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:
13,150 miles
Total Complaints:
7 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (5 reports)
  2. replace clutch (2 reports)
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2016 Ford Focus transmission problems

transmission problem

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2016 Ford Focus Owner Comments

problem #7

Sep 262018

Focus SE 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,317 miles


Ford made an automatic transmission with a clutch in it. It has made this engine since 2013 and they have problems ever since. Despite this, Ford continues to make the same transmission for their cars and their dealers continue to sell them. I lost 10 miles per gallon after they fixed my transmission and the clutch is starting to slip again. I have read other complaints and anticipate this will be an ongoing problem until I sell this car. I am disappointed and will never purchase a Ford vehicle again.

- Erinn L., Fargo, US

problem #6

May 262016

Focus SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 784 miles

Since I bought this car in may of 2016 I have been noticing the transmission slipping. I did take it to the dealer and the mechanic told me it was the kind of transmission I have and gave me a pamphlet. It has continued to slip and shudder and the problem appears like it is getting worse. Also why did my brand new car have 748 miles on it? I asked and they told me it was from test drives and driving around the dealership. I was not satisfied with any of the answers I was given.

- ruthcrane, Wichita Falls, US

problem #5

Mar 182017

Focus 4CYL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 19 miles

We bought this Ford brand new. Drove it for a few weeks and then the transmission started acting funny.

So we asked the sales rep we got it from and they said it was normal for the first few months. Then we received a notice in the mail saying that the transmission in this vehicles might be bad.

- glennv687gv, Mount Vernon, Ohio, US

problem #4

Apr 262017

Focus Hatchback 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,000 miles


Expected better out of a Ford. Came from a Ford family and never had anything but good to say but when the transmission sounds and runs like a 20 year old car it is very disappointing. Called Ford who claimed there was no "class action lawsuit" so I guess I gotta put up with it. Ran awesome during the test drive then when first trying to impress friends with what a Ford can do it hesitated and nothing but pure embarrassment. Buddy had clutch replaced on his 2014 Focus and the new one already hesitated. When coming to a close stop car jolted forward leaving me inches. Car is awesome, backup camera, gas millage, grill looks sweet but when the mechanics of a car is off; no car is worth it.

- personrandom, Clinton Twp, US

problem #3

Feb 012017

Focus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 24,000 miles

It is pretty ridiculous when a brand new car's transmission fails after only 24,000 miles. We received great service from our local Ford dealership's service department. That being said, why in the world would Ford put defective transmissions in these great vehicles. The 2006 Ford Focus we traded in on this one went over 150,000 miles without any problems. Very disappointing!

- Linda D., BATES CITY, MO, MO, United States

problem #2

Jan 212017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles

I have a 2016 Ford Focus. I bought this car used, it has around 30,000 miles on it.Just wondering if anyone has the same problems with the transmission that I do. When I accelerate the car it acts like it is slipping at first I had thought it was the tires spinning but it even does it on the dry roads.

- Thomas H., New Enterprise, PA, US

problem #1

Apr 212016

Focus SE 2.0L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 850 miles

stalling, failure to shift, slips out of gear under acceleration

I bought the car in April. I had it less than two weeks before I took it back to the dealership over the transmission. I don't think I'd even put 500 miles on it yet. Of course they told me to bring it back after 1,200 miles since the that's the transmissions "Greenbelt Period". It's been back, needless to say I'm still having the issue. When the light turns green, I hit the gas and the car goes nowhere. It revs up to about 2,000 rpm, then drops back down, engages the gear and starts to move. And when it finally does start to move, it crawls away like a turtle. Even if I go pedal-to-the-metal, it makes no difference. I don't think I've ever yelled at the car I'm in to "Move it's ass". It's pathetic. I have the 4 cylinder model too. While trying to merge on the interstate under heavy acceleration, the car pops out of gear and will redline while losing speed rapidly. I've nearly been rear-ended 6 times trying to get on the interstate. Fortunately my car has the Ford SelectShift transmission, so I've learned to put it into SelectShift mode and keep the car in 3rd gear until I've made it on to the interstate. At that point, I move the shifter back into "Drive" (D) and pray the car accelerates when I hit the gas.

I'm not done. When switching lanes on the interstate, I have to be sure that the lane I'm moving to has at least at 5 car gap because once I've switched lanes and hit the accelerator to pass, move into my new lane and lift my foot, the car continues to accelerate for another second or two, then pops out of gear and reengages. Simply put, the transmission in this car is absolute garbage. I don't have any other issues with the car, just the piece of sh** transmission they put in it. I've been a lifelong Ford customer, but this will be the last one I buy. I knew I should have went with the Jeep.

Update from Aug 29, 2016: Forgot to mention the car barely wants to move when turning.

- Nicolas C., Jeffersonville, IN, US

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