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:
9 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
12,380 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2014 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 3 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #82

Dec 282015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 12,400 miles


The car shudders upon acceleration from a stop; changing gears more like a manual transmission than the automatic transmission that it is. Also, the car began shaking and shuddering during right hand turns. So far, this is an intermittent problem. The acceleration from slow speeds and from a stop is dangerously slow and nearly unresponsive at times.

- Monroe, WA, USA

problem #81

Mar 052015


  • 16,500 miles
Shudder in first to second gear losing power with engine or transmission; loss of speed and shaking and no accerlation from stop to start; loss of power and auto jumps up and down without going anywhere.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #80

Dec 012015


  • miles
Letter from congressman neugebauer on behalf of constituents of the 19th district of Texas re Ford safety issues. The consumer owns a 2014 Ford Focus SE with the optional dps6 power shift transmission. The transmission exhibited a severe, erratic movement, along with shuddering/jerking, with the most severe being while the vehicle was in reverse, park or drive on four different occasions. On two of those occasions, it happened when the consumer was accelerating from a complete stop and the vehicle lurched backwards; once hitting a pedestrian and leaving scratches on the back of the vehicle with a dented license plate. On several occasions, the vehicle accelerated on its own and applying the brake did not slow the vehicle down. Last year, the vehicle suddenly accelerated and the consumer had to hit a curb, in order to avoid an accident with another vehicle. The consumer stated the vehicle had numerous transmission and engine leaks where seals had to be replaced. Five days after the vehicle was inspected, the vehicle went into park while in the midst of driving 65 mph/ the vehicle shook, and revved and the rp's were extremely high, then the vehicle started to slow down without any assistance from the consumer. The vehicle came to a complete stop, an error message appeared that said transmission not in park.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #79

Aug 012015


  • miles


Transmission control module is defective. My car judders severely. Failed to get up to speed correct. RPM is 4,500. I have contacted Ford corporate, they have failed to execute. There is a recall on the part but there is 6-8 week back order. I do not feel safe driving my vehicle

- Olathe, KS, USA

problem #78

Jul 292015


  • miles
I purchased this vehicle from a reputable dealership in town as a used vehicle but with only 20K miles on it. The dealership refused to let me test drive it on the highway citing dealership rules. Everything seemed to work fine. One week after getting car home it began shuddering and failing to accelerate only to rapidly shift gears once it figured out what it wanted to do. When trying to enter highway the car would run through 4 gears before hitting mph causing horrible and sluggish performance. When finally get up to 55 mph or more, the car shutters so bad it is making other parts fall apart and come the steering and A/C not working properly...I have to go 80 just to get it to reduce slightly. I called up dealer and demanded they repair. Dealer reset transmission to factory defaults which fixed nothing. Took car in 3 more times when finally they admitted it was a clutch issue and put me on a back order list. I waiting 3 months while having to drive an unsafe vehicle but it finally was replaced. To no ones surprise the car performs worse now then it did. Took back to dealer 2 more times, to which I was told the clutch has a 1000 mile break in period. I asked then why didn't anyone say that when I picked it up. Spoke with service manager who keeps trying to tell me they can duplicate the problem...I asked why is it I have the problem 100% of the time I drive it but it never seems to happen when you have it.... I even tried demonstrating but they literally just ignored me and said they didn't hear anything or feel anything...I have reached out to class action lawyers for details on how to sue and get car paid for taken back so I can get a safe car....otherwise I have to drive a known safety hazard.

- Grapevine, TX, USA

problem #77

Jun 202014


  • 80 miles
This problem start since I got the car they told me it was normal but this is the 3 time I almost have an accident on the highway and intersections the car engine stall when that happen the car wont respond this happen all the time if I am driving fast our slow. I already take it to the dealer 6 times to get it fix and the car is getting worse I only have one repair invoice they wont give me anything because they say nothing is wrong with the car they also replace the clutch and restart the transmission a few times.

- Del Rio, TX, USA

problem #76

May 142014


  • 3,000 miles


I purchased the car brand new. It started bogging out dying in slow traffic and in the middle of turns. I have had it in the shop 5 times for same issue nothing was resolved. I have almost gotten in a couple accidents when turning the car dies in the middle of street and I have almost been T boned. I sounds like the engine is going to fall out at times. Sometimes when it starts to die it excelerates and send the car forward at a fast speed. I have only had car 18 month. I am terrified to drive this car!

- New Lenox, IL, USA

problem #75

Sep 302015


  • 19,000 miles
The vehicle has went into reverse on 3 occasions while the gear stick selector is in the drive position. One incident it went into reverse, striking a pedestrian causing injury. On another it went into reverse while on a freeway, then came to a crawl and stopped. Ford sent out their field service technician and said that an engine crankshaft seal was leaking (in addition to the clutch seals that had been replaced for leakage earlier). The dealer says that these leaks are common and cause the transmission to exhibit erratic behavior, including going into reverse. According to the Ford dispute resolution department, they could find no abnormal codes in the computer of the car - which could be a whole other defect in itself. Ford refuses to provide me paperwork on the technician's report/review of the vehicle and cannot guarantee that it will not happen again, nor will they verify that the fixes are safe. Ford was "unable to duplicate" the transmission going in reverse during their 7 mile test drive. A person at the dealership's service department told me that they try not to drive the cars very far and with a cold transmission so that the issues are not prevalent and cannot be duplicated and they will not have to diagnose anything. They also verified that they have a lot of issues with these vehicles, and with Ford in general trying to authorize repairs. I feel that something as serious as this should not have to be "duplicated" in order to have a fix looked into. I wish we were able to form a petition with the NHTSA to file a formal investigation into the safety practices of Ford and the safety of these particular dps6 transmissions. Search Ford fiesta 2011-2014 and Ford Focus 2012-2014 on the NHTSA - they are all made with the same transmission technology. I have filed a lemon law complaint with my state, who seemed very frustrated with Ford.

- Lubbock, TX, USA

problem #74

Oct 262015


  • 16,500 miles
Car intermittently stalls when the clutch pedal is depressed. This can occur at a stoplight or at freeway speed.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #73

Aug 272014


  • miles
Car jerks and shakes. Especially when taking off or on turning vehicle jerks badly. I understand that is when automatic transmission is trying to shift gears. I have had the clutch replaced once already. This causes a huge danger to me because if I would like to try to make a left turn in front of traffic I never know if my car will go or resist. Sons days are so bad that I just give up driving because it feels as if my car will stall. This is not what you expect a car that you've bought new and paid thousands of dollars on to run like daily. Dealership, today, says it's fine. Initial issues date back to August 2014.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #72

Oct 192015


  • 42,000 miles


The engine overheats for no reason and as a result the car shuts off. Took the car to Ford and was told due to it being a dual clutch transmission there is nothing under the hood to cool the engine down and to just put the hood up for 20 minutes and it is fine. This has happened 3 times now in stop and go traffic.

- Martinsburg, WV, USA

problem #71

Jan 262015


  • miles
Vehicle has had a red fluid leak for quite some time. The car has been back to the dealership for this issue many times and currently filing lemon law arbitration. The car has been out of commission for 55 days altogether since it's purchase in January this year due to the fluid leak which seems to be more of coolant than anything else. It is burning oil and or losing it somewhere that isn't visible. It also has had electrical problems with starting as well as the radio clock and presets all resetting after sitting for more than 24 hours. I have had to have the sunroof resales after it had leaked for over two months and the dealership wasn't able to find the leak. The front end makes horrible noises when decelerating. It grinds and whines as if something is about to blow up. I've taken it into the dealer for all of these concerns and only one of them has been resolved fully. I'm very disappointed in my purchase.

- Waynesville, NC, USA

problem #70

Sep 302015


  • 19,355 miles
Previously, due to the transmission shifting into reverse while the gear selector is in "D" drive, I backed into a female pedestrian hitting her and almost running her over. There are still scratches from her rings on my back bumper. Ford has performed numerous tsb's and recalls to "fix" the issue. Upon the most recent tsb and recall update, I was promised it would take care of any issues, including an issue where the vehicle would shudder and search for a gear before engaging and spinning out from a complete stop. After driving it for 30 miles, I noticed the engine running rough, shaking, and slowing down while in idle. I stopped for a refuel. I got back in the vehicle and calculated my mpg's as I always do - only 19mpg, which Ford says is "within spec" as long as it is not more than 8mpg off. (the on board mpg calculator shows 22.7mpg - always incorrect). It should be 26city, 36hwy. I placed the gear selector in "D" drive (as was also referenced in the on board screen). Once pressing the accelerator, the vehicle's in dash screen flashed that I was in "R" reverse and the vehicle lurched backwards. I braked, then the engine revved and went automatically back into "D." I drove 2 blocks, at a speed of 40 mph in "D, " it again switched to "R" revving the engine, then slowed to a stop. I pulled over, turned the engine off and waited before turning it back on. The drive home, it would jump between gears "searching." I let it sit overnight, and today it has not exhibited these actions. I'm uploading a photo showing the car doing 35 in the "R" position with the RPM jumped up to 3500. I was actually going forward. In "R, " car should not go over 20mph. This is evidence that it switched mid "D" drive. Also, the tires are starting to form pits and has a circumference of separation/splitting which dealership said is "fine." This is causing a vibration and whirring noise.

- Lubbock, TX, USA

problem #69

Sep 082015


  • 4,700 miles
Vehicle was losing power, rough idling and stalling while driving. Took to dealership and was found to have 2 cylinders with low compression and metal in engine. Ford case#7853581 engine was replaced. Vehicle at dealership for 9 days. Ford regional customer service manager does not respond to my emailed questions. After repair car does not start up immediately, gradual problem until 9 days after engine has been replaced, the car does not start at all. Towed to dealership and has now been there for 2 days. I fear that an accident may occur while driving this vehicle and believe that it is not safe.

- Watsonville, CA, USA

problem #68

Sep 012015


  • 11,000 miles
The transmission is shuddering, slipping out of gear and it feels like it is going to stall while accelerating from a stop. I could hear grinding noise, like its and bolts and loose.

- Brick , NJ, USA

problem #67

Nov 152014


  • 10,200 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. While at a stop, the vehicle shook when the accelerator pedal was applied. In addition, the vehicle jerked before accelerating. The failure recurred several times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer who reset the computer and replaced the fuel module, but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 10,200.

- Mt. Airy, MD, USA

problem #66

Aug 152014


  • miles
I purchased my 2014 Ford Focus SE on February 14, 2014, and since then have taken it back to the dealership 3 times (today, being the third time) to have the transmission worked on. The first time they replaced the clutch; the second time, when I called to make an appointment, they told me there was a recall on the timing and that it needed to be re-calibrated; and when the problem persisted, I took it in yesterday and was told today that there's nothing they can do. The report reads, "road test diagnose customers concern. Perform tsb 150120 measure shudder after relearn. Test passed. A 143 out of a max allowable 250 was recorded & sent to Ford. The transmission is working within Ford's design specifications." Well, Ford's design specifications are terrible. The car jolts forward from a stop and dramatically shudders, no matter how lightly or heavily I accelerate, and during high speeds it has trouble shifting gears, often times emitting a grinding noise. This noise is more present at lower speeds, though. I do a lot of freeway driving and dealing with traffic, which means a lot of stop-and-go traffic, so the drive is unpleasant, at its best, and hazardous, at its worst. It needs to be taken care of but Ford says that there's nothing they can do; that that's just the design of the transmission. I am afraid for my safety. Please do what you can to have Ford issue a recall and fix this problem. I'm fed up with their carelessness. I did not sign a contract for a broncin' buck, but a simple car with great gas mileage and a smooth ride. When I test drove it I thought it was just a sensitive accelerator that I would just need to get used to. I should have gone with my gut and bought the Kia optima.

- Escondido, CA, USA

problem #65

Jul 312014


  • 8,000 miles
Beginning at 6000 miles and 7 months of operation, my 2014 Ford Focus began operating erratically. The transmission exhibited physical shudders, lurching when coming out of 0mph, and bogging down/failing to shift to accelerate when merging onto the highway. The first and most noticeable time, it resulted in my hitting the bumper of the person in front of me and a more than $5000 repair to their car. At the time, I was a safe distance away at a drive-thru and applied gas to move forward. At first, nothing happened, then the car lurched forward suddenly. I tapped the person in front of me-- no one was hurt and no damage was done to my car, but damage was done to theirs. This has continued to worsen until now the car exhibits violent shuddering coming out of first and second and has problems accelerating, to the point where it has nearly gotten me hit going through an intersection and caused issues merging onto highways.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #64

Feb 182015


  • 6,000 miles
Since about 6,000 miles, my car "stutters" upon acceleration. Going forward from a stopped position, there is hesitation prior to acceleration which is an accident waiting to happen as those behind me accelerate normally. Then, it stutters, or hesitates, as I accelerate to a point, at which point acceleration ceases and the rpms race. Again, a danger of being hit from behind or the side when merging. I asked my oil change guy to take a look at the transmission, but he refused as he has heard about transmission issues with the Ford Focus cars and suggested I take it to the dealer. When I called Ford to make an appointment, they were well aware of the problem and said they just needed to "recalibrate". my car "passed" their test, but the issue continued. I spoke with the dealership who said he is on the phone with 7-8 Ford Focus owners a day talking about this issue that is allegedly not a safety concern, but a design which is not a defect. He said if and only if my car were to fail the "test", then they would have permission to order a new part. I took my car in again, it failed, and now I am waiting 12-16 weeks for the part to come in. From what I understood from the dealership, the new part may make things a bit better, but the way it drives will be the same. This design is not only flawed, making for an uncomfortable ride, it is a safety concern. I can only hope the government steps in to force Ford to take responsibility and do what's right, because it seems they are unwilling to do so.

- Grayslake, IL, USA

problem #63

Jan 012014


  • miles
Ransmission control module reprogramming for overt tcm failure warning shiftling problem. Went to dealership April 30 2015 and waiting on the part it has been over three months waiting

- Tampa, FL, USA

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