2017 Ford Focus Top Complaints and Problems – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Vehicle speed control, fuel system, engine and powertrain issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

The Ford Focus first appeared on the scene in 1998. This compact car received a mass following for its performance, price and features. Sadly, the car went downhill during its last few years of production, possibly leading it to be removed from the market completely. Of the numerous complaints regarding the 2017 Ford Focus, the most prevalent issues seem to be with the powertrain, engine, fuel system and vehicle speed control.

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Powertrain

Older Ford vehicles were known for their strong and reliable build. That’s how the company gained a following in year’s past, but that isn’t the case these days. The 2017 Ford Focus exhibits numerous troubles, especially with the transmission.

Here’s one complaint left on the Edmunds website, “I bought my 2017 Focus SEL in June of 2017. It’s a pretty little car with a sporty feel and solid gas mileage, though it was an adjustment for me coming out of a Fusion. I was pretty happy with my car for a year, then everything went to hell in a handbasket! I took my car in for slipping transmission in June of 2018, they replaced the clutch. I drove it on a 1000+ mile road trip in June, then again in late July. By September, it was back at the dealership for transmission problems and rough idle. They replaced the clutch AGAIN and had the nerve to tell me that the transmission only has problems in hot climates! Guess they think all women are totally ignorant about cars. They also…get this…replaced the bushings on the motor mounts, which they said were the problem with the rough idle. So far, the rough idle has not reappeared, so the motor mounts may have been the problem. BUT…at just under 36,000 miles??? WHERE are these parts coming from, the salvage yard? I’m really disgusted with this car, primarily because Ford KNOWINGLY continues to put this trashy transmission in the Focus. They obviously don’t care AT ALL about their loyal customers. Have they forgotten that there ARE other car manufacturers? So, this is the nail in the coffin of my relationship with Ford…I have had my car back for less than 2 weeks and already it’s back to its’ same transmission antics. Please, think twice…think 10 times…before buying a Focus with an automatic/manual mess of a transmission.”

It turns out that Ford issued a recall for transmission issues. It is labeled NHTSA Campaign Number 18V845000 which discusses a clutch that may fracture, resulting in damage to the transmission assembly and possibly a transmission fluid leak. This requires a clutch replacement. It seemed when Ford built this car; they didn’t “focus” on putting effort into ensuring the quality.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2017 Ford Focus Transmission Problems:

TL – The contact owns a 2017 ford focus. While driving various speeds, turning, and attempting to accelerate from a stop, the vehicle shuddered. When the accelerator pedal was depressed, it traveled to the floorboard and failed to respond. There were no warning indicators illuminated. The vehicle was taken to AutoNation Ford where it was diagnosed that a transmission shudder test was needed. The vehicle was repaired; however, the failure recurred. The manufacturer was contacted and referred the contact to the local dealer. The failure mileage was 15,000.

Car shudders anytime I accelerate from a stop. Also looses poser in the middle of taking off from a complete stop…the shudder is terrible and very concerning. I already had the transmission fixed at 25000 mile ..I am at 32000 and its starting to do the same problem…ford needs to step up on this..we need a class action suit

This 2017 ford focus is having the same transmission issues being described by other ford owners from earlier model years. Car shutters and vibrates, often very heavily and makes light grinding noise when shifting. Current workaround is to accelerate very slow or very fast which isn’t always a safe option. Please include the 2017 focus in your investigation. Thank you.

Vehicle transmission stalls while driving, to include in intersections. My daughter drives this car, we have had it in for service which they said they fixed. Within 2 days, it was doing the same problem. We are not at all pleased with ford for even selling us this vehicle knowing it has had transmission problems for several years!

Engine

The car engine must perform appropriately for owners to receive the proper acceleration. As with the transmission, and other vital parts, it’s nearly impossible for drivers to rely on this crucial part.

One user wrote this on the Edmunds site, “Had vehicle for 1 year before having issue with the engine. My check engine light came on about a week ago with a p1450 which was an error code for a evap purge valve. Car start to run a little rough then after filling up my gas tank it now stalls out and dies. Called 3 ford dealership to get replacement part but the parts mangers informed me that the part was on back order with no telling when the part will be available again.”

What we see with this problem is a failure from multiple systems. Sure, the engine is stalling, but it appears to stem from a complaint in the fuel system. In a minute, you’ll understand this in greater depth.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2017 Ford Focus Engine Problems:

TL* The contact owns a 2017 Ford Focus. While operating the vehicle, the check engine indicator illuminated. The vehicle was taken to metro ford where it was diagnosed that the engine sensor was faulty and needed to be replaced. The sensor was replaced and the failure was remedied. Approximately 20 months later, while driving, the check engine indicator illuminated and the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was towed to Taylor Ford where it was diagnosed that the engine failed and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 8,000.

My vehicle engine completely stopped on its own and the vehicle indicators showed that the engine overheated. This was after less than 10 minutes on the freeway going 55 mph. This vehicle has a software related recall for it as well currently. I towed the vehicle to AutoNation Ford of Miami to be serviced for the recall and for the engine trouble(it only has 26,000 miles) and they informed me that they were not willing to look at the vehicle to even offer a diagnosis for at least 2-3 days. They did not offer a loaner vehicle or any mode of transportation in the interim. This is unacceptable behavior, especially for a vehicle under recall. This issue has occurred twice at this dealership with my two Ford vehicles.

I was driving on the freeway just getting off onto the off ramp when the engine light, oil light and warning message came on. The engine lost compression instantly and reduced speed down to 30 mph.

Fuel System

The fuel system works hand-in-hand with the engine to produce the power needed to move. When something breaks down in the system, it’s impossible to accelerate and move forward the way a driver expects.

We see this short review on the NHTSA website illustrating the concern. “The engine tends to stall at times, have to pump the gas pedal to keep it running. Car in motion. Has happened many times from almost the time we bought it.”

What frightening situations these drivers find themselves in. We do see a recall related to the fuel system labeled NHTSA Campaign Number 19V515000. It discusses the situation where a stuck canister purge valve causes the engine to stall. They claim that updating the PCM stops the issue from occurring any further, but that’s not what we’ve heard in reports. Of course, the Focus is no more, so it’s clear that the customers didn’t appreciate the cars any longer.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2017 Ford Focus Fuel System Problems:

TL* The contact owns a 2017 Ford Focus. While operating the vehicle with the fuel tank half full, the vehicle hesitated and nearly stalled. The vehicle was taken to Bob Gillindham Ford) to be diagnosed, but the failure could not be duplicated. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and did not assist. The failure mileage was 22,000.

Had a recall for a fuel tank issue. The Ford dealership performed and inspection and it passed. Nothing else was done. Now, I am having the issues with my fuel tank as noted in the recall, however, because the inspection passed, the recall was cancelled and ford will not fix the issue has they noted it originally. I had no issues with the fuel tank until after it was inspected but now ford refuses to fix the issue they know my car has

Vehicle Speed Control

When it comes to controlling speeds in a car, it’s vital that a driver has complete power over how fast they travel. Otherwise, accidents are imminent.

Just read what this reviewer wrote on the NHTSA website. “Purchased car new from dealership. At 14,500 miles (approx.) going down freeway, car accelerated by itself and would not idle down. When in park, RPMs were between 3,000 and 4,000 and remained that way. Parked car at dealership, when they checked it, they could not duplicate. Received car back and everything was fine until 29,015 miles and same thing happened. Going down freeway, the car accelerated up to 85mph on its own and would not idle down. Exited freeway never putting my foot on gas pedal.Was going down 5 lane hwy at 55mph with foot on brake constantly. Pulled into parking lot a policeman was standing there. I asked him to cover over to look at issue. He thought my foot was on gas. I then opened my door and hung my feet outside of the car. His statement was ‘This car is dangerous.’  I took video showing RPMs at 3500 and speedometer at zero. Took car to dealership dropped off for weekend. When they checked the car on Monday morning they could again not duplicate it. They kept the car for five days, numerous people driving the car but could not duplicate it. They tell me if they cannot duplicate it they cannot do anything about it even though I have the video.”

What we see here is just outrageous and of course, Ford has nothing to say about it. There are no recalls or manufacturer communications related to the numerous complaints just like this one. It appears that Ford shifted its Focus to other vehicles and chose to neglect owners with this car.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2017 Ford Focus VeHicle Speed Control Problems:

Purchased car new from dealership. At 14,500 miles (approx.) Going down freeway car accelerated by itself and would not idle down. When in park, rpm’s were between 3000 and 4000 and remained that way. Parked car at dealership, when they checked it, they could not duplicate. Received car back and everything was fine until 29015 miles and same thing happened. Going down freeway, the car accelerated up to 85 mph on its own and would not idle down. When in park, rpm’s were between 3000 and 4000 and would not go down. Exited freeway never putting my foot on gas pedal. Was going down 5 lane hwy. At 55 mph with foot on brake constantly. Pulled into parking lot a policeman was standing there. I asked him to come over to look at issue. He thought my foot was on gas. I then opened my door and hung my feet outside of the car. His statement was “‘this car is dangerous”. I took video showing rpm’s at 3500 and speed odometer at zero. Took car to dealership, dropped off for weekend. When they checked the car on Monday morning they could again not duplicate it. They kept the car for five days, numerous people driving the car but could not duplicate it. They tell me if they cannot duplicate it they cannot do anything about it even though I have the video. I love the car but I take my life in my hands when I drive it and I still owe quite a bit of money on it. What recourse do I have…please help!

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Share your story

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5 COMMENTS
  • Sarah

    No good

  • WK

    I bought my daughter a used 2017 Ford Focus hatchback from a Dealer in Virginia for $10K and it had 52,000 miles on it when purchased. According to Ford Corporate, it should still be under warranty. She has had the car for 2 months and sure enough, it’s shuddering and grinding and the speed pickup is horrible. She had it diagnosed from a reputable repair shop and they said it was the DTC and since it was within the 60,000/5year warranty, she should take it to Ford to be fixed. I did call Ford Corporate to open a case incident with them in case this goes bad however doing more research, it looks like this won’t really fix the problem.

  • Jacki

    I have a 2017 Ford Focus hatchback that is stalling while driving with 3/4 of a tank of gas. I have had several mechanics looks at it and they can’t find any issues. I’m tired of dealing with an unreliable vehicle!!!

  • Karen

    This car is a lemon 2017 ford

  • Yovana A

    I’ve been driving a Ford Focus 2017 for a couple years; it has been recalled for factory defects twice. Besides the recalls I had an accident once when the breaks didn’t respond; and recently got overheated (for no reason). Ford hasn’t done anything about it besides telling me there is nothing wrong. I’m trading this car due to all the issues, do I have a case?

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