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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 7 of 8)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

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

problem #17

Nov 042013


  • 33,000 miles
Ford has a problem with cvt transmission. The seals leak. They give lip service to repairs. I went many times to lafayette Ford. They replaced the transmission seal. The transmission still slips. Now they say it is the clutches. Ford has the part, on back order. I have asked, for a new transmission. The Ford area manager said no. The think there needs to be a recall of the cvt, on 2012-2014 focuses and Fiesta.

- Lillington, NC, USA

problem #16

Dec 072013


  • 39,500 miles
The vehicle has serious transmission issues. In low gears it often lurches, shakes, and stall out as if it's going to drop the gear. There is a loud grinding/rattling sound when the car shifts. It feels very unsafe driving in stop and go traffic or in city conditions. The issues with the lurching gears and dropped gears also make it very difficult to accelerate quickly. This makes merging onto a highway unsafe.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #15

Dec 032012


  • 1,000 miles
Its rolls backwards, again as previously stated it has definite transmission issues. Sometimes it won't shift very well at all. Hesitating and feels like it will stall at any minute. Hills are the worst, very hard to get up them. Not only does it spit and sputter shifting up but you can also hear the clunking of the transmission when it shifts down.

- Bridgeport, OH, USA

problem #14

Nov 212013


  • 26,500 miles
My cars transmission is noisy, it grinds, it slips, it sounds like it's going to stall and I've had it at the Ford dealership twice and they refuse to touch it. They tell me it's normal and they can't do anything about it. It's not safe. It sounds horrible and it does slip out of gear.

- Huntington, WV, USA

problem #13

Oct 012013


  • 42,000 miles
The clutch/transmission is defective in these cars. We have had our clutch worked on twice since we have owned the car. It will fix the problem for about 10K miles and then it will start shuttering as we start from a stop. It will also nearly stall out and shudder going up a hill. Ford says it is not a common problem yet I have read a bunch of complaints online about the issue. I will never buy a Ford again.

- Jonesborough, TN, USA

problem #12

Jul 102012


  • 15,000 miles
After purchasing in December of '12, the first problem arose after only 15 000 miles. The car was making a S noise from the transmission. I had to take it to the dealer twice, first time they didn't want to even acknowledge the problem. Then at 30000 I noticed fluid leaking from the vehicle. Turns out it is the oil leaking into the bell-housing, causing the car jerking, stalling on hills and freeways-very unsafe to drive it. Sometimes it takes up to 4 seconds after pressing the gas pedal for cat to react(very dangerous when merge on freeway or changing lanes) and the dealer won't be able to get me in until next December because there is no necessary parts. And stated "well it should be fine until then." I've heard that one person already won the lemon law case against Ford regarding this vehicle. Online forums and reviews are full of complaints on Ford Fiesta 2012 transmission.

- Kirkland, WA, USA

problem #11

Sep 012012

Fiesta 4-cyl

  • 525 miles
Feels like it strains as it shifts, feels like something in the transmission is not right. I am made to feel like its nothing and I know it is. I barely drive it over 25 miles per hour unless I go off the island and ofcourse there have been tire issues, kumho solus tires, tire size 185/60/15. I nearly had a deadly crash with a semi. I have filed a complaint about that also. The sync system seems to mess up alot also and gets worse with time.

- Chincoteague, VA, USA

problem #10

Apr 272012


  • 112 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Ford Fiesta. The contact stated while the vehicle was in drive gear, she removed her foot from the brake pedal and it moved in reverse independently. The contact stated while driving the vehicle also sputtered as if it was changing gears in a manual transmission. The vehicle was equipped with an automatic transmission. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who reprogrammed the computer and the failure ceased. The failure recurred twice. The failure was reported to the manufacturer. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 112. The current mileage was 15,000.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

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