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 6 of 23)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #350

Jun 102016


  • 30,000 miles


Have had vehicle for 1 year & feels like transmission slipping, jerky, & feel unsafe in car. Has been to dealership twice for computer updates & is just getting worse. No longer want car & very unsafe to have car jerking & I feel like it is going to break down any minute.

- Damascus, PA, USA

problem #349

Jun 232016


  • miles
I have reported to my dealership and Ford Motor Company that I do not feel safe driving my 2014 Ford Focus it has bad hesitation, and jerks and shudders and even rolls backwards on a very small incline at a stop light. When you try to pass a vehicle it will start cutting out which is extremely dangerous. I am afraid that it will get me and my family hurt and I bought it brand new less then a year ago for over $20,000 and now my dealership told me they would only give $14,000 for it and they sold it to me knowing that there was an issue. It has been in the shop already 5 or 6 times now they tell me that they have ordered another clutch pack this will make the second one they put in it since I bought less then a year ago but it is back ordered for 2 months. Their mechanic already told me that this is another temporary fix. Please help

- Birch Tree, MO, USA

problem #348

Mar 072016


  • 24,000 miles
My vehicle was purchased new and currently has 29,000 miles on it. The air bag housing was loosed and has play on it, when reported to a Ford dealer in merced ca, I was told their was nothing wrong. The other issue is the transmission, it slips. I recently recieved notices in the mail from 3rd party lawyers stating that it is a common problem with the Focus, and "shuttering" may also appear. The lower arm, rotor housing was recently replaced because of the bearings failing due to "freezing up." Ford representatives are down playing the shuttering and saying it is due to a program issue, and "when" it occurs, to bring it in.

- Moreno Valley, CA, USA

problem #347

Jun 102016


  • 37,000 miles


I am having problems with the transmission. At approximately 22000 miles car was not shifting properly, it had a bad vibration. Dealer did a reboot on computer, it did not help. They then replaced clutch in transmission. Problem solved. That was July 2015. Now June 2016 at approximately 37000 miles I have same problem. I brought car back to dealer and they said that I needed computer, they said they would order parts. I picked my car up while parts were on order. I waited a week and called dealer to find out status, and was told they did not order parts that they still don't know what is wrong with car. They need it in shop to run more tests. I dropped car off and they rebooted the computer and it is all fixed, they said. I picked car up and the next day I took care for a long ride, and still same problem. I took care back and I I was told everything is good. I said no its not. We went back and forth until they told mechanic to test drive. Within 300 feet of drive the mechanic said that I need a clutch replacement. They tell me they will order parts but I don't believe them. Car is very hard to drive in stop and go traffic do to the hesitation and bucking. I spoke to mechanic he said their is no permanent fix for problem. Also I have not received any paperwork from dealer when they repair car. When I look up my car service report it says air-conditioning heating repairs. Nothing in report about transmission

- Port Chester, NY, USA

problem #346

Jun 172016


  • 8,750 miles
Transmission hesitates and actually fails to move the car especially starting from a stop or on an incline. Can't be sure when I step on gas that it will move. When it does it sounds like a race car and and your head hits the headrest because it jerks from sudden acceleration. Scary to drive. Stopped in traffic on a hill friday6/17/2016 tried to continue when light changed and the car would not move then it learched forward. Been in 2 times to dealer.

- Youngstown, OH, USA

problem #345

Jan 012016


  • 30,000 miles
When accelerating from a stopped position, or a slowed speed (such as in a traffic jam), the vehicle jumps/lurches due to a problem with the timer on the automatic standard transmission. This is a known problem to Ford and many people are having problems and being placed in unsafe situations. I paid good money (as did everyone else) for a car that is known to be unsafe and Ford refuses to do anything.

- Gilmer, TX, USA

problem #344

Jun 182016


  • 39,800 miles


Shuttering and vibrations when shifting from 1st to 2nd, shifting hiccups, slipping clutch, shaking, lurching.

- Brazil, IN, USA

problem #343

Jun 182016


  • miles
We have had this vehicle in several times for shuddering, hesitation and other issues involving the transmission. We have had the sensors adjusted, the software updated, and the dealer had had a clutch part on order for 4 months at this point. We first took car in during February for this issue. It is now June. They told us they will need to replace some clutch assembly part, which is taking a long time for parts to be obtained. Dealership can not give us a time when this will be received to perform repair. Concerned about the driving safety for my daughter. Car jumps and hesitates in lower gears. Same complaints many have already made about this vehicle..

- Rockwall, TX, USA

problem #342

Jun 142016


  • 10,000 miles
Power steering failure and hesitation, shuddering in transmission. Reported on 6/17/16 for previous failure incident on 5/13/16. Dealer had repaired vehicle under warranty bur repairs failed to work. New incident that occurred on 6/14/16. Internet search indicated class action lawsuits have been filed against Ford for both the steering problem and transmission problem, nhtsb appears to have already opened an investigation. Still waiting for repairs to be made.

- Amston, CT, USA

problem #341

May 132016


  • 9,112 miles
On 5/13/16 power assisted steering failed. Vehicle very difficult to steer. Vehicle was towed to auto dealer. Also transmission shuddering, choking accident or damage occurred because of these at that time but elevated risk of an accident. Repairs for both made by dealer under warranty.

- Amston, CT, USA

problem #340

Jun 172016


  • 10,000 miles


Transmission stutters thru first and second gears from a stop or slow roll. Will lose power when accelerating to freeway speeds as though it was going to stall out in the lower gears. Clutches rattle as if not engaging. Have had the transmission seal replaced for oil on clutches. Did not fix the stuttering through the gears or the rattling clutches. The transmission updates are current. None of the updates fixed the problem or improved acceleration through the lower gears. I purchased this car new-has only 10K miles.

- Aberdee, WA, USA

problem #339

May 062014


  • 100 miles
I have owned this car for 2 years. I purchased it on 5/3/2014 and took it home to notice 2 days later that the trim of the body frame was coming undone and also the front bumper was detaching (it was parked in my garage). I took it back and got the parts fixed. Then a month later I returned it back to the shop for stalling, hesitation, RPM's going up to 5, vibration of car and got the PCM/tcm reprogrammed. This was all going on while driving down any road and going on the gas from a light/stop sign. I've had the clutch replaced (took 3 months of car in shop to do that). Had the PCM/tcm reprogramed about 8-9 times. My car has been in the shop at least 11 times in the last 2 years. I just picked it up last night for another reprogram of the trans and its still hesitating, has a rattling noise when going on the gas and a very serious shake to the whole car. But I get told the car is fixed or nothing is wrong. Open your eyes because there is definitely something wrong with these cars......... I have documents and pictures to prove it.

- Reading, PA, USA

problem #338

Apr 142016


  • 27,000 miles
The transmission started stalling going down the highway, RPM's high without vehicle going forward. Took it in to the dealer on 05/10/16 and was told there was a recall that had to do with the clutch inside the transmission. I had just bought the vehicle in March 2016 for my daughter and was never told there was a problem with the power train and I told them I had safety concerns. The dealer ran a diagnostic and said they reprogrammed it and should take care of the problem for a bit. The fix did not work. We went there today. 06/15/16 and will take the vehicle back to the dealer on 06/22/16 for them to tear down the transmission and to clean it up to keep it running. We were told it will take a while to get the part in that was needed. I complained to the manager this time. I am worried about my daughter's safety with this vehicle stalling and then picking back up with the RPM's at a high rate.

- Brookland, AR, USA

problem #337

Sep 052014


  • 44,000 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. While driving approximately 65 mph, the vehicle accelerated on its own and down shifted suddenly to approximately 45 mph. In addition, while attempting to accelerate from a stop sign, the vehicle stalled. A mechanic diagnosed that the transmission needed to be serviced and the clutch replaced. The transmission was serviced and the clutch was replaced approximately three times within a year and half time frame. The manufacturer was notified. The VIN was unknown. The approximate failure mileage was 44,000.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #336

Aug 252014


  • 12,000 miles
I have had my Focus in to be repaired four times for the clutch plate assembly shuddering/jumping/hesitating upon starting up from a stopped position.the last time it was in was March of 2016, and is now doing the same thing in June 2016. This was first noticed at 12000 miles, but not addressed until the milage was 15500. This disqualified it for the buy back with Ford through the BBB autoline. The clutch plate has been replaced twice and adjusted the sensor two other times. This is a safety concern in the event of pulling onto the interstate or in heavy traffic and does not give the acceleration needed. I have asked a couple of times for a buy back, but have been told no. Please help me and other consumers to have this issue addressed and fixed.

- Natchez, MS, USA

problem #335

Jun 082016


  • 14,000 miles
Transmission is jerky, difficult/slow to accelerate making for unsafe driving conditions. The car has other is issues but this is the worst. It is unsafe to drive and fails to accelerate with power or speed when pulling away from a stop, changing lanes, getting onto a freeway, or during typical driving conditions. Ford makes excuses - first it was the computer, now it is the clutch. This has been ongoing since I leased it as a brand new car Dec. 2014.

- Fair Oaks, CA, USA

problem #334

Jun 302013


  • 2,000 miles
Transmission skipping at slow speed and start

- Foxboro, MA, USA

problem #333

Jan 012015


  • 30 miles
The vehicle hesitates when driving from a complete stop and going from 1st to 2nd gear. I have an automatic transmission. This vehicle has done this since the 1st week I owned it. The problem gets much worse the longer it is driven. After about an hour of driving is when the hesitation feels more like the vehicle either can't shift properly or the engine is about to die. When there are 4 adults in the vehicle this issue is amplified. I have to take extra caution when entering traffic from a stopped position due to the major hesitation when shifting gears and I am always worried when making legal turns crossing in front of oncoming traffic. Lastly my vehicle is gas not electric.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #332

Apr 012015


  • 500 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. While driving approximately 70 mph, the vehicle suddenly slowed down and would not accelerate. During the incident, the "engine fault, service now'' message displayed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who was unable to duplicate the failure. In addition, when accelerating from a stop, the vehicle would shutter. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the clutch was faulty. The PCM and tcm were reprogrammed and the clutch was replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failures. The failure mileage was 500.

- Stacy, MN, USA

problem #331

Sep 182015


  • 17,871 miles
I have had my car now for 18 months and it has been in and out of the shop for clutch issues the clutch has been replaced now twice and they updated my computer trying to fix the clutch as well. My car is still not running properly. It has a rough idol worse than what it was before I got my clutch replaced yesterday and it jerks when starting out ( this jerking is not bad right now because I just had the clutch replaced but its still there) I have requested this vehicle to be bought back multiple times and I get a no and they wont tell me why and dont return my emails. I have just requested another buy back and waiting on a response. Thanks for your time and I hope you can help me out.

- Mineral, VA, USA

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