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 3 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #29

Jun 212014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 13,258 miles


I purchased my vehicle in Sept 2013 brand new with 23 miles on it. I have no medication done to my car, and for the past few months I've noticed a small miss every once and a while. This problem started getting worse at times my car would accelerate without me pushing the throttle. On 21 June 2014 the problem got much worse and started to stall when I am in neutral, and the throttle is all over the place. The car is currently at the Ford dealership, this problem is all over the internet, with quite of few 2013 Ford focuses effected this is a problem that need to be raised. It is a major safety concern that if left untreated could result in someone losing their life.

- Fort Meade, MD, USA

problem #28

Jan 082013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 3,930 miles
I understand and appreciate that the automatic transmission in this car revs and tends to behave like a manual transmission. I owned a Celica with a manual transmission years ago. However, on several occasions this Focus has decelerated, paused and then lurched forward and I was powerless to accelerate it or alter its "lurch". it tends to make a wind up noise on these occurrences. It occasionally hesitates when I apply the accelerator from stopped. Sometimes the hesitation is longer and more pronounced than at other times. I have taken this Focus to the dealer on five occasions since I bought it new in September of 2013 and it is diagnosed with a code 7000 and the dealer has to keep the car overnight because the transmission needs to be reprogrammed from Ford headquarters as I understand it. The dealer also may perform a drum adaptive learn strategy and adaptive learn drive cycle. When I leave the car seems to have "settled down" and runs more smoothly and quietly. It also gets substantially better mpg. On April 2, 2014, at 17,995 miles, I took it in because it was hesitating on acceleration and jerking and noisy. The Focus had a cracked motor mount. And again the transmission was given its usual computer update from Ford. Currently, the Focus mileage is at 21,300 and it's winding itself up, jerking me around, hesitating and lurching. Two days ago, I was making a left hand turn into heavy traffic and, as I stepped on the accelerator to pull out, the Focus did not respond for a few seconds. At that point I had to brake because it was too late to enter oncoming traffic. This is very worrisome for me especially since my son drives the car as well and he is a novice driver with one year experience. In March, I was traveling and rented a 2013 Ford Focus and drove it about 500 freeway miles. It seemed on it's best behavior.

- Rpv, CA, USA

problem #27

May 012014


  • 8,000 miles
Car is lagging and bogging consistently; turn acceleration in unpredictable, frequent transmission shuddering occurring, un-smooth shifting, I do not feel safe. Low gas mileage 20-24.

- East Haven, CT, USA

problem #26

May 142014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 22,400 miles


Just purchased a used Ford Focus SE 2013. The car lurches forward upon accelerating and then the rpms decrease while accelerating, then increase for a moment, then decrease again. This happens any time I accelerate. The car jerks forward then stops. While the rpms are increasing, the car makes a revving sound almost as if I'm in the wrong gear (though it's an automatic), then it sounds as if it's stopping while the rpms drop. I hear an intermittent grinding sound that seems like the transmission is being overtaxed or damaged.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #25

Jul 252013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 600 miles
While slowing down on a turn, the car looses power, as if its going to stall, then recovers when accelerating, this has happened on numerous occasions, much more tricky on icy and wintry days, accelerating in a curve to keep the car from stalling. The second problem is the car rolls back on hills, for an automatic transmission this is not acceptable, nor is it safe.

- Hazelwood, MO, USA

problem #24

Jul 052013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 300 miles
First incident...was making a turn from a stop position and car hesitated(transmission). Second incident.. parked car on an incline and car rolled back enough to have somebody behind me call it to my attention. Third incident ? going up on my driveway the car hesitated and shakes a lot when starting from a stop position. Note= when my wife drove the car on a test run.. none of this problems showed up. That is because the route we took was all on flat surfaces(in Florida). We brought it to the attention of the Ford dealership, and they handed us a pamphlet, that explained to us that we did not really buy a car with an automatic transmission, it is a standard transmission with some kind of gear set up to shift as if it is an automatic. The dealership also told us to call the manufacturer if we wanted to make a complain. We have a two year warranty, but I am thinking that we might have some transmission problems a lot sooner, but who wants to drive a new car with that problem pending over your head. I hope that we all complain loud enough for Ford to take some immediate action, and come up with a satisfactory solution.

- Citrus Springs, FL, USA

problem #23

Aug 272013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 1,400 miles


We were driving home and had been on the road using cruise control for approximately 2 1/2 hours when the vehicle shut off completely going from 70 mph to no power or electrical. We were fast lane on I-75 North and the car was without any power or hazard lights. We attempted to restart the car several times and finally it started after 5 minutes. Luckily a car stopped and had their hazard lights on. Since then our car fuel has decreased to 12 mpg in the city and 22 on the highway. When you take off car bogs down and you have to mash hard on the gas to get it to move. The idle is rough and you can feel it running rough. We have had it into the dealership five times and since car does not code they will not work on it per Ford's policy. Thus, we have that Ford has advertised will get 28 in the city and 40 on the highway which we did get the first month before it died on the highway. Since then we are afraid to drive using cruise on a trip.

- Berkley, MI, USA

problem #22

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 #21

May 012012


  • 12,000 miles
The vehicle ever since about 8 months post purchase and to date has a very uncontrollable, jerky transmission, often times lunging forward and even vibrating during acceleration. It rolls back on hills as well. It shifts unpredictably a lot of the time and sometimes gears will slip and then catch very abruptly. How it's avoided recall for this long is beyond my understanding...

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #20

Nov 062012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 5 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving 40 mph, the vehicle failed to respond to acceleration attempts. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 5 and the current mileage was 22,600. Updated 06/30/14 MA the consumer stated the vehicle experienced inconsistent transmission performance and lurches during acceleration from a stop. The vehicle could not be trusted during expected quick response. Updated 07/2/2014

- Safety Harbor, FL, USA

problem #19

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 #18

Aug 062013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 6,000 miles
In August of 2013 I brought my 2013 Ford Focus into the dealership with transmission issues. I owned the car for 6 months at that point with 6,000 miles on it. Car was shuddering at lower gears, transmission felt like it was slipping, at times RPM would rev up higher than normal, grinding noise could be heard from the engine at times, loss of power and a couple times complete loss of acceleration while trying to turn across traffic. I took the car into my local Ford dealership and a couple of software updates were applied to the car. This fixed it for maybe 3 months then I started noticing loss of power in the car again, and now recently all of the same issues I originally had, and listed above, have resurfaced. Current miles are 14,000. I can't even go up a hill faster than 25 miles an hour, the car fails to change gear and engine rpms rev and the transmission is slipping everyday. My car is back at Ford, this time for a week while they try to determine what is wrong with it. This is not normal operating for a car no matter what Ford says. Loss of power while trying to cross traffic is definitely a safety concern.

- Auburn, WA, USA

problem #17

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 #16

Apr 012013


  • 6 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle jerked and reduced in acceleration power. The failure was experienced numerous times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer several times for the failure. The dealer recalibrated the computer however the failure was not corrected. The dealer advised the contact that the vehicle was operating normally. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 6 and the current mileage was 16,000.

- Spring Hill , FL, USA

problem #15

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 #14

May 282013


  • miles
In 2/13, my husband and I purchased a '13 Ford Focus from brewster Ford in NY. Unfortunately, our car has never worked correctly. It randomly loses power. It feels like the gas pedal doesn't respond sometimes when we try to accelerate. Our car is currently in their service center for the 4th attempt to repair the problem without any intervention. 3 of the master mechanics, scotty, carlisle, and anthony, say they have driven the car multiple times without repairing anything because they claim that they cannot recreate the problem. 5/28/13 the hesitation and nonresponsive acceleration increased and we brought our car to the service center and paid for an oil change. We were given the car back and told there was no problem found. 6/14/13 we brought the car back to the dealer for the same problem. There was an update for the computer and we thought it might be fixed. 12/9/13 we came back to the service center for the same problem, but this time the car shut off while my husband was driving on the nys thruway and this time the check engine light was on when I dropped it off. Again the car was given back and we were told no problem found. They said that the check engine light was not on. It had been on for two days prior. 12/18/13 we brought our car back to the service center. After we called Ford corporate for help, the service manager, danielle got involved. The gas mileage dropped at this time from 32-27 miles/gallon combined. Our car was at brewster Ford's service center for over 30 days without being contacted once. When my husband called to check on the status, he was told they were waiting on a service engineer to come out. After speaking to angela, the regional manager from Ford, we were told that the service center is unable to recreate the problem and we should again take our unsafe car. 1/23/14 today the regional manager agreed to approve a second opinion.

- Yorktown Heights, NY, USA

problem #13

Feb 142014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 15,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact was driving 55 mph when the vehicle decelerated without the brake pedal being depressed. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for inspection but no issues were found. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the issue. The approximate failure was 15,000. Updated 04/04/14 updated 04/11/2014

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #12

Oct 242013


  • 100 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while in reverse, the vehicle suddenly accelerated and moved forward. The contact also stated that the navigational system could not be activated with the navigational button and the speedometer provided two different speed readings. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for further inspection. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 100 and the current mileage was 5,633.

- San Francisco , CA, USA

problem #11

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 #10

May 142013

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Fusion. The contact stated that while sitting at a stop sign, she depressed the accelerator pedal to drive but the vehicle hesitated to move for a few seconds before surging and accelerating. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection and they stated that they could not diagnose the cause of failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 80. Updated 11/19/13 the consumer stated the brake issue was repaired. The brake light continued stay on when the brake was not depressed.

- 386-212-2665, CA, USA

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