Ford has recalled Focus models with automatic transmissions that were constructed between September 15, 2011, and August 23, 2013. The recall is due to problems with the software that manages the transmission power module. Ford dealers load new software onto the modules to correct the issue free of charge.
The faulty software in affected Ford Focus models could cause what Ford describes as a "stall-like condition" in which the car does not shift or transmit power to the wheels correctly. The temporary loss of power could result in the car hesitating or failing to accelerate promptly when the gas pedal is depressed or problems with the car shifting jerkily or inappropriately. Some owners also report that an affected Focus can quickly accelerate forward unexpectedly, with at least one accident blamed on a lurching Focus. Other owners report clanking noises from the transmission that may be related to the software issue responsible for the recall.
Ford has corrected the software problem that causes this issue, so Ford Focuses constructed after the dates in the recall are unlikely to be affected. A Focus constructed before that date is also unlikely to be affected, as the issue is considered to be most likely due to a bug that occurred during the development of the new automatic transmission used in the 2011 Focus and subsequent model years.