Notes: The 2016 Ford Focus & its "Powershift" transmission has a defect trend where the car shudders when accelerating, especially when starting uphill.

Most owners have reported their Ford Focus remains driveable while the vehicle is still at low mileage, but the shuddering is annoying & unpleasant & may reduce the resale value of the vehicle.

However, owners of higher-mileage vehicles from earlier 3rd generation Focus model years report transmission failure & a host of other major & expensive transmission-related problems. Potential buyers beware.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
25,550 miles
Total Complaints:
6 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (5 reports)
  2. tcm replaced (1 reports)
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2016 Ford Focus transmission problems

transmission problem

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2016 Ford Focus Owner Comments

problem #6

Jan 012018

Focus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles


I've always bought older cheap used cars and decided I'd get myself something new and reliable. I wish I would've done more research because this car is crap.

I bought it the beginning of December 2017, I even asked the salesman if there were any issues with the transmission and he said absolutely not. -_- Well he lied. I didn't realize at the time what the warning signs were of the clutch going out but now that i've read around it all makes sense. When i was test driving i mentioned something about mild shutters and the gears shifting oddly. I asked the sales rep if that was an issue and he said no that's just how these cars run so i figured he wouldn't lie about these things... ha! also there was almost like an electrical burning smell but against my better judgement brushed it off thinking it was something outside. However he never told me the vehicle had recently been recalled for the clutch. (which is what needs replaced) so now i don't even know if it will be covered.

Anyways fast forward to this lovely day 2/20/2018. I've finally gotten my car into the shop as of yesterday. I took it in 2600 miles over my factory warranty. Ford refuses to pay for anything because it's over the mileage, even though services told me before I brought it in that it will be done free of charge due to the recall of the clutch. I got a call from the dealer telling me that it for some strange reason isn't covered now and there is no recall? sketchy! So now I'm not 100% what to do.

I'll be calling lawyers in the morning because I feel this car was sold to me quickly, because I did get one heck of a deal, to get it off the lot. Anybody got any info they can lend me that'd be great.

- Ashley S., Fostoria, US

problem #5

Nov 242017

Focus ES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 26,000 miles

Bought this car used with about 25k miles on it. No problem for the first month, but then started to notice a shudder when starting from a stop. Felt like the wheels were slipping on wet road but pavement was dry. Searched online for other complaints and found many.

Took the car in for service and they said they updated the software. This seemed to resolve the issue for about a month but the problem came back. Now, in addition to the shudder when starting from a stop, the transmission is slipping out of gear and into neutral while underway. I will be taking the car back in for more service shortly.

Aside from this transmission issue I love the car. I just hope they can find a permanent fix for this.

- Jason T., Warrenton, US

problem #4

Jul 122017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,000 miles

Just a few weeks after purchasing this car BRAND NEW I had to take it to the shop. From a complete stop it would shudder so bad that it hardly moved. They couldn't find anything wrong with it (of course), however, it stopped doing it. I think they did a flash on it and didn't want to report it. The shuddering and slipping began again. Then, it started slipping into neutral by itself and would not accelerate. This happened twice....on the interstate. Then, when I would put it in reverse it would take a few seconds to catch. Took it back to the shop with 12K on it it and they had to replace the TCM (Transmission Control Module). I've bought, sold and traded used vehicles for years and FINALLY decided to buy a brand new one and it gives me issues..... go figure. I love my Focus, it's fun to drive and rides great. Mine is fully loaded and I love the features.... but I really feel like it's way too new to be giving me these issues.

- Kristi C., Covington, US

problem #3

May 052016

Focus SE 3.26

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12 miles


I traded my 2015 Escape for better fuel economy and to have an efficient car to travel in my retirement. Instead I got a 2016 Focus that sounds and performs like an old car! The transmission hesitates while trying to get on interstates, it makes a grinding noise when I take off, and jerks when turning a corner.

I am very disappointed in my purchase with this ford. I have owned a pinto, mustang, 2 station wagons, 2 thunderbirds, bronco, pick up truck, 2014 focus, 2015 Escape and now this 2016 focus. Everyone of them except the Bronco were purchased new. But even the used Bronco I bought for my daughter performed well. I want Ford to take this crappy car back and refund the money still owed!

I took it to a transmission expert and he said to get rid of it! The transmission are not safe.

The service department keeps telling me that Ford will not fix the problem. When I call customer service I get people answering outside the Us.. I thought I was buying a US car!

- Deb C., Mc Comb, OH, US

problem #2

Jun 282017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 24,000 miles

This started a couple weeks ago and now its happening more and more, Almost every time I start from a complete stop it shudders or feels like my tires are not moving and then clicks into gear until I stop again. This does not happen all the time, but I have noticed that its doing it more and more every day. I went to the Ford dealer ship to have them look at it today, 7/10/2017. I have an appointment next Monday on 7/17/2017. They DID NOT say a word about it that it could be a default.

- Shelly G., Waynesville, NC, US

problem #1

Dec 012015

Focus LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles

Have beeon to a dealer in Florida twice and a dealer in Mass and still no fix.

Car still shudders

- kkorpi, Peterborough, NH, US

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