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 19 of 23)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #90

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 #89

Dec 012014

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles
2014 Ford Focus SE has a hesitation on acceleration (perhaps transmission or engine computer) that has on multiple occasions while merging into heavy traffic, creating hazardous situation. The consumer stated several reprogram functions were performed by the dealer. The consumer stated frequently, on a cold start-up, when he shifted from reverse to drive the vehicle hesitated briefly as if it was not in the correct gear.

- Melrose, FL, USA

problem #88

Jul 172014


  • 12,000 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving approximately 30 mph, the automatic transmission changed gears without warning. The failure occurred on several occasions. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission clutch needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired but the failure persisted. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 12,000.

- Lawrenceburg, KY, USA

problem #87

Aug 272014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 1,900 miles


On August 27, 2014 I was in the process of making a right turn from West bound adams street to North bound 19th avenue in phoenix Arizona when the car stopped moving forward. The car acted as if it went out of gear; engine was still running, but car was not moving forward. Then suddenly the car jerked going forward at an uncontrollable speed. I was not able to control the car as it drove into the wrong lane of traffic. I was fortunate there was not another car in that other lane at that time. I filed a complaint about this car previously, prior to this incident occurring. I had read that there are a lot of other complaints regarding the Ford Focus and there is a current class action law suit in the state of California. Ford is attempting to hide their defective by attempting to reprogram the computer and denying any defect. The car has transmission problems that is placing the public in danger of life threatening and or physical injury. Updated 12/29/2015

- Peoria, AZ, USA

problem #86

Nov 202014


  • 9,544 miles
The vehicle lurches rapidly after nearly stalling when transitioning between 1st and second gear and it nearly caused me to rear-end a driver in front of me. I have a great fear of this happening again.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #85

Sep 092014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 5,200 miles
This is my third Ford Focus SE in less than a year. My first was a manual transmission and after a few hundred miles I had difficulty getting the stick into reverse. I took it to the dealer who after a day of testing told me nothing was wrong. They were never able to re-create the problem but it always came and went over time. I eventually traded it back in for the automatic early 2014. The car drove like a dream until 600 miles the car was in drive while going 45mph and all of a sudden it acted like it was in neutral. The motor would just rev but there was no power to the wheels. I pulled off the road and selected park, drive and reverse but they all acted as neutral.... the dealer came and picked the vehicle up and did some sort of reset on it in the parking lot. The car then drove but they still took it with them to the dealer. The next day they told me they drove and tested the vehicle on a machine and all the parameters were fine....I told them "you reset my car before testing so ofcourse its acting fine now." I told them I did not want the car back and nor did I want another Ford Focus. Mind you I had to carry negative equity from the first one to this one. The dealer agreed to buy the vehicle back at its reduced sticker price only which left me with a substantial amount of negative equity yet again which the only vehicle on the lot that could hole it was of course....a Ford Focus...I am now in my 3rd 2014 Focus SE and it hesitates and jerks from time to time and once the transmission fault light came on but disappeared after I turned the car off and then back on...this car is unsafe and has caused a burden on me financially. I am an active duty military member and all I wanted was a safe car to get me to work. I pleaded for them to just take the car back and settle the negative equity they created...Ford did not care.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #84

Jul 172014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 7,000 miles


The car shudders, grinds and skips transmission between gears. I've had it in the shop 4 times in 11 months and it is a brand new 2014 Ford Focus SE (4 doors).

- Fort Worth , TX, USA

problem #83

Jul 072014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 100 miles
This vehicle hesitates upon acceleration, lowers rpms, jerks and jolts making a clicking noise and revs up the rpms once it accelerates(there is a noticeable delay) it has dangerous hesitation/ delay and is notifiable that the transmission is changing gears there is a lag as if it was a manual and the operator could not change gears appropriately, and grinding noise. The vehicle also tends to roll in a reverse motion as if in reverse upon inclination. Upon engaging the brakes there is a popping noise. The vehicle also sounds as though it has the key in and isn't turned over completely to start at times vehicle it turned off, in park, without key in the ignition, and remained this way for any period of time. There has also been a noticeable smell of burning rubber when occupying the vehicle. This vehicle was taken back to the dealership and I was advised that the transmission has to learn your driving habits and seal itself up I was given a paper on the transmission, and advised it should correct itself in 2000 miles. Well it hasn't, and this poses a dangerous and inanimate danger to my family as well as others on the road at the same time as I am in this vehicle. This is unacceptable manufacturing and fraud Ford Motor Company should be held liable for this vehicle as well as the others they maliciously and intentionally manufactured to only increase their personal welfare and greed without the compassion of human life, and integrity of their products. I have bought several Ford vehicles, and been loyal to a company that has a low moral and customer service standards.

- Advance, NC, USA

problem #82

Jul 072014


  • 100 miles
This vehicle hesitates upon acceleration, lowers rpms, jerks making a clicking noise and revs up the rpms once it accelerates it has hesitation and is notifiable that the transmission is changing gears there is a lag as if it was a manual and the operator could not change gears appropriately. The vehicle also tends to roll in a reverse motion as if in reverse upon inclination. Upon engaging the brakes there is a popping noise. The vehicle also sounds as though it has the key in and isn't turned over completely to start at times vehicle it turned off, in park, without key in the ignition, and remained this way for any period of time. This 2014 Ford Focus was manufactured 6-17-2014 in the Michigan assembly plant.

- Advance, NC, USA

problem #81

Nov 102014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 445 miles
In traffic my car moved too slow then too fast and it felt like I was losing control of it. It was jolting forward then backward. A light came on the dash saying faulty transmission service now. I had only 3 block to dealership to go and the car almost cut out the whole time. Then it would not go in reverse, dealership (norris Ford) reprogrammed the car. I drove the 1 mile home in smoothness, but noticed when I got home the clock was no longer working. In the morning I saw the date and clock both were wrong and they would not reset. So I called dealership and was told to bring it back. About 7 blocks from the dealership I had to stop for red light and when I touch lightly on the gas pedal the car jolted across the street! again I was losing control of the car. I told the service department and this time they changed the clutch. I am scared to drive my brand new Ford Focus for fear of it stopping in traffic now. I have only owned this car 3 months and it had 172 miles on it when I bought it that were suppose to have been test driving miles I only added 273 miles before the first incident. I fear for mine and others safety when I drive now. Yes I drove the car since the replaced clutch and right now after 20 miles of driving it seems ok but if the same kind of clutch was put back into the car I fear it will happen again. Total miles on my car now is only 486.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #80

Oct 162013


  • 20 miles


The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 15 mph up an incline, there was an abnormal vibrating noise coming from the vehicle. The contact also stated that when accelerating from a stop, the vehicle jerked. The failure occurred on multiple occasions. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 20.

- Havertown, CA, USA

problem #79

Jul 012014


  • 1,000 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. The contact stated while driving approximately 8 mph, the vehicle shook intermittently while the contact was accelerating. The failure recurred multiple times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnosis. The technician stated that the transmission needed to be reprogrammed. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 1,000.

- New Martinsville, WV, USA

problem #78

Oct 272014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 9,606 miles
I filed a complaint last month on 9/17/14 #10637121 about the transmission grinding, lurching forward and shifting poorly. I took it to the dealer and they "reset the transmission" and I was advised to drive the car nice and was handed a paper on the transmission on the Focus. On 10/26/14 (9606 miles), I had a major coolant leak and had to have my vehicle towed to the dealer for service the next day. While there I also asked them to look at the transmission again. I was argued with and handed a paper on the dual clutch manual transmission and what to listen for. I explained that what I was noticing (grinding, lurching and hitting the gas and the car not going) was not normal and was advised that they would "look" at the transmission but with them resetting it, there was probably nothing they can do. After a day and a half of misdiagnosis of what was wrong with my car, I was advised that my heating core was leaking and told that my transmission was fine (no leaks). I spoke to the service manager and insisted that there was an issue with the transmission. He agreed to test drive it and called awhile later and said that they had hooked it up to a machine to test the vibrations in the engine and that my Focus engine vibrations far exceeded the normal and they would be approved by Ford to replace the transmission. I just got my car back today and on the service order they 1) replaced the heating core and 2) replaced the clutch assembly. When they took apart the old clutch, they found shards of clutch in the bell-housing and metallic flakes. So for nothing being wrong, shards of clutch sound serious to me!! my car is only 7 months old (one road trip to North Carolina) and it has lost value and I worry about future clutch issues. The 2014 Ford Focus still only has a standard warranty on the transmission/clutch.

- Toledo, OH, USA

problem #77

Mar 252014


  • 2,272 miles
When I accelerate the car shakes because the transmission does not want to shift. I understand it is a duel clutch system but it shouldn't shake the whole care and hesitate to shift. I have taken the car back numerous times and they said they fixed the problem but a day later the problem comes back. Now there is a grinding noise I hear all the time when I'm driving. I also filed a lemon law and they said it does not meet the lemon law standards according to my state. I'm going to take it in again for the fourth time so they can "fix" the problem and if they don't then I'll file another lemon law!!!

- Montebello, CA, USA

problem #76

May 012014

Focus 4WD 4-cyl

  • 15,000 miles
The transmission on this vehicle is very poor. It lags, shudders violently, knocks, etc. It even sometimes jolts forward or hesitates. These issues occur in heavy traffic, on hills, and on turns. I feel very unsafe and worried about these issues while I'm driving this car.

- Berryville, VA, USA

problem #75

Jul 232014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 6,200 miles
Ford Focus titanium - at 6,200 miles when attempting to start out at low speeds, transmission shutters as if it is confused as to what gear it should be in. Dealer advised that there are no error codes and vehicle is working as designed. Vehicle now has 8,000 miles and transmission is beginning to hesitate and shutter when attempting to yield on to freeway. Contacted Ford corporate customer care- advised to take vehicle back to Ford dealer for additional evaluation..

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #74

Feb 012014


  • 200 miles
Vehicle is equipped with Ford's 'automatic/manual hybrid' transmission. Vehicle began stuttering about a month after purchasing. Purchased vehicle brand new in January with 44 miles on it. When accelerating from full stop, vehicle shudders as if there were issues with the air intake, fuel, or transmission. Took vehicle back to two separate Ford dealerships (including where vehicle was purchased) and was told that that's just how it runs. Previous car was a manual. Whomever is operating the clutch under the hood, needs a lesson in driving! feels like vehicle is going to stall every time.

- Goose Creek, SC, USA

problem #73

Jun 022014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 2,200 miles
The vehicle regularly shudders when accelerating from a dead stop and hesitates when accelerating from a low speed roll. Less frequently the transmission seems to lag and then lunge when the accelerator is applied while the vehicle is decelerating and the transmission is downshifting. The dealer representative indicated the problems are common for which there is no corrective action. The dealer explained that the vehicle has the most current transmission software update. When the complaint was brought to the attention of Ford, through a phone number provided by the dealer, the existence of a known problem was denied by Ford. During the complaint investigation the dealer representative denied stating that there is a known issue. The shuddering and hesitation characteristics present a safety issue when quick acceleration is required. The herky jerky nature of the shuddering and transmission shifting cause concern that, in the future, the parts in the transmission will wear and fail prematurely.

- Allentown, PA, USA

problem #72

Aug 022014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 50 miles
On August 2, 2014 purchased this vehicle new at ted britt Ford and fairfax Virginia on the way home felt the transmission slipping call dealer on August 4th 2014 was told the transmission was computer driven and needed to get used to the way I drove October 1st 2014 still having problems with transmission seems to be getting worse mileage 1,707 miles went to hagerstown Ford to have transmission check they informed me computer had the newest update for the transmission vehicle was driven by technician and service director service order says vehicle compares with similar vehicles ok at this time software is current and up-to-date no further action required at this time.

- Hagerstown, MD, USA

problem #71

Oct 212014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 4,434 miles
While driving the vehicle, the transmission light came on and it began to sputter. While on the highway to take it to the dealership, it accelerated then jerked and dropped down to 50 mph while my foot was still on the gas. At times, it slowed nearly to a stop then would lurch forward. Took it to the dealership where when the vehicle was turned off then back on, the warning light went away. Having to Transport your children daily makes it a concern especially upon reading reports about other owners of this 2014 Ford Focus are having the exact problem for which nothing is being done.

- Louisville, KY, USA

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