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 18 of 23)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #110

Aug 012014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 400 miles


The vehicles transmission was making noises, shuttering and hesitating when taking off. I took it to the dealer 3 times and finally on the third time (after getting the regional Ford customer service representative involved) they told me that they had to replace the automatic clutch. They kept the car for a week and when I got it back I have to admit it drove better. However now 9 months and 15K miles later the transmission is making the same noises again and it is not shifting properly. The vehicle is doing exactly what it did when it only had 400 miles on it. I did some research and found out that a lot of people are having this same problem with the Ford Focus.

- League City, TX, USA

problem #109

Mar 212015


  • 9,027 miles
While taking turns at 10 - 15 mph speed and/or while accelerating from a stop, the vehicle gives out a series of rattling noises with the transmission. This seems to occurs at no / partial throttle being applied. At times, while accelerating from stop, the vehicle shatters quite strongly. The shudder is pretty strong when it occurs when accelerating from a stop on an incline.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #108

Mar 212015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 1,800 miles
We were sitting at a stop light on a slight incline (no more than a driveway). When the light turned green, I took my foot off of the brake and the car started rolling backward. I applied normal gas pedal and it still rolled back. I gave it more throttle for a second and the transmission finally caught. Fortunately, we avoided rolling into the car behind us. The car probably rolled back three or four feet before engaging. Since the car was purchased new, it shudders when leaving a stop, and has a grinding noise in the front when going uphill and turning to the left. In other words, it has the same issues as all of the other complaints people have posted online. When we bought the car, we were told that after a 1,000 or so miles of driving, the transmission would "learn" our driving habits and be smooth..........right. When I talked to the local Ford dealer's service dept., I was told these are just characteristics of these transmissions. If these are properties of a normal Ford dual-clutch transmission, they should be ashamed.

- Dixon, CA, USA

problem #107

Mar 122015


  • 21,000 miles


The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. While driving approximately 65 mph, the transmission failure warning light illuminated and the vehicle started to hesitate and shake. The vehicle was brought to a complete stop and failed to shift into reverse. The next day, the vehicle was towed to the dealer. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 21,000. The VIN was not available.

- Newport Beach, CA, USA

problem #106

Mar 112015

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles
Hello I purchased my 2014 Ford Focus Sept 1, 2014 decided to get a Ford being that I've had nothing but Toyota corollas in the past and a Plymouth neon that was given to me but prefer corollas anyways soon after I was driving it I noticed a jerking, revving on take off at first I thought ok it's just me but when my sisters noticed it and my brother while he took it to the store that's when I knew it wasn't just me. The car feels like it has no power upon take off which makes me really uncertain and afraid I don't feel insure letting anyone ride with me. I drive up ortega hwy a lot since my son lives in mission viejo it's a very up hill ride the car jerks a lot and again has no power I literally have to give it gas for it to move. I have taken it in twice now to get checked and both times they performed a update on the engine was what I was told and that the car was fine. I am not happy with my car I feel that I got ripped of they should discontinue this cars instead of selling them they are very hazards and should not be out on the roads. I am continuing making my payments since I don't want it to affect my credit buy I am not to happy since the car I thought was in good standards is not I wish I would of known this when I was buying this type of vehicle I was never informed of the kind of transmission I know that I did tell them I want a automatic not a dual automatic and standard transmission not a happy person right now. Very disappointing.

- Hemet, CA, USA

problem #105

Mar 082015


  • 13,800 miles
My Ford Focus ev shut down with no reason while I was driving, it happened twice in a week. Even after I updated the software. While rebooting took move than one minute, after I tried to turn off everything, the power was still on for a while.

- Thousand Oaks, CA, USA

problem #104

Sep 012014


  • 4,000 miles


There is a grinding noise and shuddering issues with the vehicle. The car has very poor acceleration at times as the transmission seems to slip. Now at 10,000 Ford is going to replace the clutches. However, I am still driving the car as the parts are back ordered so I assume this is a common issue.

- East Greenbush, NY, USA

problem #103

May 192014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 13,000 miles
I have a manual transmission. On several occasions over the past year, the car will be accelerating and with out warning, the power train will pause/seem to slip/slight shudder for a second or two and then the vehicle resumes operating normally. Generally, this happens in the morning after driving for about a mile. Happens in different seasons of the year. Does not seem to happen right as I shift into the next gear up. I am genuinely concerned that I will be driving at some point and lose my power train in a situation that will put me at risk (merging into traffic, turning across traffic, crossing a railroad crossing, or other situation in which I have to move or fear risk of being hit). There has not been a repeatable experience that would make taking the care in for service effective. I am past the warranty period of 36,000 miles (I drive about 100 miles per day in my commute) and I fear that I will be stuck with expensive bills to fix what is clearly a defect issue. Or worse yet, get hurt/injured or possibly killed because of the loss of my power train.

- Whitmore Lake, MI, USA

problem #102

Nov 202014


  • 11,000 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the vehicle jerked and accelerated in excess independently. The vehicle was taken to a dealer. The technician diagnosed that the seals needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired however, the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 11,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Rancho Cucamonga, CA, USA

problem #101

Dec 022013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 100 miles
When accelerating from a stop vehicle shutters, grinds and jolts forward. When turning a loud grinding noise comes from the transmission. After taking the car to the dealership the problem is still not fixed. I have been waiting for the parts to come in for two months. I am concerned for the safety and drivability of the vehicle.

- Mckinney, TX, USA

problem #100

Feb 012015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 731 miles


Car miss shifts through the first 2 or 3 gears. It sometimes lurches from stop signs and sometimes just will not go. It has one of the bad transmissions everyone is complaining about and Ford service says it falls within tolerance. They took if for a drive in the parking lot only.

- Fort Thomas, KY, USA

problem #99

Jan 152014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 500 miles
Since I have had my 2014 Ford Focus it has had major automatic transmission issues. While driving at slow speeds, the transmission will over rev the engine, and this sometimes makes the vehicle unsafe when braking. The car will roll back on hills, and it often makes a strange rattling noise from under the car while the car is trying to change gears, the shift points are not where you suspect them to be, and will also behave oddly. I have had a part in the transmission replaced and on an additional visit, have also had the transmission reset to factory specifications. This issue is ongoing. I have an appointment to have an internal part within the transmission replaced for the second time at the dealership. This issue is starting to become a safety concern, and needs to be addressed!

- Dover, NC, USA

problem #98

Mar 282014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 6,000 miles
When moving from a complete stop or rolling slowly the car shakes, makes grinding noises; vehicle hesitates and vibrates also the transmission does not shifting properly. I am worried when I try to merge onto a highway from a side road, what is this car going to do. Is it going to throw its fit and hesitate and shake or is it going to move somewhat smoothly. I never know how the car will act. I do not believe this is very safe that this car hesitates. Moving from a stop sign or stoplight okay (irritating) but trying to merge out into traffic not so well (deadly even). Ford says it"S within specs and okay both at their dealership and Ford customer service. Ford customer service says it?S normal to have some hesitation and shaking to me doesn't?T seem right. The dealership says it an ongoing problem Ford won't deal with. I can't even get rid of my car as I try to trade it in and I get laughed at by other dealers. What can be done"

- Delaware, OH, USA

problem #97

Sep 012014


  • 1,800 miles
When starting off from a stop, wheels have a jerky and shuttery feeling like I took off too fast even though I don't. also, when accelerating the RPM's go up way too fast and come down slowly.

- Manassas, VA, USA

problem #96

Aug 292014


  • 1,200 miles
When idling or beginning to accelerate, the car jumps. I don't know if it is a clutch or transmission problem. This began the first weekend I owned the car, August 28, 2014. I was told that the engine needed time to "get used" to me as a driver, and that this is a double clutch system, by the Ford dealer I bought the car from. He said if it continued, then by all means, schedule it for repair. It continued to happen, jump/jerk at slow acceleration. I brought it to the Ford dealership on 12/12/14. I am scheduled to have the car looked at on 1/27/2015, that is the earliest date they would give me after the Ford dealership informed me that this was a special repair and they only take in so many Ford Focus cars at a time. They almost tried to talk me out of scheduling the appointment, the clerk said there were no available appointments and they wouldn't be scheduling any more for at least in to February. I was persistent.

- Sterling Heights, MI, USA

problem #95

Oct 012014


  • 42,000 miles
Transmission is very sporadic when starting from a light. Cars jumps from first gear to 3rd and back to second. It is having a direct impact on driving of the vehicle. I have contacted the dealer and I was told Ford engineering has had some difficulty in getting the transmission to react effectively with the computer to make the shifting smooth. I now have over 60,000 miles on my vehicle - out of warranty and this issue seems to be getting worse.

- Farmington Hills , MI, USA

problem #94

May 012014


  • 1,200 miles
The car will loose power while pulling into traffic; causing the car to slow or stop while merging or pulling into traffic, transmission slips, RPM's high while stopped causing car to spin tires when letting off the brake, car will shutter, jerk and stall when accelerating and lost of power. Electrical - low gas warning light and gas gauge isn't consistent, miles to empty will drop 3 to 5 miles without warning within 1/2 mile or so. Returned car to dealer and was told nothing is wrong with it, they didn't take it out for a test drive. Second appointment has been made with another Ford dealer. Various complaints have been made by other drivers of this car to various websites and word of mouth; and to Ford with no solution.

- Port Orange, FL, USA

problem #93

Sep 052014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 24,000 miles
At around 24,000 miles our 2014 Focus transmission starting shuttering during take-off, most notably between 1st and 2nd gear. It is unpredictable and sometimes dangerously hesitant to get going. You had better hope the day you really need the car to move it does; but not surge unexpectedly. The most frustrating point is Ford says it's normal. Normal! I have driven cars with automatic and manual transmissions for over 35 years never, has this been normal!!!

- Surprise, AZ, USA

problem #92

Nov 282014


  • 11,000 miles
Jerks at start, heavy shudders 10 T0 20, RPM peaks suddenly; but car doesn't accelerate (RPM drops down quickly and car accelerates) while cruising around 40 to 45 car shudders as if clutch is slipping when trying to accelerate lightly; but during this time the car doesn't accelerate. Tried modifying driving by changing easing accelerator when it seems to shift/ when RPM drops for a shift - doesn't help. Dealer has reprogrammed and then subsequently changed the clutch assembly and seals. Didn't help and caused the problems at higher speeds. Will take back to dealer to see what else can be done

- Yulee, FL, USA

problem #91

Nov 282014


  • 11,000 miles
Jerks at start, heavy shudders 10 T0 20, RPM peaks suddenly; but car doesn't accelerate (RPM drops down quickly and car accelerates) while cruising around 40 to 45 car shudders as if clutch is slipping when trying to accelerate lightly; but during this time the car doesn't accelerate. Tried modifying driving by changing easing accelerator when it seems to shift/ when RPM drops for a shift - doesn't help. Dealer has reprogrammed and then subsequently changed the clutch assembly and seals. Didn't help and caused the problems at higher speeds. Will take back to dealer to see what else can be done

- Yulee, FL, USA

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