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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
29,335 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.

2012 Ford Fiesta drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2012 Ford Fiesta Owner Comments (Page 2 of 8)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #129

Apr 082016


  • 92,000 miles


Purchased this vehicle in July 2013 with a little over 50K miles. Noticed within a couple weeks that it did make some strange noises (rattling, switching, etc.) particularly when shifting at speeds under 40mph. Had it checked out & nothing could be found wrong at the shop. Fast forward to March 2016 & the noises have got worse & louder, shifting is in no way smooth or normal, & sometimes feels like it is slipping. I have been in maintenance & management for several years & cannot have the wool pulled over my eyes on mechanical matters. Unfortunately though, I am not employed by any Ford entity so it is proving very difficult to actually get this problem resolved. 3 weeks ago I left the car with the local Ford dealership all day to check out the issues we've been seeing. When picked back up, they stated it only needed a programming update. I knew right away that it still wasn't like a normal vehicle but did not seem to be near as rough as before. Already now, it is far worse than ever. When normally accelerating around town/city, the car feels completely unsafe & un-reliable. I am afraid to allow my children to ride in this car which is a terrible feeling! I'm taking back to the dealership the first of this coming week hoping for a solution. We spent quite a bit on an extra warranty that is still in effect for quite a while but nobody seems to want to admit some components are sub-standard in quality. This is very frustrating to have to go through-first time for me. I truly hope that someone will take this issue seriously & address it before people are injured or killed due to the lack of quality that Ford has provided in these vehicles. To anyone considering purchasing any make or year of vehicle with like parts-I would seriously reconsider (truly & honestly). Mileage is now at 93K with 90% all highway miles since ownership (25 miles each way daily highway commute).

- Auburn, NE, USA

problem #128

Mar 022016


  • 43,000 miles
I bought this car in may of 2012, the car begins to shudder and rattle after only a few miles of driving it. When you go to take off in the vehicle it shudders and makes a loud rattling noise. It has been in and out of the shop multiple times, the computer has been reset, the clutch replaced although the it's an automatic transmission and was told it needed to adapt to my driving. After 4 years it still does it and no answers have been given. The car is unsafe. You have to push down hard on the accelerator to get the car to go without it shuddering to the point of feeling like you get whiplash. Ford Motor Company has extended the warranties on these vehicles to 100,000 miles, and provide no charge for service. The transmission is the problem and Ford does not want to fix it.

- Madison Hts, VA, USA

problem #127

Apr 032016


  • 26,000 miles
This is my daughters car she lives in los angeles. She had me fly over from Florida to evaluate her car because she was afraid to drive it. I was shocked what I found. The auto 'powershift' transmission developed serious stutter hesitation and grinding when pulling away from a stop. Vehicle sometimes failed to accelerate unless full throttle applied which was terrifying on the interstate. Serious shudder was experienced at low speed giving impression engine could stall. No confidence car was safe to drive. Transmission has already been repaired twice but is now worse than ever with only 26000 miles. I have had two vehicles with the Ford powershift both developed similar problems with low mileage. These transmissions are not safe!

- Tarpon Springs, FL, USA

problem #126

Apr 042012


  • miles


Shutters at 20 mph....jerking sometimes till it reaches 30mph.. have brought it to the service department 4 times....they said the car has to learn my driving habits. Once they told me that my rim was dented....I fixed that at a tune of made no difference. Going back to the dealership again in two weeks.

- Salem, NH, USA

problem #125

Jan 012014

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • miles
Inquiry from congressman courtney on behalf of constituents re a recall that should be issued for a 2012 Ford Fiesta. The consumer stated over the last two years, the transmission became a problem. There was a shudder coming from the transmission. The transmission control module, and transmission oil seal were replaced. Also, there were numerous reprogramming of the tcm. The vehicle has been to the dealer 13 times since January 2014 to address the transmission issue or the performance of the transmission. On one occasion, the vehicle left the consumer's daughter stranded. The transmission failure was unpredictable.

- North Stonington, CT, USA

problem #124

Feb 262016


  • 80,000 miles
Clutch/transmission shutter issues. Vehicle lunging and failing to accelerate from 1st to 2nd gear and from a complete stop. Clutch encased in a unvented B ell housing and subject ot over heating resulting in bucking. Have been in near accidents from not accelerating on highway and surface streets. Very dangerous and unsafe situation to be placed in. Have taken car in 5 times and had module replaced and problem still exists. Upshift bogs down and vehicle feels like it is going to stall. This has been an ongoing problem since purchase of car in April 2014

- Scottsdale, AZ, USA

problem #123

Feb 022016


  • 44,000 miles


When car is stopped or driving the transmission feels like it is going to slop. Feels like it is going to stall. Went T dealership and they said this is normal. This is not normal. Jerks and feels like chocking when driving or stopped. When accelerating jerks and feels like the transmission slips and isn't shifting. Went to dealership several times and they will not look into this. Looked online and noticed several forums and other people having the same troubles with the car. Needs to be corrected as it is a safety issue. Expressed. Concern with dealership that it was having troubles that it was either the transmission but looked at me. Like I did T know what I was talking about because I'm a chick.

- Worcester, MA, USA

problem #122

Nov 012015


  • 50,000 miles
Ford Fiesta 2012 transmition shakes everytime I go from stop to first and second gear, it vibrates and hesitates horrible, and the dealers keep saying it is "normal" even though I test drove a new Ford Fiesta and it does not have the same issue. I really do not know what to do now. I would not be able to sell it like this, and it can not be repaired because it is "normal"!

- El Paso, TX, USA

problem #121

Feb 142016


  • 65,000 miles
Many Ford Fiesta and Ford Focus drivers are experiencing issues with transmissions. Ford claims this is a problem with the 'transmission control module (tcm)' and is telling its various dealers and service representatives to tell customers it's 'normal' for loss of transmission engagement while driving. I received a "software update program 15B22" notice from Ford in August 2015 and I first took my Fiesta to the Ford dealership on Sept. 22, 2015. I was told my vehicle did not register as 'severe' and they did not replace the tcm. On Jan. 19, 2016, my car would not start. Finally after several tries, the car started, and a "transmission malfunction service now" notice appeared. As I began to drive it, I noticed it sounded like it wouldn't change gears (nearing explosion sound) and I had a hard time stopping at a light. It was taken to the same dealership where I was told the tcm had failed and they replaced it. On Feb. 14, 2016, my car wouldn't start again and I thought it was the battery this time. Took it to a car parts store and it was. But when the battery was replaced, it wouldn't start again. After another try it started only to flash the "transmission malfunction service now" message reappeared. Once again when I tried to drive it, I nearly ran out into the path of an oncoming tractor trailer. In less than a month, the tcm on my 2012 Ford Fiesta (less than 5 years old) has supposedly failed, causing my vehicle to lose transmission engagement. Twice now my vehicle had a hard time catching the brake when this has happened and my Fiesta nearly ran out into the path of an oncoming tractor trailer in the latter instance. This is a safety issue that needs to be corrected by replacing all transmissions in the vehicles, not just this supposed tcm.

- Williamsburg, VA, USA

problem #120

Jan 272016


  • miles
My 2012 Ford Fiesta has a serious, ongoing life-threatening issue. The vehicle shudders when accelerating and causes me to lose complete control of the vehicle which has nearly caused my one-year old son and I to be in multiple accidents. I have had the transmission replaced on three different occasions yet the problem continues to occur which tells me there is something seriously wrong with the product and no matter how many new transmissions they install, the issue will always exist. One time this problem occurred while attempting to merge onto a freeway. I began merging and all the sudden the car shuddered and would not move forward no matter how hard I pressed on the gas. I had complete loss of control of the vehicle as oncoming cars grew closer and closer to hitting my son and I. if the car behind me did not slam on their brakes we would have caused a major accident. On a separate occasion I was attempting to make a left turn on a green light and the car moved forward and turned just enough to put my son and I in harms way and then stopped and did the shudder thing causing me to lose control of the vehicle not able to move forward. I am scared to drive it and feel like I am putting myself, my son and other vehicles at risk every time I have to drive.

- Ravensdale, WA, USA

problem #119

Jan 252016


  • 51,225 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Fiesta. While traveling 40 mph traveling up a hill, the vehicle jerked heavily. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The approximate failure mileage was 51,225.

- Carmichaels, PA, USA

problem #118

Jan 292016


  • 1 miles
The transmission has a hard time shifting, it jerks, grinds and shakes a lot. The dealer has replaced the clutch, transmission module, and the whole transmission twice. It happens mostly in traffic at lower speeds, and not it is having problems in higher speeds. I have almost hit a few people because it will suddenly jerk forward when it shifts violently. Nothing Ford or other mechanics have done to fix it have helped, and carmax just laughs and sends me away when I go back to them. This car has had this problem everyday since I got it.

- Katy, TX, USA

problem #117

Mar 202015


  • 53,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Fiesta. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the vehicle would shake and shudder. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the clutch needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired, however the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the clutch and catalytic converter needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired, however the failure recurred a second time. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the vehicle needed a software update. The vehicle was repaired. However, the contact stated that the vehicle began to exhibit the same failure shortly after that repair. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 53,000.

- Sacremento, CA, USA

problem #116

Nov 212013


  • 51,000 miles
I'm filing this complaint against Ford Motor Company concerning my 2012 Ford Fiesta the vechicle has severals recall 0N it about the transmission I have put the vechicle in the shop six times since I purchase the vechicle in 2013 the vechicle jerks/shudder/climb up hill slow/roll back on hills/I almost been in several accident because of this vechicle I was driving on the freeway/stop on a hill vechicle roll back almost bump vechicle behind

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #115

Jan 142016


  • miles
I got my 2012 Ford Fiesta in September and every time I am at a complete stop(sometimes when im in the middle of driving it will do this also), when I push on the gas, you can geel the tranny slipping. Ford tried telling us it was because 2012 Ford Fiestas have a transmission like a stick shift. Even if it was supposed to run like a stick shift, it shouldnt be slipping as hard as it does. My car feels like its going to die everytime it does this. Its getting worse and worse.

- Kokomo, IN, USA

problem #114

Dec 232015


  • miles
The transmission slips, shudders and makes very unusual noises, I've had the clutch in it replaced just a few months ago and 2 weeks ago it starts the same thing all over again only now it's making a grinding noise when I start off until I get out of second gear, on occasions I could be stopped at a red light and the car would't even go, it's very difficult dealing with Ford on this matter because they need to keep my car and leave me with nothing to drive, they refuse a rental car. I have to drive my car many miles with my 7 year old son in it and it's not safe at all.

- Williamson, GA, USA

problem #113

Jun 022015


  • miles
Car has had transmission problems delay in shifts and jerky loud grinding noises. Have had 3 clutch repaires to solve and now to my forth. I've had three close calls as the car failed to accelerate acting almost if the brake was applied when entering trafic. These have been spaced over my ownership since 10/2011. The dealer and the tech tells me this is a design defect and that Ford will no longer offer this transmission design. This is a truly unsafe car when the clutch fails. The car was purchased new and had been reprogrammed 6 times and now will have its 4th new clutch installed and it only has 58,800 miles.

- Auburn, NY, USA

problem #112

Dec 092015


  • 80,000 miles
I purchased a 2012 Ford Fiesta new from a local dealership in March 2012. I always had problems with shuddering and was told that the car was just going to run that way. In March of 2015 my car started stalling and shuddering in low gear while in motion or when stopped. I took it to my local dealership, was told that it was a mass airflow sensor problem and it should be corrected. Before making it home it did the same day and then started showing a transmission malfunction service now message. I returned to the dealership, still driveable just with an error message. 30 days later I called to check on my car and was told it was not drive-able, the speedometer was not working, all the check engine lights were on and they could not drive it off the lot. After fighting to get my car fixed back to its original state, I paid more money for a ABS module that they stated was wrong as well as the transmission control module. Went to pick up the vehicle in September, car would not crank and had to be jumped to leave the dealership. Was told my battery was dead. After driving the car since September with continued shuddering, I awoke this morning December 9, 2015 to another transmission malfunction service now light and poor driving ability. Not sure if taking it to the dealership is going to do any good. If this is a repeated problem, and the transmission is giving multiple issues for everyone, this needs to be corrected. The value of the car is not even close to the pay off left on the vehicle, so I may have to just deal with the car sitting and not even being drive-able.

- Lugoff, SC, USA

problem #111

Sep 172015


  • 32,889 miles
I bought the car less than 5 months ago and have driven it 2,580 miles. The transmission and clutch are defective. It has been to the shop 3 times, they have already reprogrammed it, replaced the clutch and now they are replacing the transmission control module. The car has not shifted right from the day I bought it. It feels like it is going to "stall" when I'm in reverse (in motion), or when going from stop to go. I have been braking on numerous occasions, when it decided to upshift, lurching the vehicle forward, once into a crosswalk, once very close to another vehicle. This is very dangerous. It never drives the same way twice. When entering traffic, it doesn't always want to shift properly, and has lack of acceleration or a delay. It shakes, hard sometimes (in motion and stationary), it feels like you are in a massage chair. It makes a weird clicking noise, at times (in motion.) other times a weird grinding noise. Today it wouldn't get out of 1st gear (in motion) and had to be towed back to the dealer. I had to call out of work and I am concerned for my safety. Car bought 7/72015 - problems have been going on until today - 12/7/2015

- Port Orange, FL, USA

problem #110

Nov 112015


  • 25,000 miles
The 2012 Ford Fiesta has a known problem with its transmission. The dealer replaced the transmission module but the car jerks, stalls and sometimes dies out. Talking to the dealer today, we found out it is a problem with the clutch. The dealer stated Ford is aware of the problem but has yet to provide a "fix" for it. However, if the engine maintenance light goes on, then the problem will be addressed. In the meantime, we are supposed to drive this car hoping the engine maintenance light will go on, possibly enduring the possibility of having the car stop completely in an unfortunate situation. To us, this poses a real safety problem. You could be on the interstate travelling at a high speed and suddenly have the car glonk out, or even the car could suddenly lose all power in city driving leading to an unfortunate accident. This problem is supposed to be covered under Ford's ten year extended warranty on the transmission, but Ford does not want to fix the problem until, as in their words, "your problem worsens." I cannot believe that this safety issued can continue to be ignored by Ford Motor Company.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

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