Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety. Notes: Welcome to North America, Ford Fiesta. Thanks for bringing your herky-jerky transmission, numerous interior quality complaints, and an engine that dies while driving.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
6 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
12 / 0
Average Mileage:
45,063 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2011 Ford Fiesta drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2011 Ford Fiesta Owner Comments (Page 10 of 11)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #30

Sep 242012


  • 15,000 miles


I bought the car new and have taken it to two separate dealerships to correct this issue and it continues. Initially, the transmission light came on and the car began having trouble shifting. After the first repair, the car began shaking uncontrollably. The second repair corrected the shaking, but now (at 15,755 miles) the car will (1) make grinding metallic noises when shifting, (2) fail to shift on any incline (instead it revs to approximately 2500 rpms and "sticks" there), (3) jolt forward when the brake is applied as if the accelerator was pressed down, and (4) roll backwards on hills as if it is a manual transmission. I understand that (4) can be common among newer automatics that attempt higher fuel economy. However, numerous times the speed at which the car rolls back has incurred a safety risk. This seems to be another indication of an issue with the transmission.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #29

Jun 012012

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • miles
The contact owns a 2011 Ford Fiesta. The contact stated that while traveling 3 mph the vehicle erroneously accelerated causing another vehicle to crash into the vehicle. The driver and passenger of the contact's vehicle suffered whiplash. The vehicle was able to be driven away from the scene. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was found that the transmission had failed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was contacted about the issue. The failure mileage was unavailable and the current mileage was 42,000. Mailed 02/18/15 the consumer stated even after the engine was overhauled because the mechanic claimed oil leaked onto the internal clutched caused slippage, he continued to experience problems. The consumer believed the problem was with the fuel injection system. Updated 03/29/16.

- Chandler, AZ, USA

problem #28

Oct 022012

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 34,900 miles
The car is at the dealer for the third time since the beginning of the month. While driving, all of a sudden the vehicle is not in "drive" anymore, and I have to coast to the side of the road, turn off car, and restart. It is as if the transmission just goes out. This can happen multiple times in one driving session and has happened on highway, on side streets, backing out of my driveway, etc. The engine light comes on repeatedly each time. Car also lurches and sounds as if it might stall at random times when accelerating. Each time, the dealer test drives after the "fix" have been from 0 miles to 6 miles, it does not seem like this test drive is long enough to see the issue. This problem is an extreme safety hazard to me and my family and I have lost faith in Ford in fixing/dealing with this problem.

- Royal Oak, MI, USA

problem #27

Jul 022012

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 12,000 miles


Transmission, which has never been smooth when accelerating form stop now stutters and shudders rapidly when accelerating slowly from a stop. Does not do it every time but does it frequently. I have had it in to the dealer to check it out and they say they have adjusted it but it continues to exhibit this odd behavior. The car did not do this in the first year of ownership. The dealer says the transmission is "quirky". the stuttering and shuddering is not, as far as I am concerned, normal for this transmission and needs to be repaired or the transmission needs to be replaced. The transmission does not function as promised!

- Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA

problem #26

Oct 012012

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 39,539 miles
Powertrain: Have had chattering in lower gears of my 2011 Ford Fiesta SE.....acts like is straining at times to go into gear.....have had it to dealership and they tell me it is normal....also contacted Ford via email and they concur with the dealer..the dealer did some computer updates and when I got it back it still chatters...........what happens if it fails and Ford refuses to do anything about the the extended warranty is only for 60,000 miles and I travel 60-90 miles a day back and forth to work what kind of dependable vehicle do I have.......

- Browns Mills, NJ, USA

problem #25

Feb 152012


  • 9,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Ford Fiesta. The contact stated that after attempting to accelerate, the vehicle would hesitate. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection and they stated that it was a known problem and they would reprogram the computer. The vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 9,000.

- Cape Girardeau, MO, USA

problem #24

Jun 202012

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 17,600 miles


The throttle body malfunctioned after only 17,600 miles. Also 29 parts needed to be replaced all at once under the hood. I have found several stories online of people getting multiple transmission replacements or other drive train components on their 2011 Fiesta S.

- Superior, WI, USA

problem #23

Jun 132012


  • 51,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Ford Fiesta. The contact took her vehicle to the dealer for routine maintenance and was advised she had a transmission leak; however, they will not repair it until it gets worse. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 51,000.

- Johnstown, CO, USA

problem #22

Jun 132012

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 51,000 miles
Took car in to dealership for oil change, tire rotation, etc. And was told it had an oil leak and that they wouldn't fix it (it's still under warranty) until the leak became worse!

- Johnstown, CO, USA

problem #21

Apr 052012

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • miles
22 days plus additional 6 days: Told by Ford dealership mechanic that oil pan is leaking oil, and water pump leaking. Dye pen fluorescent light inspection shows front crank seal leak, inspection of engine block damaged threads. Replaced engine per Ford, removed transmission from engine, disassemble engine from engine mount, mount new short block and install, reseal components, re-time engine, install engine to transmission assembly, rechecked for leaks coolant and oil. Ford Fiesta broke down next day after I picked up car from Ford shop for 22 days, automatic transmission would not go into drive, reverse or neutral, called tow truck for help to get vehicle back to Ford mechanic, who still working on car. I am very disappointed with the quality of the 2011 Ford Fiesta, doesn't get 40mpg, gets 35mpg, does not accelerate when you need to kind of lags, then makes gurgling noise in the water pump. 2011 Ford Fiesta is not made in the usa and it shows, it's a lemon.

- Sedro Woolley, WA, USA

problem #20

Aug 082011


  • 10,000 miles


I have a various problems with the transmission. It keeps having a grinding noise like it has a hard time going into gear. I have noticed that the problem is worse when trying to quickly stop as well as accelerating right after. The transmission problem is currently keeping the Fiesta in the shop right now but the dealership is saying that this problem is normal and there is no repair is available at this time. I have also had problems with the window not rolling up right. This was fixed but I think that over time it will start to be a problem again. The final problem is the sound system not being properly wired as I plugged my phone to charge and the radio stopped getting reception.

- Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #19

Feb 202012


  • 3,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Ford Fiesta. The contact stated that while driving 25 mph, the vehicle surged forward and hesitated as if the vehicle was going to stall. In addition, the vehicle was slow to respond to acceleration and would often surge forward abnormally while accelerating at various speeds. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where they advised the contact that there was a leak in the transmission. The vehicle was not repaired correctly and was inspected three times but the dealer was not able to provide a permanent remedy for the failure. The failure mileage was 3,000 and the current mileage was 4,086.

- Reno, NV, USA

problem #18

Apr 252011

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 34 miles
At crossroads Ford, prince george, Virginia: This 2011 Ford Fiesta...service engine soon light came on..dealership checked car tsb(power train central module-for transmission) only re-set/re-programmed transmission computer.(April 25,2011. On November 4,2011...I took vehicle back to morganton N.C.Ford dealership.. my Fiesta would not start and after 4 attempts to start the car it hesitated and started it jerked and sounded like it was badly missing....when driven to dealership the vehicle service engine light came would not shift gears properly and the rpms went to 3000rpms before shifting into any gear. Dealership stated vehicle didn't have a problem and again re-programmed and up-dated the transmission computer. I was very upset. In December 22,2011: Transmission gears not shifting properly. I took vehicle to local morganton, N.C. Ford dealership...they tested the passed.tested tcm passed all controls. Then tried to tell was only a low-battery problem...but had to re-set the transmission computer a third time.then on February 25,2012...Fiesta hatch-back lock would not lock to stay shut. I promptly took vehicle to morganton, N.C. Ford dealership and the car is still there to be repaired and a part is on order. To fix this lock. I was given a rental vehicle. I intend to sue Ford Motor Corp via N.Carolina lemon law I am a very-dissatisfied customer> car is a piece of crap.

- Morganton, NC, USA

problem #17

Dec 152010


  • 7,800 miles
I brought the car 6 months ago. In the beginning the car was hesitant after acceleration and lacked power on hills. About a month ago it started to make clucking noises. After the car started, it refused to engage in any gear. I would able to reverse and then finally drive after the car warmed up and numerous restarted. This happened numerous occasions and I attempted to fix the problem 3 times at the dealership. The dealership did not find anything wrong with the car on their diagnostics and they were unable to replicate the problem at the dealership. Finally, the dealership said the issue is the battery is low. Don't think this would solve the problem through...

- Keansburg, NJ, USA

problem #16

Dec 282011


  • 3,100 miles
At a complete stop to turn right with brake pressed, the accelerator would not work as I took my foot off the brake and pressed the gas pedal. I was able to coast off the street turning right until eventually the car would accelerate. Very scary.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #15

Nov 292011

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 2,900 miles
Well my Ford Fiesta had less than 1800 miles on it when the transmission started chattering while holding a steady traffic speed of 30 mph after it warmed up. Now it does it bad between 30 and 55 mph, still after it is warmed up. It"S fine when it?S cold. Also twice after driving 2900 miles on the car, the transmission would not release when trying to stop at a stop light. It drove me through a red light, twice. It was as if I was driving a manual transmission car and forgot to put the clutch in. Scared me to death, but I?M forced to keep driving it. Took it to kline motors, a Ford dealership in winfield ks. They said they worked on it for 2 hours and charged me over $175 and did absolutely nothing I could tell except offer to replace the tranny for $5200. For 2 hours work they did not even up-date the computer that drives the transmission. I bet the mechanic never even touched it. Ford will not cover it because the car was in a very minor fender bender and the title was marked rebuilder. What a cop out. What ticks me off about kline?S is I told the service manger I re-built the car, which was nothing more than a front bumper cover and ac lines for the most part and all the parts were oem parts. I asked kline?S to check the VIN to make sure Ford would cover it, never checked it but said it would be covered to 36,000 miles and bring it in anyway. Why the car was flagged by the insurance company I have no idea, but Ford is sure using it as an excuse not to touch it. In any case I got a piece of crap Ford Fiesta that I?M scared to death to drive, but for now I?M stuck with it every day, and every day wondering if it"S going to drive me through another intersection to get hit by someone. If I was Ford I would be scared to death with these cars on the road. This should be a safety issue and the ntsb should force them to make a re-call for safety reasons.

- Udall, KS, USA

problem #14

Aug 012011


  • miles
I recently purchased a brand new 2011 Ford Fiesta. In the past 5 months I have taken it to the dealership I purchased it from 5 times because the transmission makes a loud grinding noise and lurches forward when I am on a hill or in stop and go traffic. I have contacted Ford directly and got the same response as when I took it to the dealer. They both say it is "normal". after contacting Ford directly the service manager at my local Ford contacted me and went on a test drive with me where he said he both heard and felt what I was talking about. He then took a car right off the lot for a test drive and told me that one did not do any of the things mine is doing. A couple hours later I get a call from him stating Ford has told him this is normal for the car to make these noises and lurch forward and that there is nothing else they can do for me. Assuring me that the car is under warranty and that if the transmission fails it will be covered. I drive 70 miles a day in rush hour traffic on hills and to me this is a huge safety concern. There are many people that have complained to Ford about the same problem so they did the tsb for this issue and it made the problem worse now when I am on a hill the car rolls back and the grinding noise is worse. I took the car back right after they performed the tsb and told them and they are still saying this is normal.

- Woodbridge , VA, USA

problem #13

Nov 132011

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 4,732 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Ford Fiesta. The contact stated the wrench and oil light illuminated simultaneously. According to the owner's manual, that indicated that the engine oil had expired. Upon driving to the dealership, the transmission failed to shift over and the vehicle stalled. There was gas in the vehicle. The dealer reset the light. However, the engine light continued to illuminate. Updated 02/01/12 updated 02/08/12

- Harrisburg, PA, USA

problem #12

Oct 032011

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 6,000 miles
The transmission seems to fail to go into neutral when brakes are applied. Car started with transmission issues initially with the car trying to fight the brakes a few times just before stopping. At times the car significantly overcomes the brakes. On one instance the car failed to stop at red light and managed to creep into the intersection before stopping. The transmission does seem to have safety problems particularly it makes it hard to predict how the car will come to a stop from a high rate of speed. The stopping is jerky and the stopping distance is variable and inconsistent due to the "jerky" behavior of transmission.

- Fort Collins, CO, USA

problem #11

Sep 302011

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • miles
Makes loud grinding sound and seems like the car is about to stall while driving. The car also seems to stall when driving from a full stop. Transmission fluid leaks.

- Apo, AP, USA

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