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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
28,388 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 7 of 8)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #37

Jan 282013


  • 5,000 miles


I bought this car brand new in July of 2012 and I have had nothing but problems with it. The main issue being the horrible transmission. The car sputters and shakes upon take off; the rpms rev up very high and yet the care goes nowhere; the car sounds like it needs to shift into the next gear, but doesn't; there is a huge delay when you step on the gas, the car sits there before it actually goes anywhere; the car lunges forward when you are in situations like stop and go traffic. I have taken my car into two separate dealers and the car has had 3 clutches so far. The newest problem with the car is a horrible squealing coming from the brakes. I've had two new sets of brakes and a deglazing of the brakes, only to have the problem still exist. I've taken this car in for a total of 6 times for the transmission and this week will be the 4th time for the brakes. These cars are a road hazard and should be recalled immediately. I have filed a complaint with Ford Motor Company and the BBB auto line. Ford should be ashamed of themselves for knowing about these issues and not doing anything about it. People's lives are at risk in these cars and they obviously don't care. I wonder how many people will have to die or get injured before Ford decides to admit they sold a horrible product and that it needs to be recalled.

- La Mesa, CA, USA

problem #36

Mar 282013

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 13,381 miles
Car started to jerk while trying to accelerate. And car started to turn off at red lights. And need to be started up again to get going.

- Indio, CA, USA

problem #35

Jan 222014


  • 29,500 miles
I have been having problems with my transmission from shortly after the day I purchased the vehicle. It shutters, locks up and cannot shift gears. It has been in the shop over 5 times for the same issue and is still under manufacturers warranty. What can be done for me?

- Bellevue, PA, USA

problem #34

May 142012


  • 10,171 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Ford Fiesta. The contact stated that the transmission hesitated to shift when a right turn was made. The failure recurred on several occasions. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the failure was unable to be duplicated. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 10,171.

- Goodlettville, TN, USA

problem #33

May 032013

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
Car increasingly shifting hard. Accelerated from green light. Car jerking so severely almost lost control. This occurred numerous times since purchase. Car reprogrammed couple times but never lasts. Shudders, jerks, at times won't shift. Dealership mechanics advise that car should not shift in that manner. Under warranty. In dealership shop now for last 6 weeks clutch replaced but leaking waterpump on back order. All my warranty paperwork wit dates in my car at dealership. If need more precise dates, let me know.

- Sparta, WI, USA

problem #32

Nov 012013


  • 54,000 miles
I have a 2012 Ford Fiesta that I bought brand new in March 2012. At random times I felt the car shuddering during acceleration when going into 1st and 2nd gear. It got to the point where it happened more frequently causing my car to shake. At times it would feel like it would die out. I finally took my car into the dealership during the warranty period still and they diagnosed it as the clutch system having trouble catching. This was replaced in January 2014. 10000 to 12000 miles later around the end of May 2014 the same problems are happening again. At this time my engine light came on. I took it in again complaining about the shaking upon acceleration and engine light. They told me that it is expected with this type of transmission because of the built of it and blamed the throttlebody (engine light diagnosis) that is causing the shaking. I paid out of pocket for the throttle body since at this time my warranty period expired. I picked it up and 2 days later I had to return it to the dealership because they did not resolve the problem of shaking upon acceleration. They kept the car for a day and the transmission tech diagnosed the same problem as before which was the clutch assembly system. Even the service advisor stated to me that many other Fiesta owners are having problems with the transmission and some are on their 3rd replacement of the clutch system. Currently I'm still waiting for the parts for my car to come in to have it repaired but the shaking is getting worse and making loud grinding noises. It feels like it will stall on me especially when I'm trying to cross any intersection on make turns when accelerating from a stalled position. Majority of the time I have my children in the car and very nervous that it will lead to a potential crash.

- Menifee, CA, USA

problem #31

Apr 162014

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles


Transmission lurches, bogs down and hesitates when trying to take off. Ford said the clutch package went bad and it cost $1,724 to replace the clutch. Less then 65K on a 2012 and the transmission goes out. This car belongs to a 16 year old. This is a massive safety issue.

- Dothan, AL, USA

problem #30

Jun 012013

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 26,000 miles
Transmission grinding, lurching, rpms reving, slow to respond to gas pedal depression, rolls back at stop on incline, brakes went bad at 25000, tires went bad at 28000, transmission clutch replaced continues to have issues.

- Yuma, AZ, USA

problem #29

Mar 272014

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 31,200 miles
Vehicle shutters, grinds, rattles, and jumps when vehicle reaches 20 mph or higher. I have brought it to the dealer several times...they claim its "normal". it is the transmission which is causing all the problems. Ford has verified it but basically told me to "turn up the radio and ignore it". the grinding is loud and sometimes when attempting to accelerate the vehicle will hesitate then the rpms will jump very high almost to 6000 before the vehicle speed increases. This car is a death machine on the highway. I am scared that it will cause an accident because I am not able to accelerate without issues or without the transmission jumping around all over the place. This vehicle needs to be recalled before people die.

- Fort Carson, CO, USA

problem #28

Apr 242014


  • 30,000 miles
Transmission had problems, gears grinding, car shaking when accelerating, shifting up and down when driving at a constant speed.

- Oakton, VA, USA

problem #27

Mar 012013


  • 30,000 miles


Vehicle shuddering and grinding noise when accelerating from a stop. Makes it very difficult to gauge acceleration rate. This is a real and documented safety concern nationwide.

- Champaign, IL, USA

problem #26

Mar 012013

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 16,000 miles
Car (Ford Fiesta 2012 purchased in May 2012) regularly stalls, jerks and shakes when accelerating and causes car not to move as quickly. Car moves slower when it stalls, jerks and shakes. Driver cannot gauge when stalling will occur and when car will move slower. This is a safety concern because if in a situation where the driver needs to accelerate to get out of the way quickly, car may or may not move as expected and may not be able to get out of the way to avoid another vehicle which could result in an accident. Car has been taken to the dealer twice (3/27/13 and 12/21/13 for this transmission issue and it continues to occur. Repair receipts state that the cause is leaking seals from clutch housing area. They have removed transmission replaced inner and outer input shaft seals, cleaned clutch and reassembled. Despite their efforts we continue to have this problem with the vehicle.

- Granada Hills, CA, USA

problem #25

Oct 072013


  • miles
From the stopped position, the whole front end of the car shudders as you begin to press the accelerator. We took the car to a Ford dealer, they (koons, silver spring) updated the software and told us it would take 1K to 1500 miles for the problem to stop because we have 3 family members that drive this car and it has a driver style memory.. the shuddering also causes the car to lurch and pause if you have to merge from a stopped position to 40 or above mph. A problem only a very experienced driver can adjust for. This problem is dangerous to all on the road. I want a response from Ford or a possible recall. Many blogs already on the internet.

- Silver Spring, MD, USA

problem #24

Jan 262014

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 8,010 miles
After 6 months I started having vibration/ transmission slippage issues. I took it back to the dealer and they fix the transmission fluid leak. Six months later the problem persists. The car was repair 3 times for the same defect. Now is 20,120 miles still have the same problem, and the dealership where I bought it don't want to repair it anymore.

- Manati, PR, USA

problem #23

Dec 072012

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 15,000 miles
Within a few months of driving this car that we purchased brand new, it started shifting roughly. It would feel like it was going to stall out whenever we made a left turn from a stop, and it would stutter and jerk when switching between the lower gears. Everyone who rode with us or drove this car asked what was wrong with it. I brought it to the dealership at least 3 times, and every time I brought it they said they checked it over and it was fine (at first, it was "learning" how we drive, then we were "driving it wrong" and needed to really "punch it" starting from a stop). Gas mileage was terrible too, as we were slamming the gas trying to keep the car from stalling. I brought it to my independent mechanic who said there was definitely something wrong with the transmission, brought it to the dealership we bought it from again, and they again said there was no problem and we were driving it wrong. Just got it back from another dealership who immediately said there was a problem and replaced the clutch. They said that the seals around the clutch have been redesigned, and that was the issue, and we should not have the issue again. I hope that is the case, but wish we had never bought this car.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #22

Jul 012013


  • 32,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Fiesta. The contact stated that while traveling approximately 70 mph, the transmission began to slip gears in a jerking motion. In addition, a clicking and grinding noise emitted outside of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer, who stated that the clutch would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 32,000.

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #21

Apr 022012


  • 500 miles
As I accelerated, the gears began making a grinding noise. This cause the entire vehicle to vibrate and shake uncontrollably. This occurs 80% of the time when I press on the accelerator and start accelerating. Also, when I try to drive the vehicle at slower speeds between 30-45 mph, the gears grind constantly and the vehicle will sometimes vibrate uncontrollably. When I first got the vehicle, it was very minimal vibration and/or gear grinding. I have had the vehicle almost 2 years now and it now has 40K miles on it. The grinding noise is now very very loud and the vehicle shakes even worse than before when accelerating. If I had the rate the vibrations/shaking of the vehicle out of 10, I would rate it a 9. when I first took it to the dealer I bought it from back in April 2012, I was told that this was the way the vehicle drives because of the type of engine/transmission. I was told the vehicle has a manual transmission and the gears are shifted by a computer. So, I took their statement at face value. Now, after owning the vehicle for almost 2 years, I have been doing a lot of research and finding that several other owners are experiencing this problem. This, I believe, is definitely a safety issue because the vehicle is not performing properly and it vibrates so strongly that the entire vehicle shakes and in my opinion, this could cause loss of control of the vehicle.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #20

Jan 052014


  • 24,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Fiesta. The contact stated that she was driving approximately 10 mph when the vehicle became resistant to acceleration. The contact depressed the accelerator pedal but the vehicle did not respond. The vehicle erroneously accelerated once the contact released the accelerator pedal. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 24,000.

- Vailley Village, CA, USA

problem #19

Dec 012013

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • miles
My car had some suspected issues from the beginning (grinding noise when shifting through gears) but I assumed it was because of the dual transmission the car drove like a manual. I had some issues with shuddering but I was assured it was because of the way that the transmission is. In December when my car was about 2 years old and I had about 32,000 miles on it the noise intensified and become worse, it was also accompanied by the car shuddering almost constantly namely at low speeds. I took it for an oil change, and the technician told me that something seemed off with the transmission so I might want to have a Ford dealership look at it since it was still under warranty. A couple days later I was accelerating from a green light and my car did what seemed like a semi-stall, the car died for about 10-15 seconds before kicking back on. I took it to the dealership, and apparently some Ford Fiesta's have a defect of some sort in the transmission which causes the clutches to slip. They gave me a free loaner car, but I have no idea when I will get my car back since the parts that are needed are massively backordered. I feel like Ford owners that may be affected by the issues with the transmission should be notified of this potential issue. It may not be a huge safety issue now, but if those transmissions start giving out it could be. Hopefully there will be no other issues with my car especially after it is no longer under warranty.

- Salem, VA, USA

problem #18

May 152012


  • 200 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Fiesta. The contact stated that while driving approximately 15 mph uphill, the vehicle began to independently roll away in reverse. The vehicle was taken to the dealer but was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 200.

- Valley Village, CA, USA

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