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 9 of 11)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #50

Jul 082013

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 47,024 miles


This is my first new car and I thought I did a good job on my homework with the Ford Fiesta 2011 but I'm starting to have problems at 47,800 miles. First it was a recall on the "air bag" which I returned and the problem was fix as they stated. Secondly, I started notice from time to time the car would hestiate or get stuck in gear especiallly coming around corners. At one point the car was driving very sluggish and I express my concern to Ford and it was brought in immediately. The mechanic and myself took the car out for a test drive and as he drive he stated "I had to much air in the tires"......( ?). on 7/8/13 the check engine came on and I'm thinking what could be the problem at 40,000+ miles once again I called Ford and immediately the car was taken in for service. I was told it a sensor issues and they would have to order the part but the car was safe to drive. Once I received my vehicle back I notice the check engine light was not on and the car was driving extremely sluggish and it seem to have no power. The car was taken back for service on 7/16/13 to have the sensor removed and it was placed w/ " rear oxygen sensor" as they stated. Looking back, once the sensor was replaced the car was not the same. It was little over a week the car was back at Ford due to wheezing, high pitched and faint sounds. The car performance was poor!!!! Ford stated the transmission. It still baffle me at 47,880 I'm having a transmission problem....... I drove a rental provided by Ford until they fix my vehicle and I was given a call everyday rearding my vehicle. I pick up my vehicle on 8/2/13 and it stated " the tech removed and replace tranny" it doesn't say it new or extended warranty therefore I question the work that has been done on my vehicle?

- Patchouge, NY, USA

problem #49

Jul 162013

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
I traveled from williamsburg va. To new cumberland, pa on business. I stopped for lunch, finished then proceeded to my hotel. On the way at about 40 mph I heard a loud grinding noise during acceleration. I'm retired military so I was close to an mwr auto care on base. Their technicians took a look and told me they were 95% sure it was transmission without opening the unit. From there I took it directly to the closes Ford dealership, and they told me they couldn't even look at it for two days. They referred me to a transmission company they use around the corner. They told me they would do a dynastic and would let me know. I received the call and they told me the engage barring system unit was going. Both the owner and manager did some research and found a lot of material on this 2011 Ford Fiesta transmission. Ford had already done 5 updates. I also did some research and found a lot people were having problems with this transmission. The transmission company told me that Ford had this unit on a major back log due to the problems around the country. They found a rebuilt that they could have in two days, where waiting on Ford would have been a month. Because I was on business, I needed to get back to virigina so $2530 later I'm writing you. Is there any guidance or information you could provide? I would like to see if there is a way to have Ford pay for their transmission problems.

- Lanexa, VA, USA

problem #48

Jul 192013


  • miles
Numerous time the engine stalls after stopping. Transmission has always jerk and hesitated. Now stalling problem. Stalled four time today. No engine lights or warning! will never buy again! google all the problems with the car!

- Sagamore Beach, MA, USA

problem #47

May 292013


  • 56,400 miles


On 29 may, 2013 my family and I were driving on the highway when the car stalled. The rpms went up and the car just kept losing speed until it would no longer go with no trouble lights, which it gave the impression the car had slipped into neutral. A tow truck came and brought the car to the nearest Ford dealership. The dealership service representative started the car as soon as it arrived and it started up right away and stated since there were no trouble lights that they could not properly diagnose the car so they returned the car to us. On 5 June, 2013 my family and I were driving on the highway when it stalled again, but we turned off the car and let it sit, then restarted it and it was able to make it to another Ford dealership where they did an inspection. They drove the vehicle for 27 miles and could not recreate the issue and no trouble codes were present so they could not diagnose it. They gave us back our car and on our way home it stalled four more times nearly causing accidents with a semi-truck. It was brought back to the first Ford dealership where it was kept from the 7th-11th. The problem could not be created and the car was released back. On the way home it stalled again. On the 14th it stalled again while waiting at the right turn lane at an intersection and I brought it to the dealership where it was kept from the 14th-19th for further diagnosis. They were finally able to get a code that required the powertrain control module (PCM) to be updated and recalibrated. On the 20th it would not start and a tow truck was called and they gave it a jump start. I then took it to auto zone and the battery tested fine and the dealership later had the same results. A pen light tester showed power was being drained from the battery. The car stalled again on the 22nd requiring it to be pushed off the road twice. Now the dealership says the battery is bad. Recall?

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #46

Jun 252011

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 1,400 miles
A quick snapshot of the story is that we purchased a brand new Ford Fiesta through military car sales in June of 2011. After having the car for less than one month and putting 1,400 miles on it, the automatic transmission went out on it in the middle of our vacation. We lost a day of our vacation and some cash in non-refundable hotels stays but ended up with a rental car which was finally covered under the military car sales warranty. One month later, we got the car back and after another month and another 1,500 miles, the second transmission went out... a month and a half later and two more transmissions, we finally got the car back. Since then the car has been back to the Ford dealer four times to correct issues with the automatic transmission (computer programming); one time they were unable to duplicate the issue my wife experienced with the car and we were forced to accept it back as is. Fast forward to today and our lovely car has been at the dealer for the past month getting another transmission, with no end date in sight. Military car sales warranty department continues to claim that we do not meet there guidelines/threshold to warrant them buying back or replacing the car. My wife and I have had to take countless hours off of work to take the car in to the dealer, pick it up, get the rental cars, renew the rental agreements, go to pmo or custom and then get a new gas card; none of which we get compensated/reimbursed for. Part of the issue is that since the vehicles purchased on base are U.S. specs, german Ford dealer will repair warranted items, but are not accountable to replace the vehicle if it is deemed to be a "lemon"; this is the responsibility of the military car sales warranty department. Had I purchased this vehicle in the U.S. I would simply drive the car back to the dealer and he would replace it, not quite the case here in germany.

- Apo, AE, USA

problem #45

May 232013

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 61,290 miles
My 2011 Ford Fiesta after not even 5 days of driving the vehicle it started jerking/lunging forward making crazy clicking noise. Transmission service soon light came on called them they came to my house and got it. It took them two weeks to find the problem and fix it. Then I was told the car has to get use to my driving never heard that a day in my life. Now it's grinding, slipping, hesitating, lose power, and roll backwards at take off. I was doing 65 last week when the car started jerking and I almost got hit. Taking it in Saturday to see what they say this time.

- Goldsboro, NC, USA

problem #44

May 062013

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 85,000 miles


All three occurrences requiring my car to be taken to a shop for repairs involved the vehicle moving at hi-way speeds. While travelling at 65mph, the cruise control cut out and engine died, so I had to coast to the side of the road. Eventually it restarted and I got home. The issue was electronic in nature according to the dealership where I bought the car, and took it for service. The part was not immediately available and when asked, the dealership said it was safe to drive until the part came in. The repair was made under warranty. The second problem was very similar to the first occurrence, and the dealership told me it was a different problem, but was nonetheless electronic in nature. The repair was made under warranty. The third and most recent issue involves the transmission. On my daily commute, cruise set at 65mph, the transmission disengaged. There was no power to the drivetrain. When I coasted to the shoulder, no gear could be achieved. When shut off, the car would not restart. After about ten minutes, after many clunking and clicking noises had occurred under the hood, the car started and I continued. It happened again...and again. This occurred five times in 30 miles, and finally the car would not restart. This was about five miles from home and my car had to be towed to the dealer for repair. The car is two years old with 85,000 miles. All miles are hi-way miles. All routine maintenance has been performed with receipts. This vehicle is a safety hazard, for intermittent, total loss of power and control on the hi-way, as well as leaving the occupants stranded at risk, on the shoulder of said hi-way. Ford does not seem to want to acknowledge publically that this is a safety problem (I.e. recall).

- Smithton, MO, USA

problem #43

May 012013

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
The transmission makes grinding noises in gears 3 to 6 Ford mechanic says it is normal, there is nothing normal about it. I don't dare go on the highway. There are many complaints on the internet why isn't Ford doing anything?

- Weare , NH, USA

problem #42

Apr 202013


  • 33,000 miles
Car accelerated forward while in reverse gear. The car was put into reverse gear to back into a parking space in a drive way on a slight,15 degree ( approximate ) incline. As the accelerator was pressed the car lunged forward instead reverse.

- Redlands, CA, USA

problem #41

Aug 012011

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 500 miles
Ever since vehicle was new I've had problems with the duel clutch 6 speed transmission. When upshifting through the first 4 gears transmission sounds like a tin can full of marbles. Upshifts a harsh with a jerking motion. Transmission is reluctant to down shift into first gear when approaching a stop sign or light and when I've tried to accelerate from a stop the vehicle responds like it not in first gear by jerking and lugging during acceleration until the speed builds up. I've had one case were the transmission acted like it was in neutral when I left a red light. I was forced to release the gas and step on the brake before it acted normally. I've also had issues the RPM not dropping during braking requiring additional brake pressure to bring vehicle to stop. I've contacted Ford numerous times on these issues and have been told its either normal, or they can not duplicate the problem.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #40

Mar 012012

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 6,400 miles


The automatic transmission is problematic in shifting, decelerating then accelerating with no response. There is the sound of loose nuts and bolts inside the transmission while backing up. There are times (numerous) when you let off a little on the gas, and then go to accelerate and nothing happens for a second or two....little scary and dangerous to say the least. Odd shifting times during normal city street speeds. Feels like the transmission is trying to "find a gear". service writer at encinitas Ford says these signs are "normal" for that style of transmission. Now I see tons of complaints online about the 2011-2013 Fiesta transmissions problems, especially the transmission "going out" and "repairs" done at the various dealerships where nothing has changed with the way the transmission is working. Please help out on this...I do not want to have an accident due to these odd problems! [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Encinitas, CA, USA

problem #39

Mar 172013


  • 28,870 miles
In February 2012, my Ford Fiesta (automatic dual-clutch transmission) had barely 15,000 miles on it. The dealership found a transmission leak when I took the car in for regular maintenance, and the dealership kept the car to work on it for two weeks. On March 17, 2013, I was about to return home from an out of town trip when the car gave a 'transmission malfunction' message, at which point the transmission began making grinding noises when trying to shift, jerking, and then it wouldn't go in reverse. I had to call roadside assistance to have my car transported to a local dealership to have the car fixed. The Ford dealership still has not been able to tell me the specific problem with the vehicle or what is being done to fix it. This car has 28,870 miles on it at this time.

- The Colony, TX, USA

problem #38

Aug 082012

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
While accelerating to get on the highway, the car lost power and I had to coast to the shoulder. Turning the car off and restarting it got it to re-engage the transmission again. The dealership told me that it is a bad transmission, that I was loosing one of the clutches (this is an automatic, dual-clutch transmission). While Ford offered me $600 off a new transmission, I didn't have the money to put a new transmission in, and I continued to drive the car. On March 4th, while driving about 40 mph in town, the car again lost power. I coasted to the shoulder, parked the car and attempted to restart it. This time it would not start and could not be shifted out of park. After about an hour, the car made some mysterious clicking sounds and I was able to drive the car to the dealership. The dealership could not determine the problem, but decided to reprogram the transmission control module with an update. Exactly a week later (March 11th), the car lost power while at a stop light, leaving me stranded in the middle lane of a 3-lane major city road at rush hour. I put it in neutral and pushed the car out of the street. Once again, it refused to restart and once I placed it in park, the transmission was stuck there. It never did recover and had to be dragged onto the tow truck bed. This time the dealership tells me that not only are the transmission clutch plates bad, but now the transmission control module is also done. The car has 92,000 miles on it now, the majority of which (85% or so) are highway miles (I live over 70 miles from where I work). I am waiting for a new transmission to come from the factory. I was told yesterday (3/20/2013) that the transmission is on backorder. I can only conclude that either the new transmissions are being retooled before being released, or there are so many faulty transmissions, they can't keep up with the demand.

- Rio Rico, AZ, USA

problem #37

Mar 012013

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 30,260 miles
Over the past 1 1/2 months my vehicle has stalled on the freeway 6 times. Each time the "wrench" light came on, the display read "engine malfunction" and "service now". when this would happen, the engine tachometer would first drop to 1000 RPM and the accelerator would become non-responsive. Soon after that the engine would just rev as if it were in neutral; then "bam" the transmission would engage abruptly and make a loud bang noise and lag when shifting. This has become a major concern as I have had people almost run into the rear of me because of my decline in speed. The only way to get the vehicle back to normal operation is to completely pull to the side of the road and turn the car off for a few seconds and restart it, unfortunately by doing this it resets the fault codes and does not retain the information for the dealership to be able to diagnose. I had brought the car to the dealership and left it for a week. They installed a "flight recorder" and drove for over 114 miles to try to reproduce the problem; but could not. I had pick ed up my car dissapointed that they could not reproduce the problem and as a result could not fix it. When I drove my vehicle that same day to work, it happened again at only 26 miles after their testing. I have seen on other web sites that this seems to be a common problem with other 2011 Ford Fiesta's, I only hope Ford comes up with a fix for this issue soon as it seems to me to be a program issue with the vehicles computer.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #36

Nov 092012

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 13,500 miles
While pulling out into traffic, transmission shuddered and failed to operate causing traffic to come to a halt. This was the first incident. Several times afterwards, transmission would shudder and vibrate while shifting gears. Took to dealership in November of 2012 when this first occurred and they updated the transmission program. This update did not fix the problem. Returned to the dealership on February 22, 2013 for the same problem and they're reply was, "this is normal". this is not normal, this car is a death trap. I only drive this vehicle about 9 miles to work a day and I feel very unsafe driving it.

- Macclenny, FL, USA

problem #35

Oct 102012

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 19,000 miles
Numerous times when driving my 2011 Ford Fiesta the RPM's shoot way up and the car won't accelerate when I hit the gas. Even while driving at a speed of 45mph and try to go faster the car stalls and wont accelerate at all and get quite scary when this happens, especially on a highway when you could cause an accident. I have been driving and this happens and I have had to put it in park turn it off and turn it back on to get it to accelerate normally again.

- Vandergrift, PA, USA

problem #34

Jan 242013

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
Vehicle: 2011 Ford Fiesta, manual trans., fwd. Road conditions: Snow covered 1-2", no ice underneath, no slush buildup. Incident: At stop sign waiting to turn left onto road. Oncoming traffic in either direction is thru, no stop. No oncoming traffic. Accelerating across two lanes to turn left- divided 4 lane municipal road 40mph speed limit. Midway across road, front wheels began to slip, traction control activated and removed power. Car stopped in middle of road. Was unable to move vehicle in 1st/2nd/3rd gear without traction control removing power. In first instance, oncoming traffic had to stop while I exited vehicle and pushed vehicle into median where traction was found. This happened twice. After second occurrence, determination was made to only turn right to not place self at risk of accident. Follow-up research: Early production Ford Fiesta are incapable of deactivating traction control. Later models do and in the 3rd printing of the owners manual it is recommended to turn off traction control in snow or mud. This action would allow wheels to spin to pavement and generate sufficient traction to maintain or begin vehicle motion. Additional information: Above research was obtained by discussion with Ford technical support/engineering. They also advised that it was not possible to retrofit my vehicle with the capability to deactivate traction control. I have had vehicles in the past of similar weight/powertrain/profile which were equipped with one-touch buttons to disable traction control when in the appropriate situations. These cars were very capable in 1-2" of snow with the traction control disabled. I have advised Ford that I intended to provide this report to NHTSA and they likewise said they intend to self-report it as well. Recommendation: I believe this to be a safety issue that needs to be addressed by whatever means NHTSA has available.

- Waldorf, MD, USA

problem #33

Jun 212012


  • 2,900 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Ford Fiesta. The contact stated that while accelerating from a complete stop, the vehicle hesitated. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnosis and the contact was informed that the vehicle was unable to be repaired due to the vehicle having a dual transmission and that at 3,000 miles engine power would decrease. The manufacturer had not been notified. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 2,900.

- Desert Hot Springs, CA, USA

problem #32

Mar 012002

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 16,000 miles
After having no problems with this car for the first 16000 miles it now jerks and the trans feels as if your driving over rumble strips when accelerating from a stop; bumping and jerking. Seems like it cant shift gears and has no acceleration. The car performs worse the hotter the engine gets. This car rides anything but smooth. Always feels like its going to stall.

- Atco, NJ, USA

problem #31

Jul 012012

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
Numerous occasions while accelerating and decelerating the 2011 Ford Fiesta started to stall, jerk and buck like a Bronco. It seemed as though it was not getting power to the transmission or drive train momentarily. This has been an ongoing off and on for about a year. We recently took it to the sunrise Ford dealership, fort pierce, fl, and the service rep claims they could not find anything mechanically wrong. This vehicle is used to Transport young children and adults. I expect the Ford manufacturer to either remedy the issue or buy the vehicle back for what we paid for it!!! it could cause an accident because when it bucks it also slows down in 45-50mph traffic, and the traffic is bumper to bumper at times and we could get rear ended!!! something needs to be done immediately. Should I also find an attorney that will represent us should Ford motor be liable"?"

- Port St Lucie, FL, USA

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