said it was normal.but I had an incident it was very scary every time you are in traffic and the car comes to a complete stop, if you try to accelerate the car it goes hard and fast I almost crashed the person right in front of me.the other incident I was in a parking lot and had the car on reverse and the car actually went forward it was very scary I went only and see many customers complaining about similar issues I just don't understand why they are taking so long to issue a recall on this models is very dangerous they need to avoid any further incidents I don't feel safe in this car and I don't want to put someone else in danger to for something that could be avoided. I really pray and hope that they do something about it now these cars need to be off the street now.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #33

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 #32

May 152014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 38,530 miles
When I put the car in drive and begin to accelerate the car stalls and jerks rapidly when throwing itself into 2nd gear. Once it finishes the jerking and stalling motion it makes a loud rattling sound under the hood. When in gear and accelerated going to 35-55 it will stall then the rpms will go higher and it will jerk back into gear accelerating faster than I was going. Sometimes it will barely go from a stopped position to trying to accelerate then all of the sudden jerk into gear.

- Dunn, NC, USA

problem #31

Apr 162014


  • 10,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while traveling 35 mph, the contact depressed the accelerator pedal and the vehicle decelerated to 5 mph. The contact mentioned that no warning lights illuminated on the instrument panel. The failure recurred several times. The manufacturer was not contacted. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer nor was it diagnosed. The failure mileage was 10,000, and the current mileage was 12,000.

- Elizabeth, PA, USA

problem #30

May 302014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 9,500 miles
I purchased the car in may it drove fine for 2 weeks. Then the transmission started hesitating, shutter noises, and vibrating. I took it to Ford 2 days later it started all over again. The car has already been repaired before I purchased it. I was not disclosed that information when I purchased it. Now I have a unreliable car, thanks Ford!

- Louisville, KY, USA

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