Notes: For the third year in a row, the 3rd generation Focus is experiencing massive transmission problems.

Most notably owners keep complaining about how there's bad hesitation and jerking when starting from a stop. This isn't the result of an old, worn out part. In fact, the average mileage it's reported to us is just over 15k miles.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
8 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
15,067 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.

2014 Ford Focus drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2014 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 10 of 23)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #270

Jan 312015


  • 500 miles


The automatic transmission shudders and stalls causing the car to accelerate eratically thereby creating unsafe driving conditions for the driver and motorists around the driver. Ford refuses to admit that there is a problem and continues to sell these unsafe cars.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #269

Jan 042016


  • 15,934 miles
I previously had a 2012 Ford Focus, which left me stranded in the middle of a bridge after a recall part broke. (Ford in the letter sent on the recall stated they could not fix the part that broke until it broke). So I had to wait until that day happened. That was the second strike against them. I had already been in for diagnostic checks and reprogramming several times over the years I owned the car. Then they had to replace the clutch and tcm; kept my car for 3-4 days. So after all that was fixed I traded and got a 2014 Ford Focus hatchback. All that stuff was supposed to be behind me and no glitches in this year. After 15,000 miles was put on the car the clutch started acting up again and progressively got worse. The shuttering and stuttering become so bad I thought my car was going to fall apart. From a dead stop to a go (20-30 mph) it had such a hard time shifting gears that the RPM's would just take off. Grinding noises under the car upon acceleration. When in cruise control it would just lose speed on it's own, cruise set for 60mph and RPM"S would just drop outta no where like the car was about to stall. Took it in and sure enough new clutch and seals were already needed (this car was purchased in April 2015 and the clutch went out in January 2016). They kept the car a wk (at no time was I offered a rental) had to borrow my parents vehicles to get around; my husband needed his car. Had the car back a wk and have already taken it in to be reprogrammed B/C yet again we are having shuttering and stuttering issues as well as problems upon acceleration. When I check 2014 Focus recalls there are some major recalls. I was issued a recall on my VIN# for the tcm already. They have increased my warranty to 100,000 B/C they know I will be back for more repairs and the service guy stated replacing the clutch is only temporary, I will be back for a new one again and again.

- Omega, GA, USA

problem #268

Jan 252016


  • 34,425 miles
Car hesitates and shutters when driven. This is worse at lower speeds or when turning. This happens both on the highway and on city streets. It's been serviced 4 times for this issue, each time the module requires reprogramming, but the problem persists. Recently the check engine soon light had been on. We've been to the dealer and they repaired it, but the engine light has turned on again only 5 days after the last repair. I've checked and the Focus has 5 different active recalls, 2 of them with regards to power train, but this car seems to be excluded from them at this time.

- Boyertown, PA, USA

problem #267

Oct 012015


  • 33,000 miles


The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while attempting to drive, the vehicle started to shutter and hesitated as if it was losing power. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician diagnosed that there was an intermittent transmission clutch shutter. As a result, the clutch plates needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 33,000.

- Leavenworth, KS, USA

problem #266

Oct 222015


  • 32,000 miles
I have escaped being hit multiple times with my car doing this. I have a fear I am going to be rear ended or killed because of my car. The car stalls on the road there is something wrong with the transmission our car has been at the dealership for over a month, second time on the transmission jerking and stalling on the road when you would be stoped at a red light then in motion it jerked when you increased your speed, very unsafe to drive and no one is doing nothing about it. Ford can not fix the problem. Should be a national recall.. not japordizing my family life for a car that stalls on the road.

- Vinton, VA, USA

problem #265

Jan 202016


  • 29,000 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. The contact stated while driving at 70 mph, the vehicle started jerking and shifting from the transmission. The speedometer decreased in speed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 29,000.

- Dearborn, MI, USA

problem #264

Jan 152015


  • 9,000 miles


Car surges at take off, long hesitation while accelerating on the highway and clunking noise at stop. There has been a PCM update, tcm update and tcm reset which did not help. Then they replaced the clutch in the R/R transmission and after driving 3000 miles it has started all over again.

- Norco, CA, USA

problem #263

Jan 232016


  • 46,000 miles
I have had my 2014 Ford Focus for almost 2 years now and it has been giving me nothing but problems with the transmission/clutches. The first time I noticed it was a little after 5 months of having the car I was driving the vehicle on the highway and out of nowhere it died on me shut off while I was in motion in heavy traffic. I was able to pull to the side of the road and turn it off and was able to turn it on and take it to the dealership. At the dealership I was told my computer malfunctioned and needed to be updated. After doing this my car was fine for about another 2 months then it started to sputter, hesitate while turning and in motion and also not shifting gears correctly. I took it again to the dealership and this time they told me my clutches need to be replaced and this happens all the time with my type of car. I was confused about them telling me this because this is very dangerous to be happening all the time. I go the car back worked fine for another 3 months then the same thing again with the transmission. Took it in again and was told again that I needed the new clutches in my car and I said new clutches" why was I not given a recall on my old one oh because we only change them out if you come in and complain about the old ones what?" really!! so got my car back and this time 2 months later today 1/23/16 I was driving the vehicle and was mid U-turn and my car turned off in the middle of my U-turn in on coming traffic almost killing me!!! I haven't been to the delaership yet but after numerous attempts with Ford corporate to fix this nothing is happening they are not taking blame for anything and refusing to recall these cars. Reading online I'm happy to see that I am not the only one they tell this too and it really makes me upset, angry and frustrated. I'm scared to drive my brand new car because of this please help me and everyone else.

- New Port Richey, FL, USA

problem #262

Jul 302014


  • 1,000 miles
Our Focus shudders/stutters on acceleration. Three times to the dealership for the same issue. We were told that parts could take up to a year because of back-orders. It'll work ok for a few days then it's back to shuddering. It's currently worse than it's ever been. We were also told that the transmission would have to re-learn our driving habits! we didn't realize the focuses were equipped with artificial intelligence that it needs to re-learn individual driving habits. We don't want to keep going back to the dealer for an obvious defect. "tweaking" the transmission does not fix the problem. Please help us all that have obviously sold vehicles with defective transmissions. The next question on this form asks when did this occur? from the time we purchased it but didn't realize what was happening with the feeling of a shudder. Thinking it was just the surface of the roads.

- Harrison Twp., MI, USA

problem #261

Dec 092015


  • 8,500 miles
Having several issues with the transmission it is shuddering hesitating jerking surging. Has been to the shop approx. 8 times now and only has 12500 miles on it problem started at 5000. The shop kept telling me it was normal well it got worse was almost T-boned in an intersection when it decided to hesitate in the middle, took back to dealer again they kept it for 2 days they were getting ready to send it back to me when it finally acted up on them, they almost wrecked it in an intersection as well. They reprogrammed it several times, put a tcm in it which made it a little better for awhile now its doing it again the dealer is finally going to put clutches in the transmission but was told it will be a few months to get the part since they just did the 16th redesign of the clutches. The NHTSA needs to get off their butts and recall the Focus before someone gets killed its a major safety issue

- Lewistown, PA, USA

problem #260

Jan 042016


  • 13,000 miles


I bought my car brand new August 2, 2014. I began having issues with my transmission shortly after purchase. My vehicle went in for repairs at 13,399 miles. They reset tcm/PCM and ordered a new clutch assembly. 2 months later it finally came in and was replaced with a little over 17,000 miles on it. It has since messed up again. I took it to the shop on January 4, 2016 and they had it for a day. I picked it up again on January 5, 2016 and was told the clutch assembly needed to be replaced again. I have contacted Ford and requested a buy back and they refuse. This is an ongoing issue with this model. Please do something.

- Beaufort, NC, USA

problem #259

Jan 012015


  • 3,000 miles
The transmission has an issue through all gears where it slips. Because of this, you can't get power when you need it. Passing vehicles and starting from a dead stop at a light or stop sign causes the car to rev until the transmission catches up and applies power to the wheels. There is a two to three second delay from hitting the gas until the power reaches the wheels. The engine works fine because it's revving RPM's and you know the problem is in the transmission because you can feel it slipping like it's a manual car with a bad clutch. This happens from stop to go, and while the car is in motion on a highway or normal street when the speed limit changes from slower to faster. The problem is more persistent the warmer the car is. When I send it to the dealer for the problem they reset the computer and the problem persists after 100 miles or less after the reset. There is apparently no way to actually fix it unless they change the duel clutch system in the transmission out completely and they will only do this if the slippage reaches a certain point. I feel like I have been past that point for a while but the proceed to only reset the computer.

- Reno, NV, USA

problem #258

Nov 282015


  • 7,000 miles
A few weeks after we purchased a new 2014 Ford Focus it shuddered a little a few times upon starting from a dead stop. Dealer said car had a manual automatic transmission & this was normal. The car was searching for a gear & after a break in period it would stop. Around 7,000 miles while the car appeared to be running okay a service transmission light came on with a red triangle. I immediately pulled off into a parking lot. I turned the car off to see if the message would still appear. It didn't but although the gear shift went into reverse the car wouldn't move backward even after several attempts. After the tow truck arrived it did back up but I was afraid to drive it the 55 miles to my home. Tow truck driver could see that there were warning messages but couldn't get the computer to show the information about the warnings. After it was towed home I tested it again & it went backwards okay. I did take it to the dealer who admitted that there was a problem & supposedly fixed it. Then while going from store to store christmas shopping the car started to shudder, pretty violently now, upon acceleration from dead stops at almost every red light. I thought the car wasn't going to make it through a few intersections especially on hills. Since then the car has only shuddered once. So because it's so intermittent it's almost impossible to take it to the dealer while this is happening. I also share the same fear that others have about pulling out in traffic or accelerating to pass because I also experience loss of power almost daily. It seems as though it drops down a gear or can't kick into a gear. These transmission issues are dangerous & after reading many similar complaints it appears that Ford is brushing them off. Have had other problems with the computer as well. Our first new car & it's heartbreaking to think we have a lemon. Thinking of contacting an attorney.

- Bethel Park, PA, USA

problem #257

Dec 152015


  • 42,000 miles
This car has given problems since 3000 miles transmission shudders and looses power on take off Ford has replaced clutch 2 times also tcm twice the tcm is being replaced again or reprogrammed.this does not fix the problem the car is a safety issue because of lack of power going into traffic. I hope their will not be a death because of it. Going on highway car vibrates badly in city traffic car hesitates

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #256

Nov 102015


  • 6,000 miles
The transmission on this car is absolutely awful and dangerous. Ford tries to say "slight shuttering is a normal characteristic of the transmission" and that it's just something to get use to. It's unbelievable that they are saying this. The car is very dangerous to drive because you have no idea when it is going to shudder or have delayed acceleration. Whenever you come to a complete stop and you go to accelerate the car bucks shakes and stutters to the point that it's just plain embarrassing and not driveable. It drives completely fine on the highway, but once you have to stop at any stop light or sign it's awful. You can absolutely forget bumper to bumper traffic because it feels like the car is going to explode. One top of all of that it can't even make it up a parking garage. It was terrifying when I found this out and almost caused many accidents. When you go to pull onto the highway or turn in front of a car the Focus will stutter and stall and almost caused many accidents that way as well. All Ford does to fix these issues is reset the computer and say the car "needs to relearn your driving patterns, and not to bring it back for at least 500 miles." This is a complete lie and the car drives great for a week and then goes back to being awful. Then when the problem continues they will just say they need to replace parts but it's the same awful stock parts. We didn't want to deal with driving this car anymore and bringing it back to the dealership all the time. We traded it in for a Subaru crosstrek and lost a ton of money, but it was the best decision we made. I feel terrible for whoever is going to end up buying that dangerous car. The thing is, after you let the car sit for a day or two, the first 20 minutes you drive it, it drives great! so the buyer will definitely be deceived. We also joined the class action lawsuit and hope to get some money back.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #255

Jan 082016


  • 23,200 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving at 35 mph, the transmission failed. The contact stated that when the accelerator pedal was depressed, the vehicle jerked violently. The vehicle was taken to be repaired but the failure recurred multiple times. The details of the repairs were unknown. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 23,200. Updated 03/09/16

- Port Orange, FL, USA

problem #254

Oct 252015


  • 34,000 miles
Transmission doe not shift gears properly. Car bucks and lurches on starting and feels like it is about to stall. Dealer does not seem to have proper remedy

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #253

Jun 122015


  • miles
I purchased my new 2014 Ford Focus in February 2015 with less than 100 miles on it. Drove the car for 5 months with no issues, then in June I noticed a terrible shudder when accelerating from a stop sign. The car jumps and then shudders when taking off from stop. It makes a grinding noise while trying to get in gear and take off. I have taken the car back to the originating dealership twice, so far. I am currently in the process of waiting on a part from Ford to correct this issue. Per Ford, they are applying clutches to the transmission to resolve this recurring problem. The car, in my opinion, is extremely dangerous to drive and very embarrassing to myself on the road. I have owned several different makes and models of vehicles in my life but have never dealt with anything so frustrating as this with any of the cars. This is the first Ford that I've purchased and I am a very unsatisfied customer, to say the least. If the part/clutch doesn't fix the problem, I will be filing a lemon law suit against Ford.

- Greensboro, NC, USA

problem #252

Dec 292015


  • 10,215 miles
Transmission has issues w/the clutch. Has been taken 2 the dealer now 4X's since purchase in Jan. '15. Has a constant shudder/jerk when taking off from a stop; daughter has never driven a stick so she is not familiar & says she feels like car is about to die. Every time we take to dealer all they say is "all we can do is reprogram the transmission"; car is getting worse. She basically has to slam on gas pedal sometimes to get it to go. Car is dangerous, and is in a stationary motion when this is happening.

- Humble, TX, USA

problem #251

Dec 012014


  • 10,000 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. While at a complete stop, the contact depressed the accelerator pedal and the vehicle jerked and hesitated without warning. The failure recurred on several occasions when the contact accelerated from a complete stop. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission needed to be reprogrammed. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer on two other occasions to be reprogrammed; however, the failure persisted. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 10,000.

- Pleasant View, TN, USA

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