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 6 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #22

Jul 292014


  • miles


I have noticed while driving my vehicle that it stutter and makes a loud grinding sound when I am going up inclines and when I am braking. I noticed my car is will be jerking and feels like the transmission is bout to give away when I am in traffic. I took my car back to the dealership because it was still under warranty and explained to them the issues that are going on with my car. They proceeded to tell me that my issues was normal for my car. I asked how could this be normal that a brand new car stutter, grinds, shift gears on it own, jerks when applying brakes or acceleration, and feels like transmission is slipping. I spoke with the mechanic that looked at my car and he said that my model car is like it has a manual engine in and automatic car. He stated that this was normal as far as the manufactures states but actually this is not normal. Cars should not be shifting gear automatically. This issues that my car is having are very hazardous, especially in stop in go traffic and on inclines, just driving period, in the end I feel something needs to be done about this with this making model car especially being that this is a newer model car (2014).

- Gwynn Oak, MD, USA

problem #21

Jun 232014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 1,145 miles
On June 23, 2014 while traveling on the highway, the subject vehicle 'stalled' without warning. Despite attempting to restart the vehicle, the driver was unable. The subject vehicle was struck from behind causing personal injury.

- Montclair, NJ, USA

problem #20

Jul 012014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 15,555 miles
Every time I put the car in drive and start to go between 5-10 mph the car begins to stutter. Its getting progressively worse everytime I drive the vehicle. I've taken it to the shop 2-3 times already and they have only put a "bandaid" on the situation. They have only reset the transmission computer back to its default settings. I am wanting something to be repaired - actually replaced under my warranty.

- Severn, MD, USA

problem #19

May 162014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 1,800 miles


My Ford Focus St is stalling intermittently when I push the clutch in completely or shift into neutral, it will not idle at times or it has an erratic idle swinging from 400-800 rpms wildly. My car has stalled dozens of times since the issue started including on the highway in-between shifts. Many other people seem to be having this issue with the Ford Focus St 13-14 models. I have taken it into the dealer twice and they refuse to fix the car if it does not have a trouble code, they said they were not able to reproduce the issue. One of their porters, cole, observed my car struggling to keep idle but they say one of their techs has to see it while it happens. The issue is intermittent but seems worse when it is hot, humid, or raining. The car may go 200 miles between stalling events. It seems to occur more frequently in stop and go traffic. I have recorded videos of this happening but Ford will not take any action. I've spoken with the regional csm and she says they cannot apply the known tsb fix without one of their techs observing the stalling or a trouble code registering. You can see where 20+ other people are having this issue here: there are over 100 pages of posts from people affected. Please help us deal with Ford who is not helping or acknowledging this safety issue! what if my car stalls while crossing traffic? updated 02/24/2015

- Joliet, IL, USA

problem #18

May 012014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 18,000 miles
Ford Focus St 2014 on hot / humid day when you start the car up the engine revs will drop to <500 RPM and the engine will shutter or completely stall. In addition, while travelling at speeds 10-20 mph when the clutch gets pushed in the engine will hunt idle from xrpm and drop to <500rpm rapidly and the car will shutter or completely stall. I have been driving my car down the road and had it completely stall while moving. If this happens in the middle of the road or intersection it is seriously dangerous. Ford is aware of the issue, but are not fixing the electrical problem unless a specific engine code is stored in the computer. It has been proven that the engine will stall in these situations and still not throw an engine code, thus, Ford will not perform the service.

- Shrewsbury, MA, USA

problem #17

May 272014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 7,500 miles
I have a Ford Focus St, I did not see that in the vehicle list. I was driving at night, with traffic behind me, and my car stalled while driving. I was moving in first gear, I went to shift to second gear, and the car stalled. Luckily the traffic saw my emergency flashers and avoided me. This can potentially cause an injury or worse. I took my car to the dealership, and they told me there was no issue. Many others are experiencing the same issue as well, with dealerships telling them that there is no issue. There is a tsb out for the issue, but only if your car produces one of two specific codes. Many others are experiencing this issue without those codes as well.

- Cranberry Twp, PA, USA

problem #16

Jun 182014


  • 25,000 miles


My email to avis is as follows: ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ avis customer service contract # [xxx] car Ford Focus 2014 rental tampa airport date: June 18 2014 dear avis I rented a Ford Focus to drive across the state to stuart, fl from tampa airport I left around 1 am. The car bucked and sputtered once on the beltway I 275 surrounding tampa. At higher speed the engine seemed to settle down. I used state rt 70, an often single lane road to cross the state going through acacia and okeechobee. At red lights, the car stalled out twice. This on a dark single lane road is very dangerous. I used the emergency flasher to warn two large trucks come at me on the single land behind me. When I dropped the car off the afternoon of June 18, I reported the stalling out to the office person [xxx] at avis on federal highway, stuart she told me the Focus has a habit of sputtering and bucking and asked if I knew about that. I said I did not know about the condition but that this car stalled out. I said this was very dangerous on a dark road. I had two incidents that night with large semi?S coming at me stalled as the light turned green. She said she would write up this concern in comments to avis. In my view, a car that can stall out is similar to the GM cars that stopped with a defective key. Thirteen people have been killed in those GM stall outs. I will sent this safety concern to avis management, the national highway transportation association and to Ford, which so far has not had any key recalls. If the Focus stalls out or misfires, this seems like a similar safety issue. Ford should remedy the Focus stall out and avis may not to consider letting the Focus out as a rental. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Stuart, FL, USA

problem #15

Mar 032014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 5,000 miles
Vehicle has constant rough idling and surging. Has now escalated to frequent stalling in highway and city driving. Stalls while stopped at red lights and simply down shifting. Occurs mostly while at normal operating temperature. Ford technicians are aware of the issue and resolution but refuse to repair tsb harness because no failure code is received and Ford corporate will not approve repair without a code. Stalls have occurred on regular basis with family in car and on the highway and our safety has been compromised. This issue needs to be investigated as I am not the only Ford Focus St owner having this issue clearly visible in all the forums.

- Wayne, NJ, USA

problem #14

Apr 012014


  • miles
This vehicle has driven erratically since I picked up the car at the end of March 2014. The vehicle sometimes idles rough especially when engine is cold. The automatic transmission shifts erratically and is not smooth. It drives very jerky and sometimes feels like it is bouncing at low speeds. Car will lurch forward or backward after stopping, which is a safety issue at stop lights/signs and in parking lots. I love the design, but I am so disappointed. I had my prior car for 14 years and now I feel I am stuck with this one for 14 years. It makes me very upset to think about it after saving for so long to buy a new car. The dealer tells me nothing is wrong. I'm embarrassed to have a passenger for fear they will think I am such a poor driver. The car bogs and feels like it is being held back between 35-45 mph when it should be shifting. I have seen other similar complaints on the internet and Ford should recall these cars and fix the transmissions.

- Roselle, IL, USA

problem #13

May 012014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 6,100 miles
Engine stalls at driving speeds. Ford issued a tsb for this vehicle but dealers are refusing to do the tsb because it is an intermittent problem. The tsb concerns faulty engine wiring harness. (tsb 13-9-7).

- Carrollton, TX, USA

problem #12

May 112014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 16,000 miles


The engine shuts off, and idle is constantly going too low. The car will sometimes shut off when the clutch is engaged, and the RPM's are allowed to fall to idle range. This is becoming a safety hazard because the car has died in middle of intersections, and while traveling at interstate speeds. Numerous other owners have posted the same issue, some with less than 200 miles.

- Kenosha , WI, USA

problem #11

Mar 062014


  • 6,000 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while coming to a complete stop, the vehicle suddenly stalled. The contact indicated that the failure was intermittent and occurred while the clutch was engaged and while the vehicle was in neutral. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who was unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 6,000.

- Sunnyvale , CA, USA

problem #10

Apr 152014


  • 900 miles
Jerking upon gears changing.. grinding sound upon acceleration and when turning left. Took it to the dealership, they determined at 900 miles the car needed a new clutch. This was replaced thinking it would fix the shifting issues and the grinding noise. The grinding noise came back yesterday as well as the car trying to cut off and idling very low at stop signs/stop lights.. the grinding continued through 3rd gear. The dealership is still trying to determine what is causing this sound. Replacing the clutch did fix the jerking and hard shifting issues however the grinding sound is still an issue.

- Roanoke, VA, USA

problem #9

Apr 242014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 2,747 miles
Brand new 2014 leased Ford Focus St repeatedly stalls at idle. Has occurred since purchase in December 2013. Brought it in for service at perry Ford in santa barbara. They fixed it temporarily but the issue now persists. Same issue as Focus St thread: I'm now bringing car back to perry for the 4th time in 3 months.

- Santa Barbara , CA, USA

problem #8

Sep 022013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 100 miles
Trouble with the dual clutch automatic transmission from the first day of ownership. The car now has 6K miles and the problems persist. The following problems are even worse during cold weather: The transmission shifts poorly, roughly, misses shifts, chooses the wrong gear for the vehicle speed, disengages and sends the engine to redline then drops into gear with a bang and either slows the vehicle with engine braking because the gear is too low, or lugs the engine with no acceleration because the gear is too high. The transmission is always shifting, and seems 'confused' as to what gear that it should be in. In city driving, if I need to suddenly brake, when I re-apply the throttle again, the transmission hangs between gears and the engine revs to redline then drops into gear and chirps the tires. The transmission also makes grinding noises when changing from 1st to 2nd gear. Also very slow to drop to a lower gear when throttle is pressed for quick acceleration. Takes about 2 seconds for it to downshift and then accelerate. Also, the gear indicator on the console (prnds) doesn't line up with the shifter or illuminate to show which gear is selected, so it's difficult to tell whether I've selected reverse, neutral, or drive. In addition, the display on the instrument panel that shows the gear selection sometimes takes over 30 seconds to illuminate or 'boot up' to indicate what gear is selected. I often end up in neutral when I think I've chosen reverse or drive while I wait for the instrument panel indicator to 'boot up'. the dealerships say that I have the current software, and, "they all do that." Dangerous, and will probably add up to very expensive repairs as it can't possibly be reliable under these conditions.

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #7

Mar 282014


  • 12,000 miles
Ford Focus St '14 : on startup the engine revs to 1500 then down to <500rpm and almost stalls. In addition, sometimes while driving, if the clutch is depressed the engine revs will rapidly decrease to this near stall point causing lots of engine shutter. There is a tsb (13-9-7) released, but the engine is throwing 0 codes when the engine shutter happens.

- Shrewsbury, MA, USA

problem #6

Oct 092013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 1,225 miles
My car has several issues which are not safe to drive with and dealership cannot fix them: 1. vibration on the brake pedal when I let the car go from a stop before pushing the gas. 2. transmission is jerky when I accelerate, it seems to stop, go back and forth, as if somebody's pulling me back 3. antifreeze smell when I turn on the ac (have a headache)

- Gilbert , AZ, USA

problem #5

Mar 142014


  • 500 miles
I bought this car brand new on March 10, 2014. About a week after having it I noticed when I accelerate it gets very jerky and the rpms shoot up higher than I've ever seen in another car. There is also a grinding sound when I am accelerating and sometimes even when I am just driving. I am very concerned, and I am taking it back to the dealership this afternoon.

- Jacksonville, AL, USA

problem #4

Jan 312014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 220 miles
2014 Ford Focus St with manual transmission when decelerating to a stop sign or stop light (approx 20-10 mph), and engaging the clutch to coast with the car in neutral, the car will almost stall (drops to about ~500 RPM) and then the engine "catches itself" and will rev to 1000-1200 RPM before settling back to a normal 700-800 RPM idle. This happens at random, but "ac/on" also increases likelihood of occurrences. This happens every trip. I stopped counting after 12 events in the first seven days. The car also "hunts" for it's idle speed (with a warmed engine) and varies from 700-1000 RPM, apparently at random. There is already a Ford tsb for this, tsb# 13-09-07, but it can only be accomplished if an engine completely shuts down and throws a check engine light/code. Due to the fact that this could completely shut off an engine while stopping near other motorists, like the recent GM ignition issue, I believe Ford should recall all these vehicles. It is a 45 minute repair and approx $8 dollars in parts to repair two "crimped wire connections" in the main wiring harness, (S132 & S133). They need to be soldered, not crimped (6 bare copper wires overlaid together and crimped). I have been to two Ford dealerships but they are under strict Ford guidelines not to accomplish the tsb unless there is a check engine light/code. I even offered to pay for the repair and was turned away both times. I believe it is better to accomplish this tsb and remove the concern than to wait for an owner safety issue leading to engine shut down and an accident. There have been numerous complaints about this issue on forums at Focus [search for tsb 13-9-7]. there are youtube videos of this event as well. Please help Ford resolve this issue before it hurts someone. Thank you kindly.

- Rincon, GA, USA

problem #3

Nov 232013


  • 2,148 miles
While driving on the freeway the car began to decelerate, gas pedal was non responsive. Traveling approximately 60-65 mph in 5th gear. Deceleration occurred in 5th gear. Was only able to maintain speed in 4th gear, but was unable to go any faster than 50- 55 mph with gas pedal to the floor. Vehicle displayed some shuddering and slight sputter effect. If vehicle was placed back into 5th gear deceleration would continue. Tachometer showed 3000 RPM regardless of gear placement. No warning lights, or check engine lights. Two days later vehicle had the same symptom but only momentarily.

- St Clair Shores, MI, USA

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