pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
23,850 miles
Total Complaints:
133 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. not sure (65 reports)
  2. recall on transmission (20 reports)
  3. no solution (17 reports)
  4. clutch replacement (11 reports)
  5. install new clutch shaft (7 reports)
  6. transmission control module recall (6 reports)
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This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Ford dealer.

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #93

Feb 012014

Focus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 900 miles

I have been leasing Ford cars for me and my wife since 1992. In December 2013, I leased a Ford Focus with an automatic transmission from Mike Dorian Ford, in Clinton Twp., Michigan. The car almost immediately started this "sputtering" anytime I would move forward from a complete stop. The hesitation was at every stop on every take off. I took it in for service a this dealership and it was told to me that this is a known common problem at Ford and it involved a clutch issue with this automatic transmission. Ford was aware of the problem, yet continued to sell these cars. My salesperson after selling me this known lemon car blew me off and acted like I was bothering her with my complaints. I just bought the most dangerous vehicle that I have ever driven (44 cars total) in my life. And it was brand new! After taking my car in for 3 repairs on this SERIOUS PROBLEM, and pretty much being without a car at least a week each time it went in for repair, it never got any better, after which the service manager at the dealership told me that it is such an issue that they can't offer me any other repair options. So basically I was screwed and I had 2 1/2 years left on my lease. My wife refused to drive this car at all. It was NOT SAFE by any means. Glad to say I returned the car yesterday (3 years later). All that and I am still alive. I could not be more dissatisfied with whole Ford situation and the way I was treated by this dealership and completely blown off by all of its employees. It's over for me and this Ford Focus nightmare and I am not finished yet. I plan on filing a formal complaint with the National Highway Safety people. The real crime hear is that Ford Motor is still selling the same Ford Focus cars with the same lousy clutch transmissions today. It has now been 3 years that they have been selling these faulty transmissions, with little recourse from anyone. All about the profits, with no regards for the safety of it's customers. Is that the new American Standard?

- plattee, Detroit, US

problem #92

Aug 012014

Focus SE 2 Li

  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,400 miles

We paid $24,000 for this car in 2014. We got the hatchback sport edition and the exterior is beautiful. But the amount of times I've been in a dangerous and life threatening situations in it is unrealistic. This car needs to be scrapped. The shuddering this car does is enough to see it visibly on the road, and when it chooses to hesitate, it fights the command to accelerate. My family has owned fords for over 50 years, and by far this is the worst Ford to ever sit in the driveway. No amount of compensation anyone can offer can calm the anxiety and hatred I hold for this car and the assholes who approved it for production. When I wonder when I'm going to die in my own car, that's a problem. I have been lied to about this transmission by several dealerships, and have gotten nowhere by calling Ford. I recommend this car to no one, and tomorrow I'll be trading mine in for an Escape. I sincerely hope they do not resale this car without actually fixing it the way they should have for me.

- paypay1, Walnut Ridge, US

problem #91

Oct 302015

Focus LX 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 19,000 miles

When I bought the car at 19,000 miles, it was still under warranty. Boy I had to use that warranty! I had transmission problems. The car stalled on the freeway twice. Ford Dealership in National City, has looked at the problem about three times. Each time they say it needed a computer adjustment. Lately I have not had to drive in stop and go traffic. However I did about a week ago. It was stop and go traffic all the way. Several times the car shuttered like it was gonna die. It got worse as I had to stop and go several times. It is not a very comforting feeling to worry about the transmission. Especially when the dealership tells you it is fixed. They also say the clunking sound from the transmission is normal. It sounds like BS to me. I want a better transmission.

- Debra N., San Diego, CA, US

problem #90

Oct 012014

Focus SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,000 miles

the jerking stuttering started at about 2000 miles and has continued to get worse since then, now have 56000 miles on the car, it is now starting to jerk and stutter between shifts have taken it into the dealer and have been told that it is normal for this car and that it is acting within the acceptable range determined by Ford motor company this is the first new Ford that I have purchased and it will be the last Ford I ever purchase

- Mike L., Utica, US

problem #89

Mar 012017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 19,000 miles

Second time around for this problem, Ford supposedly fixed it at 14K, but it's doing the same thing again.

- Bob W., Gulfport, MS, US

problem #88

Feb 152017

Focus SE 2.0L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,000 miles

Just bought the car last week and I felt the hesitation during the test drive. didn't feel as significant then, and the seller also felt. Needs to be addressed with a recall as it seems a problem with this model of vehicle.

- Shawn B., Wallkill, NY, US

problem #87

Feb 022015

Focus LX 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles

Going in for #4 times on transmission ,hard to take time off work... every time I take it in, starts acting up a few weeks later. still under warranty but what a hassle and the car is dangerous, when you pull out you don't know if it will go or not. almost been hit because it wouldn't go, just shuttered.

Update from Feb 17, 2017: this started about 6 mo after bought new

- merzukie, Dalton, ga, US

problem #86

Feb 072017

Focus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,784 miles

Once again this car starts to act up when trying to accelerate. Wouldn't take off at the light, jerked to get up to speed, felt like transmission was going to drop (I know what that feels like). Towed car to dealership to be safe. They come back and say (this is from the work order): Pinpoint test open circuit for knock sensor trace and repair multiple circuits rubbed through on intake manifold near throttle body install conduit to protect harness.

I pick up car and pay since it's of course not covered (even though we have high miles it's only a 2014) and it still seems sluggish. I am DONE.

- Elizabeth F., Chesterfield, MI, US

problem #85

Feb 102017

Focus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,451 miles

I just purchased this vehicle, used, from a local dealer, Friday, February 10, 2017. The odometer read 50,451 miles at time of purchase. Immediately, the auto had bad hesitation and jerking in the transmission. My 2012 Chevy Cruze never experienced such poor performance.

I was shocked and disappointed by the number of identical complaints about this car. There definitely needs to be a recall to resolve this issue. Whatever I can do to help expedite, let me know!

- Jim E., Middleton, WI, US

problem #84

Nov 272016

Focus SE, Hatchback 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,200 miles

Now have 75000+ mostly highway miles. Jerking transmission has occurred since the first month I have owned this vehicle. Unless there is a successful class action lawsuit for this problematic powershift dual clutch transmission, my fix is to never buy another Ford again. I will probably give this car to my daughter (whom has complained about the same problem). Otherwise, the vehicle itself has been reliable, and I would rate it highly, except for the poorly executed powershift transmission.

I just hope the class action lawsuit is successful. Ford will try to avoid this at all costs... pathletic for sure, but likely.

- jtrime, Smithfield, RI, US

problem #83

Mar 022016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,000 miles

A few months ago with only 7,000 or 8,000 miles on the car the transmission started to shudder and skip when accelerating from a slow down or a stop. I took it to the dealer and they told me they had to reprogram the transmission. That didn't help. I took the car back to the dealer again and they told me this time that it needs a clutch. I asked them if it would permanently fix the problem. They said it would not. I then asked them what I would do when my warranty runs out in one year. Their only response was that they were very sorry. So we are stuck with a 22,000 piece of junk which is absolutely worthless because nobody wants it on a trade-in. It seems the whole world was aware of this transmission problem. Ford Motor Company can kiss my f*cking ass.

- annkpa, Bernville, PA, US

problem #82

Mar 302015

Focus SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 621 miles

Transmission from day 1 had issues. Vibration, hesitation, lack of power, jerkiness. Two coworkers had same issue. Called dealer, there was a 3 month wait as it was a known issue. By the time I had it fixed it was a recall. It is a clutch issue- not engaging fully.

- tr6canuck, Windsor, ON, Canada

problem #81

Jan 212014

Focus SE 1.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,000 miles

I purchased this Focus in September of 2013 brand new off of the lot and it was my first vehicle and I was extremely excited to have purchased my first car. Little did I realize that this was probably one of the worst mistakes I made in my life thus far. I didn't even have the car 3 months before the transmission issue started happening. I don't drive erratic or aggressive I have taken the car to the dealership 12 times for the same issue since I have bought it, to the point that I have made friends with some of the guys there. The clutch has been replaced 4 times and the module has been reprogrammed and everything that Ford claims will "fix" the issue. It has not been fixed, the most recent time I took the car to fix it I couldn't accelerate onto the highway because the gears wouldn't grab after second, then the car stalled and the engine shut off, so I had to nurse the car to the side of the road and restart it and I finally made it to the dealership. I called Ford, and the bad thing is, is that they know that this problem exists they just don't want to do anything because they know that they will lose money. I finally spoke to a rep at Ford that directed me towards the BBB because she found out that I was in the military, saying that the military members shouldn't have to deal with things like this because we do so much for the country. I have contacted the BBB and they finally said that they will have a resolution within 14 days from yesterday. I am going to purchase a newer car that is not a Ford because after looking at different websites Ford doesn't care, they got their money so they are happy now. And what is really alarming is that the only reason I found out about the BBB option is because of my military service?!?! It is ridiculous because I know this issue is nationwide and Ford wants nothing to do with it. It is sad to say like with the issue that Toyota had with their cars is that someone has to die and sue Ford before this issue will get resolved, unless you want to take direct action against Ford.

- Brian G., Manassas, VA, US

problem #80

Oct 202016

Focus SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,362 miles

Just purchased 2014 focus hatchback,second day wife drove it to work,sent me an email later that day stating a slight hesitation on take off from start. I took it out for a test run after she got home.In doing so I did feel the problem she mentioned and also turning to the right and taking off from light going straight the is a jerking problem.After looking up this on different web sites,so far no mention of a permanent fix.People saying the dealer's doing everything as telling them transmission module needs replacing,others having clutches replaced,the craziest is service techs saying the module,computer has to learn the way you drive to adjust to the situation. Bottom line seems to be is ford has a bad design in transmission and no recalls.

- Danny R., Atoka, TN, US

problem #79

May 142016

Focus ES 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 18,791 miles

Since I bought this used 2014 Ford Focus, this May, there has been a grinding, stuttering, shaking and jerking of the transmission when in motion. This happens whether the car is on the highway or at a low rate of speed but mostly when driving forward from park. Ford attempted to upgrade the software to the transmission several times which has never worked. This is a known issue to Ford and they are claiming that it is a characteristic of the transmission and it is normal activity. The transmission shutters and jerks so much that the car will not shift and will not move forward appropriately and I have come close to getting rear-ended several times because the transmission cannot catch up with the acceleration. I am asking Ford for assistance in trading the car in since the value in the car depreciated so much because of all of the transmission issues and they are refusing to help me. My third ford, never again!!!

- ellspencer, Pittsburgh, PA, US

problem #78

Dec 142015

Focus SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,000 miles

I Bought my 2014 Ford Focus in December of 2015 and the car ran great for a week or two and then I started having problems with the shuttering and shifting at acceleration. I took it in to the dealer and was told that I needed to drive it more so the computer will learn your driving habits. what a joke. I continued to have problems with the transmission and took my car to another dealer and was told the same thing and to bring the car back if the check engine light comes on. I called Ford about this and there were just as bad as the dealers. I continued to drive until a couple of weeks ago the shuttering got really bad and the acceleration was like riding a bicycle up hill. So I took the car to another dealer and was told that my clutches were out of specs and they needed to be replaced at a cost of $1,500. that this was not covered under warranty.

It seems ford is kicking this issue down the road until your warranty runs out and then the consumer is on the hook for fixing fords engineering problem. I will never ever buy a ford product again. I can't believe in the 21st century these so called engineers did not see this coming. my guess they did see this coming and ford decided to move forward with production any way. Ford putting making money the top priority over safety and reliability.Sorry to say that consumers may need to to be injured and or killed In these vehicles before anything is done. I have filed a complaint with NHTSA. lotta good that will do.

- Jerry J., Tucson, AZ, US

problem #77

Mar 132014

Focus SE 2.0L

  • Manual transmission
  • 1,000 miles

Transmission has never been right. Right off the bat Ford dealers told me it is normal to hesitate, no power, ect. I wish it acted that way during the test drive. Took it in twice already. First time they simply said it is normal. Second time it was re-programmed. Now it is much more frequent and worst symptoms. I am concerned about my family's safety. I nearly got hit by a Semi truck in the side as I was crossing a road from a dead stop turning left across oncoming traffic. The hesitation was so bad I barely got out of the trucks way.Are you kidding me. Normal my ass. This car needs fixed before some dies. I am taking it in a third time now. I will let you know the results if I live to tell them.

- John F., Mantua, OH, US

problem #76

Aug 312016

Focus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,443 miles

When I slowed to let a cat run in front of me and another car, my car accelerated and jerked me hard to the right over a curb and into a bus bench. Had done this before and I actually had an appointment for the next day to trade in the car. Damages are over $7000. Insurance covers all but about $1500. Could have been much worse if I had been driving faster than 25mph

- Deborah F., Newport News, VA, US

problem #75

Aug 242016

Focus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,000 miles

We bought this car to have a safe, reliable vehicle. Have driven Fords all our life. This will be our last. It's bad enough to have an issue with your vehicle but to receive no assistance from the manufacturer when it is THEIR fault sends me over the edge. I live in a mountain community with plenty of wildlife and very few other drivers on the road. My car broke down on the mountain highway when leaving for work at 5:15am. It has hesitated from take off since we've had it. We received a recall notice and took it in immediately. That did nothing to take care of the problem. Now it stopped running completely and the check engine light came on. It was towed to the shop and we have been told that the part (TCM module) is on back order and we could be without our car for 1 to 8 weeks. They could care less that this is our main form of transportation and I will have to get a rental in order to get to work in order to make car payments for a car I can't drive. I escalated my concerns all the way up to Corporate Customer Relations at Ford. No one has done a damn thing to help. I reached out to the Service Manager at the dealership we purchased it. I was told, "give me an hour and I'll call you back" 5 hours later no call. The next day I called again "give me 15 minutes, I'll check with my Ford rep to see if we can help with a rental". 2 hours later no call. Tried calling two more times and got his voicemail on a Friday afternoon. So going into the weekend I had no help at all from anyone at Ford and was forced to obtain a rental at my cost. So far I'm looking at $300 and praying that my car is back before I have to return the rental. This is a bunch of horse sh*t from Ford. It's all over the internet the issues with these cars. For them to not provide assistance with rentals is the worst possible service ever. I bet they sure will expect my payment on time won't they? I've filed claims with a Lemon Law attorney and a Class Action Lawsuit attorney.

- redaskyp, Forest Falls, CA, US

problem #74

Jun 072016

Focus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles

Bought this car from old lady who was going to another country with only 2,000 miles. After driving for about 35,000 miles notice the trans was not shifting like it should be. It hesitates and shudder from a stop to drive. No power for a quick acceleration. I been told by service manager at the Ford shop it was common and nothing they could do. I am ready to get rid of this car and get me another Toyota.

- scooter, Phx, AZ, US

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