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 14 of 23)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #190

May 142015


  • miles


Transmission shudders in first and second gear. Bought my car brand new. At 45,000 miles I had to have the entire transmission and clutch replaced! how is this even possible on a 2 year old vehicle? well, again 6 months later, at 57,000 miles sure enough the transmission is messing up again. This needs to be recalled! more than a recall, this is unsafe. Ford needs to buy back every one of the Focus' effected because there's no way someone could sell this car!. the car grinds, shudders, and stalls.

- Irmo, SC, USA

problem #189

Jun 172014


  • miles
Severe shutter when accelerating form a stop. At times the transmission has a long hesitation while accelerating on the freeway to change lanes. Sometimes there is a clunk noise after stopping.

- Norco, CA, USA

problem #188

Sep 302015


  • 20,000 miles
When the car is at a stop, while the vehicle is warm, when you start to take off the vehicle jerks and does not properly engage the transmission. At an intersection or when merging into traffic the vehicle does not respond properly and cause a danger to passengers and all other vehicles on the road

- Columbia, TN, USA

problem #187

May 012015


  • 25,000 miles


Bought brand new. When accelerating, somewhere between 2nd and 3rd gears it hesitates and shutters and grinds and there is considerable delay in acceleration between 2nd and third gear. It then seems to grab onto a gear and plunge forward. It is an automatically powered manual transmission so I do not shift, it shifts automatically.

- Moscow Mills, MO, USA

problem #186

Sep 012013


  • miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. While driving at various speeds, the accelerator pedal was depressed but the vehicle failed to accelerate. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that a clutch within the transmission failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Payson, AZ, USA

problem #185

Jul 012015


  • 11,500 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving and at a stop sign or a stop light, the accelerator pedal was depressed and there was an abnormal loud noise coming from the transmission. In addition, the vehicle shook without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the transmission was reprogrammed but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 11,500.

- Bricktown, NJ, USA

problem #184

Sep 012015


  • 18,500 miles


I am aware this vehicle is equipped with a dual clutch automatic transmission, though the behavior of this vehicle is outside the bounds of safety and acceptability. The car acts, at random intervals, like a vehicle with a manual transmission in which the driver "popped" the clutch, to cause the drive wheels to spin in place. This Ford Focus does this, randomly, at traffic lights. I have nearly smashed into the car in front of me four times. Also, at the ripe old age of 18,500 miles, the clutch slips, and will need to be replaced (under warranty). This is covered under warranty, but clearly there is a serious design flaw, creating multiple safety concerns in the transmission of this car. In summary, these are: Randomly revving high and popping the clutch (think drag racers) and premature wear and slipping so bad I am unable to safely merge into traffic. Ford must be held accountable.

- Portland, ME, USA

problem #183

Jul 162014


  • 5,500 miles
Dps6 transmission contains one or more design and/or manufacturing defects that cause problems and unsafe conditions, including, but not limited to, sudden lurches forward, delayed acceleration and sudden loss of forward propulsion from 16 Sep 14 to 25 Aug 15 we brought vehicle 5 times into first Ford fall river, MA service department. After having the vehicle for about 10 months, and numerous car issue appointments, we were told by first Ford technicians that the issues with the car are a result of our driving habits, and gave us instructions on how to drive differently, and to accelerate differently. Those instructions are not possible to follow, because to quickly accelerate is not even possible in stop and go traffic without hitting the vehicle in front of you. And its also not possible to do that in heavy traffic conditions, or speed bumps. Those instructions, along with the problems/defects of the car, have caused it to become a hazard on the road, and we are often just trying to avoid accidents. It is an unsafe vehicle to drive. There were no issues with the vehicle until Jul/aug14, and yet the first Ford technicians tell us that it is completely normal for this type of transmission. According to them, it is completely normal for this car to shudder and feel like it's going to stall, and normal to feel like it's in the wrong gear, and feel like it's not accelerating forward. No one would think that is normal. It's important to state, that the first Ford service manager, handed me the instructions given to service departments, on how to handle customers when they come in with these problems. It is called, "Ford powershift 6-speed automatic transmission (dps6) service customer handling guide". handling the customer does not solve the problems with the car. Fmc instructed ff on what to do with the car, but ff ignored it, no call back.

- Taunton, MA, USA

problem #182

Jun 182015


  • 23,000 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving at any speed, the vehicle jerked forward and intermittently stalled. The dealer informed that the vehicle was included in NHTSA campaign number: 14V514000 (steering). The vehicle was repaired under the recall but the failure reoccurred. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 23,000.

- Manassas Park , VA, USA

problem #181

Sep 182015


  • 11,100 miles
The 6 speed dual clutch transmission is becoming very troublesome over past 3000 shudders when taking off and grinds when shifting sometimes gets lost between gears when shifting down and will lung when it finally catches gear.I do have an appointment with my local Ford dealership in regards to this issue, but everything I have read concerning this problem does not sound to encouraging.sounds like Ford is in denial over this issue but the problem with this transmission has been going on for 5 years. Its time for Ford to do the right thing by either coming up with a permanent fix or recall these cars.

- Modesto, CA, USA

problem #180

Aug 052015


  • 7,547 miles


After completing a stop, when pressing gas pedal, car/transmission stutters then jerks forward. I've tried accelerating more slowly and then tried it faster with more gas, but it makes no difference. The car won't accelerate fast enough to safely make turns before oncoming traffic. I've had this new car 11 months.

- West Saint Paul, MN, USA

problem #179

Jun 032015


  • 1,000 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. While the vehicle was parked on a hill, the brake pedal was released and the vehicle rolled backwards. The failure recurred multiple times. While in the stop position, the vehicle started to vibrate. The failure recurred multiple times. While driving approximately 10 mph, the vehicle made a jerking motion and hesitated to accelerate. The failure recurred multiple times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnostic testing. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 1,000.

- Johnson City , TN, USA

problem #178

Aug 012014


  • 5,000 miles
Vehicle shakes, shudders on acceleration. Also, bogs down on take off from a stop. This car shakes so bad it knocks coffee out of my cup. Also, pulling out into oncoming traffic is almost impossible. When you put your gas pedal to the floor and get almost no response you fear for your life.

- Chagrin Falls , OH, USA

problem #177

Sep 102015


  • 10,988 miles
September 10, 2015. 2014 Ford Focus SE. Transmission slipping, grinding, hesitating and making loud noises.very unsafe driving conditions. Had the Ford dealer service department look at it and they made an update to the programming. It was worse after this so I took it back the same day. It was even worse after they worked on it the second time. I ask if I could leave it with them until they could fix it and the service advisor said, "my mechanic says there is nothing wrong with the car so there is nothing I can do. I ask if he had driven the car and he said he did and noticed the issues I was talking about but Ford says that is the nature of this transmission.

- Jackson, TN, USA

problem #176

Sep 092015


  • 14,400 miles
While pulling from a stop sign, in the process of the dct transmission shifting from 1st to 2nd gear, the engine speed abruptly jumped to 7,000 RPM as the transmission behaved as if a missed shift had occurred or the clutch was slipping. This was the worst such incident involving many missed or erratic/searching shifts that can be disconcerting or dangerous depending on traffic conditions and situations. Even though I understand the operational characteristics of the Ford Focus dct is different when compared to a traditional automatic transmission, the erratic and anomalous operational performance of this design is poorly executed.

- Harrisburg, PA, USA

problem #175

Sep 082015


  • 9,461 miles
The car is unsafe to drive and it has gotten worse since I purchased it new. As I pulled out into traffic the car suddenly lost power requiring me to quickly push the gas peddle to the floor to avoid getting rear-ended. The car only slightly accelerated, then jerked forward into a hard acceleration and sounded like the engine was going to explode. Even though I know about this behavior, (and try to take steps to avoid scenarios like this), the occurrence of this behavior it is very regular, (several times a week), yet erratic and unpredictable, meaning I can not take measure that guarantee it will not happen, nor should I have to. I have spoken with the dealership about this erratic behavior only to be told it will get better as I drive it as the transmission learns my driving habits and will adapt. I have driven many cars and trucks for over 40 years and have never had a problem driving any type vehicle. I can emphatically state that this transmission has not adapted to anything. At all. My concern is that the more miles I put on the car waiting for it to adapt, as per the dealer, the further away I get from being protected by any type lemon law. My basic complaint is that this car is unsafe to drive because of the transmission and it has gotten worse since I purchased it new in February 2015. And, I am told by Ford to just drive it because this is normal!?!

- Leesburg, VA, USA

problem #174

Jul 222015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 23,000 miles
The transmission shutters and shakes and doesn't go into gear smoothly. When pulling out into an intersection is very hazardous because it doesn't shift properly to accelerate. It is a constant problem not intermittent. There is usually a loud clanging from underneath the vehicle. It was taken to the Ford dealership and the service bulletin was performed which did not help and they ordered a new clutch. With the enormous amount of these same issues I have been waiting 7 weeks for a clutch to come in and it doesn't appear that it will be arriving anytime soon. Being a police officer for over 23 years I can recognize this issue as causing fatalities, if it has not happened already. I deal with inattentive drivers on a daily basis and this is a prime recipe for someone not focused and pulling out with a hesitant transmission which would cause a deadly accident. I hope you gather enough information to reach a remedy to this potentially fatal cocktail. Thank you for your time.

- Jefferson, MD, USA

problem #173

Sep 092014


  • 1,500 miles
Vehicle stumbles when attempting to accelerate on to a freeway. By "stumble" I mean lost power as I pressed on the accelerator. I came inches from being rear ended by a semi tractor trailer. This incident has happened 4 other times since. Very, very dangerous.

- Escondido, CA, USA

problem #172

Sep 042015


  • 13,455 miles
When pulling out into traffic from a stop, I signaled and started to pull out. While pulling out, the car jerked backwards and hesitated. A car behind me was a few inches away from hitting me. Due to the transmission hesitating it almost caused an accident. In my 2 years of ownership, I have had the transmission repaired twice and will be contacting the dealership asap for a 3rd repair.

- Watertown, NY, USA

problem #171

Sep 012014


  • 20,100 miles
This car is just over a year old. We have been back to the dealer four times to remedy the problem. The problem persists. The vehicle bucks, shutters and looses power while trying to accelerate. While on the mass pike, this occurred while in heavy traffic. (stop and go). The vehicle was almost rear ended and the vehicle almost struck the car in front on many occasions. The hesitation, then sudden acceleration is not safe.

- Medway, MA, USA

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