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 16 of 23)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #150

Mar 032014


  • 3,000 miles


When stopped upon acceleration the clutch slips/chatter occurs especially when engine/drivetrain warm. Problem becomes worse in warmer weather and more consistent.

- Wakeman, OH, USA

problem #149

May 242014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 1,000 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving at 25 mph, the accelerator pedal was depressed but the vehicle failed to accelerate. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the clutch/automatic transmission failed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 35. Updated 8/31/15

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #148

Jun 272015


  • miles
I approached a red light to make a right turn. I came to a complete stop, the on coming traffic had a green left arrow allowing them to turn them in front of me. Once the traffic cleared, I started my right turn. The car stuttered as I began to accelerate, the vehicle behind me appeared to almost hit me as my acceleration was almost not existent. I pressed the gas further and finally around 5500 RPM, the car seemed to 'engage' since it lurched and the tires chirped a bit as they grabbed the pavement.

- Santa Clarita, CA, USA

problem #147

Oct 042013


  • 100 miles


Purchased 2014 Focus new, shortly after the transmission began to slip and shudder. Returned the vehicle to the service department twice and was told it was normal for the vehicle during the initial driving due to the transmission and the computer learning to talk to one another. The shuddering became worse. Took it to a different dealer than the one where it was purchased. They "reset" the computer. The shuddering resumed. The clutches were replaced. The car has again started shuddering. The dealer has again "reset" the computer. The hesitation/shuddering is bad enough upon acceleration I am afraid of being hit by other motorists.

- Lake Charles, LA, USA

problem #146

Jan 012015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 12,500 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. While driving at 15 mph, the clutch slipped to different gears and the transmission failed to engage properly. The contact mentioned that the vehicle shook and made a grinding noise when accelerating. The vehicle was taken to dealer where it was diagnosed that the clutch needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 12,500. Updated 8/27/15

- Wilmington, NC, USA

problem #145

Jul 012014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 3,250 miles
The transmission started shuddering on slow starts. The car had trouble deciding what gear it needed to be in. Sometimes it was very slow on take off and other times it just didn't want to go. Rpms were going up and down while my foot was steady on the gas pedal and we were cruising at 55 on flat road surface with no wind. Ford now admits that the clutch is bad and will do a warranty repair....updated 08/20/15 the consumer stated the vehicle was in the process of being repaired. Updated 08/27/15

- Athens, GA, USA

problem #144

Jun 182015


  • 16,060 miles


I am treating this as a new occurrence, or at least Ford told me I had to start at the beginning. I purchased my car in March 2014. In October 2014, I had the heating core replaced and the clutch replaced. I went through several months of taking the car back and forth to the dealer with shifting issues. The would hand me a piece of paper and tell me it was normal. After it was towed to the dealer and I spoke to the service manager, I was told that the transmission vibrations far exceeded the normal and they were authorized to replace the clutch. At time of replacement, they found shards of metal in the bell housing. So I would say about 4 months after they replaced the clutch, it has started to do the exact same things that it did before the clutch was replaced. Sometimes you can hit the gas pedal and the car will not go, sometimes, the car will jerk when being backed up sometimes. I have now had the car lurch forward and lurch backward and my foot was not even on the gas pedal. When it lurched forward, I was traveling at a very low speed in a parking garage and as people were crossing in front of me the car lurched forward, my foot was not even on the gas pedal. The transmission does not shift smoothly, especially at low speeds. And the car again sounds like it is grinding as it shifts gears. The dealer did a shift rpms test (again) and said everything in new clutch is within specs but reset the computer. They did that several times the last time. I think that this is a serious safety issue, especially when the car lurches when the gas pedal is not touched. The dealer advised me that Ford does not have area service managers and that I just have to follow their procedures. My car is only 14 months old. Lat shift rpms 2516-2266 250 RPM 2974-2754 220 RPM, is the results they have on my paperwork MA 08/04/15

- Toledo, OH, USA

problem #143

Dec 092014


  • 11,702 miles
When I test drive I felt that car feels different. The transmission was a bit different. The sales person told me that it's normal, and car learning me. In my in next half year I start to experience rough, harsh shifting, jerking, grinding noise, vibrations, shuddering upon taking off and stopping. Also car was rolling back when driving up hill. I took I took my car to dealership for repairs. They replace clutch and reprogram my tcm module. Few months later after repair car start to have similar problem like the previous time plus rough shifting on 1st and 2nd gear, grinding noise. My biggest fear was to rear end car in front on me or get intro accident because car was rolling forward even if you press brake pedal. I took my car second time to the dealership. They kept my car for two days, and they said that that it's normal and they only reprogram tcm. Sure thing even after that I didn't see any improvement. Car still rolling back hill and have same issues. So I called Ford customer center. After two days talking with them on the phone and explaining that my car its not safe to be used on the street, and put my life and other people in danger. I newer signed up for that. Ford rep told me that they cant help me and this is the way transmission work. So pretty much I am stuck with pour engineered transmission and a car that its dangerous on the road.

- Wlmington, NC, USA

problem #142

Jun 122015


  • 18,000 miles
Since I purchased this vehicle in March of 2014, it has bucked at slow acceleration at speeds of 10-25 miles per hour. This caused vibration of the rear end and inconsistent acceleration. It occurs more often in hot weather. I have had it check twice, but the dealers say that it is normal with this type of transmission. It also is more prevalent in stop and go traffic.

- Ballston Lake, NY, USA

problem #141

Jul 012014


  • 8,000 miles
The transmissions on these cars are horrendous making them shake and shudder. They lurch forward when the gears are shifting between 1-2nd gear. My car it yet another example. I have to leave space just to make sure I don't hit anyone.

- Gainesville, FL, USA

problem #140

Feb 022015


  • 22,500 miles


Vehicle violently shudders and hesitates unacceptably at takeoff. It requires completely taking foot off the accelerator and then reapplying very slowly. Otherwise the car jerks and heaves. I am a slow and cautious driver-I rarely find the need to accelerate rapidly. In either case the same situation occurs. I note that this is a very common complaint for 2011,2012, 2013, 2014 Ford Focus upon researching the internet.. aside from being annoying, I find this condition is unsafe when accelerating around vehicles and during acceleration when other vehicles are behind me. The vehicle (automatic transmission)appears to shift fine in higher gears for the time being. However, what seemed to be occurring in transition from 1st to 2nd gear now seems to be creeping in between 2nd and 3rd. This is not a case of the transmission simply delaying the shift from 1st to 2nd-it is a highly spasmodic experience. I usually start accelerating and then have to completely take my foot off the gas when the car violently shakes/shudders. This is happening constantly. It is not infrequent, but constant. It usually helps to accelerate very gradually. However, this self imposed remedy is unacceptable and does not consistently solve the problem. Please help remedy this awful predicament for those of us unfortunate enough to have chosen to purchase a car from Ford. I consider the situation very unsafe. I understand that Ford is replacing clutches but the fix is not always solving the problem.

- Clarksville, MD, USA

problem #139

Nov 052014


  • 1,000 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. While driving at 20 mph, the transmission failed. The failure recurred several times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer; however, the vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 1,000.

- Clarksville , TN, USA

problem #138

Apr 302014


  • 5,000 miles
Car would shudder and shake when shifting at low speeds. Dealer replaced clutch and then a few months later, problem reoccurred and is getting progressively worse with more shudder and shake. Car has been returned to the dealer 2 additional times and the dealer stated that the shudder was within tolerances, even though it is getting progressively worse.

- Laurel, MD, USA

problem #137

Apr 172014


  • 408 miles
While accelerating from a stop the car made a loud metallic noise and hesitated severely, then slammed into the next gear almost hitting the car in front of us, we had just purchased it the day before, got the run around for 6 weeks now, dealership says it's within Ford "specs". has done this every day, gets worse and wors, I have been beat up from the shaking, nerves shot from the unpredictable behavior of the car, every day is a near miss of bad accident, this is a dangerous issue, why is it Ford not responsible" I guess we are waiting on a lost life aren't we, so sad, who's child? wife? father? mother? innocent bystander" this car will cause a fatal accident, just a matter of time, definitely a lemon, but 3 years now! it issstill being deceptively sold at every dealership, I was a victim, many others, and more to come

- Garfield , AR, USA

problem #136

May 162015


  • 39,800 miles
When I am accelerating from a complete stop, the car shakes at higher rpms in first gear and when it is trying to shift into second gear from first. The car haphazardly accelerates or sometimes will not accelerate at all. Spoke to the dealer and they said this is normal, but I disagree.

- Silver Spring, MD, USA

problem #135

Feb 032014


  • 10 miles
The transmission in my 2014 Focus skips/hesitates/grinds!!! when I go to accelerate at low speeds my transmission will skip and cause the car to buck and when I go to accelerate to get to a higher speed the engine will rev out but the car does not move. This can be a serious problem when trying to accelerate onto a highway. My overall satisfaction with this car is if had to go buy another commuter car... I would not buy this car nor would I recommend it to anyone! I have emailed the CEO of Ford and called and have yet (and dont expect) a response. Why is there no recall" what can be done to get a recall"

- Gardner, MA, USA

problem #134

May 202015


  • 18,000 miles
Ever since around 10,000 miles, my 2014 Ford Focus has been experiencing delayed acceleration and deceleration, grinding noises coming from the transmission, shaking, rough starts, and shuttering. It's caused the vehicle to lurch forward rapidly after not initially accelerating, with a few close calls in traffic. Ford is aware of this problem. I've taken this vehicle in to be serviced, only to have them tell me the part isn't available. It's been 4 months, still waiting. This is unacceptable.

- San Clemente, CA, USA

problem #133

May 122015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 266 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled without warning while driving approximately 40 to 45 mph. The vehicle was towed to the dealer, but was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 266. Updated 7/10/15 the consumer was informed the problem was the transmission computer module. However. 100 miles later, the problem occurred again. Updated 05/05/16.

- Hudson , OH, USA

problem #132

May 102014


  • 6,000 miles
After driving into houston last year, came to a stop light on the tollway. The light turned green, I pressed the accelerator and the engined revved high followed by a metal "clapping/clanking" noise when vehicle changed gears. I took my foot off of the accelerator, but car still accelerated on its own. I ended up running into a curb to keep from hitting other vehicles. The next day, going up a parking garage at 2-5mph, transmission exhibited erratic movement and had a sudden acceleration in reverse (gearshift was in the "drive" slot). A girl was passing behind me and was struck as I was reacting to the sudden change in direction trying to brake. She put her hands out to push herself away and her ring scratched my back bumper and her hand dented in my back license plate. Her hand was turning red and bruised, but she refused to leave her info with me (she looked to be about 15). Service dealers in houston could not "replicate" problem and said this is "normal." After this incident, my highway mpg's have dropped from 35-42mpg to no more than 27mpg. City went from 26-30 to no more than 24mpg. Drove to austin in April, strong hesitation and "stuttering" from a complete or near stop. At highway speeds, it feels jumpy. Vehicle will accelerate on its own between 5-20mph, and 45-55mph. I drive on a college campus where speed is 20mph and I will have to put car into neutral to keep it from accelerating. I took this vehicle to the dealership at around 100 miles - they gave me a printout from Ford showing why this behavior is "normal" and will get better with more mileage. At around 6000 miles at the dealership in houston after injuring someone, they said it was "normal" for this vehicle to exhibit "undesirable conditions" and I just need to further break in the transmission. Now the problem is even worse, and my local dealership says it will take at least 2 weeks in the shop.

- Lubbock, TX, USA

problem #131

May 062015


  • 22,400 miles
I was driving on the freeway at 70mph in fifth gear and something in the engine blew. I started blowing oil and smoke out the rear, "service engine soon" came on, and the oil light came on. I lost all power and power steering, so I made my way to the shoulder. I pulled the hood latch and stepped out of the vehicle. Upon exiting the vehicle I witnessed flames shooting out from underneath the hood in the engine bay. I backed up and watched the front of the car fully engulf into flames.

- Fairfield, CA, USA

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