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Ford Focus Transmission Recall – The New PowerShift Transmission Is NOT Reliable! 

Transmission Problems in Ford Focus

Although the Ford Focus has been an extremely popular car over the years, the history of transmission problems has plagued the model’s reliability. Let’s look at the most recent Ford Focus transmission recall in 2020 regarding the PowerShift transmission that has spurred from years of transmission issues, like problems shifting, stalling, and grinding while changing gears. 

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE

History of the Ford Focus

The Ford Focus is a compact car produced and manufactured by Ford Motor Company from the model years 1999 until 2018 in North America, and 1998 until the present in other parts of the world. 


Over four generations, the Ford Focus has been a popular car worldwide throughout its entire production span. The best years in sales were the 2000, 2001, 2002, 2012, and 2013 model years, with the other years having reliability issues in terms of the Ford Focus transmission recall occurrences. 

First Generation 1998-2004 

The Ford Focus was first created in 1998 and released in Europe. The Focus came after the Ford Escort and began with North American sales in 1999. The car was launched as a three-door hatchback, four-door sedan, and five-door station wagon. The five-door hatchback debuted a few years later in 2001.

Second Generation 2004-2011

The second generation was first produced in 2004 as a new five-door hatchback. In 2007, a new exterior was produced for a sleeker and stylish look.

Third Generation 2011-2018

The third generation of the Ford Focus utilized a five-door hatchback shape, new 2.0-liter direct injection inline-four engine, and modernized the exterior style. 

Fourth Generation 2018-Present

In april of 2018, Ford unveiled the fourth generation, available in sedan, hatchback, and estate body styles. With a sporty design and new high-tech features, the fourth generation embarrassed updated styling and technology. 

Background of the Ford Focus Transmission Recall 

Ford created the DPS6 dual-clutch transmission on the 2011 Fiesta and the 2012 Ford Focus models. Since the creation of the dual-clutch transmission, also known as the Powershift transmission, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has filed numerous complaint and safety issues regarding this mehcanism’s trouble with shuddering, hesitating, and stalling in certain model years.


Ford claimed the shuddering and vibrations were due to the fuel efficiency, also stating that the car had potential to default to neutral during use. However, in 2014, Ford recognized the shuddering and vibrations were problematic, but cited the problems due to the faulty control module – not the transmission. 


Therefore, at this point in time, the warranties extended to the control module but did not cover any transmission issues that would have been covered in a Ford Focus transmissions recall. The only warranty on the transmission in the Ford Focus lasted until 100,000 miles for related hardware and 150,000 miles for the transmission control module. 


Along with the transmission shuddering and vibrating, owners also cited concerns with the dealership fixes, repairs, and replacements not fixing the problems. Owners stated Ford knew of the transmission problems but blamed the pissue on other parts so they wouldn ‘t have to issue a Ford Focus transmission recall. 

2016 Ford Focus Transmission Recall & Hatchback Issue

Ford recalled Focus models between the years of 2013-2017 due to the hatchback button malfunctions. The hatchback release switch might require only one press to open the hatchback – and the design requires multiple presses. 


For vehicles with a manual transmission, this has numerous reports of occurring. After all, transmission issues are a costly problem, and can involve your car becoming salvaged. This doesn’t comply with the federal requirements of how to open a hatchback, in order to prevent the hatchback from opening unintentionally. If the hatchback opened too easily and prematurely, there is an increased risk of injury. 

2020 Ford Focus transmission recall

Owners of certain Ford Fiesta and Ford Focus models could receive a settlement and monetary compensation due to concerns over the problematic PowerShift automatic transmission. 


Depending on the number of service visits to a local mechanic or dealership, combined with the number of repair attempts to fix the vehicle’s issues, owners could sell their Ford Focus cars back to Ford for up to around $22,000. In addition to the sell-back option, certain drivers may also be able to receive cash for their troubles due to the Ford Focus transmission recall. 


The new settlement regarding the Ford Focus transmission recall was submitted in 2020 – and was much better than the previous deal that was ‘agreed’ upon. Before this settlement was reached, Ford knew that over 1.5 million cars on the road contained the problematic gearboxes, but did nothing about the issue. 

Affected Vehicles 

The affected vehicles of the 2020 Ford Focus transmission recall dealt with the 2011-2016 Ford Fiesta vehicles and the 2012-2016 Ford Focus model years. The PowerShift transmission used in these cars produced numerous concerns, like stumbling, rough shifting, hesitations, and premature wear that led to performance issues. 

  • Transmission Hesitation – If you feel your car stumbling or hesitating while trying to shift gears, this is a clear sign of early transmission failure. If your automatic transmission hesitates between gears, you’ll know that something is off. This can cause a hazard in fast-driving conditions, which led to the Ford Focus transmission recall.
  • Premature Wear – One sign of premature transmission wear is the transmission warning light appearing on your dashboard. Some models have a specific light, while others have the general ‘check engine’ light that can signal premature failure. No matter what light comes on in your Focus, this is time for you to bring your car to a mechanic. 

Common Ford Focus Transmission Problems

To give you an idea of why there has been a need for a Ford Focus transmission recall, we will go over some of the most common Ford Focus transmission problems in various model years on the market today. 

Stalling or Inability to Accelerate

Ford stated issues with their transmissions in the focus model, stating that they may unintentionally stall, lose engagement while driving, lose the power to start, or lose acceleration while driving at high speeds. The inability to provide power is a problem with the transmission control module calibration. 

  • Driver Complaint – Drivers of the Focus complain that the car suddenly shifts into Neutral while displaying an error message on the dashboard. The car was unable to restart and could not shift into high gear if restarted.

Shaking and Shuddering

The second common sign of Ford Focus transmission problems deals with the shuddering, high degree of vibration, and uncomfortable feeling while driving with an automatic or manual transmission. 

  • Driver Complaint – Owners of the Focus state that the transmission shudders and vibrates frequently, causing the car to almost stall while driving. With an unsafe and unreliable feeling while driving, owners state the need for a Ford Focus transmission recall due to the uneasy driving conditions.
  • Repair Price – Drivers often have to pay for a clutch replacement, with the total repair cost coming in between $1,500 and $2,500 depending on the extent of the damage. 


The clutch in the Ford Focus often feels as if it could slip or hesitate when switching gears, due to fluid contamination or an improperly-calibrated control module. 

  • Driver Complaint – Owners state that the transmission excessively shudders and loses traction, causing the car to inconsistently shift while driving. 
  • Repair Price – if the focus owner has to replace their transmission, they can expect the total procedure price to come to between $3,500 adn $5,000 for their vehicle. 

Worst Model Years of the Ford Focus

2001 Ford Focus Transmission Problems 

The 2001 Ford Focus has many problem categories, with the worst being the engine, interior accessories, windows and windshield, fuel system, and the transmission. Owners cite issues with the loud noises heard while in reverse, the reverse no longer working, and the car not being able to shift out of gear. Any of these transmission issues could easily lead to a Ford Focus transmission recall. 

2002 Ford Focus Transmission Problems 

The 2002 Ford Focus has a significant engine defect, causing the intake manifold to fail prematurely. Further, the valve then falls into the cylinder, destroying the engine, and causing expensive Ford Focus head gasket problems.


The top transmission concerns from owners focus on the car losing gears, problems shifting, the shift cable breaking, and the transmission failing prematurely. 

  • If you find that your car is losing gears, the most common solution is to replace a transmission solenoid or rebuild the transmission for a hefty price of nearly $700 at 95,000 miles. 

2003 Ford Focus Transmission Problems  

The 2003 Ford Focus has the main problem categories of the interior accessories, engine, brakes, exterior accessories, and the transmission. Owners complain about premature transmission failure, transmission slips and jerks, faulty transmission mounts, and the gear shift cable breaking. 


  • To fix the transmission failure in the 2003 Ford Focus, owners have to pay around $1,650 to replace the transmission or rebuild the part at around 79,000 miles. 
  • The early onset of issues and the high price of the transmission problems in the 2003 Focus show the need for a Ford Focus transmission recall for this specific model year. 

2012 Ford Focus Transmission Problems 

The Ford Focus owners have cited numerous safety issues, specifically regarding the electronic power assist steering system and the shuddering transmission that leads to performance issues.

  • Owners complain about the transmission shuddering and vibration on takeoff, multiple shit problems, transmission failure, hesitation in lower gears, upshifting too soon, slipping during a gear change, and the car rolling backward while in gear.
  • The most common solution for the shuddering vibrations is to replace the dual-clutch system, replace the clutch, or replace the transmission at around $1,650. 

2013 Ford Focus Transmission Problems 

The Ford Focus is now in its third generation, so you would think that it would have fixed the prevalent Ford Focus transmission problems – you would be wrong. The car still suffers from a jerking and hesitating transmission, with the new electronically-driven power steering failing and stalling without any warning. 


  • The top transmission concerns focus on the car jerking and hesitating when you take off, the transmission lagging and shifting roughly, the transmission failing, the grinding noise when shifting, and the transmission shuddering and failing. 
  • To fix the jerking and hesitating transmission, the most common solution is to replace the clutch or rebuild the transmission for around $1,060. 
  • When looking at the common fixes for the lagging transmission, the most common solution is to replace the clutch discs or update the module software at around 13,000 miles.
  • With the early onset of the problems and the severity of issues, the motor company news to issue a Ford Focus transmission recall involving the 2013 model year. 

2014 Ford Focus Transmission Problems 

For the third year in a row, the Ford Focus experienced significant transmission issues due to the expensive and severe Ford Focus head gasket problems. 

  • The 2014 Ford Focus has numerous issues of the car shuddering in transmission, the transmission slipping, the transmission making a grinding noise, and the car hesitating and stalling. 
  • Fixing the shuddering transmission, the most common solution is to replace the clutch assembly, install a new transmission control module, and update the computer software at around 18,000 miles. 


The Bottom Line 

If you have a Ford Focus, you should know that there are numerous recalls within the car. The recalls are within various categories for the Focus, such as the body, interior, electrical, engine, and transmission in vehicle. Due to the high amount of recalls, the Ford Focus isn’t safe for anyone to drive.


Since the Ford Focus is not safe for any driver, your best option might be to sell your car for some money. 

  • First, you need to remove all non-metal parts from the car. You can sell some of these parts for some extra cash, like the seats and electrical components. 
  • Second, find a reputable location that can provide you with a fair quote and a trustworthy service. 
  • Finally, we recommend heading to CashCarsBuyer to earn some money for your junk car, and start saving for a new vehicle!
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