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 20 of 23)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #70

Jun 012014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 4,000 miles


In June of 2014 not even a full 6 months after I bought my 2014 Ford Focus it started to have transmission problems. It feels like it's having a hard time accelerating and when it finally gets moving it jerks all over the place. I feel like I'm driving a manual and it's an automatic. I have brought my car back into the dealership where they tell me that they can't find the problem.

- Minot, ND, USA

problem #69

Aug 202014


  • miles
When I stop at a stop sign or light and then take off again my car shudders as I try to start driving. Then, when I try to accelerate it lags, and I have to put the peddle all the way to the floor before it will accelerate even the slightest bit. This occurs every single time I drive my car. Often when I attempt to drive off and I put my foot down on the gas pedal, the transmission slips midway through and after the initial take off the car stalls. This has almost caused me to get hit multiple times. This is not safe. Please do something about this because it is a serious hazard.

- Wake Forest, NC, USA

problem #68

Dec 232013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 10 miles
The shuddering clutch/transmission issue seems to come standard with these cars. I bought a 2013 titanium for my wife and I and we both immediately noticed the shuddering on take-offs. We were told by the dealer that the shuddering is caused by our method of driving, and were actually told to accelerate more from stops. We were told that this car is like having a manual transmission and has to be driven similar, huh, but I bought an automatic transmission and after driving for over 30 years I have to retrain on how to drive this car. We paid alot for this car and hope that Ford takes care this problem and stop telling these dealership to tell the customer that they are driving the car wrong. The car occasionally jolts forward when shifting at low gear. Wife and I are afraid of rear ending someone.

- Union, NJ, USA

problem #67

Sep 152014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 19,894 miles


When taking off from a stop the car would jump/shudder at take off. When turning left in addition to a shudder you would hear a clunking sound. When the roads are wet and you try to turn the car shudders and slides on the road. Going down the road in rush hour you would be shuddering all the way down the road.

- El Mirage, AZ, USA

problem #66

Jun 102014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 7,500 miles
Vehicle has a inherent problem with the automatic transmission. It seems to slip and cause the vehicle to jerk from a start. Dealer says it is normal and refuses to do anything about it. Vehicle was returned to service department a total of 3 times.this is a very dangerous situation and is unsafe.this vehicle needs to be recalled to have this addressed before someone gets killed.

- Lancaster, NY, USA

problem #65

Jul 312014


  • 990 miles
Gears started grinding between the 2nd and 3rd gear. When this happens, an error message pops up on screen and the car starts jumping. This happened in a new car with less than 1,000 miles. Taking to a dealership resulted in a cursory glance with no problems reported. But the incident happened twice after that. Difficult to reproduce, but is a persistent problem, as other owners of the same model have reported. A "fix" by Ford transfers the problem to a higher gear which increases the possibility of a crash at high speeds.

- Menlo Park, CA, USA

problem #64

Oct 022014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 7,309 miles


I picked up my repaired/replaced car yesterday at 2 pm. The service department replaced the clutch, seal and wiring assembly. I was told that the car would have to "re-learn" my driving habits and that would take about 2 weeks. I drove the car home and parked it. My husband came home from work and he started the car at 5:20pm. He placed the car in reverse and the car lunged forward with the car in reverse. He had to stomp on the brakes. He repeated this 3 times. I immediately called the service department and her response was "I will get the car towed back to the shop". so we decide to go back out and try it again. This time I had my video rolling. I have it documented that the car was in reverse ( the back-up lights are on camera) and the car is moving forward. Not only do I now have this issue my car is grinding and clanking and making all kinds of odd noises that weren't there before the repairs were done. I'm appalled that Ford is not doing something about all these issues. If a child or one of my pets would have been in front of the car they would have been ran over. This is totally unacceptable. Roadside assistance is coming to tow my car back to the service dept. And I once again will be stuck in a stinky rental car when I have a car with only 7000 miles on it and I can't drive it because it's not safe.

- Pleasant View, TN, USA

problem #63

Mar 312014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 7 miles
I have the same issue as everyone else with the stuttering shifting. I complained about it within a day of first purchasing the vehicle and was told that is how the car is supposed to shift, they would not even look at it. I was told that I just have to accelerate through it. I have learned not to put myself in a position where this may threaten an accident for me but it is still a huge safety concern where I have to constantly think about how the vehicle will perform pulling out into traffic and typically wait for a larger opening just in case the car wants to act up.

- Crestview, FL, USA

problem #62

Oct 012014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 33,000 miles
The vehicle on acceleration shutters, this is a know problem. I know that Ford and the NHTSA have known about this problem with the 2014 Ford Focus. I don't know why a recall has not been issued, this is a safety hazard, when pulling into oncoming traffic. I have had the clutches replaced once, and the vehicle still shutters, not a much, and I am being told that it falls within the limits set by Ford Motor Company. I am not happy with this alternative, and the problem should be fixed altogether. The vehicle is still making noise, I have been told by ruidoso Ford that this noise is normal. I have my doubts. I am looking at this arm of the us government to make sure that the vehicle I am driving is safe and that recalls are done efficiently and promptly.

- Ruidoso , NM, USA

problem #61

Feb 152014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 140 miles
I immediately noticed that the car seemed to be slipping gears/transmission. I put the car in reverse and it acted like the emergency brake was on and it wasn't. when accelerating the car hesitates, shutters, slips gears and stalls. I have had the car completely stall out in drive and in reverse. I'm afraid to pull out into traffic unless it is completely clear. I called about the issue and was told that it had to learn my driving habits. Well I now have 7000 miles on my car bought in Feb 2014 and it is worse than ever. Today I took it into the shop for a "computer update". then was told it's more than that and that they would have to keep my car because of clutch. It's a new car and I shouldn't be afraid to drive my car and get hurt. What are you going to do when the car lunges out into traffic or stalls when I pull out because it has a "computer update" issue and I'm killed? the service tech told me that he himself had owned one and got rid of it because of the issues. I want someone to contact me about this asap. It's not normal to have a new car that won't accelerate and stay in gear.

- Pleasant View, TN, USA

problem #60

Sep 232014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 3,215 miles


While driving up a hill I stepped on the gas so I could keep up with traffic and the vehicle bogged down and slowed to about 15 mph before the trans mission kicked in and the car started moving again. Also sometimes when you are taking off from a stop the car will lung forward into traffic also when driving about 10 mph the transmission will constantly shift up and down and jerk like it is looking for the correct gear. Was told by the dealer that Ford is aware of these problems but considers them with spec for this type of automatic transmission. When you bring the car into the shop the first thing they do is give you a 2 page handout describing how this automatic works but my problems are much worse than what they describe yet they can't find anything wrong. I am afraid to drive this car in traffic because you never know what it is going do. It would have been nice to have seen this handout before purchasing the vehicle as I probably wouldn't own the lemon now.

- Kent, WA, USA

problem #59

Feb 282014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 1,000 miles
I bought my car new back in feburary 2014. It does all kinds of things!! it does not shift right. It jerks, slips, revs high. If you need to accelerate it doesn't ever gear down correctly, either too much or not enough. It has completely stalled at intersections and would not move. It would not even rev up. I had to have it towed. It has accelerated into traffic at a red light, twice!! and each time did not have brakes. My children were in the car and it was a near miss. My children could have been killed!! I have had it at my Ford dealership 5 times!!! yes 5 times!!! each time it runs fine and does not do anything wrong while they are checking it out. The manager of the service dept states it is like a smartphone and once you cut it off it resets so this is probably why they can't find anything wrong with it by the time they get to it. I do not feel safe driving this car. But it is my only car. I don't know what to do. My dealership state they cannot do anything. Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- Ringgold, GA, USA

problem #58

Apr 012014


  • 7,500 miles
The transmission sputters when taking off from a dead stop. At a constant speed the car shifts into a higher or lower gear. Noises are made grinding noises when changing from 1-2-3 gears.

- Harrison, TN, USA

problem #57

Jun 022014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 10,000 miles
Vehicle shutters on take off and rattles. The shuttering at times can become serious to the point the vehicle acts like it wants to stall. I was told that Ford motor is very aware of this problem which involves a faulty clutch system but yet when checked by a computer, if the reading states certain numbers, they don't want to do anything about it! this is absurd! this vehicle is not safe to drive yet Ford does not want to fix the vehicle. When I drive this vehicle at times, the vibrations are so severe that I have to let up off the accelerator in order for it to stop. That's when I'm afraid that I'll get hit. A recall needs to be done on this problem. There have been 36 lawsuits filed just in one county in Pennsylvania alone for this problem NHTSA needs to step in and mandate Ford for a recall.

- Ooltewah, TN, USA

problem #56

Mar 052014

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. While driving approximately 10 mph and engaging the brakes, the vehicle suddenly accelerated without warning. The failure occurred four times. The dealer was unable to locate the cause of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired and the manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 15. Updated 11/21/14 the consumer also experienced a transmission shifting problem. Updated 01/08/15

- Burkley, MI, USA

problem #55

Sep 152014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 9,340 miles
Ford Focus began leaking fluids due to a main seal issue. Automatic clutch/transmission shutters, jerks, vibrates and lurches at low speeds or on hills.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #54

Aug 292014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 3,000 miles
In July I purchased a new 2014 Ford Focus for my son. Immediately he complained about it being sluggish and it shifted when it shouldn't and didn't shift when it should. In August he was involved in an accident when he backed into a parked car. The event cost me $525. He shifted from reverse to drive and pressed the accelerator but his car kept rolling back until it struck a car. Last week was the first time my wife or I drove his car. When she returned she said that she would never drive the car again. She reported the same transmission and shifting problems my son had mentioned. When I drove it to the dealer I put the car in reverse and backed out of the driveway. After I was in the street and totally stopped I put the car in forward and pressed the accelerator. Nothing happened. I checked the gear indicator and pressed the accelerator again. Nothing happened. After sitting iin the the middle of the street for several seconds the car finally moved. It was very sluggish and within the first 100ft. It shifted at least 3 times. Performance like this continued every time I started from a dead stop. I spoke with the service rep about what I had just experienced. He said that the transmission was doing exactly what Ford says it was designed it to do. He said he had personally scheduled over 20 2014 Focus cars into the shop to check the transmission because of the same complaints. He said Ford has a set of tests and if the car passed those tests they wouldn't do anything. He said every 2014 Focus he and the other 7-8 reps had scheduled for the tests had, by Ford's instructions, passed the tests. I sincerely request that you force Ford to do a recall on these cars. Noting the large number of complaints the cars obviously have very serious safety issues, especially their failure to shift when the driver takes the action to make them shift.

- Springfield, MO, USA

problem #53

Aug 012014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 5,000 miles
My 2014 Ford Focus has all of the symptoms being reported by thousands of others such as jumping forward, engine RPM racing up after bogging down to recover from a stall. The transmission sounds like a bucket of rocks being shaken around. Cracks, bangs and worst of all when pulling away from a light it just takes a big gasp, bangs down to a lower gear and jumps forward. Getting on the freeway safely requires pushing the accelerator near the floor and hoping it will downshift before the truck behind you gets there. This car is not even safe in a parking lot. I have had to stomp the brake down hard to keep from hitting other cars in the lot at work. This happens after it nearly stalls the engine and recovers by racing up. My 2014 Focus spent two weeks at germain Ford and was returned with a horrible rumbling sound and it was nearly impossible to get it to accelerate. The rumbling, though felt through the chassis, was later reported to be an improperly assembled air intake? this made no sense to me. I believe it was the engine being heavy loaded because the Focus would not downshift. I returned the car to germain Ford where they kept it for one day and reported there were no further issues with the car. After this two week repair I was presented with a document explaining the operation of the transmission for the Focus, not before. The document does not mention the banging into a lower gear while pulling away from a stop. It does not mention the car jumping in reverse or the engine being loaded to a rumble because the transmission refuses to downshift. I have had the car back from the latest service attempt for as long as the "green clutch", break in time is supposed to require. The car now jumps in reverse backing out of a parking space and acceleration is what I would consider dangerous. I ran out of characters but would welcome a reply or call.

- Hilliard, OH, USA

problem #52

Apr 152014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 2,000 miles
When I first bought car at the end of March, the vehicle would sometimes jerk at low speeds. Almost like a stick shift that was improperly shifted. This would happen even in reverse. And sometimes I can push the accelerator and the car would not move and then lurch forward. But this was an infrequent occurrence. I went on vacation last week (9-5 to 9-13) and drove the vehicle 2000 miles round trip. While driving I got stuck in stop/go accident traffic and the transmission on the car was constantly slipping and the car jerking forward. Also it would idle really hard before the vehicle would jerk forward. This occurred during slow speeds. The transmission now makes noise at 15 mph and 35 mph. This almost like a low grind (errr noise). And the jerking has gotten worse. You can push the accelerator down and nothing happens and then the car lurches forward. Have to keep distance between myself and the vehicle ahead of me. I have an appointment next week for the dealer to look at but there is something wrong with the transmission on the 2014 Ford Focus.

- Toledo, OH, USA

problem #51

Sep 152014


  • 9,800 miles
While in a median turn lane, I accelerated forward to turn left from a complete stop. As soon as I reached the middle of the road, the automatic car slipped out of gear and in to neutral, leaving me at almost a dead stop in the middle of a busy, uphill road. While trying to get the car back in gear, I was almost rear ended by two cars coming up the hill. Luckily they were paying attention, but had to swerve in the next lane to avoid me. I put my car in "select shift" mode and manually switched to 2nd gear. It was the only way the car would go back in gear. The Ford dealership service department has it now, needless to say, as I don't feel safe. I have also been experiencing a grinding noise and shaking/surging when accelerating from a complete stop in this vehicle. I believe this is related to the incident that occurred.

- Liberty Twp, OH, USA

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