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 13 of 23)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #210

Oct 272015


  • miles


Multiple dates of incident, the one listed below is the most recent. Vehicle shudders, jerks, and shakes while in motion, often on streets, sometimes on highways. Can occur when either going forward, backward, or making a turn. Sometimes jumps forward when first placing foot on gas (rather than smoothly accelerating) and has twice stalled out while driving. Have brought it to the dealer's service station four times, and each time has had it "adjusted" only to have problem return. Have contacted Ford customer care, been referred to Ford regional manager, and told, based on our service history, we don't meet company "guidelines" for a buyback or replacement. Was told he could not legally tell me what those "guidelines" are. This is playing with public safety. Did not use vehicle for over three weeks, tried it yesterday, same problem. It is back at the dealer for servicing but was told they might not "get to me" for a few weeks. Useless as a safe mode of transportation.

- Mahopac, NY, USA

problem #209

Oct 262015


  • 25,000 miles
Car stopped driving on interstate 66 no power though engine was running this was only two weeks after having a new clutch for juddering and shaking and jumping forward this incident was life threatening

- Gainesville, VA, USA

problem #208

Oct 232015


  • 34,120 miles
This is new accident that occurred. This car was purchased and driving home started loosing power, shifting hard, not accelerating, jerking, the transmission seams to want to fall apart, shuttering, banging. I was almost hit when the power cut out on highway. Then when I get in city, the transmission again lost power, and I was almost hit, car had to swerve, then jolted and skipped in intersection. I immediately took it to Ford dealer, they said it was normal and were extremely rude and negative. I took it to a second for dealer and they informed me that there were open recalls and they reprogrammed the transmission and that the vehicle needed new clutches. They said they will order and it could take several months. The reprogramming made the vehicle significantly worse. Unsafe. I contacted the dealer again, they said it was nothing they could do until they get the part. I contacted Ford manufacture. They informed me they will contact the dealer. It has been two months and the dealer, I have contacted the dealer 13 times and they inform me it would be several more months, I contact Ford manufacture and they said that what there telling me is incorrect and they will call them. Again, months into driving and unsafe car, that they know is unsafe, two dealers and Ford involved I cannot get any help even when they say the car is broken. So I'm driving this vehicle at low speed three days ago, turing left, in rain and gravel and the the transmission sputter, loses power, then jolts and skips into the curb. Damaging my rim, tire was scraped and made my alignment worse. I called cspd to file police report and no other property or curb damage they do not come out. This again scared me and I sold the car last night because it is dangerous to drive and I could not get for to fix it. Loosing significant monetary taxes, fees, price.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #207

Sep 202015


  • 15,000 miles


Driving downhill at approximately 50-60 mph near payson, AZ, the transmission suddenly revved to 5000 RPM and my acceleration was limited. I had to slow down significantly before the transmission reached the correct gear. The car also shudders and the transmission is unpredictable and jumpy at slow speeds (driving through parking lots and residential areas). Acceleration is often delayed and jerky. This issue has become progressively worse over time. A google search for "2014 Ford Focus transmission issues" reveals numerous complaints and media coverage of this ongoing issue. Please force Ford to recall these defective transmissions.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #206

Oct 162015


  • 2,000 miles
Vehicle had a recall on the transmission control panel. It was reset by Ford dealer in champaign. Not long after pulling into a drive way heard a loud pop and gas and break would not work. Had to have towed to Ford, and they ended up ordering a replacement part. They then replaced the transmission control panel. I am still having issues and my car is only 13 months old. When I am at a stop sign and press the gas the car starts kicking before it will take off. The car makes grinding sounds and the gear needle is unstable (tachometer). The problem has not been fixed I have a follow-up appointment but they keep telling me it's fine and I have to drive it 1,000 miles before I will know if problem is fixed. There is a lawsuit going on and appears to be a dangerous problem and do not want to risk getting hurt/accident over this.

- Homer, IL, USA

problem #205

Jul 312014


  • miles
This vehicle shudders and stalls out on the road. Will do it while running, while being stopped, while taking off or even while driving. It has done it on the highway, interstate, side streets everywhere. It has happened over and over again and Ford will has changed the dual clutch once and have it scheduled to change again. This car is very dangerous. Ford customer service will not answer phone calls.

- Excelsior Springs, MO, USA

problem #204

Aug 272014


  • miles


Car jerks and shakes. Especially when taking off or on turning vehicle jerks badly. I understand that is when automatic transmission is trying to shift gears. I have had the clutch replaced once already. This causes a huge danger to me because if I would like to try to make a left turn in front of traffic I never know if my car will go or resist. Sons days are so bad that I just give up driving because it feels as if my car will stall. This is not what you expect a car that you've bought new and paid thousands of dollars on to run like daily. Dealership, today, says it's fine. Initial issues date back to August 2014.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #203

Feb 202014


  • miles
2014 Ford Focus with auto transmission. This problem started from day 1 when I bought it and continues to present. Car shudders under slow acceleration - like from a stop or slowly going over speed bumps or after making a turn or going slow in school zone or going slow in any speed restricted area. It is almost like someone that is learning how to start out from a stop with a manual transmission (feels like gas, brake, gas, brake, gas brake).

- Clementon, NJ, USA

problem #202

Sep 232015


  • 15,000 miles
This car's transmission is nothing but trouble. It gets stuck in gear at times where I try to get going from a stop. Dangerous at times as I have gotten stuck trying to pull out into an intersection which has been scary. I have also gotten stuck in reverse. This car shutters in stop and go traffic, and has overheated in traffic as well causing me to pull over. I'm fed up and would dig more into it but I don't have the time or money to do so which is frustrating as I am making payments on this vehicle.

- Grafton, MA, USA

problem #201

Feb 022015


  • 6,000 miles
Had the car since August 2014 and over past few months (currently at 19K miles) it experiences a very bad "stutter" in acceleration at low speeds, from a stop, and/or in stop and go traffic. Vehicle does not accelerate at first when pressing the gas, and you can feel it stutter several times before the engine power is applied to the transmission and the car starts to go. This is very dangerous.

- Warren, MI, USA

problem #200

Oct 032015


  • 14,000 miles


Transmission shudders when shifting at low speeds. Computer has been reset 3 times after Ford recall.

- Danville, IL, USA

problem #199

Oct 122015


  • 75,000 miles
Auto has been shuttering, sometimes lounging, and slow acceleration. Took car for regular maintenance and reported it. Dealer said they would be extending my warranty as this is a know problem. (I know 4 different people with similar issue). After taking car in for service, the diagnosis was bad clutch assembly. Next day received call saying Ford motor is saying this is not a covered car for this issue, even though it the same issue many others have reported. Currently driving a car that could be dangerous as it is not consist on acceleration.

- Hanover, MI, USA

problem #198

Jul 152015


  • 5,000 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. While driving approximately 10 mph up a hill, the vehicle shook violently and lost power without warning. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission chip needed to be updated. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 5,000.

- Scranton, PA, USA

problem #197

Oct 132015


  • 31,000 miles
Transmission shudders, lurches, stalls, fails to shift, will take off, and then suddenly stop in traffic. Currently 31,000 miles, issues began with 15,000 miles. In first second and third gear, the car will either shudder or lurch out suddenly no matter the speed. At times it will lunge forward and come to a stop while trying to upshift, suddenly, in the middle of intersections and at stop signs. This has caused me to nearly rear-end other drivers, and other drivers to nearly rear end me. It has also caused me to come to almost a complete stop in oncoming traffic after leaving a stop sign. You must completely let off the gas, and then slowly accelerate until the car catches a gear and can get moving again. Sometimes this does not always happen soon enough before oncoming traffic reaches me. My car has already been re-programmed, and I'm awaiting an 8-12 week recall for a clutch. Was told by the dealership that this is normal behavior for a manual transmission. I've driven manuals all my life, and they didnt nearly kill me. Before this car, I purchased a 2013 Ford fiesta, it has the same issues. After replacing the clutches failed to fix the safety issues. I traded it on the Focus thinking I had a lemon. Now I'm having the same safety issues as before. I let the dealership know this morning that the car was a definate safety concern, and I got no response. I want this on record in case of an accident that causes injuries. I'm not safe driving this car on the road.

- High Point, NC, USA

problem #196

Oct 232014


  • 22,000 miles
I have had my car to Ford for my transmission problem 3 times! hesitation/shudder when accelerating. Ford claims this is normal? should not be the case when driving. They will not "fix" the problem. A car should not operate that way with no resolution. My concern is this has a potential of being a safety issue. This car is an automatic. It is difficult operating the car on hills, car rolls backward when accelerating!! car is still new and in warranty.

- Tinton Falls, NJ, USA

problem #195

Jan 262015


  • miles
Vehicle has had a red fluid leak for quite some time. The car has been back to the dealership for this issue many times and currently filing lemon law arbitration. The car has been out of commission for 55 days altogether since it's purchase in January this year due to the fluid leak which seems to be more of coolant than anything else. It is burning oil and or losing it somewhere that isn't visible. It also has had electrical problems with starting as well as the radio clock and presets all resetting after sitting for more than 24 hours. I have had to have the sunroof resales after it had leaked for over two months and the dealership wasn't able to find the leak. The front end makes horrible noises when decelerating. It grinds and whines as if something is about to blow up. I've taken it into the dealer for all of these concerns and only one of them has been resolved fully. I'm very disappointed in my purchase.

- Waynesville, NC, USA

problem #194

Oct 122015


  • 15,000 miles
Transmission shutter continues after recall service for transmission recall module.

- Myrtle Beach, SC, USA

problem #193

Jul 152015


  • miles
When accelerating from a stop the car jerks and shudderes very hard. I live in a rural area and I need to be able to accelerate. The car did not do this for the first 20,000 miles. I took it to dealer and they supposedly reprogramed transmission. This vehicle now lurches forward and shudders. I drive through many highways I am afraid that car will not accelerate enough to get me through intersections. Please help with this matter.

- Elmore, OH, USA

problem #192

Oct 062015


  • miles
The clutch in my 2014 Ford Focus has now been replaced 3 times, with the most recent time being this week. I purchased this car in Feb. '14, and it has 30K miles on it. When the clutch needs to be replaced, the car shudders and jolts coming out of first gear, leaving me unsure of whether it will accelerate properly. The vehicle is sluggish when accelerating through the gears, especially when driving up a hill. Once the vehicle maintains a constant speed, the problem is resolved until I stop or slow down. The dealership does not seem to be able to fix the problem. In fact, it just keeps getting worse. The first time that I took the car in to have it inspected for the shuddering (~11K miles; Aug '14), it was displaying problems above 400 RPM. The second time that I took the car in for the same problem (~23K miles, may '15), I had nearly been in an accident in rush hour traffic in atlanta, ga, and the car failed the clutch test at 400 RPM. This last time that I took the car in to be repaired (30K miles, Sept '15), it was failing at 500 RPM. A Ford representative told me that the car is considered unsafe to drive at 550 RPM. Nonetheless, they still left me to drive the car for 3 weeks while I waited on the part to come in and the dealership to have the availability to see me. When I picked the car up from the dealership yesterday for the third clutch to be replaced, I drove ~5 miles and heard a strange noise coming from the front driver's side wheel at all speeds. I immediately informed the dealership, who requested that I bring the car back in to be further inspected. I am awaiting further information about this latest incident.

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #191

Sep 302015


  • 19,355 miles
Previously, due to the transmission shifting into reverse while the gear selector is in "D" drive, I backed into a female pedestrian hitting her and almost running her over. There are still scratches from her rings on my back bumper. Ford has performed numerous tsb's and recalls to "fix" the issue. Upon the most recent tsb and recall update, I was promised it would take care of any issues, including an issue where the vehicle would shudder and search for a gear before engaging and spinning out from a complete stop. After driving it for 30 miles, I noticed the engine running rough, shaking, and slowing down while in idle. I stopped for a refuel. I got back in the vehicle and calculated my mpg's as I always do - only 19mpg, which Ford says is "within spec" as long as it is not more than 8mpg off. (the on board mpg calculator shows 22.7mpg - always incorrect). It should be 26city, 36hwy. I placed the gear selector in "D" drive (as was also referenced in the on board screen). Once pressing the accelerator, the vehicle's in dash screen flashed that I was in "R" reverse and the vehicle lurched backwards. I braked, then the engine revved and went automatically back into "D." I drove 2 blocks, at a speed of 40 mph in "D, " it again switched to "R" revving the engine, then slowed to a stop. I pulled over, turned the engine off and waited before turning it back on. The drive home, it would jump between gears "searching." I let it sit overnight, and today it has not exhibited these actions. I'm uploading a photo showing the car doing 35 in the "R" position with the RPM jumped up to 3500. I was actually going forward. In "R, " car should not go over 20mph. This is evidence that it switched mid "D" drive. Also, the tires are starting to form pits and has a circumference of separation/splitting which dealership said is "fine." This is causing a vibration and whirring noise.

- Lubbock, TX, USA

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