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:
10 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
11,740 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 2 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #51

Sep 082015


  • 9,461 miles


The car is unsafe to drive and it has gotten worse since I purchased it new. As I pulled out into traffic the car suddenly lost power requiring me to quickly push the gas peddle to the floor to avoid getting rear-ended. The car only slightly accelerated, then jerked forward into a hard acceleration and sounded like the engine was going to explode. Even though I know about this behavior, (and try to take steps to avoid scenarios like this), the occurrence of this behavior it is very regular, (several times a week), yet erratic and unpredictable, meaning I can not take measure that guarantee it will not happen, nor should I have to. I have spoken with the dealership about this erratic behavior only to be told it will get better as I drive it as the transmission learns my driving habits and will adapt. I have driven many cars and trucks for over 40 years and have never had a problem driving any type vehicle. I can emphatically state that this transmission has not adapted to anything. At all. My concern is that the more miles I put on the car waiting for it to adapt, as per the dealer, the further away I get from being protected by any type lemon law. My basic complaint is that this car is unsafe to drive because of the transmission and it has gotten worse since I purchased it new in February 2015. And, I am told by Ford to just drive it because this is normal!?!

- Leesburg, VA, USA

problem #50

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 #49

Apr 012014


  • 1,000 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. While driving at 5 mph, the vehicle jerked. In addition, the accelerator was depressed and the vehicle accelerated in excess. The vehicle was taken to a dealer multiple times who diagnosed that the software needed to be updated. The vehicle was repaired however, the failure recurred on numerous occasions. The contact stated that while at a stop light, the contact depressed the accelerator pedal and as the vehicle accelerated in excess, the contact crashed into the rear of another vehicle. The air bags failed to deploy. A police report was not filed and no injuries were sustained. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the gears in the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 1,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- George Town, TX, USA

problem #48

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 #47

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

problem #46

Jul 292015


  • 8,844 miles
I began noticing issues around 8,500 miles. My car would hesitate when I would go from an idle into gear, surge forward, stutter as I was braking or going into speed, and lastly refuse to change gears as I sped up making me think I was in low gear. I now have to make sure all cars are clear before I make turns because my car will lose power as I make turns, which makes me feel extremely unsafe. I drive my car between rochester, NY and buffalo, NY often and this is quite concerning to me. I took it into the Ford service department since I am under warranty and I was told it was the clutch assembly part that is malfunctioning. The part is on national backorder, but should be in a couple days and I should be fine to drive my car as it is now. Well I looked up the issue and there is a class action lawsuit because of this transmission defect. I don't feel safe at all knowing I am driving with a faulty transmission, if I get in an accident I am at fault!

- Webster, NY, USA

problem #45

Apr 062015

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles


The vehicle drives like it is in the wrong gear. It seems like the transmission or something is dragging. It does not go smoothly to another gear. It drives hard for a 2014 car. I don't know what the problem is..... updated 09/30/15

- Rocky Mount, NC, USA

problem #44

Jul 122015


  • 21,000 miles
While driven I had trouble with car jerking when trying to drive then error message transmission at fault and hill side assit not working. It would go for a little while then driving the message kept coming on. Rmp would jump real high and not moving then it would catch and jerk and continue going.

- Arlington , TX, USA

problem #43

Jun 032015


  • 7,600 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Ford Focus. While the driver attempted to resume acceleration after a complete stop, the vehicle vibrated and abruptly accelerated and crashed into the preceding vehicle. There were no injuries and a police report was not filed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer several times for the failure. The dealer replaced the clutch and the computer system was reset; however, the failure was not corrected. The vehicle continued to vibrate and abruptly resumed acceleration. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 7,600.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #42

Jul 102015


  • 34,000 miles
The vehicle has problems during initial acceleration from about 10-25 mph range where it exhibits a bucking or vibration. Also, it seems to have problems shifting at times at the right times where you may hear a winding sound, as if it's not getting into the right gear properly. I took it to the dealership and they concede that they have been getting these complaints. They just tried reprogramming as they call it, but this has not resolved the problem. On going issue, which I will tell them needs resolution. Definitely a safety issue.

- Sicklerville, NJ, USA

problem #41

Jun 172015


  • 18,000 miles


The transmission shutters very badly typically when accelerating from a stopped position. Sometimes the car will not move forward when I press on the gas and then suddenly jolt forward unpredictably. Sometimes it will get stuck in an intersection with virtually no acceleration because the transmission does not shift to the correct gear. I do not feel safe driving this car. Ford dealership looked at my car on 6/16/2015 and said they have to order a new transmission, but it will not come in for 8-12 weeks. So I am stuck driving this unsafe car for a long period of time until the new part comes in to fix the problem (if it even fixes the problem).

- Dumfries, VA, USA

problem #40

Jun 122015


  • 18,000 miles
Since I purchased this vehicle in March of 2014, it has bucked at slow acceleration at speeds of 10-25 miles per hour. This caused vibration of the rear end and inconsistent acceleration. It occurs more often in hot weather. I have had it check twice, but the dealers say that it is normal with this type of transmission. It also is more prevalent in stop and go traffic.

- Ballston Lake, NY, USA

problem #39

May 162015


  • 39,800 miles
When I am accelerating from a complete stop, the car shakes at higher rpms in first gear and when it is trying to shift into second gear from first. The car haphazardly accelerates or sometimes will not accelerate at all. Spoke to the dealer and they said this is normal, but I disagree.

- Silver Spring, MD, USA

problem #38

May 202015


  • 18,000 miles
Ever since around 10,000 miles, my 2014 Ford Focus has been experiencing delayed acceleration and deceleration, grinding noises coming from the transmission, shaking, rough starts, and shuttering. It's caused the vehicle to lurch forward rapidly after not initially accelerating, with a few close calls in traffic. Ford is aware of this problem. I've taken this vehicle in to be serviced, only to have them tell me the part isn't available. It's been 4 months, still waiting. This is unacceptable.

- San Clemente, CA, USA

problem #37

May 102014


  • 6,000 miles
After driving into houston last year, came to a stop light on the tollway. The light turned green, I pressed the accelerator and the engined revved high followed by a metal "clapping/clanking" noise when vehicle changed gears. I took my foot off of the accelerator, but car still accelerated on its own. I ended up running into a curb to keep from hitting other vehicles. The next day, going up a parking garage at 2-5mph, transmission exhibited erratic movement and had a sudden acceleration in reverse (gearshift was in the "drive" slot). A girl was passing behind me and was struck as I was reacting to the sudden change in direction trying to brake. She put her hands out to push herself away and her ring scratched my back bumper and her hand dented in my back license plate. Her hand was turning red and bruised, but she refused to leave her info with me (she looked to be about 15). Service dealers in houston could not "replicate" problem and said this is "normal." After this incident, my highway mpg's have dropped from 35-42mpg to no more than 27mpg. City went from 26-30 to no more than 24mpg. Drove to austin in April, strong hesitation and "stuttering" from a complete or near stop. At highway speeds, it feels jumpy. Vehicle will accelerate on its own between 5-20mph, and 45-55mph. I drive on a college campus where speed is 20mph and I will have to put car into neutral to keep it from accelerating. I took this vehicle to the dealership at around 100 miles - they gave me a printout from Ford showing why this behavior is "normal" and will get better with more mileage. At around 6000 miles at the dealership in houston after injuring someone, they said it was "normal" for this vehicle to exhibit "undesirable conditions" and I just need to further break in the transmission. Now the problem is even worse, and my local dealership says it will take at least 2 weeks in the shop.

- Lubbock, TX, USA

problem #36

May 062015


  • 35,000 miles
When the vehicle comes to a complete stop then when you speed up it jerks 5 to 8 time failing to speed up. The only way it can speed up is if you press the pedal more and try to go faster. Also today 5/6/2015 we were at the interstate and we were in traffic and the car didn't wanted to pick up, only if you press the pedal more then is making the car go faster then I want to go. Is like it doesn't want to go no where. Then on my way back on the interstate I press the pedal and at 30 mph going up the slope I slowed down it did a hard jerk. Other thing I noticed is that when I use the electronic manual shift is delayed making the car go on a high RPM. Car purchase date 5/1/2015 2014 Ford Focus.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #35

Apr 152015


  • 39,903 miles
Vehicle shakes, hesitates, shudders from stop and at slow speeds. Very jerky and inconsistent shifting through the first 2 to 3 gears. Not as apparent at speeds over 25mph.

- Springfield, MO, USA

problem #34

Jun 202014


  • 2,000 miles
The car shutters at every push of the gas, I have taken into the Ford dealership and they keep telling me that it's a european transmission and it's going to do that, there have been several time when I have come close to someone hitting me because it shutters so bad and then decreases in speed. If I had know when I bought this car that it did this then I would of never bought it.

- Clarksville, TN, USA

problem #33

Feb 252015


  • 1,800 miles
On numerous occasions, when leaving a stop sign/light, the car will shudder and choke as if it going to turn off. The car idles around 750 rpms when this occurs. I am not sure if that is abnormal or not. Unfortunately, it feels as if the issue is occurring more frequently. For example, I have noticed while the car is in motion and at various speeds that some times when I attempt to accelerate the car will not respond as it should while other times it will respond quite quickly and as I would expect. My concern is if the issue is getting worse, will I be put in a potentially hazardous situation that could cause an accident.

- Amelia, VA, USA

problem #32

Feb 252015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 3,000 miles
While driving in stop and go traffic the car accelerated, lurching forward, instead of stopping when the brakes were applied, causing me to strike the car in front of me. Car transmission revved and gave the sound of a car shifting gears, and continued to rev for several seconds after impact.

- Henderson , NV, USA

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