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 5 of 11)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #130

Jan 172015

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 52,800 miles


Car started normally in driveway, but when I put it in reverse to start backing out, noticed the vehicle did not shift and was just sitting in neutral which caused my car to roll back, so I put car in drive and gave it gas to move back forward, but instead kept rolling backwards out into the road (still in neutral). Turned car off and heard clicking/grinding sounds. Waited a bit and tried to start car, but car would not start, saying that it wasn't in park (it was). After fiddling with the gear shift, I finally got the car to recognize it was in the park position and it started again, but experienced the same issues with not shifting into gear properly. It seems to be extremely random as to when it shifts (and into what gear) as sometimes drive would work, sometimes reverse would work, sometimes neither would work. Car is now not starting at all, saying it isn't in park again. Still hearing clicking/grinding sounds after I turn the car off for a few seconds.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #129

Jan 082015

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 190,000 miles
First incident, I was driving at highway speeds, starting popping out of fifth gear. Eventually had to shift into fourth gear to finish the drive home. Took it to mechanic to look at, could not find any external cause (I.e. linkage), and the car felt fine during test drive. A few days later, had trouble engaging into fifth gear. Figured out how to keep engaged without it popping out of gear, which lasted for a couple day. Yesterday (eight days after the first incident), while driving on the highway (approx. 70 mph), heard loud crunching noises, then lost speed. Downshifted to fourth gear, and was able to get off the highway. I let the car sit for a while, then tried to continue driving. Completely lost fifth gear. Car can be driven in first through fourth gear, but just revs in fifth. I've always had a little trouble getting the transmission to engaged correctly in reverse, but never in the rest of the gears.

- Elyria, OH, USA

problem #128

Jan 022015

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
Ford manufacture service request by mail said to inspect and replace if needed clutch for transmission. Ford dealer replaced the clutch and 2 days later the transmission didn't shift smooth. As the transmission shifted the engine revved up another 1,000 rpms before shifting with shuttering noticed. Ford technicians said it was safe to drive until they could see it at the shop. 2 days later when the dealer reopened the transmission completely failed and would only shift badly from 1st to 2nd gear. It would not go into 3rd gear. 30 mph max speed.

- Flagstaff, AZ, USA

problem #127

Jan 052015


  • 47,000 miles


Vehicle suddenly began to alternately surge and experience loss of power while driving, slipping badly between gears. Service engine light came on. From a stop, the vehicle nearly stalled when accelerator was depressed. Ford dealership stated engine code indicated a bad clutch actuator. This is a cvt automatic transmission and there are several tsbs on this transmission for a variety of problems with the tcm/PCM, clutch plates, clutch actuators, and seals. Ford has extended the warranty for these transmissions but is apparently only fixing the obvious problem at time of breakdown instead of replacing all known defective parts. The driving characteristics when one of these parts fail is dangerous, causing the car to shudder, jerk, experience loss of power when shifting, or experiencing sudden throttle surges. All know problem parts should be replaced. A recall is in order.

- Manhattan, KS, USA

problem #126

Jul 232014


  • 59,936 miles
The car was making noises and sounding like it was having difficulty changing gears, took it in to a Ford dealer in charles town, wv (thomassen) and was told the car was ok, they reprogrammed it. A month later, same issue, took it back to them, they replaced the controller module and pronounced it fine. Three months later, same issue. Have been told was a recall on the transmission but now the Ford dealership it is at in weston, wv, toothman, is not wanting to perform the recall, and kept it on their lot for 1 month before they even put it on a rack and looked at it. They claim it was dry of transmission fluid. The day before leaving, oil change was done and fluid levels checked. When it broke down, my daughter and boyfriend checked the fluid first thing and it had plenty. Now, car is stranded and no one is wanting to help with this issue. Ford first gave a claim # and said recall would be performed. Now they say its not a recall, just a service.

- Williamson, WV, USA

problem #125

Dec 052014

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 371,342 miles
After driving and then parking the Ford Fiesta 2011 for a short dinner and the coming back to the car. I found that the car was not able to be started and it was stuck on the park position. The auto had to be towed to a Ford dealership. There they found out that it was the transmission.they performed fsa 14M01 plus other bulletins that pertained to those transmission problems that the Ford claims, but to no avail the problem has migrated within the transmission and it seems that they cant fix. It has been in the shop too long and it costing too much money in auto rentals and agony. I believe that the Ford should owned up to it and completed changed the transmission. Now it does not take reverse.

- Riogrande, PR, USA

problem #124

Dec 242014


  • 119,000 miles


2011 Ford Fiesta bought at garber used cars in saginaw Michigan. I have had my car worked on for the recall for T E transmission rings. They told me they needed to also change out the clutch. Prior to this I spent 1200 dollars on the transmission part they said wasn't covered by a recall. The engine light started coming on a few days ago. They told me it was the catalytic converter. 650 to replace, and yesterday my car refused to start...the safety won't unlock and my car can't go into any gear but park. I had to have it towed...still waiting for the clutch and converter to come in so it can be repaired. When it runs it is a good ride. But the car has cost me all sorts of money I really cant afford to pay out. I will say if Ford doesn't come through and take responsibility for this car and fix the issues the company will lose my business forever.I am angry and disappointed and tired of paying for something that is so undependable.

- Saginaw, MI, USA

problem #123

Jul 012011

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • miles
Ever since we bought the vehicle (new), the transmission was hit or miss. From taking a while to shift in lower gears, to shaking, clunking, surges, to just hard shifting. Dealers stated it was normal but you and I know that's not right. It's to the point now where our car won't even shift into reverse or into other gears. We'll have to tow it to the dealership to get it repaired. It's upsetting when you read that there are so many in the same situation and nothing is being done about it at the government level. This is the one time we need government assistance to get the Ford corporation to do what's right for their customers. Please go through the pain and begin the process for a transmission recall. You'll restore our faith. Thanks.

- Lorton, VA, USA

problem #122

Oct 202014

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 23,000 miles
While driving the vehicle's transmission began to act up. I was not able to drive over 30 mph. The transmission would slip while driving.

- Arlington, VA, USA

problem #121

Dec 042014


  • 68,000 miles
Drove car on highway this morning on way to work and car would not accelerate or go. The only thing moving was the RPM's. I had to pull over on the highway and turn the car off. After the restart, the car was able to accelerate but now it was shifting badly in and out of gears. My work was only right around the corner so I was able to make it in. I went on a lunch break to test drive it around the block and it was giving me the same problem. Shifting out of 4th gear into 3rd for no reason. It's not even drivable. I have already had this car in the shop 2 times for transmission issues. Both times took weeks to get my car back, and I've only owned this car for a year and a half. This will be the 3rd time it's going into the shop, and now it's starting to risk my safety in the process. I have a 1 year old as well so I am not happy about this! something needs to be done about the safety issues of these cars and their transmissions.

- Glenolden, PA, USA

problem #120

Sep 012014


  • 67,000 miles


I purchased a Ford Fiesta 2011 in July 2014. Within a few weeks I noticed problems with the car jerking and hesitating and lurching forward but as a check engine light was on, I assumed it was because of the faulty catalytic converter, which was later replaced in Sep 2014. Still, the grinding noise, jerks and hesitation continued. I travel on the garden state parkway which is always heavily congested during peak hours and the car jerking forward put me at risk for an accident. Also, the brakes sometimes acted too slow but I don't know if this is a result of the transmission issues or not. It wasn't until earlier last month that I read about the inherent design flaw in the transmission. Currently, my car is at the dealership awaiting repairs to the transmission.

- Mount Holly, NJ, USA

problem #119

Apr 212012

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 2,000 miles
When stopped and take off again, the car does not want to move. It jerks, jumps and does not want to move. It also does this when driving down the street. It acts like it is going to quit but just keeps on jerking and jumping. This is very annoying and am told there is no fix. This has been going on for way too long. I have had it at jim O'neil Ford and bill collins Ford, and neither fixed it. Then I started taking it to oxmoor Ford. They have been really good at trying to find and fix the problem. They have adjusted something, worked on something else but being a lady have no idea even if they told me would not know. This last time it was in there they ordered a new clutch and it has been almost 3 weeks and they have not received it yet. Sure hope this fixes the problem. I am afraid that I am going to either get killed or hurt seriously due to this car not moving like a normal car and just jerking along. I have sent two notices to Ford Motor Company via their web site and have not heard anything from them. This really disappoints me because I worked there for 37 years in louisville. The above box asking for the speed, it occurs when taking off or driving 55 mph.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #118

Jun 202013


  • 40,000 miles
Clicking and noise from area of wheels and transmission issues, the Firestone shop in las vegas Nevada has fixed many issues, drive time automobile customer service always said it is normal, when on slight hills engine acts like its in neutral, ..I am a disabled veteran and purchased the vehicle to go to and from the veterans hospital, but to many noises come from the engine area, the steering column area, and wheel area..., it feels like emissions problems and transmission problems!..., engine light comes on often after oil changes.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #117

Nov 032014


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Ford Fiesta. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 45 mph, the overdrive and grade assist warning lights illuminated. The contact also stated that the speed decelerated to approximately 5 mph and suddenly functioned as normal. The vehicle stalled and was restarted. The failure recurred after restarting the vehicle. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 50,000.

- Wall Lake, MI, USA

problem #116

Oct 292014

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 47,000 miles
I was pulling out of a county park after dark, and was trying to gauge the distance of an incoming car, to determine whether or not I had time to pull out. In order to see better, I lightly pressed the accelerator, but instead of slowly inching forward a few inches or a foot, my car leapt out into the path of the oncoming car and then stopped. I tried to throw the car in reverse, but there wasn't time to react. The other driver tried to slow down and swerve to avoid me, but was unable to avoid hitting my door. Me, my three children, and the driver of the other car were all taken to the hospital by ambulance. The children were not admitted, as they only had a few bruises, but the other driver and I were both admitted and subsequently released that same night. I received a citation for failing to yield, which I plan on contesting. My car has leapt out into a cross-street like that after stopping for stop signs several times, but always to a lesser extent, and never on a busy street. It always takes several seconds after this occurs for the accelerator to function again, which is why I tried to throw my car in reverse instead of driving forward. I have also had problems with my transmission shuddering profusely upon excellerating after stops. I received a notice from Ford dated August 2014, stating that they were extending the warranty on my clutch and transmission input shaft seals, and transmission software calibration to 7 years or 100,000 miles, because of these types of problems, and urging me to have them repaired if experiencing shuddering. Because of my husband's work schedule, we had not gotten around to having the seals replaced yet as reccomended. I feel that the transmission issues that I had been having with my car, are directly responsible for my collision, and could easily have resulted in the deaths of 5 people.

- North Beach, MD, USA

problem #115

Dec 032010

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 0 miles
We questioned the dealer salesperson about the erratic behavior the night we purchased the car. We were told the vehicle had a manual transmission that shifted automatically. The vehicle has been to the dealership and or the dealership has been questioned many times regarding the issue. Most recently there was a notice for a reprogramming of the transmission, this did not resolve the issue. The dealers still insist that the behavior is normal. This behavior has now created many close call situations from lunging when going forward and reverse. The shifting is very erratic and makes a lot of noise from 0 to 20 mph or so. I'm also concerned about the resale value of this vehicle since I just recently starting doing research on the issue and have found it's a widespread problem. Please advise.

- Peoria, IL, USA

problem #114

May 192014

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 63,000 miles
The transmission on this car often shuttered but on this particular occasion, would not engage forward or reverse. A new transmission module was installed in the car and it is acceptable, currently. Unfortunately, customer satisfaction form 14M01 does not include replacement of transmission module (part ae8Z7Z369D). 1300 dollars plus to fix a problem that Ford has known about since I bought the vehicle. I am trying to join a class action suit against Ford. It is in the investigation phase and may be brought on by please join us. It is obvious that the only way anything truly good will come out of our hardships is if we hit Ford in the wallet.

- Milton, MA, USA

problem #113

Sep 152014

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 82,000 miles
My Ford Fiestas transmission is officially broke. The car's trannie was officially looked at by three transmission specialists, all baffled to why this car is dealing with this with such few miles. I've talked with numerous representatives of Ford, who've assured me that bad things just happen and there's nothing they will do. This is a terrible problem that needs to be addressed.

- Danville, VA, USA

problem #112

Oct 052014


  • miles
Issues with the transmission since I bought the car sputters dies wont start shifts into neutral on its own dangerous car its not safe Ford knows and wont fix it. I have had the battery changed to fix the issue to no avail and the shift solenoid to no avail dealer cant fix it what can be done to make the car safe.

- San Marcos , TX, USA

problem #111

Sep 262014


  • 54,000 miles
This car has had numerous visits to the dealer for transmission issues including the most recent aprox. Two months ago. The car will shudder and buck while shifting and makes a horrendous noise while driving. In this particular incident the car came to a busy stop sign where 2 highways cross and then when the accelerator was depressed the car moved a few feet to the center of the intersection and then wouldn't move anymore. It just revved the engine like it was in neutral. After aprox. 20-30 seconds it finally engaged the transmission and then continued to drive. Took to the dealer and they said they fixed it (again, 3rd time now). These cars are a liability and a accident waiting to happen when they cannot accelerate without the transmission slipping and sputtering.

- Delavan, WI, USA

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