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 12 of 23)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #230

May 142014


  • 3,000 miles


I purchased the car brand new. It started bogging out dying in slow traffic and in the middle of turns. I have had it in the shop 5 times for same issue nothing was resolved. I have almost gotten in a couple accidents when turning the car dies in the middle of street and I have almost been T boned. I sounds like the engine is going to fall out at times. Sometimes when it starts to die it excelerates and send the car forward at a fast speed. I have only had car 18 month. I am terrified to drive this car!

- New Lenox, IL, USA

problem #229

Jun 012015


  • 5,000 miles
Transmission is hesitant to engage and jerks between first and second gears. Feels like car is going to stall out when moving- extremely dangerous. Dealership has reprogrammed car with faulty factory parts/settings.

- Richmond, VA, USA

problem #228

May 042015


  • 8,000 miles
The car shudders or hesitates when accelerating from a stopped position. So far the dealership has stated that "some shuddering is normal". I just don't see how that is normal. Now not only is the car shuddering but it also make a grinding noise when it shudders. Car has 12,000 miles on

- Kankakee, IL, USA

problem #227

Nov 152015


  • 14,500 miles


Bought this vehicle brand new and every time I accelerate their is a shutter with the transmission. It feels like it cannot determine what gear is next or what gear it is going to shift too. Happens when I accelerate and also when I slow down and then try to accelerate again. I was hoping that this wasn't serious but reading all the other complaints, it seems like it can be the same or similar issue.

- Elmhurst, IL, USA

problem #226

Oct 052015


  • 6,000 miles
My car has transmission problems. The transmission jerks, shakes, hesisiates, and shudders. When I am stopped, and then I start again it feels like my car is going to stall. The freeway is even scarier. The dealer claims they fixed my car but I am still having the same problems. I think it needs a whole new transmission.

- Livonia, MI, USA

problem #225

Apr 012015


  • 11,000 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. While driving 25 mph, the vehicle began to shake. The contact attempted to depress the clutch pedal, but it failed to depress. The vehicle was taken to a dealer. The vehicle was not diagnosed, but the technician stated that the clutch and transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The VIN was invalid. The failure mileage was 11,000.

- Anneheyn, CA, USA

problem #224

Sep 192015


  • 33,900 miles


When stepping on the gas the car does not go. It hesitates then goes forward shifts hard and the shudders. Took back to dealer and they reprogramed the computer, drove over 1000 miles. Now I have taken back to dealer and it will be 6 weeks before parts come in. Worried about getting in a wreck.

- Ithaca, NY, USA

problem #223

Nov 142015


  • 21,300 miles
I took my car to get fixed under the recall for the 2014 Ford Focus, it was fixed (so they said) but a month later the problem still persists. It jerks while accelerating and it also stalls.

- Spring Lake, NC, USA

problem #222

Nov 152014


  • 21,000 miles
Vehicle fails to accelerate (even though rpms rise) upon take off until automatic transmission kicks then shudders and fails to accelerate when hill climbing, also note that its an automatic transmission that rolls backwards on any degree of incline. When I brought these issues up to the dealership right after we purchased it I was told this was "normal" for this transmission. It continues to get worse and is becoming dangerous when trying to accelerate through an intersection or on a highway. We are now at 21000 miles and afraid to drive it. Brought it up to the dealer again and was told there was a "warning message" about this problem but no recall has been issued.

- Willamina, OR, USA

problem #221

Nov 042015


  • 19,665 miles
Vehicle's transmission shifts into other gears while in drive. Three separate times it has went into reverse. Twice while coming from a stop, once while in mid drive. My vehicle was in the shop a total of 57 days so far this year, got it back on Friday after a field service engineer came to look at it. They were unable to replicate any issues with the transmission, but would not certify it as "safe." Today, I was driving at 65 mph on the highway when the engine revved high and the dash display showed I was in park. It limped to a stop on the highway then flashed "transmission not in park P" before it shut down. After calming my nerves just a bit, I was able to restart the vehicle. I was about 4 miles from the dealership and was able to drive it (slowly) to them. I was able to snap a photo showing the vehicle in park doing 65mph with an RPM of 3500. However, from previous experience, this is not "proof" if the issue is not duplicated by Ford directly. So to date at 19,970 miles, the vehicle has went out of gear 4 times. The vehicle stopping on a highway by going into reverse and park is not a safe condition that could lead to a crash.

- Lubbock, TX, USA

problem #220

Sep 102015


  • 20,000 miles


The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the transmission jerked between first and third gear. The vehicle was taken to a dealer on more than three occasions where the failure was undetermined. When shifting gears into drive or reverse, the vehicle independently surged. The brake pedal was depressed with force when the failure occurred. The dealer stated that the clutch assembly and the transmission control module needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 20,000.

- Concord, CA, USA

problem #219

Sep 302015


  • 19,000 miles
The vehicle has went into reverse on 3 occasions while the gear stick selector is in the drive position. One incident it went into reverse, striking a pedestrian causing injury. On another it went into reverse while on a freeway, then came to a crawl and stopped. Ford sent out their field service technician and said that an engine crankshaft seal was leaking (in addition to the clutch seals that had been replaced for leakage earlier). The dealer says that these leaks are common and cause the transmission to exhibit erratic behavior, including going into reverse. According to the Ford dispute resolution department, they could find no abnormal codes in the computer of the car - which could be a whole other defect in itself. Ford refuses to provide me paperwork on the technician's report/review of the vehicle and cannot guarantee that it will not happen again, nor will they verify that the fixes are safe. Ford was "unable to duplicate" the transmission going in reverse during their 7 mile test drive. A person at the dealership's service department told me that they try not to drive the cars very far and with a cold transmission so that the issues are not prevalent and cannot be duplicated and they will not have to diagnose anything. They also verified that they have a lot of issues with these vehicles, and with Ford in general trying to authorize repairs. I feel that something as serious as this should not have to be "duplicated" in order to have a fix looked into. I wish we were able to form a petition with the NHTSA to file a formal investigation into the safety practices of Ford and the safety of these particular dps6 transmissions. Search Ford fiesta 2011-2014 and Ford Focus 2012-2014 on the NHTSA - they are all made with the same transmission technology. I have filed a lemon law complaint with my state, who seemed very frustrated with Ford.

- Lubbock, TX, USA

problem #218

May 202015


  • 100 miles
Right after we bought the car, when we accelerate the car shutters and shakes. It will also hesitate which has caused us to almost be rear ended several times. We called dealership were car was purchased and took it in for them to test drive. Was told it need to be repaired however they didn't have a opening for 6 months. This delay was because Ford could not get them the parts. We were told that's all they could do and to drive it anyway. The problem has only gotten worse. We finally got the car in and now a one day repair as we were told has turned into 3 days so far. The dealer continues to blame Ford for the times and delays. When asked what other damage has now been done to the other parts of the car including to engine we were told they didn't know and Ford has no plans to address it. In talking to a engineer for Ford we were told there could be damage to the engine as well as other parts do to the fact they were not designed to be put under that constant stresses by the defective transmission.

- Huntington Woods, MI, USA

problem #217

Nov 032015


  • 11,000 miles
Transmission of this car has intermittent bucking, slipping conversely with sudden acceleration in lower gears which happens at different times but always when it's in a starting gear. Once it is going over 35 mpg, it's okay. I wasn't notified of a recall until I ran a vehicle health report on my car and then I had to contact my dealer for this service. I took car in for service today and found out that the clutch needs to be replaced (it's an automatic transmission) I have read about these cars and that most of them have faulty transmissions and that Ford isn't doing anything about this. Ford, apparently, knew that this transmission is faulty and still let dealers sell them. How do I join a class action suit against them?

- Bonita Springs, FL, USA

problem #216

May 012015


  • 19,000 miles
This has happened multiple times, when trying to turn out of a side street onto an main intersection my car hesitates, jerks, and shakes causing me to be slow pulling out and almost causing multiple accidents when I know I have plenty of run if the car doesn't hesitates. I have taken this to Ford multiple times and nothing has been done. I have read of many other users have the same issue.

- Elyria, OH, USA

problem #215

Oct 282015


  • 21,500 miles
I purchased the car on 1/13/2015 as a Ford certified used vehicle with 6,340 miles on the odometer. On the way home the car lurched in traffic nearly rear ending a car coming to a stop in front of me and had a loud crunching noise. I was able to stop, and it appeared to function well enough to continue home although it did not have the same amount of power. No warning lights came on but I called the dealership to report the issue. I was told at this time that this "was supposed to happen" and that this was a "special type" of transmission. I did not believe this and asked to have an appointment to have the car looked at. On 1/20/15 it was found that something had "failed" in the automatic clutch and that the car would need a new clutch. I got the car back on 1/22/15 with a set of instructions for "green clutch brake-in". the car appeared to be functioning properly until approximately 12,000 miles when I started to notice significant shuddering and reduced power when accelerating in traffic, this was especially scary when trying to merge with freeway traffic. On 5/19/15 the car was verified to have an issue and the dealership reprogrammed the transmission control module to correct the shuddering. This appeared to correct the problem temporarily, but the car began to shudder again and also appeared to pop out of gear while trying to accelerate up a hill. The dealership reprogrammed the tcm again on 10/13/15 and determined it should be good to go. Then 10/27/15 while traveling at 75 mph on the freeway with cruise control on, the transmission experienced only what can be referred to as "catastrophic failure" at 21,500 miles. We are still awaiting word from the dealership as to how this is going to be fixed and if or when we should get the car back. I have all service record copies available.

- Emmett, ID, USA

problem #214

Jun 012015


  • 24,000 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the vehicle jerked. In addition, the accelerator pedal was depressed however, the vehicle failed to accelerate. The contact had to apply force to the accelerator pedal in order for the vehicle to move forward. The vehicle was taken to a dealer who was unable to diagnose or repair the vehicle. The failure recurred on numerous occasions. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 24,000.

- Minneapolis, MN, USA

problem #213

Aug 012014


  • 10,000 miles
My 2014 Ford Focus sputters and jerks from the stop position during the initial acceleration.

- Newbury Park, CA, USA

problem #212

Oct 232015


  • 27,000 miles
I purchased this vehicle new in October 2013 from a local dealer. It was not disclosed to me at the time of purchased that the transmissions on this car was one that was experiencing problems and was a known fact by Ford Motor Co. I started experiencing issues with my transmission a few months ago that have progressively gotten worse: Jerking, noises, not properly shifting, lurching forward, stalling. I have recently learned that this problem has been present in the Ford fiesta and Focus models for a few years. I took the car into the dealer service department, only to find out what I already suspected, that I need a new clutch. One was ordered but I was given my car with the defective clutch to drive until the new clutch comes in (4-6 weeks estimate). I feel cheated and unsafe. Big corporate wins again. Consumers are out on a limb. I have filed a complaint with Ford Motor Co.

- West Hollywood, CA, USA

problem #211

May 012014


  • 12,000 miles
Within the first 6 months/8,000 miles, I noticed a hesitation when I attempted to accelerate from a stop. I'd step on the gas and nothing would happen; then suddenly I'd be spitting gravel or leaving rubber on the road. I knew the problem was with the car and not my driving. By 12 months/12,000 miles, I started getting a "clutch shudder, " mostly when accelerating around corners. The shuddering continued to get worse. Soon, it was happening even when accelerating straight ahead. Now the shudder and/or hesitation has been happening at higher speeds (around 45 mph) and/or in higher gears. This problem has been ongoing and getting worse for over a year, so I do not have a specific date.

- Bessemer, MI, USA

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