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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
43,213 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 fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2013 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #32

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 #31

May 012014


  • 1,000 miles
Filling up with gas the gas pump turns off after about every 1/2 gallon. Something to do with the venting of the gas tank.

- Cripple Creek, CO, USA

problem #30

Dec 312016


  • 63,000 miles
At approximately 2:30 am this morning 12/31/16, our Ford Focus burst into flames while stationary in a parking lot. Thank god we and our 11 month old were not in the car at the time. We have had this car into the shop at least twice for transmission problems then our entire multi information screen including radio quit working, they refused to fix because we were out of warranty. We have barely had this car for one year and have had nothing but problems. Now we have no car because it is totaled from the fire. The police based on initial investigation said it was an electrical fire. I have seen another 2013 Ford Focus catch fire in australia and other places. I would like this to be investigated so this does not happen to other people.

- Chehalis, WA, USA

problem #29

Nov 102016


  • 48,000 miles


While driving approximately 35mph on a city street my vehicle stalled resulting in lose of control. The fuel vapor separator malfunctioned allowing fuel into the fuel vapor canister. Also I can not put more than 2 gallons of fuel into the vehicle or it will not start. It also stalls when coming to a stop. Vehicle had 48knmiles at the time. Vehicle has not been fixed.

- Richmond, VA, USA

problem #28

Sep 012016


  • 70,000 miles
About one year after we bought this car, I ran out of gas on a city street, about one mile from a gas station and the dash still showed 8 miles until empty. I was stranded on the side of the road and had to call for roadside assistance. After that I was careful to try not to let it get that low again. Recently, however, driving down the interstate, I was getting low on gas and about to get off at the next exit in 2 miles when I suddenly ran out of gas. This time, the dash showed 17 miles until empty. I was stranded on the side of the interstate with lots of traffic, construction, and 90 degree whether. I waited there in the heat for about an hour and 20 minutes for roadside assistance. About 2 months later when I took my car in for its 3rd recall (a software issue) I asked if the fuel issue was related to the software, and I was told that the fuel purge was a "common" problem with this vehicle but not considered a recall. I was also told that I would have to get it repaired or it would continue to get worse. I feel like being stranded on the side of the road is a safety issue. I also feel like I should not have to pay for this since it is a problem with the way the fuel system was built.

- Flowery Branch, GA, USA

problem #27

Oct 252016


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While driving approximately 70 mph, the vehicle vibrated violently and stalled without warning. The contact coasted the vehicle to the side of the road and was able to resume driving. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the vapor management valve, charcoal canister, fuel pump, and fuel tank failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failures. The approximate failure mileage was 70,000.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #26

Sep 272016


  • 4,200 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While driving at any speed, the vehicle shut off and the check engine warning indicator illuminated. The vehicle was restarted and driven to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the purge valve was stuck, which caused too much vacuum to the fuel tank. The fuel tank, fuel pump, and purge valve needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 4,200.

- Mckinney, TX, USA

problem #25

Sep 102016


  • 68,000 miles
Inaccurate distance to empty & inaccurate fuel gauge indicator. When I put gas in the car it won't start up at first, I have to recrank and reve up the engine. When I make turns or idle for too long, the battery light blinks and the car shudders, the battery is new. Also multiple diagnostic trouble codes (dtc) with illumination of check engine light.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #24

Oct 022016


  • 69,000 miles
My 16 year old son was driving home from work when his car just stopped in the middle of the road. He pulled off to the side of the road and waited in his hot car till we could get there because he was unsure of the safety of the area. A friend of his dads towed it to the local Ford dealership. They immediately knew what was wrong with it. They said the purge valve was stuck and caused a vacuum affect on the fuel tank causing it to cave in and the fuel pump to break. They wanted $1400 to replace the fuel pump and fix the tank. After calling Ford Motor Company 2 times. The first time, they completely reported the incorrect information to the service manager saying it was a door handle recall issue. Not true at all. The second time the were going to offer financial assistance. So we went from having to pay $1400 to $900 to now I had to pay $777. I explained to them how I should not have to pay for a manufacturer defect and this could have caused harm to my child. It can also cause harm to others that own this same kind of vehicle if it is not corrected. I asked them if it was going to take someone getting killed before they decide to correct the problem. So they put a band aide on my son's car and sent us away. I'm very unhappy with the way this matter has been resolved. I want my money back and I want this problem to be fixed so others do not experience the unsafe conditions that my son has been placed in. Please help get this recalled.

- Crestview, FL, USA

problem #23

Sep 052016


  • 50,000 miles
Many problems with this Ford Focus.1st problem I had was a year after I bought the vehicle the fuel pump was leaking.I notice because my car was parked and it smelled like gasoline inside the vehicle.2nd incident happened a year later. I was driving home from work when car just shut off on the road. I was so scared.I was in notion barely move to the side of the road on rt 50.that was so scary I could have died.I had to tow the car to get serviced at sheehy Ford. They gave me the car back again and it happened again on the road on my way to work. At that time I towed it again but to koons falls church.looked at the vehicle and didn't find anything either until I got upset and they told me to go for a test drive with the mechanic and it happened while on the test drive. The mechanic stated to keep the car running so he can plug in the machine that reads the problems on the vehicle. He also stated that once you turn of the car and you turn it back on that it would reset it self and that's why they didn't know that tcm or tmc control needed to be replaced. This was very scary for for the passed 3 weeks I have been dealing with a static /popping noise /sound that comes from the vehicle when I'm driving & when the vehicle is parked, the key is out the ignition.I took it to sheehy since that's where I bought the vehicle. They provide the worst service on the vehicle. Bcuz they had my car for 4 days and didn't provide me with a loaner and had the audacity to tell me that the master tech was on vacation and I would have to wait still with no loaner vehicle.the radio is completely off and they want me to pay out of pocket to fix has just given me problem after problem is manufactured problems.I had so many safety issues that scared shutting off on the road and now making loud popping/ static noise where I thought I might be electrocuted.

- Annandale, VA, USA

problem #22

Sep 102016


  • 91,000 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While driving approximately 65 mph, the fuel gauge displayed a quarter of a tank. The contact proceeded to a fuel station and the vehicle stalled. The contact had to push the vehicle to the fuel station for fuel. The vehicle was restarted and driven home. The following day, the dealer diagnosed that the deformed fuel tank needed replacement. The failure recurred once. The manufacturer was informed of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 91,000.

- Winchester, KY, USA

problem #21

Aug 172016


  • 67,000 miles
My vehicle has 67K miles and was purchased certified pre-owned four months ago. On Wednesday 8/17/16 I filled my tank, and when I tried to start the ignition right after fueling, the car sputtered but would not turn on. After a few more tries the car turned on and I was able to drive and turn the car on and off with no problem. The following day I was driving on a surface street, and when the car came to a stop at a red light it completely shut off even though my gas gauge still showed fuel in the tank. I had the car towed to a Ford dealership, and they informed me that the purge valve, was stuck in the open position causing my fuel pump to deliver too much fuel to the engine, and created a vacuum pressure so strong that it warped my tank and damaged my fuel pump and fuel sensor, making my sensor think there was more gas in the tank than there really was. They informed me that I would need a new purge valve, a new evaporator canister, a new fuel tank and fuel pump, totaling $2100 and which was not covered under warranty because emissions components are only covered for 2 years or 25K miles through Ford. The purge valve malfunction is a known problem in 2012 and 2013 Ford focuses yet a recall has not been issued by Ford, and customers are having to pay for the expensive repairs out of pocket for defective engine component that was not damaged by the drivers. Can someone at the NHTSA please research the vapor canister purge solenoid malfunction on 2012-2013 Ford Focus? having the purge valve stuck in the open position can collapse the fuel tank causing catastrophic engine failure with little to no warning and could potentially lead to accident and injury if the failure occurs on the highway or in traffic. Ford technicians are aware of this issue but since no recall has been released, they can only say to the customers "bad luck, you gotta fix it".

- Norcross, GA, USA

problem #20

Jun 092016


  • 79,500 miles
Car will die while driving or stopped at light or stop sign. Car will die after putting gas in tank. Car died will driving at a speeds of 20mph-65mph on multiple occasions. Was forced to make dangerous maneuvers to get off highway and on 2 occasions car died in middle of an intersection. Was told by mechanic the vehicle gas tank had the pressure of a diesel (1000lbs) when a normal sedan should be 300-400lbs of pressure. The pressure caused the gas tank to become inverted and broke all attachments contained to the fuel pump. This is not the result of driver. The car is defective and the results may lead to serious injuries or possible death.

- Grand Forks Afb, ND, USA

problem #19

Mar 142016


  • 57,600 miles
I have a 2013 Focus and on 3/14/16 on my way home on the freeway, my oil & battery light started flickering on and off at the same time and as it did the car was stalling out. I put my 4-way flashers on, slowed down and moved to the right lane as a safety measure. After another few miles both lights came on and stayed on and the car shut down. I pulled over to the berm, waited a few minutes, tried starting, it started and drove home with no issues. I drove to work the next day with no issues. On the way home things started happening again, the car shut down, but this time after waiting a few minutes the car never started. I had it towed to the dealer and they found that a wiring harness was up against the throttle body and wore through the protective insulating tape, then the wires causing the problem. Also, in speaking to the mechanic he said that the bracket the harness was using to keep in place was causing it to be up against the throttle body so he unclipped the bracket. I'm going to call the Ford customer service center to discuss. Another issue was that the "book" said it would take 3 hours, but only took 2. and yes they tried to charge me for the 3. interesting at $125/ hour, that would be $250/ hour they're making while the mechanic starts on the next car! unbelievable.

- Mentor, OH, USA

problem #18

Mar 162016


  • 86,000 miles
I can't start the car or it randomly will not start. I leave heading to work everything is ok, car starts no problem. When I get back into the car and try to drive home or store. Car will not start, dashboard says car is in park or neutral. When I turn key to the on position, I move the gear shift to other gears, still dashboard says it's in park. My T-mobile more than likely went out but, they can't replace it until my check engine light comes on for the codes for my tcm. If the problem for the car is known for having bad seals and tcm, why not just replace it. This will be the 3 time I have taking my car back to the dealer, and there only solution is reprogramming the car computer. I have taken it twice this week alone.

- Turlock, CA, USA

problem #17

Mar 042016


  • 40,750 miles
While on a highway (August 2015), vehicle transmission began to slip followed by the car shutting off while driving at freeway speeds, vehicle would not turn back on and left me stranded in the middle of the highway. November 2015, while driving along freeway, car transmission began to slip, causing the car to again shut off completely while driving at 65mph. December 2015, driving on a city street, once agin transmission started slipping and vehicle shut off in mid motion while going 30 mph. In February 2016, vehicle started normally, once we pulled out onto a road, car began violently bucking transmission seemed to engage then disengage placing the vehicle in danger of being hit by cars from behind, and jostling passengers substantially. In March 2016, vehicle was driving 70 mph down freeway when transmission slipped, the transmission then seemed to engage normally again, but as vehicle exited freeway on feeder road, transmission disengaged, bucking car, driver had gas pedal floored and the vehicle would only move a few feet. After transmission re engaged, the car lurched forward without drivers foot on gas, putting vehicle at risk for hitting car in front of it. Each time vehicle has had an incident, we have taken it to a local Ford dealership, transmission computer module was replaced, clutches replaced, transmission re programmed 3 time, PCM replaced. Each time vehicle has been given back within a month their is an issue. Ford has told us that they really do to have a fix for the problems, and each time we are given an unsafe vehicle back that has imposed danger on our lives and others on multiple occasions. Ford even returned vehicle after it had stalled on them, because they could not find anything else wrong. We have been very lucky that each incident has not resulted in a crash.

- Friendswood, TX, USA

problem #16

Jan 032016


  • 52,000 miles
This vehicle exhibits the same problem as described in NHTSA campaign # 15V813000, recall# 14S17- S1. I contacted Ford who stated that this vehicle is not covered under the recall, even though it was manufacturer during the dates covered by the recall. This vehicle has hesitated and almost stalled while entering high speed traffic on several occasions and with increasing frequency, nearly causing an accident. I would like this vehicle added to the list of vehicles being recalled for repairs before bodily injury or death occurs because of this defect

- Cheshire, CT, USA

problem #15

Jan 262016


  • 59,916 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. While driving at any speed, the vehicle shut off. The contact placed the gear in neutral and restarted the vehicle after three attempts. The check engine light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a local dealer where it was diagnosed that the purge canister valve was defective and caused the fuel tank to collapse. The dealer stated that the defective part was not covered under warranty. The manufacturer stated that the part was not recalled. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 59,916.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #14

Apr 012014


  • 40,000 miles
Transmission issues: Clutch repairs X3 (drove off lot with issues. My mistake. I knew something was wrong with it during test drive, was reassured it was new technology.) 1 cleaning, 1 replacing of parts, then transmission control module went out while in motion on city street, going forward 25+ mph, quit completely. Had towed. Ran out of gas (in motion on a highway, 65 + mph) while monitor noted 150 to empty, found to be valve pressure management system failure, resulting in gas tank replacement

- Ellenwood, GA, USA

problem #13

Sep 142015


  • 60,082 miles
I was driving in town, had not had any indication previous to this that there was anything wrong with my car. As I was at an intersection, pulling away from a full stop, the car just quit. 100% would not move another inch even with coaxing etc. After trying to start the car a few more times I realized it was not going to start again and got it towed. The fuel pump was replaced. The way the car stopped made the situation dangerous. Sudden and without warning. I put this here, in case it becomes a pattern with this vehicle.

- Hudson, CO, USA

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