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 15 of 23)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #170

Sep 022015


  • 33,171 miles


I recently purchased a 2014 Ford Focus with 33000 miles. Immediately the car started displaying what a mechanic described to me as transmission issues. To include, shuttering, delayed response, jolting, hesitating when taking off, slipping, stalling, and going backwards on a hill. This became a real concern when I was turning, the vehicle started taking off, it bogged down, lost power and responsiveness and then jolted. This occurred while in an intersection. The delay was significant enough that the vehicle common towards swerved out of the way. There was no accident but could have gone a lot worse. Second the transmission had the same action when passing on the interstate, bogged down after its started going and the person came very close. I just bought this car, and am concerned. I contacted Ford, no response. I took it to a dealer phil long Ford in Colorado springs, they initially said its suppose to do that and its normal. I had to explain the safety issues and what was going on before they would schedule someone to look at it. The first time they will look at it is in two months. Now am in a problem, because I either don't drive the car and pay rental costs or drive something that could cause an accident. I just bought this, and I showed it to two people today to try and sell, both experienced the transmission issue. One didn't even offer, the other gave such a price that they could replace the transmission. I feel I'm getting nothing from the companies that are suppose to care about this dangerous issue

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #169

Nov 142014


  • 10,000 miles
Vehicle shudders, shakes and hesetates on acceleration. Vehicle has also lurched forward when coming to a stop. Transmission sounds like it is coming apart and ready to fall out of the car!

- Visalia, CA, USA

problem #168

Aug 052013


  • 75 miles
Transmission stalled as I was entering highway, was almost hit. Transmission shifts hard, transmission light has warrned of overheating. The car has been to the shop several times, but it still runs badly. My daughter also has the same model and year. Her car runs worst than mine. Ford has refused to help us with the problem. In fact thay have refused to talk to us at all. Someone at Ford needs to be held accountable. It only a matter of time before someone is killed.

- Canton, GA, USA

problem #167

May 302014


  • 6,200 miles


I purchased my 2014 Focus Dec 2013 with 44 miles on it. At around 6200 miles it was running rough and would hesitate upon acceleration. It also would shutter upon takeoff, like it was having a hard time getting into gears. I took it to a Ford dealership and they told me they knew about the problem and has numerous cars in for the same problem. Upon putting it on a machine they said it wasn't bad enough to repair to keep driving it. I took it back several time for the same issues until around 7800 miles they supposedly changed the gears. It was ok for a little while, but then it would act like it couldn't come out of low gear when I was going about 65 on the highway the shuddering was also getting worse than before. I took it back to the dealership at 14500 miles and they drove it for a mile and did nothing to it. Said I need to treat it like a manual transmission and give it a little gas then lift up and repress the accelerator. At 15000 miles it was back in the shop for the same problem. All they did was recalibrate the transmission, which didn't fix a darn thing. This was right before I went on vacation. I had been calling Ford Motor Company about my concerns with this car. I felt very unsafe driving it on vacation. We almost got rear ended 3 times because of this problem. At 15200 miles it was back at the shop again for the same problem. They just keep wanting to re calibrate the transmission and not really fix the problem. I feel that someone will have to get killed before they finally address this problem correctly. At 17600 it was once again at the garage for this problem. My car has been in the shop a total of 26 days and it still has the same problem as it did from the start. The transmission is a piece of crap and needs to be replaced with a better working transmission. Ford needs to own up to their mistake and make it right for the consumers.

- Colliers, WV, USA

problem #166

Aug 232015


  • 14,853 miles
After driving approximately 250 miles that day, we pulled into a gas station for gas. Once fueled and leaving the car started to bog down at about 5 mph. The gas station exit ramp was inclined, when I took my foot off the break the car rolled backwards approximately 3 feet. The car has an automatic transmission. I was in total shock. Getting home the problem grew worse. Crossing the Ohio river into Kentucky, on I-75 South, there is a major hill climb. The car barely made it up the hill, the tachometer needle jumped all around. When I called the dealership they new all about the issue and told me it would be two months before I could bring it in.

- Florence, KY, USA

problem #165

Sep 152014


  • 3,000 miles
This vehicle should be deemed unsafe. I bought this car last year and from the get go, the transmission just didn't seem right. The car would jolt unexpectedly and would have issues going through gears. I was told to just let the car break in more and finally after about a year I have had enough. Now when I try to push the gas, there is a delay for the gears to engage, which have almost resulted in 2 car accidents. This car should be taken off of the roads immediately. Going on the highway seems to be ok, but your lower gears the car jolts, makes loud sounds, and will randomly accelerate and go to high RPM's. I was told I needed a new clutch and seals and that the parts would take over 30 days to arrive on 08/24/2015. I informed the shop that I did not feel safe driving this car, and they informed me a rental would not be supplied for the nature of this issue. This could potentially lead to deaths so needs to be addressed immediately.

- Ofallon , MO, USA

problem #164

Apr 062015


  • 22,000 miles


The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. While accelerating from a stop position, the vehicle started to vibrate and made an abnormal grinding sound as it hesitated to shift gears and accelerate. The failure recurred multiple times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnostic testing. The transmission was reprogrammed. However, the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 22,000.

- Grottoes, VA, USA

problem #163

Jun 012014


  • 1,500 miles
The car buckles at low speed when accelerating. There is hesitatation or loss of power as the car attempts to find the next gear. This can also cause the car to jolt forward unexpectedly. There is a grinding noise when accelerating or slowing down. The car also feels like it jumps while turning.

- Voorhees, NJ, USA

problem #162

Jul 152015


  • 11,200 miles
Transmission issue: Failure to shift gears smoothly/appropriately. Failure to engage in gear. Problem occurs after transmission has reached full operating temperature (approximately 30 min of drive time). Vehicle contains 6 speed powershift transmission (electronically shifted manual transmission). Initial issue was shift from 1st to 2nd gear. Transmission causes vehicle to shudder severely causing partial loss of acceleration as transmission attempts to complete shift. Same problem then began occurring in the shift between 2nd and 3rd gears. Shifts from 3rd to 4th and above are not affected (at this time). 1st to 2nd shift has become worse now resulting in intermittent power loss (complete lack of acceleration). This is a particularly dangerous situation when accelerating into traffic as the transmission can take up to 3 seconds before engaging 2nd gear. Vehicle has been to dealership. Tech rode along in the car for test drive. Because issue is intermittent and varies and only occurs when the transmission is at full operating temp, at the time of the test drive, the transmission was malfunctioning (minor shudder from 1st to 2nd gear) but the tech stated it was not severe enough that he would be able to attach a diagnostic recorder to vehicle and send the report onto Ford for authorization to implement a fix. Ford is aware of the issue in these vehicles from the 2012 to 2014 model years (according to the tech and a search of various online consumer complaint websites). Ford has a prescribed fix that includes replacing clutches in the transmission and reprogramming and resyncing of the powertrain computers. While this defect has not caused an accident for myself, I fear it is only a matter of time before it does, especially since the problem continues to increase in severity. Others have experienced accidents because of this defect.

- Bradley, IL, USA

problem #161

May 082014


  • 500 miles
O5-08-14 I purchased a brand new 2014 Ford Focus with 49 miles on it. Within 500 miles I complained of a shudder in the transmission (transmission: Slipping, jumping, hesitating, slow to engage, safety hazard, faulty clutch, mostly on take off, etc )at 5900 miles I took it in for a service and asked about this. I was told this was "normal" it's the new dual clutch transmission aka dct. If this was normal then why did it get excessively worse as I added miles? so I believed them and continued to drive until later it continued to worsen and be more noticable. 6-18-15 Ford replaced the clutch and it continued the same problem within 500 miles.

- Camano Island, WA, USA

problem #160

Apr 012014


  • 1,000 miles


The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. While driving at 5 mph, the vehicle jerked. In addition, the accelerator was depressed and the vehicle accelerated in excess. The vehicle was taken to a dealer multiple times who diagnosed that the software needed to be updated. The vehicle was repaired however, the failure recurred on numerous occasions. The contact stated that while at a stop light, the contact depressed the accelerator pedal and as the vehicle accelerated in excess, the contact crashed into the rear of another vehicle. The air bags failed to deploy. A police report was not filed and no injuries were sustained. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the gears in the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 1,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- George Town, TX, USA

problem #159

May 012015


  • 7,000 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. While accelerating from a complete stop, there was a delayed response and the vehicle accelerated in a jerking motion. The failure recurred multiple times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, where it was diagnosed that the transmission clutch needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 7,000.

- Cobleskill, NY, USA

problem #158

Oct 012013


  • miles
I have the same issues as everyone else with my clutch/transmission. It causes my car to jump, stall, grind, fail to shift, roll, etc. I have been in numerous near-accidents and Ford won't buy back this unsafe car because of Oklahoma's lemon laws. I have had the clutch replaced twice now and work done on the transmission. I got the car back two weeks ago and now it's back in again with the same problems. The car is not safe to drive. If you're reading this, do not buy a Ford Focus!

- Tulsa, OK, USA

problem #157

Jul 022015


  • 18,000 miles
The wife complained about the transmission making noises periodically but I never did hear or feel any issues when test driving it. I first noticed the issue myself on 7/2/15 when I was driving. It at the beach on vacation. I spoke with the dealership on 7/6/15 about the issue and a recall I received on the fuel pump and was told they would contact me when the fuel pump came in and to monitor the transmission until then. Returning home from a trip the week of 7/28-8/2/15 the transmission started to violently shudder when leaving from traffic lights to the point there was concern if we would get through the intersection without getting hit or struck from behind. We contacted the service dept on 8/3/15 and an appointment wasn't available until the morning of 8/6/15. We did not drive it until we took it to the appointment due to safety concerns and it is now 8/10/15 and we are still without a vehicle. The dealership stated it was having problems but Ford wouldn't fix it until it fell into a certain RPM category or totally failed. They said they would reset it and if we have further issues let them know. The service tech told us the transmissions in the Focus have had issues due to using a converted manual to automatic transmission and that the system gets "confused" when to shift. We are also told, the six speed transmission learns the operator and if someone else drives it, it gets confused when to shift or what to do and creates failure of the clutch. The issues noted create a very dangerous situation that could lead to collisions at intersection or if pulling out into traffic.

- Connellys Springs , NC, USA

problem #156

Jul 292015


  • 8,844 miles
I began noticing issues around 8,500 miles. My car would hesitate when I would go from an idle into gear, surge forward, stutter as I was braking or going into speed, and lastly refuse to change gears as I sped up making me think I was in low gear. I now have to make sure all cars are clear before I make turns because my car will lose power as I make turns, which makes me feel extremely unsafe. I drive my car between rochester, NY and buffalo, NY often and this is quite concerning to me. I took it into the Ford service department since I am under warranty and I was told it was the clutch assembly part that is malfunctioning. The part is on national backorder, but should be in a couple days and I should be fine to drive my car as it is now. Well I looked up the issue and there is a class action lawsuit because of this transmission defect. I don't feel safe at all knowing I am driving with a faulty transmission, if I get in an accident I am at fault!

- Webster, NY, USA

problem #155

Apr 062015

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles
The vehicle drives like it is in the wrong gear. It seems like the transmission or something is dragging. It does not go smoothly to another gear. It drives hard for a 2014 car. I don't know what the problem is..... updated 09/30/15

- Rocky Mount, NC, USA

problem #154

Jul 022015


  • 24,000 miles
When trying to accelerate in the car the transmission shudders and causes the vehicle to stall. The transmission has issues shifting and causing the vehicle to jerk.

- Glenpool , OK, USA

problem #153

Apr 012015


  • 17,200 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. While driving approximately 35 mph, the vehicle suddenly decelerated without warning. The failure recurred multiple times. The vehicle taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the clutches in the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 17,200. The VIN was unavailable.

- Barn Well, SC, USA

problem #152

Mar 132015


  • 450 miles
I have complained to Ford ever since we purchased our brand-new Ford Focus SE 2014 in that the transmission does not shift correctly. More than once the engine responds but the transmission does nothing at all! I took my car in with the above complaint with only 250 miles and I was told that I needed more miles on the car, 2500, so that they could look at two different modules and reset them if needed. Well that¿'s what they did. I returned at a different time with the same complaint and was told I needed yet more miles on the car. I took my car in for servicing with 6500 miles but now Ford is saying they need 10,000 miles before they can do anything at all. When I mentioned they earlier had reset the modules I was told by another member of the service department that was wrong to do what they did but I no longer believe what they say about my problem. This same problem can get my family and I killed especially when I press the gas and want the transmission to downshift and nothing happens! the engine responds with 6000-7500 RPM¿'s but nothing more. In one instance we were almost run over by a 16 wheel tractor trailer on a highway going almost 70 mph. I can no longer trust the car and Ford is not doing anything at all to help our situation and I am sure someone is going to be killed before anything is done and then it will be a day late. I need help not we need more miles on the vehicle. I am hoping that reporting my situation will help me get action to be taken and that Ford is held responsible for such a poor design attempting to use a manual transmission as an automatic transmission. So please help me with this most serious problem and situation....updated 09/28/15

- Kissimmee, FL, USA

problem #151

Jul 022015


  • 21,000 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. While at a complete stop on an incline, the vehicle would sometimes roll forwards or backwards. In addition, the vehicle would occasionally lunge forward. The vehicle would also stall and the lights on the instrument panel and the hazard lights would illuminate. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the computer adaptive learning sensor needed to be adjusted. The failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified of the failures. The failure mileage was 21,000. MA 10/2

- Salem, OR, USA

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