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 7 of 23)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #330

Nov 192015


  • miles


Despite taking my car in multiple times for repair (including software updates and a new clutch at 19466 miles), the transmission has been shuttering, shaking, slipping, and has a hesitant/ delayed response when accelerating from a stopped position (e.g. making a left hand turn to cross an intersection with oncoming traffic). I feel extremely unsafe especially when accelerating to cross an intersection because the automatic transmission will have a delayed response transferring power to the rear wheels despite pushing the accelerator and will continually shutter, slip, and shake while getting up to speed thus making a slow and uncertain acceleration. This can severely limit my ability to move my car out of harms way.

- Coral Springs, FL, USA

problem #329

May 242016


  • 50,000 miles
First problem was the car shuddering and jerking. Ford garage, repair some transmission seals, programming, replaced fuel tank, fuel pump and engine wire harness repair. Shortly after the car began to lose ability to move when accelerating, the engine RPM's would rev and vehicle had little power to move. Ford garage replaced clutch and did programming. On the way home from that repair, our care suffered the same symptoms it was brought in for. It is currently in the shop and we have no confidence in what we will get back.

- Fine, NY, USA

problem #328

Jan 012016


  • miles
I purchased my 2014 Ford Focus 1/1/16. When driving at slow speeds and always if accelerating at 10mph the car jerks and sputters. I took back to the Ford dealer and had what they said was an adjustment due to a recall. Didn't fix anything, took it in again and the answer is its the design due to a 5 speed within an automatic transmission it has to adjust itself. This car will not accelerate when a light turns red turning left and I need to get out of the way, it jerks and sputters, same problem at any stop. My concern is that if I can't accelerate to get out of the way I'm going to get hit, at a light, stop, on the freeway. Ford told me that's the way all of them drive. This is a daily occurrence since I purchase the car.

- San Dimas, CA, USA

problem #327

Aug 012015


  • 11,000 miles


Clutch replaced at 18K miles due to shuddering, hesitation and rolling backwards on hill in drive. At 38K issues are starting again. Several almost accidents when on hill and turning in traffic. Purchased a year ago and devalued $10K since.

- Athens, IL, USA

problem #326

Dec 022014


  • 4,625 miles
Transmission started shuddering not long after purchase. Ford acted like they did not know about these problems even thought we now find that they have been well documented for years. Multiple trips to 2 dealerships have not fixed problem. The shuddering takes place while in motion, sometimes driving straight, often when turning. Longer trips or hilly terrain exasperate problem. Driving in winter conditions ( snow, ice)makes it difficult to tell if it is the tires or transmission that is slipping. Very dangerous defect. Drivers and passengers feel very unsafe in this vehicle. Wondering why NHTSA is so slow in dealing with this problem.

- Kennebunkport, ME, USA

problem #325

Aug 072015


  • 20,000 miles
The transmission jerks when starting off and shifting gears. I've had it in 3 times for "software updates" and each time the mechanic tells me that all Ford Focus experience the same thing and that it was designed that way.

- Bethlehem, PA, USA

problem #324

Sep 262014


  • 14,000 miles


I bought my 2014 Focus in August of 2014, it was a lightly used rental from late 2013 to around the spring of 2014 and only had a little over 14,000 miles on it. Since that time I have had to take it in (including this most recent appointment in a few days) 3 times for the same issue. When I am accelerating from a stop, the car will shutter, hesitate to shift, often grind until it reaches a higher gear. After I take the car in the problem is gone for about a month but then slowly starts to come back the more I drive it. The problem is much more prevalent when I am driving around residential areas with a lot of hills and stop sign intersections. I am worried that if this issue continues throughout the life of my car it will either cause an accident, or at least put me in danger of causing an accident, and it will also cost me a fortune to maintain if I have to continually take it in for repairs each year!

- Riverside, CA, USA

problem #323

May 012016


  • 30,000 miles
When I accelerate my car hesitate, jerk like it is getting worst. Slow down when take off and while driving

- North Chesterfield, VA, USA

problem #322

Nov 242015

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles
2014 Ford Focus. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle high RPM symptoms and transmission shudders while driving. Consumer wants dealership to buy back vehicle. The consumer stated in his opinion, the vehicle was still not shifting properly after the dealer made the repairs.

- Massena, NY, USA

problem #321

Jan 202016


  • 22,500 miles
This car was bought used with 22218 miles on it on 12/29/2015. The car was running fine. By the middle of January 2016, the transmission was slipping. Before we made first payment on 2/9/2016, the transmission was slipping and shuddering going into second gear. Here it is 5/5/2016 and we are supposedly still waiting on a part to come in, we feel like we have bought their problem and we are on our own, and this could be a very serious issue in safety when your car will not go. From dead stop, shifting from first, going into second it shudders, hesitates, in traffic, it's really bad. This was bought for my teenage daughter to go to college, now I'm worried about her safety in it.

- Escatawpa, MS, USA

problem #320

May 042016


  • 80,000 miles


Car hesitates when accelerating, especially from a slow or stop. Cannot tell if its a transmission issue or fuel related. Very dangerous, causing car to buck & jerk. Makes it difficult to control vehicle. Seems to be getting worse the higher the mileage.

- Kalamazoo, MI, USA

problem #319

Jan 012015


  • miles
While driving it feels like engine is falling out. The whole car vibrates. Like its stalling out when you take off and it takes a long time to get up and going. I have taken the car to lakeland Ford for a seal kit that was back ordered 6-8 weeks in 2015 in 2016 I had to have another seal kit also back ordered 6-8 weeks they did transmission module replacement and much more I've taken this car back for the same issue multiple times andhavebeen told it's not a lemon L!

- Bartow, FL, USA

problem #318

Apr 012015


  • 20,000 miles
When driving the car shudders and doesn't want to go into gear, have had it into service dept several times for known transmission issue! the problem started shortly after I purchased the vehicle. It's been 2 1/2 months now and still waiting for new clutch to arrive and now my vehicle will not drive at all!

- Commerce, MI, USA

problem #317

Apr 222016


  • miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. While driving 10 mph, the vehicle vibrated and failed to accelerate when the accelerator pedal was depressed. The failure occurred constantly. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed, but the details could not be provided. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and stated that the parts to repair the vehicle would not be available for two months. The failure mileage and VIN were unknown.

- Chula Vista, CA, USA

problem #316

Sep 172015


  • miles
I have a 2014 Ford Focus SE hatchback. It was bought brand new in September 2014. I was back at the dealership on September 17, 2015 with 17,000 miles because of the shuddering &, hesitations coming from the transmission while driving, stopping, and accelerating. My clutch was replaced on October 15, 2015. I was back to the dealership on January 8, 2016 and again on March 10, 2016, for a "computer reset". the jerking, shuddering, grinding, and stalling have yet to cease and it's becoming more of a hazard & extremely stressful to drive the car on a daily basis. I have to drive 100 miles a day round trip for work. The serviceman at mike reichenbach said it would never be more than 80% due to the type of clutch in the transmission is for a straight drive vehicle. As of today my car is just as bad as ever if not worse, I have been fortunate so far as not be in an accident, but looking for it to happen anyday with the issues in the transmission. I fear for my safety every time I have to stop for any reason because of this stall, hesitation and sometimes slow on acceleration.

- Mullins, SC, USA

problem #315

Aug 012014

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2014 Ford Focus. Consumer writes in regards to automatic transmission shudders on acceleration and clutch has kicked out of gear into neutral. The consumer stated the transmission has been a problem since the first day, the vehicle was purchased. The transmission was reprogrammed a couple of times, but to no avail. The dealer then stated the clutch was bad. However, the parts were not available.

- Charlotte, MI, USA

problem #314

Apr 142016


  • 82,000 miles
My 2014 Ford Focus is experiencing shuddering issues when shifting between first and second typically. I have taken any end to get the recall done on it for the reprogramming and it helped at first but now the shuttering has continued after about 6 months.

- Garden City, MO, USA

problem #313

Mar 182016


  • 16,700 miles
I just bought this car 1 month ago and when it is at a stop and you hit the accelerator, it shudders between 1st and 2nd and between 2nd and 3rd. It is getting worse the longer the problem goes on. I have taken it to parkway Ford in winston salem, nc and was told it was a common problem and that the part has been ordered and could take 3+ months before it will come in and my car can be fixed. In the meantime, I am driving a car that acts like it's going to stall out in the middle of the road. Having to wait possibly 3 months for the warranty repairs to be completed is unacceptable.

- Winston Salem, NC, USA

problem #312

Jan 012014


  • 15,000 miles
I have a 2014 Ford Focus SE hatchback. It was bought brand new in August 2013 and paid in full. I was back at the dealership at less than 15,000 miles because of the grinding, stalling, hesitations, and jerking coming from the transmission while driving, stopping, and acceleration. My clutch has been replaced twice and I have been back to the dealership countless times, for a "computer reset". the jerking, shuddering, grinding, and stalling have yet to cease and it's becoming more of a pain to drive the car on a daily basis. All of the servicemen say the same thing: "it will adjust to your driving or it's supposed to feel that way". I am currently waiting on a new clutch to have it replaced one again. I feel as if I am now stuck with this vehicle with no hope!

- Loris, SC, USA

problem #311

Apr 112016


  • miles
Bought car brand new in June 2014. Have had transmission redone. Now having same issue again. Front seat belts replaced. Now need replaced again. Have had dealer repair outside door skin on front passenger door due to Transport damage. Had to take car in to have interior door repositioned due to poor dealer workamanship. I have had this car in for repairs more than any vehicle I have ever owned. Car currently has about 33,000 miles on it.

- Independence, KS, USA

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